CNN’s KFile Accuses Tucker Carlson of Spreading ‘Lies’ About Him


CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski accused Fox News host Tucker Carlson of smearing him in his broadcast Thursday night, claiming this is the second time he has pushed “lies.”

“Last year @TuckerCarlson spread lies about me when my family was getting death threats and had to flee our home,” Kaczynski wrote in a Twitter thread on Carlson’s comments. “He did so again last night. He never reached out for comment either time.”

Kaczynski, the head of CNN’s investigative “KFile” team went on to post a Gizmodo piece with the backstory on Carlson’s attacks, which started when Kaczynski published an article on a pro-Trump Reddit user who created a meme that was shared by the president.

The Reddit user, named “HanAssholeSolo,” had a history of sharing antisemitic, bigoted content, but one of his GIFs — an edited clip of a WrestleMania match where a fighter with Trump’s likeness beats up a CNN logo — made it on the president’s official Twitter page. Kaczynski then discovered the identity of the Reddit user, but never shared it.

In CNN’s piece, the outlet included the following lines — ones that sparked controversy:

“CNN is not publishing ‘HanA**holeSolo’s’ name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same.

CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”

Many in conservative media, including Carlson, accused Kaczynski of essentially blackmailing the Reddit user into not criticizing the network, since the last line states they reserve the right to publish his name. However, staffers at CNN claim that line — which was reportedly added by a CNN executive, not Kaczynski — was a dash of legalese included to make clear the network did not make any agreement to conceal the Reddit user’s identity.

Carlson brought up the criticism of Kaczynski on his Fox News show Thursday night.

In a segment where he declared CNN one of “free speech’s greatest enemies” and accused the network of trying to silence critics, he opted to ignore the CNN’s explanation, instead claiming, “CNN threatened an anonymous Reddit user for creating an anti-CNN meme.”

“CNN threatened to expose his identity and ruin his life if it was ever criticized by him again,” Carlson added. “Now, CNN is claiming to defend free speech, only when it is their free speech.”

Carlson also accused the network of “almost single-handily” getting conspiracy theorist “Alex Jones banished from the Internet, on the grounds that CNN didn’t like what Jones had to say.” (Jones was banned from most social media sites after reporters at CNN and elsewhere contacted tech company’s about Jones and Infowars violating their terms of service). He called the ban “a terrifying loss for free speech.”

Last year, the Fox host made the same claims about Kaczynski and CNN, saying “the network had already announced that if the naughty internet guy in question ever got naughty on the internet again, for example, I don’t know, by criticizing CNN, then they would release his name, which, by their own description, might imperil his life which, to a lot of people, seemed pretty much like blackmail.”

“‘Do as we say, or we will hurt you.’ News organizations don’t typically make threats like that ever,” Carlson said.

Sean Hannity makes a surprising cameo in Kaczynski’s thread calling out Carlson. The CNN reporter applauded the Fox News host for reaching out and saying he was sorry for the threats he received over the story, promised not to cover it, and even offered to help out with security.

Kaczynski finished his Twitter thread by questioning why Carlson is “allowed to spread debunked claims about a rival network without reaching out for comment,” and tagging Fox News president Jay Wallace and CEO Suzanne Scott.

Fox News declined to comment.

Watch Carlson’s segment on CNN last night above, via Fox News.

Follow the author on Twitter (@calebecarma).

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma