I didn’t have any respect for Tucker Carlson to begin with. But I assumed he was above this, at least.
On November 1, days before Senator Robert Mendendez (D-NJ) faced reelection, the DailyCaller led with a story of two prostitutes in the Dominican Republic who claimed they’d slept with him. They produced video testimony from the two women, with faces blurred to allow anonymity.
Dominican authorities now have a sworn affidavit from a woman who says she was paid to lie about those claims on tape. They have unearthed a string of middle-men who were paid to provide the woman with a script.
And the DailyCaller’s response is “that’s some other prostitute!”
ABC news has weighed in as well: “Last fall, Republican operatives, who insisted on anonymity, helped arrange the woman’s appearance, along with two additional women, in back-to-back, on-line interviews with ABC News and a conservative news website, the Daily Caller.” … “ABC News did not broadcast or initially report on the claims because of doubts about the women’s veracity and identity.”
The most damning feature of this story is DC Executive Editor David Martosko’s interview on CNN (below). CNN offered Martosko an out: “is it possible that you were duped?” Rather than admitting the possibility that anonymous Republican operatives may have tricked the Daily Caller, Martosko instead doubles down. He calls the Washington Post story “ginned up” and “uncritically reporting” a sworn affidavit (?!?). When asked directly “have you gone back to your source here and said ‘hey, is it possible that these women were paid to do this?’” (minute 3:21), he ducks the question twice, and then says “we’re doing that today.”
“We’re doing that today.”
The Washington Post story broke yesterday. The DailyCaller immediately went on the counter-offensive. Today, their Executive Editor goes on CNN to defend their reporting, and they hadn’t bothered to double-check their sources yet.”
Simple question: is that how a journalistic outfit would operate if they weren’t involved in manufacturing this faux scandal? Would any honest journalistic organization not immediately check their sources a second time?
This is a lot worse than just blowing up a small story into a big one. This is the Daily Caller actively crafting a major lie about an elected official with the express intent of swinging the election to his opponent. The first amendment does not protect Tucker Carlson et al’s rights to slander or libel, and it looks pretty damn clear that’s what his team has done here.
Shut it down, Tucker. And pray you don’t see the jail time you likely deserve.