The New York Times has outed Tucker Carlson, who attacks journalists as 'cringing animals,' as a top anonymous source for the media

By Tom Porter

The New York Times has outed the Fox News host Tucker Carlson as a frequent anonymous source of information to the media, which he regularly insults and denounces on his show.

Carlson on his show frequently criticizes journalists, whom he often identifies by name and portrays as part of a liberal plot to discredit former President Donald Trump and his supporters. The attacks have provoked waves of threats and harassment against journalists.

He recently described journalists at large as "cringing animals who are not worthy of respect."

But in the Sunday article, the Times media columnist, Ben Smith, wrote that it was an "open secret" in Washington that Carlson frequently shared gossip and information with news outlets.

Several journalists at non-Times organizations told Smith about the information Carlson had relayed to them, including unflattering stories about Trump and information about the internal politics of Fox News.

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

"In Trump's Washington, Tucker Carlson is a primary supersecret source," Smith quoted Michael Wolff, the author of two exposés about the Trump White House, as writing in a coming book.

"I know this because I know what he has told me, and I can track his exquisite, too-good-not-to-be-true gossip through unsourced reports and as it often emerges into accepted wisdom."

Carlson's status as a media-industry insider, as portrayed by Smith, clashes with the image he has cultivated on Fox News as a tireless baiter and opponent of liberal elites.

He was one of the key media voices of Trump's political movement, with the former president frequently consulting him for advice.

In recent weeks Carlson has veered even further to the conspiratorial fringe of the far right, pushing the white nationalist Great Replacement conspiracy theory, claiming the January 6 Capitol riot was part of an FBI plot, and seeking to undermine faith in COVID-19 vaccines.