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March 2023


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: media

FBI, DOJ Investigating TikTok After Employees Spied on Journalists

Photo: Shutterstock

By Steve Neavling

The FBI and Justice Department are investigating TikTok over allegations that employees spied on journalists who were covering the video-sharing company, NBC News reports.

ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, found that employees improperly gained access to reporters’ IP addresses and user data in hopes of exposing the source of media leaks inside the company.  

“We have strongly condemned the actions of the individuals found to have been involved, and they are no longer employed at ByteDance,” a ByteDance spokesperson said. “Our internal investigation is still ongoing, and we will cooperate with any official investigations when brought to us.”

U.S. officials are already worried about security threats involving TikTok, and the Biden administration even threatened a potential ban on the social media app if the company’s Chinese owners don’t sell their stakes in it. 

FBI Settles Lawsuits After Agent Posed As Associated Press Reporter

By Steve Neavling

The FBI settled a pair of lawsuits that were filed against the bureau after an agent masqueraded as an Associated Press journalist in 2007.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press will receive $145,000 to settle the Freedom of Information Act suits, the Associated Press reports.

In 2007, the FBI violated its own rules when an agent posed as an AP reporter and sent him a link to a fake story that the bureau created.

The trick led to the conviction of a teenager who had called in fake bomb threats in Washington.

In 2014, then-FBI Director James Comey defended the practice of posing as a reporter as “proper and appropriate.”

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Baselessly Claims FBI Orchestrated Jan. 6 Riots

Alex Gakos/

By Steve Neavling

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has become the latest conservative voice to peddle a baseless conspiracy theory that the FBI orchestrated the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

Carlson’s rant last week was based on a report by Revolver News, which is run by Darren Beattie, a former Trump White House speech writer who was terminated in 2018 for appearing on a panel with a white nationalist.

Carlson told nearly 3 million viewers that it appeared “the FBI was organizing the riots of Jan. 6.”

He cited no evidence and doubled down Friday, suggesting that unindicted co-conspirators were government agents. 

Carlson’s false narrative received searing fact-checks in the media, including in The Washington Post, which cited legal experts who pointed out that the FBI “cannot name an undercover agent as an unindicted co-conspirator.”

DOJ Watchdog Probes DOJ’s Seizure of Data from Democrats, Journalists


By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog is investigating discoveries that the Trump administration seized data from journalists and House Democrats as part of a probe into leaked classified information. 

Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced the investigation Friday and said he would examine whether the DOJ violated department policy and “whether any such uses, or the investigations, were based upon improper considerations,” The Associated Press reports.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco requested the internal review after the revelation last week that Justice Department prosecutors secretly subpoenaed Apple for data from U.S. Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, as well as their aides and family members.

It was also recently discovered that Trump’s Justice Department  secured subpoenas for reporters’ records. 

President Biden’s administration denounced the subpoenas as an abuse of power. White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates called the conduct “shocking” and said it “clearly fits within an appalling trend that represents the opposite of how authority should be used.”

Trump’s DOJ Secretly Seized Phone Records from New York Times Reporters


By Steve Neavling

President Trump’s Justice Department admitted it secretly seized phone records from four reporters for The New York Times as part of a leak investigation.  

It’s the third time in the past month that federal authorities disclosed they had surveilled journalists in an attempt to identify sources for national security stories during Trump’s presidency.

The Times reported Wednesday that the Justice Department had informed the newspaper of the seizure of phone records and secured a court order to take logs of the reporters’ emails.

The leak investigation occurred over a nearly four-month period in 2017. 

The Justice Department also disclosed that it had seized the phone logs of reporters for The Washington Post and the phone and email logs for a CNN reporter. 

“Seizing the phone records of journalists profoundly undermines press freedom,” Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, said in a statement. “It threatens to silence the sources we depend on to provide the public with essential information about what the government is doing.”

The Justice Department did not identify the stories that were being investigated. But based on the reporters and timing of the investigation, The Times believes the probe was related to an April 22, 2017 article about then FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the 2016 presidential election investigation.

Oops! Fox News Falsely Reports Homeland Security Director Resigns

Homeland Security Director Alejandro Mayorkas.

By Steve Neavling

Fox News host Harris Faulkner falsely reported Monday that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had resigned while she interviewing former President Trump. 

During the live broadcast, Faulkner interrupted Trump to tell him, “I want to double-check this with our producers: The DHS secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, has resigned, Mr. President.”

Trump chimed in, “Well I’m not surprised. Good. That’s a big victory for our country.”

“Hold on, let me stop, let me listen to my team one more time,” the host said. “Forgive me, that has not happened. And I apologize.”

Trump responded, “OK, cross off that victory.”

Fox News was excoriated on social media. 

DOJ Appears to Be Investigating James Comey for Years-Old Leak

Former FBI Director James Comey, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

Former FBI Director James Comey appears to be the target of a Justice Department investigation into a years-old leak of classified Russian intelligence.

Federal prosecutors are trying to determine whether Comey unlawfully providing classified information to reporters, The New York Times reports.

This is the second DOJ investigation examining leaks potentially involving Comey, whom President often calls a “leaker.” Trump recently suggested, without evidence, that Comey should be jailed for “unlawful conduct.”

The second investigation is odd because it’s unusual for prosecutors to launch a probe into leaked classified information years after the fact.

The investigation appears to involve classified information about Russia that was written about by the New York Times and Washington Post in 2017.

Republican Congressman Calls for Secret Service Probe of Christmas Card Depicting an Assassinated Trump

Hustler Christmas card.

By Steve Neavling

A Republican lawmaker wants the Secret Service to investigate Christmas cards sent to members of Congress depicting a cartoon of an assassinated President Trump.

The card shows smiling people, including Santa, surrounding Trump’s dead, bleeding body. On the back of the card, the shooter says in a thought bubble, “I just shot Donald Trump on Fifth Avenue. And no one arrested me.”

The quote is a reference to Trump bragging during the 2016 presidential campaign that “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?”

A Politico reporter confirmed the card was sent by Hustler Magazine.

On Twitter, Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana posted a picture of the card Thursday and called for a Secret Service investigation.

“Here’s all you need to know about the radical Left,” Johnson tweeted. “A young staffer of mine opened this in a stack of holiday mail today. Just imagine if a conservative had distributed such a disgusting and hateful piece about a Democrat. I hope this will be investigated by the @secretservice.”