NBC News Thursday accused Fox News and one of its hosts, Tucker Carlson, of "dangerously and dishonestly" targeting one of its reporters, Brandy Zadrozny. In the weeks leading up to the election, Zadrozny has reported on extremists and the internet's role in spreading conspiracy theories such as QAnon, as well as and a large online network "poised to amplify [President Donald Trump's] claims about a rigged election."
During Wednesday's Tucker Carlson Tonight, the host criticized Zadrozny's journalistic practices during a segment with Darren Beattie, who was fired from his White House speechwriting job in 2018 after it came out that he spoke at a popular conference with a White nationalist. Beattie, who now writes for right-wing news site Revolver News, was one of the people who wrote a story calling Zadrozny "the woman in charge of doxxing and destroying Trump supporters," which he doubled down on in his recent interview, accusing Zadrozny of "this term 'disinformation' as a pretext to go after Trump supporters and destroy their lives," according to USA Today.
Statement from NBC News: pic.twitter.com/yd4aED3ZMC— NBC News PR (@NBCNewsPR) October 22, 2020
Not long after the interview, NBC News issued a statement saying Carlson had "dangerously and dishonestly targeted" Zadrozny, all while standing by her reporting. "Brandy represents the best of investigative journalism and of NBC News," the statement continues. "She is relentlessly well-researched and sophisticated in her understanding of disinformation and conspiracy theories on the Internet and within some social media communities."
Citing the journalist's "definitive stories" on extremism, QAnon, the profiteers behind rising anti-vaccination sentiment and COVID denial movements, the news company came down on Fox for any efforts to discredit her reporting. "Fox News has chosen to smear Brandy. In so doing they have shamefully encouraged harassment and worse. Fortunately, any effort to intimidate Brandy is doomed to failure," the statement concluded. "NBC News couldn't be prouder of Brandy, and we will continue to vigorously support her work."
Zadrozny herself published a story with colleague Ben Collins not long after the interview about efforts to push a false conspiracy theory against Hunter Biden, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's son. Following the story's publication, she tweeted, "I am so proud to be a reporter at NBC News, so grateful for the support I’ve received from colleagues and former employers (not including Fox News), so lucky to work with [Collins], and so very psyched to be logging off for the night. See y’all tomorrow."