CNN Host Brian Stelter Claims Fox News Set Him Up on "Dates" to Gather Intel

Brian Stelter Getty H 2016
D Dipasupil/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival

The 'Reliable Sources' host said Fox News spied on him under the cover of a romance with one of the network's staffers.

The latest stinging allegation about Fox News' corporate culture was dropped by a CNN host Tuesday. 

Brian Stelter, the host of Reliable Sources on the Turner network, said that a decade ago when he was running the cable news blog TVNewser, Fox News set up to go on dates with a staffer who was actually "gathering intel" on him. 

"About 10 years ago I had a crush on a woman at Fox News," Stelter said, in conversation with CNN's Chris Cuomo on the morning show New Day. "She was a low- level staffer. I was in college at the time. So I was going out on what I thought were dates. Chris, I thought these were dates. These were not dates. She was actually reporting back to Fox News about me. She was reporting back about what I thought of her and about CNN and MSNBC and Fox." 

Stelter added: "Because I was a reporter on the beat, they were actually spying on me that way. Now I didn't think that was a big deal at the time. I thought it was the way Fox operates. Fox is a political organization. But now we know they were actually sending out private investigators. They were tailing other reporters."

Media Matters first flagged Stelter's comments. Fox News didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Stelter's comments come on the heels of a steady stream of reports detailing sexual harassment against former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who was forced out of the company in July.

Fox's former parent company News Corp. was embroiled in a wire-tapping scandal in 2011, when subsidiary News International was accused of phone hacking and police bribery. The scandal resulted in several high-level resignations, including Dow Jones chief Les Hinton, New International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and New Corp executive chairman James Murdoch. Brooks and Murdoch have since returned to the company in different positions.