The Daily Caller totally busts community-news reporter

In a story posted late last night, the Daily Caller called out Washington reporter Elizabeth Wiener for contributions to the reelection campaign of President Obama. According to donation records, the Daily Caller noted in this late-breaking scoop, Wiener gave $500 to the campaign in May and again in June.

Reporter gives a grand to Obama! Totally busted.

What alibi, what excuse, what pretext could Washington reporter Wiener possibly muster for this unforgivable conflict of interest, this clear flouting of the rules of her profession?

“I (and my paper) don’t cover national politics,” she told the Daily Caller.

Oh. Wiener must be referring to her beat at the Current Newspapers of the District of Columbia, a chain of papers that includes the Northwest Current, the Dupont Current, the Georgetown Current and the Foggy Bottom Current. Those papers have such a non-national focus that they barely, just barely have any Web presence at all.

Even so, Wiener’s work must certainly collide with national politics at some point, right? ’Cause the Daily Caller wouldn’t single her out otherwise, right? Let’s have a look at Wiener’s archive.

Aha! Look here — Wiener covered tax breaks for high-tech firms and the power politics behind it all! Quoted officials include Jack Evans and Muriel Bowser. They’re D.C. Council members but harbor considerable ambitions and one day might just like to become president.

And look here — Wiener on the people overseeing elections rules and policies! Quoted officials include Tommy Wells and Phil Mendelson. They’re, again, D.C. Council members but harbor considerable ambitions and one day might just like to become president.

Not to mention here — Wiener writes a story on solar power! Now if that doesn’t sound fishy. Here’s your smoking gun, Daily Caller. Feast on this conflict-of-interest-filled paragraph:

The back-to-back motions Thursday reflect a national debate about installing solar panels on visible parts of historic buildings, as officials in many jurisdictions wrestle with the trade-off between energy-saving technologies and preservation.

Bolded text added to highlight journalism scandal.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.

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