It's official: You can stop taking The Daily Caller seriously

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller has spent the past week excoriating liberal journalists for purported ethical lapses like … um … not like Sarah Palin. Meanwhile, the Daily Caller has taken to running opinion pieces criticizing Democratic Rep. Joe Courtney without noting that the author is the communications director for one of Courtney's Republican challengers!

Ted Mann of the New London, CT newspaper The Day explains:

Also on Monday, I received a Google news alert directing me to the Daily Caller, for an opinion piece that criticizes Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, primarily for having been the subject of media reports about how much money he has raised for his reelection.

The piece, by Jerry Maldonado, is headlined "Is Joe Courtney worried?"

Here's how Maldonado is identified, in a handy disclaimer for Caller readers: "Jerry Scott Maldonado is the author of 'Columns, Quotes & The American Dream.' Tate Publishing Group, due out October 2010. He is a featured columnist for The D.C.G Network of news sites: Sundaynewscape.com, Onequestionnews.com, and Imperialvalleynews.com. Jerry's work has also been featured internationally."

Here's what they don't tell you about Jerry Maldonado: He's the communications director for Janet Peckinpaugh, one of the three Republicans running for Congress against Joe Courtney this fall.

And it's not the first time her campaign spokesman has taken to the Daily Caller's site to talk up Peckinpaugh without disclosing his connection to the campaign.

I wonder why the Daily Caller would leave that connection undisclosed. And I wonder why anyone would waste time reading hand-wringing dispatches on journalism ethics from a publication that would do so.

UPDATE: Here's a July 26 Maldonado Daily Caller column criticizing Courtney. Here's a June 3 Maldonado Daily Caller column praising Peckinpaugh. Here's a July 21 Peckinpaugh press release listing Maldonado as her communications director. And another from July 20.

UPDATE 2: This is kind of hilarious. Here's how Maldonado ends his July 26 Daily Caller column: "I'm Jerry Maldonado and I approve this message." That, of course, is a reference to campaign disclosure laws that require candidates for political office to stand by their ads. Maldonado, in other words, is mimicking the language of transparency in a Daily Caller column that hides the fact that he is employed by a candidate in the race he's writing about.

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