On Monday evening, FOX News commentator Tucker Carlson alleged that the NSA, or elements within the organization, were monitoring his and his staff’s communications in an effort to force him off the air:
Here at RedState, streiff and Shipwreckedcrew have done superb analysis of the matter; definitely read their posts to be truly informed. That said, a further development in the story (transpiring after their stories) has taken place that … well, read it for yourself:
A statement from NSA regarding recent allegations: pic.twitter.com/vduE6l6YWg
— NSA/CSS (@NSAGov) June 30, 2021
Now, normally I focus on sports and music here; while politically I have been described as so staunchly conservative I made the late, great, and deeply lamented Rush Limbaugh look like Rachel Maddow, political topics are covered here so well that I’m far better served to myself and others writing about other matters. However, this time I have to make an exception, as this tweet cuts to a matter near and dear to my own heart. Namely, satire. Because this has to be satire.
Whoever at the NSA wrote and tweeted this is kidding, right?
Let us parse this presumably official statement by the NSA carefully, shall we?
On June 28, 2021, Tucker Carlson alleged that the National Security Agency has been “monitoring our electronic communications and is planning to leak them in an attempt to take this show off the air.”
Now, I know that logic and reason are usually the first casualties of political discourse, but let’s go off the deep end here and break out Occam’s Razor. These are serious allegations Carson has made. There are two possible explanations for making such a statement. One, the accusation is untrue; yet, the potential gains made by broadcasting such a lie — greater attention, more viewers, higher ratings, more attractiveness to advertisers (more on that in a bit) — outweigh the losses should the allegations be proven to be false. The counter to this argument is that evidence Carlson is lying would mean loss of credibility even among his loyal fans, existing advertisers pulling their ads, and potential loss of job. Which, come to think of it, should the story Tucker is telling be true is exactly what the NSA wants. So, we look at the second possible explanation: given the above, Carlson has no reason to lie, because as listed above, the damage that would be done, should the story be exposed as a lie, far outweighs any benefits. Therefore, the simplest explanation is Carlson is telling the truth.
A brief expansion of the advertising aspect discussion. It could be claimed that Carlson is making these claims for the aforementioned reason (among others) of attracting advertisers. Seriously? In this era of corporations tripping over themselves to virtue signal and prove they’re more woke than a sixteen-year-old on a Red Bull bender? This is not a ploy for advertising dollars; or if it is, it’s the most ill-conceived one imaginable.
Back to the NSA statement:
This allegation is untrue. Tucker Carlson has never been an intelligence target of the Agency and the NSA has never had any plans to try to take his program off the air.
Ohhhkay then. Prove it. I know the burden of proof is on the accuser, but somehow the NSA saying “trust us” isn’t exactly the fertile soil from which warm fuzzies grow.
NSA has a foreign intelligence mission.
The NSA’s own mission statement makes no such statement.
We target foreign powers to generate insight on foreign activities that could harm the United States.
With limited exceptions (e.g. an emergency)
Which one of the over two dozen we are currently under is most appealing to you?
NSA may not target a US citizen without a court order that explicitly authorizes the targeting.
Edward Snowden would like a word with you.
Like I said, this is whoever runs NSA’s social media account attempting satire, right?
Sadly, it’s not.