The head honchos at Fox News have decided to ban the network’s hosts from naming the anti-Trump “whistleblower,” according to the Washington Examiner.
Even the network’s opinion hosts like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson have been ordered not to mention the whistleblower’s alleged name, since it hasn’t been officially confirmed. The whistleblower has purportedly been identified as CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella.
Fox bans mention of whistleblower’s name
More than a month since the once-anonymous official’s complaint set off the fourth presidential impeachment in American history, controversy has continued to rage over his identity. For weeks, President Trump and his allies have called for the so-called whistleblower to be unmasked, but Democrats, the mainstream media and the whistleblower’s lawyers have sought to argue that outing the informant would endanger his life.
The discussion expanded this week after Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) forcefully backed Trump’s call, and a tweet from Donald Trump, Jr. cited an article identifying the individual, according to Axios. The whistleblower’s lawyers have refused to confirm their client’s name, while also attacking Trump Jr. for supposedly inciting violence against the rumored CIA officer.
Despite Fox’s reputation for defending Trump, the network is following the mainstream media’s lead in refusing to name the whistleblower, although his identity is considered an “open secret” in Washington, D.C. and has been floating around conservative media for some time. A Fox News executive blasted out a letter to staff Wednesday that directed Fox hosts, including the primetime lineup, not to name the whistleblower, the Examiner reported.
Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson have taken oblique shots at the whistleblower, with Carlson mocking the supposed “danger” the whistleblower faces in a segment this week, according to Media Matters. For his part, Hannity has slammed the whistleblower as an anti-Trump “Deep State” partisan, but has similarly refused to name him, citing threats from the whistleblower’s lawyers.
“I actually have multiple confirmations of who the whistleblower is. But you know what? I’ll play the game for a little bit, and I’ll take the lawyer’s threats that they’re going to sue me,” Hannity said.
The controversy rages on
While Fox is standing down, Donald Trump, Jr. has taken a lead role in pushing the envelope in the controversy over the whistleblower’s identity. The president’s eldest son went on ABC’s The View Thursday to defend his decision to out the whistleblower, saying that the individual’s name has been in the public domain and that the statute protecting whistleblowers from retaliation does not prevent private citizens from naming them.
The whistleblower’s alleged identity has essentially been public knowledge ever since a report from ReallClearInvestigations named him as Eric Ciaramella, a former National Security Council staffer under President Barack Obama who left the Trump administration after just a few months. Ciaramella is said to have worked under John Brennan, a top Trump foe, and was supposedly assigned to Joe Biden’s policy team in Ukraine.
The controversy over unmasking the whistleblower led to the exposure of one of his lawyers, Mark Zaid, for resurfaced tweets in which he boasted of an impending “coup” against President Trump. Republicans have pointed to the lawyer’s tweets as proof that the whistleblower has a political motive against Trump, according to Fox.
Some of the president’s allies have opined that the whistleblower is simply an anti-Trump bureaucrat from the same “Deep State” that has sought to reverse the 2016 election for three years and that, like Comey and Brennan, the whistleblower can likely expect to be financially rewarded by the establishment media, rather than punished.
Despite the media’s outrage over the Ukraine whistleblower, there has been comparatively little anger over the firing of an actual whistleblower who exposed ABC’s coverup of the Jeffrey Epstein story. CBS fired the anonymous leaker, who previously worked for ABC, after they shared a hot mic recording of anchor Amy Robach saying she “had everything” on Epstein three years ago, but that network officials “quashed” the story.