In Which Tucker Carlson Hoists Himself By His Own Petard


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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83 Responses

  1. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.Report

  2. Avatar DRS says:

    On a serious note, there is waaaaay too much money sloshing around the political fringes in your country if what is basically a vanity site like The Daily Caller can do this kind of thing. The more you can create an alternate universe with no contact with reality – and I’ll also include the Breitbart group in this – the more you’re sentenced to oblivion. Well-paid oblivion, granted, but oblivion none the less. The Democratic Party is going to have to expand the canvass of its tent to include a big chunk of the sane right to keep the political process going.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      Don’t stop there, Glen Beck, Fox News, even the Starched Collar WSJ, so that the sane right things things are okay.Report

      • Avatar DRS says:

        I’m not sure what you’re saying.Report

        • Avatar zic says:

          Don’t stop at Brietbart; there are numerous media outlets sloshing in money aimed at political control, particularly Murdoch’s holdings.Report

          • Avatar DRS says:

            You’re missing my point, zic. Fox is a real channel that you can subscribe to on cable; WSJ is a real newspaper that’s existed for decades; Murdoch’s holdings are real newspapers that compete in real markets – especially in the UK. You subscribe to these things, subscriptions and advertisements pay the bills; it’s a financial model that is established and has existed for a long time.

            But things like Daily Caller and Breitbart and lots of others I don’t know the names of exist online do not have this same financial model. They exist online for the sole purpose of mimicking the established news model to push false news. If they’re not charging subscriptions (and most don’t) and if they’re not attracting big-consumer item advertising (most ads are fellow-right-wing causes), someone has to be subsidizing them. And that suggests that there’s a lot of money that’s being dedicated to keeping them “on the air”, as it were.

            Whether that’s money well spent is another matter.Report

            • Avatar zic says:

              I understand the point. Drudge is another in your model, or similar, but he mostly aggregates.

              Mine is that I there’s no distinction between ‘official,’ it’s all propaganda disguised as news. All those years of bashing the liberal media, the perception that there’s a bias in reporting actual news (I make no judgement that there is or isn’t bias, I’m saying this is in response to the perception that there’s a bias,) resulted in construction of conservative media, which is modeled exactly on the perception of liberal media; reporting propaganda as if it were actual news.

              There’s much to dismay at how traditional news has failed us; the lead into the Iraq War, covering policy as if it were a horse race, failure to explain ACA to the public. I could go on and on. Nearly every day, there’s some story on the Senate that equates a 60 vote requirement with majority; a failure of basic math. But the conservative media is exactly what Conservatives claimed to see in ‘liberal media,’ they created their own nightmare — slanting new reporting by ideology, irregardless of actual events or facts.

              Tod has done an excellent job chronicling the birth and growth of this nightmare here in number of posts, including this one.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                I think for me the Daily Caller is especially cutting – and I mean this on a personal level.

                I still remember back in 2009 when Tucker Carlson “spoke Truth” to the people at CPAC.

                This was back in the day when the right-wing’s insane, Obama freak-out was just picking up steam and conservatives were starting to purge the impure from their ranks. Carlson got up at CPAC and said that it was time for conservatives to stop getting their news from bloggers and talk show hosts who just editorialized everything. They needed, he said, to have a conservative version of the New York Times – a news gathering source that could cover conservative stories but endeavor to actually report *relevant* news (rather than repeat what someone else reported) and do so accurately and with integrity. (He was booed at CPAC for suggesting this.)

                I remember being inspired by that little mini-speech; I thought he was absolutely right, and I thought he’d be a phenomenal choice of the guy to make it happen. I was thrilled to learn shortly thereafter that, as it turned out, he was already getting ready to launch that vision – the Daily Caller. I can’t tell you how much I wanted the Caller to be what Carlson initially set out to make it. I actually craved it.

                How sad, then, to see that the Caller is what it is today – “funny” race-baiting about dead kids, salacious cover stories about Megan Fox sex tapes that don’t actually exist, endless parroting of any and all insane Obama conspiracy theories, and page-linking/Fox-guest-chairing crap like the Menendez story. I can’t think of a project that set its sights so highly on being a quality and respectable enterprise and ended up as much of a joke as the Caller.

                The Daily Caller really, really depresses me in a way that Fox, Drudge and talk radio doesn’t.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                “I can’t tell you how much I wanted the Caller to be what Carlson initially set out to make it.”

                Do you think that Carlson simply said one thing or did another? Or do you think that he believes that what he created fulfills the vision he articulated?

                I don’t know enough about Carlson or the DC to really make a determination.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                That’s a fascinating question. My guess is that, to get the finances to work, the DC had to go more and more with what gets the most page hits, and that’s the stuff Tod describes. But that’s purely speculation. (And hey, if the free market values utter crap over good reporting, who am I to object?)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I think that that’s what it is. It’s an attempt to be a Right-Wing Huffington Post. Sure, you may show up in the first place for a report about how the Republicans have caved on Amnesty, but you’ll stay for the hooters.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                I tend to think this as well – that the direction Carlson in which took the DC is driven by revenue rather than ideology.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                So criticizing it is communism.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                So if Carlson were to get up on the dais again, would he still bemoan the lack of a “conservative version of the New York Times”?

                If so, it would seem to me to be another example of a major conservative media member spending more time complaining about what the “mainstream media” is doing or not doing instead of using all that time and influence to actually do what they think the media ought to be doing. (And perhaps there are liberal media members who are guilty of this same sin, but what little news media I do consume tends to be conservative talk radio and there is a strong emphasis there on the supposed liberal media bias…)Report

            • Avatar Kim says:

              General Electric deliberately hides news that will hurt its bottom line. Zero reporting on things they don’t want you to hear about.Report

  3. Avatar mark boggs says:

    “As I so often say here, when trying to convince people of something important the worst thing you can do to shoot yourself in the foot is fabricate or defend fallacious “facts” to make your point.”

    This is what I try to convince people of on Facebook who post those photo-shopped pictures and false quotes from the Obamas. The guy has plenty of legitimate crap to criticize, trying to get people to believe that he’s bad by using a photoshopped picture of him and Michelle putting their left hands over their right lung, especially when it is pointed out that the picture is bunk, actually makes folks more sympathetic to the guy who should actually be subject to some serious scrutiny, albeit about actual things rather than imagined crap.Report

    • I had similar thoughts whenever I used to hear people make fun of Bush Jr.’s accent and malapropisms. Those, at least, were real and not made up, but I thought making fun of them distracted from other things he was doing and also created defensiveness among a log of people who supported him.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Yes, sir. All the monkey jokes just made liberals look stupid and like they had nothing worthwhile to criticize him about.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        How many people to the log?Report

      • Avatar Rod Engelsman says:

        Bush’s malapropisms were genuinely funny. And there were a lot of them. I have a “quote-a-day” calendar full of them.

        It may have been cheap humor but it wasn’t half as mean and ugly as what the right throws at Obama.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          I think it is okay to laugh at them. We need not pretend they didn’t happen.

          But when folks argued that Bush shouldn’t be re-elected because of them… well… if that is the best reason you’ve got… seems like he is actually a pretty phenomenal candidate.Report

          • Avatar Rod Engelsman says:

            Well… I don’t remember people saying that he shouldn’t be re-elected because of them. But there’s always going to be a few in any crowd.

            Really, there were lots and lots of other genuine reasons not to vote for him.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy says:

              It was largely from people on the ground and often took the form of…
              “I could never vote for someone that dumb to be our President.”
              “Why do you think he’s dumb?”
              “Because he mixes up words.”

              So, to an extent, the bumbling speech became a placeholder or shorthand for other, more legitimate (though not necessarily accurate) critiques… but there was also a weird gleefulness and, more frustratingly, elitism behind the comments on his speaking skills. Ultimately, it made for a poorer reflection on the critic than of Bush himself. At least to me. Members of the echo chamber were all too happy to nod along.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Oh, I didn’t vote for him based entirely on his record in Texas.

                In fact, I remember being greatly frustrated that his Texas record was by and large ignored — except to draw fallacious comparisons between the Governship of Texas and the White House (the Governership of Texas would be excellent experience for a pre-Cheney style Vice Presidency. The Lt. Governership of Texas would give you far more experience as the head of an executive branch).

                Then again, the national attitude in 2000 was basically “Stuff’s great, no worries”.

                Personally, I always described him as ‘seemingly incurious’ — Bush always seemed to convey a deep disinterest in the world around him. Or details. Or complications.

                Very…black and white. Rhetoric — and black and white viewpoints are often good for that — is one thing. But he seemed…too comfortable boiling complex realities down to simplistic (and false) models.

                It could have been his speechwriters, but if so they’ve been doing it for his entire political life. I’m not comfortable with a President who ignores nuance. (Or seems to, at least.).

                He’d have done a better with a different VP, I believe. Much of the truly, deeply, horribly objectionable and morally wrong things to come out of his Presidency seem to have been birthed in the VP’s office.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Don’t get me wrong… there was plenty to criticize about Bush, including his apparent lack of intellectual curiosity. I always had a bit of a different take on him, both good and bad, because my stepfather knew him personally after playing baseball with him at Yale. Regardless, critiques like you offered here are sound and thoughtful.

                What bothered me was people presuming that, “Did you hear that dumb thing he said? What an idiot!” amounted to the same… it didn’t. And I found it ironic and troubling that liberals would hang so much on someone’s accent and speech patterns… it just screamed, “IVORY TOWER ELITISTS!”

                For the record, while I never voted in an election that Bush ran in (too young in 2000, ineligible in 2004), I doubt that I would have. So, I am not defending him here so much as I’m demanding more from his critics, of which I was one.Report

              • Kazzy,

                Yours is pretty much my argument.Report

              • Avatar Just Me says:

                You see that same thing on the internet every day. Instead of “did you hear that dumb thing he said? What an idiot!” you get, “you don’t know how to spell, don’t you know the difference between their and there?” It is always you are so stupid, your thoughts don’t count. People just live to be better than someone else IMHO. Read any comment section of any news website. It ends up degenerating into an English lesson and an I’m superior too you fest.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:


                I’ll admit to indulging in some grammar-policing in attempts to win arguments when I first started on the internet but quickly realized the silliness. If only we could spread that message…Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:


                I’ve heard this so often about the difference between the governorship and lt. governorship in TX. Can one of you Texans explain in some detail the institutional structure that makes it that way?Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Basically, most of the powers that are invested in the office of “Governor” in most states are, in Texas, invested in the office of the Lt. Governor instead.

                This was done when the Constitution was written during Reconstruction. The “why” was fairly simple — Governor’s were appointed during Reconstruction.

                The Governor has a veto power and a very limited pardon power. Whereas the Lt. Governor controls appointments, has a default seat on a number of very powerful committees that oversee and handle the state budget, and generally handles all the real executive power.

                Wikipedia has a fairly okay summary, but basically it boils down to:

                All the appointments a Governor would normally handle are either direct election or appointed by the Lt. Governor. The Lt. Governor is the one tasked with the state budget (in conjunction with the state legislature) and sits on pretty much every committe involved in allocating, spending, or deciding where money and power flows. (He also, more or less, is the real leader of the State Senate. Controls which bills are brought up, all sorts of things. Imagine…Biden or Cheney taking Reid’s job (no filibuster), picking the Cabinet, and being the one who writes the budget. And Obama being able to veto bills and have the power of pardon).Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP says:

                The Lieutenant Governor is rather like a Prime Minister: he controls the Texas State Senate. It makes things simpler if you think of this role as a combination of President of the Senate and most of the prerogatives of the Senate Majority Leader.

                The Governor is able to propose and veto legislation, the same sort of mechanics we see between the US Congress and the president, but that’s about it. The Lieutenant Governor is separately elected: there’s no natural allegiance as we might think of in the US Senate, where the Vice President is the President of the Senate.

                Each of the states has its own constitution: some give governors great powers: Louisiana’s governor has enormous patronage powers. It’s not that the Texas Governor is weak: he’s just isolated in most of the ways the US President is isolated from the US Congress.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Also worth noting: Rick Perry is enormously powerful for a Texas Governor. But not due to his office, but due to his control of the party. (Which doesn’t even like him).

                He’s managed an end-run around the Lt. Governor by getting personal loyalists into the wide array of elected positions, allowing them to do what Perry wants.

                The Texas GOP is a bit sick of him, judging by the fact that each election cycle has big-name politicians looking to off him in the primary.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                At least Texas governors get to do something. Most governors are functionally irrelevant entities.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Bush had “speaking issues”
                But If I wanted to call him on that, I’d call him out for drugs and drink.

                But I don’t, because, yanno something? Obama’s not the greatest talker ever, either.

                In my list of “what we need in a president” public speaking is pretty low. Not non-existent — i’ve met folks I’d dq from President because of their public speaking skills… but it would take a lot.Report

            • Rod,

              “I don’t remember people saying that he shouldn’t be re-elected because of them. But there’s always going to be a few in any crowd.”

              Although I sign on to Kazzy’s comments, I have to admit it’s quite possible I’m generalizing from anecdotes. I also have a chip on my shoulder about such things that often translates into me taking offense when such is not warranted, or at least not nearly as warranted as I think.

              I do, however, agree with your other statement, that there “were lots of other genuine reasons not to vote for him.”Report

    • Avatar NewDealer says:

      People like all sorts of generally not true and plain whacky stuff on facebook. Facebook is the land of finding out that your friends believe really whacky things and like misappropriating quotes to famous people so they sound intelligent and wise.Report

      • Yeah, Facebook is sometimes a very frustrating thing to read, and I try not to. It’s more like “slogans=argument” book. I suppose blogs can be that way, too, but at least some of them offer the chance for fuller discussion.Report

      • Avatar Matty says:

        Comments like this make me realise how little I get social media. I use Facebook mainly to share photos and personal news I’ve taken with people I know. Apparently a lot of people use it to post random second hand opinions to huge numbers of total strangers.

        Anyway if the quotes bother you just keep in mind the words of Abraham Lincoln.Report

  4. Avatar Michelle says:

    Carlson’s been a worthless twit for quite a while now, but it doesn’t seem to affect his standing with the whacko right. The same can be said for the clowns at Brietbart group. I’ve come to the conclusion that much of what passes for “conservative” news reporting is fact free but, since it’s consumers prefer that reality to the one that exists in this particular time-space continuum it doesn’t really matter.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 says:

      People like having their beliefs supported, and dislike having them challenged. “Nobody I know voted for Nixon” and “Benghazi will bring down the President” and “Vince Foster was murdered” and whatever…

      One reason I hang out places like this. Lots of people who disagree with me. 🙂 Maybe I’m too stubborn — or dumb — to be swayed, but at least I’m exposed to it. Challenged by it.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer says:

      Pretty much.Report

  5. Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name says:

    In the second paragraph, you have “the attorney that repented them”. It’s supposed to be “the attorney that represented them”, I think.

    Great and fun post.Report

  6. Avatar JLW says:

    Can you back up the claim that Menendez is ethically challenged or are you just conflating false smoke with fire and letting the stink of this episode stick to him (in which case the tactic worked).Report

    • You are aware of the $60,000 worth of free private flights that he somehow “forgot” to pay for until the FBI started asking questions, right?Report

      • Avatar JLW says:

        Yes I was forgetting that.

        My point was just that it wasn’t correct to bring up the charge without even providing a link to something that backs it up.

        Of course if every Seneator who accepted free flights was considered there wouldn’t be much space between him and many of his peers. I’m curious if there are specific instances where corruption can be shown in his public duties – for example did the provider of those flights benefit in some way from specific Senatorial action?

        If there is evidence link to it (from credible sources). Otherwise you are just letting the smear stand “if he was accused of that he must have been guilty of something” being the takeaway. Indeed he took the free flights and that should have been referenced. Otherwise you provide a way for people to dismiss your own good work.Report

        • These facts have been widely reported for several months, both in the Newark Star Ledger, WaPo, and numerous other mainstream outlets. They have been reported with sufficient frequency that, since it was tangential to Tod’s point, the lack of a link was understandable. The basic facts are known- at best, Menendez was at the very edges of what is legal, and certainly well in in the territory of unethical. The likelihood that it crossed the line from merely unethical into clearly illegal is quite high.

          • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

            Particularly since there seems to be evidence of quid pro quo:

            Menendez has intervened in matters affecting the financial interests of Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, seeking to apply pressure on the Dominican government to honor a contract with Melgen’s port-security company, documents and interviews show. Also, Menendez’s office has acknowledged he interceded with federal health-care officials after they said that Melgen had overbilled the U.S. government for care at his clinic.

            Though the first sounds like reasonable constituent service, the second smells pretty bad.Report

  7. Avatar NewDealer says:

    Part of me would rather love if it can be proved that the Daily Caller paid for the story. At least I would like to get to the bottom of it. We know the lawyer paid money to prostitutes to get them to lie about having sex with the Senator but why and who. Is the Dominican lawyer a right-wing hack? Did the Daily Caller simply pay him more money for the information than he payed the prostitutes?

    Though Michelle is sadly probably right about the Daily Caller not suffering much damage if they did fabricate the story….Report

  8. Avatar Henshaw says:

    If my Facebook feed is any indication Americans could use a healthy dose of skepticism in all aspects of life. I chuckle when I read liberals/conservatives like Michelle stated above…

    I’ve come to the conclusion that much of what passes for “conservative” news reporting is fact free..”

    There are plenty of examples of bad reporting on all the networks. I cite some examples from Rachel Maddow, Andrew Sullivan, and Think Progress here. People seem to tolerate this kind of stuff from people who share the same political viewpoints, but it’s time Americans quit tolerating it.

    We’ve gotten to the point people are willing to believe the worst about people with a different opinion.

    The press hasn’t given me much reason to believe anything that’s reported. They are increasingly becoming a tool for whoever wants to manipulated.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP says:

      The press eventually sifts through the lies and exposes the truth. The Conservatives just haven’t done a particularly good job of managing this process.

      Just a few questions, having poked around your blog a bit: were even born in 1960? I was. Do you truly believe our education centers are factories of evil? Do you have any idea about the extent of promiscuity in the 1960s? Do you understand and approve of what happened when gay people were exposed in 1960? The year 1960 featured a huge backlash from the Klan.

      If I had my way, I’d shove you into the Wayback Machine and send you back to 1960. That way you could get a picture of what Evil really looked like as all those crosses were burning in the night.Report

      • Avatar Henshaw says:

        You’re more optimistic about the press (left/right) than I am.

        I believe than mankind is inherently not good. So I wouldn’t just call out “education centers.”

        I’m not one of those people who “long for yesterday” and certainly we’ve made progress on many fronts from an equality standpoint. Being from the South you can see it first hand.

        People have different ideas about evil. I think partial-birth abortions are a heinous act of evil. There’s a political party in the United States that believes it should be legal.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          I think the idea that a woman doesn’t know she’s pregnant until month 7 is evil.
          Your views on abortion aside, that’s both bad for the baby (can’t expect her not to drink if she doesn’t know she’s pregnant)… and it’s rape.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:


      “But you do it, too!” does not amount to much of a defense or rejoinder. If something bad is being done, the badness is not mitigated by its frequency. And, as Tod has shown in prior posts, while there is much criticism to go around in general with our current “news” outlets, the flaws are not evenly distributed between the various left and right outlets.Report

      • Avatar Henshaw says:


        The “you do it, too!” isn’t my argument. You may believe (right or wrong) that they’re not evenly distributed, but that’s beside the point. Is your point that you’re willing to give partisans on the left a pass because “they don’t do it as much” or that it’s “fake but accurate?”

        It shouldn’t be tolerated from either side for any reason.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          My point is that this particular piece and Michelle’s respond are about a particular conservative media outlet and, rather than discuss that, it seems you want to pivot to discussing other media outlets, liberal ones in particular. Which, ultimately, seems like you want to tolerate the DC’s actions by shifting the conversation.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        “And, as Tod has shown in prior posts, while there is much criticism to go around in general with our current “news” outlets, the flaws are not evenly distributed between the various left and right outlets.”

        Kind of.

        To be clear, I completely agree with Henshaw in terms of the similarities in LW media and RW media. (Though having read his blog, I suspect my Venn circle of what constituted “liberal media” would be smaller than his.) In fact, when I did my Fox/MSNBC live blog, I found most of the MSNBC stuff to be far more egregious and awful than what I saw on Fox.

        For me, the difference I’ve tried to write about hasn’t been the RW media vs. LW media; it’s the startling degree to which the GOP has agreed to take a back seat to it’s own media. To use the classic example, the DNC would never have forced David Axelrod or Rom Emmanuel to go on Bill Maher and grovel for forgiveness for disagreeing with him, a la Michael Steel and Rush Limbaugh.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          If I misunderstood or misrepresented your conclusions, I apologize. The impression I got from that series was different, though it has been some time since I read them and I’m certainly capable of demonstrating my own biases in my takeaways. As you note, it comes down to what we consider to be LW or RW media… ironically, if we call CNN a LW outlet, my sense is that it actually makes the LW group look stronger collectively since Cnn is one of the less egregious. If we compare MSNBC and Fox, it is likely a “fairer fight”. But if we compare MSNBC/CNN to Fox, the presence of CNN raises the average on the LW side.

          FWIW, I get most of my news from here.Report

          • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

            Oh heavens, no apologies are necessary. And I agree with you that the way the two sides define “liberal media” is quite different. I don’t consider CNN to be liberal – just poor. (Well, mostly poor, anyway.)

            And I still believe you can present from a biased point of view and create great journalism. Henshaw says above he doesn’t care for Maddow, but the (very) few times I have seen her I have been impressed. Great journalism from my point of view, told from a very openly progressive point of view.

            Another really great example of this is Tim Kowal. I think some of his pieces here have been far closer to actual journalism than commentary, and they’ve been outstanding. There’s no doubt when you read his stuff that he’s absolutely telling a story from a conservative point of view with a nakedly conservative agenda, yet he is still able to create fantastic journalism. If Tucker Carson were to die and inexplicably leave me the DC in his will, my first order of business would be to talk Tim out of being a lawyer and hire him as the editor-in-cheif.Report

            • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

              The left-wing version of what the Daily Caller was (allegedly) intended to be is Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo. It does real reporting. They were the ones who broke the Bush US Attorneys scandal, and were on top of the Duke Cunningham story too.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                I think this is right, Mike. I wonder, is there a right wing TPM out there? I’d love to find one. Does anyone know of such a site to recommend?Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP says:

                I read Weekly Standard. They’re about as reasonable as anyone can hope for, which isn’t saying much, mind you.Report

              • Avatar Ryan Bennett says:

                There is no conservative equivalent to TPM, as far as rational fact-based reporting go. The closest might be The American Conservative ( or the now-defunct Frum Forum site, whose leaders have decamped to The Daily Beast. In any case, both organizations were heterodox wrt. the current conservative mainstream. There’s definitely no organization out there that offers both reliable reporting and analysis AND holds with current conservative positions. I’m a huge liberal, but I’d love to hang out there if someone builds it.Report

              • Avatar Jack says:

                Granted, it is not a conservative TPM, but when I am short on good conservatives I just hit this post and click the list of them at the bottom.

              • Avatar Ryan Bennett says:

                This is a good find! Thanks. I read about half these guys on at least a weekly basis.

                Conor, the author of the article, did great work over at Andrew Sullivan’s blog and both Radley Balko and Larison are awesome. I consider most of these guys to be basically the rational conservative intelligencia-in-exile. Most of them are, to one degree or another, waiting for the current GOP mania to hit bottom so they’re positioned to be the backbone of a new, more modern, conservative movement. Several of them have been pushed out of various think tanks for being insufficiently excited to toe the current conservative line.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                Conor still does good work at the Atlantic, but I can only find him by googling his name when I happen to think of it. He never seems to be one of the featured writers linked on the right sidebar (generally Fallows, TNC, and Goldberg.) I wonder what other good Atlantic writers I’m missing.Report

              • Avatar Ryan Bennett says:

                This shameful DC episode really highlights everything I love about TPM. They have a very long track record of being honest and above-board and just… not wrong… in their reporting. I can use their reporting safely without having to worry about ending up looking like an idiot 2 days later when the real story comes out.

                I’ve never understood why there’s not a bigger push among conservatives for the same reliability. Even taking cognitive dissonance and the “conservative media bubble” into account, it’s gotta suck when you get regularly undercut by shoddy or dishonest reporting. Seems like it would be an amazing relief to have a reliable conservative reporting option.Report

            • Avatar Henshaw says:

              Despite disagreeing with her I really like Maddow. She does herself a disservice hiding behind the idea that MSNBC is objective. MSNBC has done a really good job of being (for the most part) a liberal opinion network. There’s nothing wrong with that, just be honest about it.

              That’s what’s annoying about Fox’s “fair an balanced” mantra. You can’t run Glenn Beck (he’s gone now), Hannity, and O’Reilly about there and call yourself “fair and balanced.” Like MSNBC, Fox made a smart business decision concentrating on conservative viewers. The biggest thing I dislike about FOX isn’t really their political coverage but how they’ve sensationalized the news. The other networks have all copied it and I simply can’t watch it.Report

          • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

            Fox is right-wing, period. It’s who they cater to and why they exist, and they’re not about to let facts get in the way of their message. CNN is a news network. It has biases, because any organization does, but it will report news that doesn’t pass a liberal filter, e.g. they hammered the Benghazi story quite hard. There’s a rhetorical stance that acquits Fox, because we all know it’s crap, while convicting CNN for misleadingly not being wholly unbiased. I could not disagree with that more strongly.Report

      • Avatar Henshaw says:

        Good post! With all these “pop-up” DC blogs I feel like people like Tucker are willing to post anything. Let’s face it, crap like this is link bait.

        It’s the depressing thing about modern political coverage.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC says:

      Erm, what Maddow did is in no way comparable with the behavior of the Daily Caller here. Sparkman’s death _was_ apparently murder. It was a suicide staged to look like a murder, as far as we can tell. It was perfectly reasonable to report on it _as if_ it was a murder before we knew that.

      When people became suspicious that it was not murder, Rachael Maddow reported that there were such suspicions (Which, I must point out, you seemed to have missed in your blog, although the article you link to talks about it, if by using rather biased language.), and then _stopped reporting or talking about it as a murder_.

      Then later, The Rachael Maddow Show ran an _actual correction_ in November when the police determined it _was_ suicide. (It was a guest host that night, so I guess saying that ‘Rachael Maddow’ never mentioned it again is technically true, if obviously deliberately misleading.)

      Do you think that she should have, at that point, continued to cover a single suicide? What the hell would be the point of that? Or do you think it was wrong for her to start to cover something _very clearly looked like a lynching of a Federal official_, even though it was not? (That would be an _amazing_ standard to ask the news to take. ‘Please never report on any sort of crime at all until after every single fact is in.’)

      Or do you think she have lead off her show each night for a week saying ‘That thing we thought was murder last week was possibly just a deranged man committing suicide?’ You think she didn’t run _enough_ corrections?

      What exactly is your complaint there?

      Do you want to know what people’s complaint is about the Daily Caller? It’s that they ran a story with really really shitty ‘confirmation’, and then, after it became clear the story was false, doubled down on it.Report

  9. Avatar Diablo says:

    Tucker Carlson is an individual who’s existence is very hard for me to understand.

    I don’t understand how he has a career. He is very much like the “Jersey Shore” program on MTV.Report