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Why the FBI Raided a Florida Blogger's Home This Month

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

With the many crises plaguing the Biden White House, especially the deadline for Congress to raise the debt ceiling, you might have missed the FBI raid on a blogger’s home. The twist is unlike past FBI raids targeting conservatives, former President Donald Trump especially, this happened to occur at the home of former Deadspin writer Tim Burke, who was responsible for exposing former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend whose catfish tale became a source of national news and mockery. His wife, Lynn Hurtak, is a Tampa Bay City Council member. 


The residence appears connected to a probe regarding alleged hacks at Fox News, though no one has been charged, nor have persons of interest been named. Those breaches center on the Tucker Carlson videos that Media Matters and other left-wing outlets tried to use in a character assassination plot against the former Fox News host. It fell flat because it was a nothing burger—what Carlson said wasn’t bad. The home was searched by the FBI earlier this month (via Tampa Bay Times):

FBI agents served a warrant at a home in Tampa earlier this month, and a small but remarkably consistent corner of the internet went dark. For well over a decade, fans of the Twitter account @bubbaprog could count on a stream of compelling and obscure sports clips, inscrutable cable news blunders and left-leaning critiques of politicians and pundits. The account posted nearly 134,000 times since 2008, or around 25 times daily to its 117,000 followers. Videos posted there frequently reached millions of views. 

For sports and media obsessives with a taste for the wonkish and arcane, @bubbaprog, run by the longtime journalist and blogger Tim Burke, was a fountain of weird and timely content — sportscasters’ faces frozen in midword contortions, basketball fans epically failing at high-fives or a candid clip of Tucker Carlson between segments, talking about buying 200 tins of dipping tobacco… 

No longer. Federal agents searched the Seminole Heights home Burke shares with his wife, Tampa City Council member Lynn Hurtak, on May 8. Tampa Bay Times reporting revealed the search to be part of a probe into possible hacks of Fox News — particularly related to at least six leaked behind-the-scenes clips of Carlson. (The tobacco video, one of several Burke has shared recently of the former Fox host, is not specified in the probe.) Agents seized Burke’s computers. Hurtak said the warrant was “solely related to my husband’s work as a journalist,” though Burke now runs his own consulting business. 


Last week, the 44-year-old consultant told the Times he couldn’t tweet because he no longer had his phone but offered no more details before he stopped responding to a reporter’s calls. 

Through his prolific online efforts, and some big stories he broke at the edgy sports blog Deadspin, where he worked until 2018, Burke has become a fascination in certain media circles. 


Our friends at RedState have more about the letter Assistant US Attorney Jay Trezevant sent to Fox News about the ongoing investigation into the intrusions: 

…the fact that the FBI is talking about “unauthorized computer access” means they think someone hacked Fox here and that’s how the videos got out into the firmament. So we’ll have to see how this continues to roll out. It does answer one question — that it looks like Fox didn’t leak the videos, as some may have thought. If someone went to the extent of hacking Fox, presumably, to try to take Tucker down, can we say how many ways that’s an incredibly dumb move? But if that was the aim, it failed spectacularly, as those videos only served to make Tucker Carlson more popular. Now, anyone who may have been involved could be facing some serious problems with the law as a result. 

The Tampa Bay Times acquired the letter, which does not name Tim Burke by name, but two sources did confirm to the paper that it involves the May 8 search at his home.

We’ll keep you updated. 

H/T RedState


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