On Monday night, Fox News host Tucker Carlson made a surprising accusation: The New York Times, he said, was trying to endanger him and his family by revealing where they live in an upcoming story. As he lambasted the newspaper on-air, Carlson suggested that his prime-time show could expose the home addresses of the reporter and Times editors.
Within hours, an army of conservative Twitter accounts started publicly posting the address and personal information of the reporter Carlson identified as the story’s writer. Many encouraged people to harass the reporter.
In a statement to The Washington Post, a spokesperson for the Times denied Carlson’s claims.
“While we do not confirm what may or may not publish in future editions, the Times has not and does not plan to expose any residence of Tucker Carlson’s, which Carlson was aware of before tonight’s broadcast,” the spokesperson said. The spokesperson declined to comment further when asked about the reporter’s doxing.
Carlson made the allegation against the Times as he found himself in the middle of a fresh controversy Monday — stemming from a lawsuit filed earlier in the day accusing him, Sean Hannity and other prominent Fox News personalities of sexual misconduct. (The network has denied the allegations.)
Instead of addressing the lawsuit or the recent resignation of his chief writer, who was linked to anonymous blog posts containing racist, homophobic and misogynistic language, Carlson used the final minutes of his first broadcast back from a “long-planned” vacation to take aim at the Times. The newspaper, Carlson alleged, has been “working on a story about where my family and I live” in an effort to intimidate him.
“They hate my politics. They want this show off the air,” Carlson told his millions of viewers Monday. “If one of my children gets hurt because of a story they wrote, they won’t consider it collateral damage. They know it’s the whole point of the exercise: to inflict pain on our family, to terrorize us, to control what we say. That’s the kind of people they are.”
During Monday’s show, Carlson claimed that he had called the Times and expressed concern that the planned story would put him and his family in danger.
The host noted that his home address in Washington was made public in 2018, prompting a group of activists to show up outside one night to protest. Referring to the group as “screaming Antifa lunatics,” Carlson, a father of four, said the protesters vandalized his residence and threatened his wife, who had been home alone that night. Police, who responded to the scene after Carlson’s wife called 911, said that about 20 demonstrators participated and that an anarchy symbol had been spray-painted in his driveway.
Carlson said Monday that he and his family continued to be targeted after his address was released, receiving threatening letters that ultimately led to them selling their home and moving.
“But the New York Times followed us,” he said. “Their story about where we live is slated to run in the paper this week. Editors there know exactly what will happen to my family when it does run.”
He identified the reporter behind the story as Murray Carpenter, airing his photo and calling the freelance writer a “political activist.” Carpenter’s website states that he focuses on science and environmental stories and has written for the Times, The Post and National Geographic, among other outlets.
Carlson also mentioned photographer Tristan Spinski and the Times’s media editor Jim Windolf by name.
“How would Murray Carpenter and his photographer, Tristan Spinski, feel if we told you where they live, if we put pictures of their homes on the air?” Carlson asked. “What if we published the home address of every one of the soulless, robot editors at the New York Times, who assigned and managed this incitement of violence against my family?"
He added: “We could do that. We know who they are.”
Despite the Times’s denial that an upcoming story would publish Carlson’s residence, his accusation sparked fierce backlash from a number of prominent conservatives, including at least one GOP lawmaker.
“There is absolutely no reason for the NY Times to do this, unless of course it is to intimidate Tucker Carlson — or anyone who has views like him,” tweeted Rep. Eric A. “Rick” Crawford (R-Ark.), sharing a video of the host talking. “This isn’t ‘reporting’ and should be condemned by any news entity who has any credibility left.”
Acting deputy secretary of homeland security Ken Cuccinelli retweeted criticism that the Times is promoting violence against Carlson, adding “That is clearly their intent,” while Meghan McCain, co-host of ABC’s “The View,” condemned doxing as “the most violating thing in the entire world.”
This is extremely dangerous and a weird new norm. Even printing his neighborhood or building or home area is really dangerous. Why people feel comfortable doing this to people with whom their politics they hate is sick. It is the most violating thing in the entire world. https://t.co/hI67GEcaYq— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) July 21, 2020
Meanwhile, Carlson’s supporters quickly got to work. Several accounts shared addresses, phone numbers and other contact information for the reporter. One account tweeted, “Give him a taste of his own meds.”
“Maybe Tucker can’t do anything about it but somebody else can,” another user wrote.
Carpenter declined to comment to The Post.
By early Tuesday, at least one tweet that publicized Carpenter’s personal information had been hidden by Twitter and flagged for violating the platform’s rules.
Jeremy Barr contributed to this report.