Last week Tucker Carslon's Daily Caller played the role of obsequious media host as it helped roll out James O'Keefe's undercover sting on NPR fundraisers. Reading the Daily Caller's cheerleading coverage, most of it written by Matthew Boyle, you were led to believe the right-wing activist had nailed the NPR execs dead-to-rights.(Biased!)
Now, serious questions about the tactics used in the editing of the tapes, and the overall validity of the sting, have arisen. Yet Carlson's Daily Caller has suddenly gone quiet about the sting it essentially co-sponsored last week. Last week, Carlson's magazine published nearly two dozen breathless articles and blog posts about O'Keefe's undercover gotcha. But to date it hasn't written one piece addressing the mounting complaints about the ethical shortcuts O'Keefe took.
Not only hasn't the Daily Caller acknowledging the troubling questions being asked about the sting, but it has refused to explain to readers whether it knew about the editing discrepancies before it published its rah-rah O'Keefe coverage.
What's worth noting is that in the past, O'Keefe often used Andrew Breitbart's sites to launch his right-wing stings. This time though, he teamed up, again, with Carlson and the Daily Caller. The irony is that Carlson is now learning the lesson Breitbart learned the hard way: Hype O'Keefe's dubious work at your own peril.
And yes, Breitbart's sites last week also could not stop writing about O'Keefe's mighty NPR sting. But when it became clear O'Keefe opted for dubious and dishonest editing tactics yet again, Breitbart's team of bloggers -- like the staff at Daily Caller -- decided to play dumb. None of them have acknowledged the brewing O'Keefe controversy.
Behold "conservative journalism."