Yet Burton appears to have found another organization willing to publish his thoughts without highlighting his position. Witness a Burton-penned March 12 piece in the Daily Caller titled, “Is Armenia America’s Ally Or Iran’s?” What follows the headline is an out-and-out hit piece on Armenia. This passage represents the tone pretty capably:
Further evidence of Armenian/Iranian friendship is plentiful. Both Tehran and Yerevan have pushed hard for progress on the construction of the Southern Armenia Railway, which will more closely link the two countries. Meanwhile, in May 2014, Iran and Armenia increased weekly flights between the two countries from three to 50. That’s not tourism. That’s business.
Elsewhere, Burton writes that Russian President Vladimir Putin is vested in promoting “the burgeoning Armenian/Iranian partnership. And we have everything to lose.” Those words sound like just the sort of thing you’d expect from the chairman of the Azerbaijan America Alliance. After all, Azerbaijan and Armenia have become “perilously close to open war,” as the New York Times put it in late January. There have been recent reports of clashes between the two.
So how does the Daily Caller present Burton to its readers? This way:
And this way, in a tagline at the bottom of the piece:
Dan Burton is a former Member of Congress representing Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. He served in Congress from 1983 until 2013 notably serving on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
An inquiry to Tucker Carlson, the Daily Caller’s top editor, went unanswered.
Not much luck, likewise, with the Azerbaijan America Alliance. The Erik Wemple Blog sent an interview request to the organization yesterday and didn’t hear back by this morning, at which point we presented ourselves at the Pennsylvania Avenue address listed on the group’s Web site. After a short wait, a woman appeared to hear our request. She said that the questions I had were properly directed to Burton. When we asked for assistance in contacting Burton, she declined to provide any.
In a short phone chat with Burton, the advocacy group chairman asked, “Are you the one who’s been calling everyone about my op-eds?” Yes, responded the Erik Wemple Blog. “I don’t really want to talk to you,” said Burton. Why not? “Because you’re a scandal monger and I don’t want to talk to you. I have no desire to talk to you,” he said. A plea to hear out the Erik Wemple Blog fetched no response.