In his show on Wednesday, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson interviewed the former White House speechwriter Darren Beattie, who accused Zadrozny of using the term “disinformation” to target Trump supporters and destroy their lives. In 2018, Mr Beattie was fired from his speechwriting job for speaking at an event attended by white nationalists.
Carlson followed up Mr Beattie’s accusation by asking: “Why would NBC be doing something like this?" and said he never imagined that a news organisation would be working to suppress dissent domestically, but it “is happening”.
On Twitter, Mr Beattie said “disgraced Brandy Zadrozny makes a living ruining the lives of anonymous Trump supporters”.
Hitting back at the accusations against Zadrozny, NBC News said in a statement that over the past several years, journalists from news organisations around the world have put themselves at risk in order to shine a light in the dark corners of society and the internet – specifically in the realms of conspiracy theories and online extremism.
NBC News said Carlson "dangerously and dishonestly targeted one of those journalists – Brandy Zadrozny”.
The network defended Zadrozny’s work and said she represents the “best of investigative journalism and of NBC News.”
“She is relentlessly well-researched and sophisticated in her understanding of disinformation and conspiracy theories on the internet and within some social media communities. She’s written definitive stories on extremism, QAnon, the profiteers behind rising anti-vaccination and Covid denial movements – among many other topics,” said the statement.
NBC News said that her work is widely respected and has contributed greatly to the public’s awareness and understanding of the “dangers of this alt universe that breeds online but has very tangible real world impacts.”
The effort to “intimidate” its journalist would not work, NBC News said, adding they “could’t be prouder of Brandy, and will continue to vigorously support her work".
Within hours of the statement, NBC News published a story by Zadrozny and colleague Ben Collins which claimed that Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden is being targeted by some of the same people who pushed a false conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton in 2016 and their “online posts are garnering astronomical numbers of shares on social media.”