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Tags: tucker carlson | irena briganti | rick leventhal | megyn kelly

Why Megyn Says Irena Briganti Behind Tucker Smears

By    |   Friday, 12 May 2023 01:41 PM EDT

Another Fox News star told Newsmax he sees the fingerprints of his former network on a nasty smear campaign targeting former host Tucker Carlson.

Megyn Kelly has been vocal in support of Carlson, saying Fox is seeking to destroy his reputation to make it difficult for him to find another media position.

Now Rick Leventhal, a former Fox News reporter, told Newsmax’s Rob Schmitt on his show "Rob Schmitt Tonight," that it's not "beyond the realm of possibility" that the network's public relations chief, Irena Briganti, is behind the leaks of Tucker Carlson's private communications.

"She was probably the most feared person in that building," Leventhal, now the host of "The Rick and Kelly Show," a podcast with wife Kelly Dodd, said, adding that "many people thought she ran the place."

"She was very good at her job and very, very tough and very, very scary, and she's someone you did not want to cross, because if you did, you were in trouble," Leventhal, who worked at Fox from 1997 to 2021, told Schmitt.

Fox has kept the controversial PR exec despite numerous criticisms of her efforts, especially women who claimed sexual harassment issues against the network only to find themselves victimized again in the media with anonymous smears.

In 2016, New York Magazine, in a profile on Briganti, wrote that "Fox anchors and producers live in fear of crossing Briganti, who is known for leaking damaging personal stories about Fox employees to journalists."

“Several Fox women told me that one of the reasons they did not speak up about sexual harassment in the past was that they were terrified Briganti would find out and smear them in the press," writer Gabriel Sherman added.

Carlson also believes Briganti has been behind a spate of leaks from his personal messages, emails, and video clips that have made him look like a racist, misogynist, and worse.

This week, Carlson’s attorney wrote a blunt letter to Briganti and another Fox official, Viet Dinh, stating that employees for the network, including CEO Rupert Murdoch, had broken promises to Carlson "intentionally and with reckless disregard for the truth" by releasing damaging communications connected with him, reported Axios.

The letter also specifically demanded access to Briganti's phone records to determine if she was behind leaks to outlets such as Media Matters and The New York Times that cast Carlson in a negative light.

This week, Kelly said on her podcast that "in my opinion, this is all being leaked by Irena Briganti, who's made it her mission to ruin Tucker Carlson."

Briganti has denied allegations made by Kelly, telling Newsmax, “This is completely false and an outright lie.”

Leventhal said even now, he feels nervous speaking about Briganti, even though he is no longer employed by Fox News and warned host Schmitt he may also suffer retribution.

"I haven't been in Fox in two years, and I'm scared to say anything about it because that's the kind of power that she has and had at Fox," he said. "I guess [she still] inspires fear in the employees. You don't want to cross this woman."

Leventhal also told Schmitt that Briganti became powerful because she was in charge of controlling the network's public messaging.

"She was in charge of deciding who got the profile in Vanity Fair, you know, who was the star of the month and maybe who was being suppressed, because they didn't want to promote their particular show," Leventhal said. "She was very powerful in that way. I guess they respect her a lot and she was really, really tough."

However, that protection would likely end for people who would cross Fox and leave the building, said Leventhal, who was quick to add, however, that "I'm not saying she did that."

"But I'm saying it's not outside the realm of possibility," he added.

He also said he thinks investigators would find "a lot of stuff" if Briganti's phone would be examined, but "she's a very smart woman" who would know to cover her tracks.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Another Fox News star is seeing the fingerprints of his former network on a nasty smear campaign targeting former host Tucker Carlson.
tucker carlson, irena briganti, rick leventhal, megyn kelly
Friday, 12 May 2023 01:41 PM
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