Following a report by Politico on the status of Jonathan Krohn, once celebrated as an emerging young star in the conservative movement, The Daily Caller has its own story on Krohn in which an anonymous source calls the 17-year-old “a douche.”
Krohn gained fame in 2009, then 13, with a fiery speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.
A bit from the anonymous source, who allegedly attended the 2009 conference:
“Krohn was smug, condescending, and obviously completely ignorant of what he was saying,” the attendee said. “When I spoke with him, I got the impression he was merely repackaging what someone else had told him. He was smart, but almost Stepford Wife-like in how it seemed like he was being used. It was creepy. … He kept talking about the book he had written and how many radio shows he had been on.” …
“To be clear, the fact that he was being used did not make the kid any less of a douche.”
Shocking as it may be the story, written by the cleverly named Gregg Re, has elicited strong reaction from other media types on Twitter.
Joe Schoffstall of the conservative Media Research Center called it “the best piece on [Krohn].”
The DC’s Matthew Lewis defended the publication’s use of anonymity in this case, tweeting, “I wasn’t the source, of course, but would it help if I said it on the record? (Seems like an obvious description).”
And that about does it for the positive comments we found. A round-up of the negative:
“I admire the Daily Caller’s research skills…”– BuzzFeed‘s and The Rolling Stone‘s Michael Hastings.
“Wait, that is not satire of some sort? To quote anon, ‘Holy fucking shit,'”– BuzzFeed‘s LGBT writer Chris Geidner, who followed up, “After reading that Daily Caller piece on Krohn, time to shower, and then I can start my day.”
“I didn’t notice this at first, but the Daily Caller put ‘douche’ in the URL. ya know, just to win the search term.”– HuffPost‘s Sam Stein. Krohn tweeted at Stein, “I hope you know I’m not a douche! LOL.”
“Daily Caller grants anonymity to source to dump on 17-year old for 1,000 words.”– TPM‘s Benjy Sarlin.
“I could find u at least 10 people who would tell you on the record what a douche I was at 13- my mom being one of them.”– Politico‘s Kate Nocera.
“DC is a douchepaper.”– David Bernstein, a reporter for The Boston Phoenix.
“Daily Caller journalism: Granting anonymity to ‘an attendee at the 2009 CPAC conference’ to attack a 17-year-old.”– Matthew Gertz of the liberal Media Matters.
“Good job on the anonymous trashing of a teenager, Daily Caller!”– Salon‘s Irin Carmon.
We’ve asked Re for comment on why his source was granted anonymity and will update if he fills us in.
UPDATE: Re told us in an email the source who called Krohn a “douche” asked for anonymity, thus it was simply given to him. It’s worth noting in many news stories, reasons for anonymity, ranging from job security to fear of retribution from higher-ups, are disclosed. Read Re’s full comment after the jump.
“I mean, [the source] didn’t just hurl an insult. He gave relevant details about the speaker at CPAC. He asked for anonymity. I don’t see why that matters, though. Anonymous sources are good enough for a NYT story about Obama’s drone kill list, but not a story about a teenager who deliberately seeks publicity every time he thinks a political thought?
“Politico wrote him a glowing profile that made it look like a wise thing to outgrow conservatism. We wrote a reality check about this guy.”