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Late Night: Smears, Lies, and The Daily Caller

I was recently reminded of two reasons why no one should implicitly trust the US mass media (particularly its Big Business divisions) to pass on the truth about any given issue.

The first was when watching Charlie Rose go on a not-so-subtle attack against Professors Rick Wolff and David Harvey, tossing one leading question after another and trying to stack the deck more blatantly than a Vegas casino. The second was when Sandy Berger’s name came up over at Emptywheel’s wheelhouse the other day.

See, Sandy Berger was attacked for taking copies of his own notes and copies of other documents (no original documents were taken) on things like the thwarted Millennium Plot, which he helped stop because, unlike his successor Condi Rice and the rest of the self-styled “Vulcans” in Team Bush, he didn’t ignore what the CIA, FBI and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies said about Al-Qaeda. (The Vulcans thought that was just Saddam trying to distract us. They thought wrong.) He used those copies of notes and documents both as research for a book and to refresh his memory prior to testifying before the 9/11 commission — and was demonized in the media for it as well as being actually threatened with serious prison time (as it was, he got off with a $50,000 fine, probation, and community service, but only after the GOP wrung as much publicity out of him as possible).

But the bad guys don’t always win. Just as I was typing this post, word came that The Daily Caller is now learning the hard way that engaging in rodent fornication can result in one’s contracting rat syphilis:

The Washington Post reported on March 22 that a “top Dominican law enforcement official” said that [lawyer Melanio] Figueroa told investigators that in autumn 2012 he had been approached by a man claiming to be from the Daily Caller and offered $5,000 to “find prostitutes who would lie and say they had sex for money with Sen. Robert Menendez.” The Daily Caller adamantly denied the allegations, which as of yet lack evidence and appear far-fetched, and the Post acknowledged that the “account provided that Dominican authorities said they received from Figueroa could not be independently confirmed by The Washington Post.” The Post also noted that Figueroa’s new story is a reversal from his previous denials of having made the whole thing up.


Again, Figueroa’s credibility is extremely lacking, but the Daily Caller’s attempts to demonstrate as much are telling, given that Figueroa featured prominently in then-Daily Caller reporter Matthew Boyle’s original story reporting the bogus allegations against Menendez. Figueroa was the only Dominican source identified by name.

Pass the popcorn as TDC frantically goes all out to discredit that sole named source.

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