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Breaking: Daily Caller busts GOP press aides for ... seeking good press

As you probably recall, many Republicans and conservatives who surely knew better got carried away with outrage when the Daily Caller published its thorougly bogus series of hit pieces alleging that Journolist represented some kind of shadowy liberal conspiracy to undermine our journalistic insitutions from within for the good of the Democratic Party.

So it's pretty funny to see that Daily Caller has now turned its indefatigable investigative reporters loose on Eric Cantor and the National Review.

Last week, the Daily Caller alleged that according to two "high level Republican sources," that much-discussed National Review editorial hailing the boldness of the GOP Pledge to America had been "prearranged" with senior GOP aides. The National Review is adamantly denying the claim. But Daily Caller editor Tucker Carlson is now doubling down:

Not so fast. In addition to the two trusted sources who spoke on background to Ward, we have evidence that there was in fact coordination between National Review and Congressman Cantor's office. We know that GOP leadership aides were aware of, and excited by, National Review's editorial before it was published. We know that the piece was posted online just minutes prior to the start of the Wednesday evening caucus meeting, yet somehow aides were ready with copies to pass out to members. A coincidence? Please.

In essence, what you have here is the Daily Caller busting Cantor's press aides in the act of ... doing their jobs, which is to try to get as much good press as possible for their boss and the rest of the GOP leadership.

For God's sake, of course Cantor's press shop would be "aware" that an editorial like that was about to come down. Cantor's press aides, and others from the leadership, were likely on the phone with National Review's writers for hours making their case. If they hadn't been, they would have been committing malpractice. From those conversations, they would very likely have had a strong sense of both the editorial's contents and the scheduled timing of its release.

All of which is to say: The next time the Daily Caller publishes a ridiculous trumped up "expose" about Journolist, or any other ridiculous trumped up expose, here's hoping respectable Republicans and conservatives, not to mention other right-leaning media outlets like National Review, won't be so quick to play along.

UPDATE, 4:57 p.m.: Brendan Buck, the House GOP leadership's spokesman for the Pledge to America, confirms to me that National Review's explanation for what happened is entirely accurate:

A draft of the editorial was completed around 5 p.m. While the editorial was being prepared for posting -- that is, formatted and copy-edited -- we gave House aides a heads-up to watch NRO for a largely positive reaction. At 6:30 p.m., the editorial was online. That was the first time anyone on the Hill saw it.

By Greg Sargent  | September 27, 2010; 2:18 PM ET
Categories:  House GOPers, Political media  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Tea Party-fication of GOP continues apace
Next: Bizarre polling disconnect of the day


"The next time the Daily Caller publishes a ridiculous trumped up 'expose' about Journolist, or any other ridiculous trumped up expose, for that matter, here's hoping respectable Republicans and conservatives won't be so quick to play along."

Best of luck with that. Although there will probably be as many lefties pointing to this as evidence of the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy, so there's that to look forward to.

I still love the whole Journolist flap. Folks shouldn't be able to get together and discuss stuff in a semi-private forum, because they are journalists, so shouldn't ever share ideas or ask for advice.

And it revealed that, in many cases, folks engaged in opinion journalism (a) had a opinions and (b) wanted to find good ways to present those opinions so they were most compelling and (c) might help a particular political party, which they saw as the clearly good folks to be helping. Shocking!

And numerous liberal journalists don't like conservatives, and call them names in a private setting? Shock, scandal, and outrage!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 27, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

qb (o/t):

Just noticed that you linked in an earlier thread to the NRO article on the "70% myth". Beat me to it. I just linked to it in today's Morning Plum for 12 Bar's sake. Oddly, she seemed put out by it ("What's your point?" she exclaimed.) Oddly because, of course, she was the one asking for someone to confirm the 70% number in the first place. C'est la vie.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 27, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

ScottC, are you a "birther"?

Posted by: Liam-still | September 27, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I was STUNNED by Woodward's account of Obama typing up his own six-page WAR MEMO - and passing it out to the Generals.

For months, the Generals - who had decades of experience - were giving Obama policy options.

Instead Obama typed up his own policy options - then DEMANDED THAT THE GENERALS AGREE WITH HIM.

NOT good management style - this smacks of micromanagement - and insisting on doing highly technical things which are beyond one's expertise. Way beyond.

Obama was never in the military - but somehow Obama is qualified to draw up policy options? I don't think so.

What is WORSE- Obama appears to have shut down further discussions - so there is NO ONGOING REVIEW OF HOW WELL THE POLICY IS GOING.

Again, smacks of disaster.

It appears that Obama seems to be imposing the "liberal version of reality" on the Generals -

Is the problem the policy options OR REALITY ITSELF?

Is Obama trying to get his own liberal philosophy to bend reality ?

These are important questions of national security - and American lives are at stake.

Obama seems to be willing to sacrifice the lives of 3,000 Americans in American cities to get his liberal war policies in place - HOW DOES THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FEEL ABOUT THAT?

Apparently the Generals do NOT AGREE - but Obama is forcing them to say they do AGREE.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 27, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

The 70% myth article doesn't prove our economy isn't driven by consumer spending, it only proves the 70% value isn't 100% private consumer spending.

That's all. Recessions occur when business and investments cut back due to projected demand.

Or are you going to argue demand doesn't drive supply any longer or something.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 27, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Yet those folks would almost certainly be described as being anti-science, not because they deny man made climate change, but because they don't agree with the liberal policies advocated as dubious solutions to the predicted future problems of anthropogenic climate change.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 27, 2010 2:34 PM

Skipsailing IS denying that the climate is warming. He claims we can't tell.

Senatory Jim Inhofe says it's cooling.

These are anti-science views: they are very much determined by the outcome desired (petrochemical industry profits must be maintained) and ignoring climate science.

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | September 27, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

This is the same Daily Caller that recently said half of rightwing bloggers are paid propagandists?

“It’s standard operating procedure” to pay bloggers for favorable coverage, says one Republican campaign operative. A GOP blogger-for-hire estimates that “at least half the bloggers that are out there” on the Republican side “are getting remuneration in some way beyond ad sales.”

Read more:

Posted by: nisleib | September 27, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: I agree with a lot of what you write about The Daily Caller hyping a non-story - but I still just about barf anytime you quote or link to Ackerman. There were some comments made on journolist that are indefensible and have destroyed the credibility of the writer:

"Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”

Posted by: sbj3 | September 27, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforests doesn't understand what a chain of command is apparently.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 27, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

The words "respectable" and "republican" or "conservative" are mutually exclusive.

Posted by: solsticebelle | September 27, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse



Why do you suppose it got disbanded (as far as we know) after the e-mails went public? And why do you suppose the WaPo fired a reporter for expressing opinions on it?

I think you underplaying the significance of Journolist perhaps just a little.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 27, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

In September 2009, Petraeus called a Washington Post columnist to say that the war would be unsuccessful if the president held back on troops. Later that month, Mullen repeated much the same sentiment in Senate testimony, and in October, McChrystal asserted in a speech in London that a scaled-back effort against Afghan terrorists would not work.


I am beginning to wonder if a similiar situation is developing with Obama's economic team.

The stimulus did not work, it did not create jobs - and the economic advisors are probably giving Obama their best assessments of the policy options.

IS OBAMA AGAIN BEING UNREALISTIC - forcing his own liberal views upon realistic experts ?

Is this WHY the economic team is leaving?

Is this way Rahm wants to leave? Is they why Axelrod is leaving??


WHO is running the place???


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 27, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse


"Or are you going to argue..."

I'm not arguing anything. 12Bar asked a question, and I provided an article that purports to answer it. For some strange reason that answer seems to be putting people off.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 27, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

From Woodward again:

Mullen saw the heated powwow as he stepped out of the Situation Room. He was surprised they were giving him hell. The White House knew in advance what he was going to say. No specific troop number was in his testimony. He had been as amorphous as he could be.


It just seems as though the Generals could not believe that Obama had such an unrealistic policy position - Obama was new, and they obviously thought Obama would recognize reality soon.


The Generals believe that was already tried in Iraq, and it didn't work - that is what they LEARNED from the Surge - Obama refuses to recognize these lessons learned.

Yea, Obama and Biden really can be understood as advancing a "RUMSFELD SMALL-FOOTPRINT POLICY"


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 27, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I think Tucker crawls out from under marble and Lowry from shock quartz. You're mileage may very.

And Greg, release all your Journolist correspondence so we can see for ourselves. Cool?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 27, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

@Greg about you cover the important aspect of this story?

You are right that it's expected that Cantor's office would know and use the editorial to help sell the plan. That's they job.

But how about the question as to whether the National Review was actively coordiating with a GOP representative to help roll out a policy (hah) initiative?

Just like FOX...nothing more than a GOP PR firm. And yet people still take these rags seriously?

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | September 27, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

OT but dang, even Survey USA has shown this race tightening.

Ky. Senate

Paul (R)

Conway (D)


So, what's that now, Nevada, Delaware and Florida as soon as Meek or Christ drop out, possibly Alaska and now Kentucky, all states which the tea party aka the Republican right wing extremists, have managed to blow potential sure wins if they had ran with moderates.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 27, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

oh really?
Skipsailing IS denying that the climate is warming. He claims we can't tell.


Please post my exact words. YOu know the words that support your contention here that I am denying anything.

do I think the climate is warming? I think we can't really tell. And since we really can't tell, and since if we don't really know we also don't know the drivers behind this "change" we're unsure about, it makes zero sense to follow along with the environmentalists as they destroy our way of life.

If the models can't predict events in the climate that occur frequently, why should we believe that these same models indicate a dire future if we don't do what Al Gore says?

I'm old enough to remember when the same publications that are warning us about "global warming" now were warning us about "global cooling" then.

the left wanted to stifle debate about climate change so they could get on with the task of taxing and regulating Americans for the greater glory of the state.

We're not buying it. The data is inconclusive at best.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 27, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

If one equates the Obama-Biden position with the RUMSFELD SMALL-FOOTPRINT the whole thing begins to make sense.

The Generals UNDERSTOOD from their experience with Rumsfeld - they NEEDED MORE TROOPS FOR SUCCESS -

Otherwise just leave in one week and let the chips fall - let the Taliban take over Afghanistan and allow Al Queda to have their training camps in Afghanistan again.

Which do you want, MR. CHAIN-OF-COMMAND ??


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 27, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"the left wanted to stifle debate about climate change so they could get on with the task of taxing and regulating Americans for the greater glory of the state."

Who let the secret out? You will be forever locked in a vault and forced to listen to Sarah Palin speeches for eternity!!!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 27, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Crazy polling disconnect on the economy:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 27, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

so mike are you denying that Ms pelosi said that the science is settled?

I didn't think so.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 27, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

so skippy, are you saying it's all a mischievous plot to tax and regulate for the glory of the state?

That sounds 1060's loony right there.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 27, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

1960's even.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 27, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama is so arrogant - he thinks he is going in there and breaking new territory all the time.

IN reality, the truth is that Obama was just re-hashing the old RUMSFELD SMALL-FOOTPRINT arguments.

That has already been proven to be a failed military strategy.

In the end Obama decided on 30,000 troops - "A NUMBER WITHOUT A POLICY OPTION"

In the end, Obama decided on half-win, half-fail policy - a muddled policy which proves that Obama does not understand what it takes to win a war.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 27, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand how worrying about the environment is equated to wanting to control your lives.

I fail to see that connect.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 27, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

back to the topic of thread, briefly:
here's the response from rich lowry"
"We got an advance copy of the pledge mid-afternoon Wednesday, but under an “embargo”: We couldn’t write about it until after the House leadership had briefed Republican congressmen. This sort of thing—getting an embargoed advance copy of a document—is extremely standard in journalism: Nearly every presidential speech, for example, is sent out to reporters under such rules. We planned on posting around 10PM that evening.

Our editorial staff then read and analyzed the pledge with no involvement from any House member, aide, or Republican official.

By late afternoon a copy of the pledge had been leaked and its contents were being widely described in other media outlets. We therefore asked our sources if we could disregard the embargo, and were told we could.

A draft of the editorial was completed around 5 p.m. While the editorial was being prepared for posting—that is, formatted and copy-edited—we gave House aides a heads-up to watch NRO for a largely positive reaction. At 6:30 p.m., the editorial was online. That was the first time anyone on the Hill saw it."

seems pretty straightforward to me. Tempest, tea pot.
I wouldn't use the word mischievious Mikey. I'd use Nefarious. Much, much stronger connotation of evil, doncha' think?

and yes, I do believe that much of what is demanded in the name of "global warming" is simply a backdoor to new taxes and new regulations.

Waxman-Markey is a tax. Period. The EPA's idiotic finding that carbon is a pollutant is just a way to gain more regulatory power.

All this with a back drop of shady dealings among so called scientists and significant doubt about what is happening and why.

If you don't think that Americans object to Waxman-Markey, I'd suggest you give Mike Castle a call. His vote for it figured prominently in his recent defeat.

If we allow ourselves to be taxed for a hoax then we really are a nation of sheep.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 27, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"so called scientists"

They MUST be in on it also! They are on the plot to control the population through regulation and taxes!

Brilliant! lol

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 27, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, cause Rich Lowrey would be totally up front about this. That would be akin to asking any partisan hack his honest opinion on any issue that could possibly reflect negatively on the party he votes for.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 27, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"We're not going to do this unless everybody literally signs on to it and looks me in the eye and tells me that they're for it," Obama said.

The president was as animated as most in the room had ever seen him. "I don't want to have anybody going out the day after [the speech] and saying that they don't agree with this."


EXCEPT didn't Obama know that Woodward was writing a book which would explain in detail that NO ONE agreed with Obama?

Interesting that Obama seemed to believe that if he said 10,000 troops, Gates and everyone would resign.

Imagine if Obama said, "Let's just pull everyone out of Afghanistan" - There would have been MASS RESIGNATIONS AT THE PENTAGON.

So, if Obama was attempting to judge what was "easy" politically - what would have been "easier" - making the left unhappy - OR enduring mass resignations?

Mike from Arlington wants to talk about Chain of Command - if the the Chain of Command meant mass resignations - and the political damage that would have happened - what good is it?

IF all this results in 3,000 people dying in a US City - what good is it?

Janet Napolitiano had a STUNNED look on her face in a press conference that December that Al Queda in Yeman was OPERATIONAL - NOT a good sign - DOES NOT INSPIRE CONFIDENCE - that these people are making decisions like this - and then they come to a news conference a few weeks later looking completely stunned.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 27, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

yuck it up mike. thanks for demonstrating just how much kool aid you've downed.

But remember, it was Mr Obama himself who said that under his vision electricity costs would skyrocket. He said it and I take him at his word.

The easiest way for a politician, which is what he is, to drive the cost of anything up is tax. Pure, simple tax. You can laugh all you like, but serious people have to respond to that.

Further, the EPA could issue endless regulation based on its silly finding about carbon. Americans now suffer through 68,000 new federal regulations each year. When the EPA gets going that will seem like child's play.

Again, Mike you can demonstrate how unserious you are, but thoughtful people have to weigh the cost and benefit of all this. Why should the dynamism of America be halted because a handful of power hungry pols want billions and have come up with a scam to get them?

If the climate change stuff was so solid, why did these people engage in all this chicanery Mike? Why Did Pachuri falsify so much in the IPCC report Mike? Was it because the science was settled or was it because the world wasn't going to buy his snake oil unless he juiced the facts with a bit of fancy?

it seems to me that it is the liberals who are showing the closed minds now. Why is that not surprising?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 27, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

a clarification. American's don't face 68,000 new regs. That was a mistake. We do face 68,000 new federal register pages, which is where regs are first posted.

Skipsailing28 regrets the error.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 27, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Nice try at moral equivalence. Journolist was a group of journalists on the left planning how to spin stories to help Obama and other Democrats. The Journolist archives exposed publications like WP that pretend to be objective and neutral reporters of events rather than what they actually are -- flacks for leftist politicians.

Posted by: eoniii | September 27, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

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