The Washington Post

Daily Caller on Raddatz: Desperation

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

The pooh-poohing from media outlets was robust. But that’s okay by the standards of the Daily Caller, which rarely gets plaudits from the media for its investigative work.

More troublesome, however, was the reaction from the Paul Ryan camp — just the folks who might be expected to raise a question or two about Raddatz’s fitness to referee between the Wisconsin congressman and sitting Vice President Joe Biden. Ryan spokesman Michael Steele instead professed “no concerns” about Raddatz.

Bummer: The Daily Caller serves up liberal-media red meat and the campaign won’t bite on it. To gauge how insane this dynamic drives the Daily Caller, please sample these paragraphs from an “opinion” piece today by top Daily Caller execs Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel:

Will professional Republicans point this out? Keep in mind that these are the people who spend half their lives whining about liberal bias in the media, and the other half encouraging it by playing along. Remember when former Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos opened the GOP primary debate he moderated with a bizarre string of questions about birth control — questions that just happened to dovetail with the Obama campaign’s newly-minted “war on women” theme? Do you recall the Republican debate co-hosted by MSNBC, the one with post-game analysis from Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow and Al Sharpton? Republican campaign officials made all that possible.

So don’t expect the GOP establishment to do much more than posture with liberal reporters. As for the media policing their own, get real. They despise us even for broaching the topic of Raddatz’s potential conflicts, and have said so loudly. Fine. We’re not here to make friends. We do think you had a right to know. Thanks to Josh Peterson, now you do.

In other words, it’s the Daily Caller against the world. Or: Everyone’s insane except for the Daily Caller, which has an iron grip on journalistic ethics even though it continues to insist that the Environmental Protection Agency asked for 230,000 additional employees. Though its scribblings on Raddatz and Obama don’t amount to much journalistically, they’re evidence of a sound publishing model. The story, after all, has hit the Internet in the pre-debate lull, when the candidates tend to hole themselves up and everyone’s desperate for some news. “Links are what I’m after,” Carlson told the New York Times.


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


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