BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith thinks The Daily Caller is “pathetic.” Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson thinks Smith is a “flack” and “fanboy” for Democrats. And just like that, the feud that began when Smith was back at Politico continues brewing.
On Monday The Daily Caller published a story and video by freelancer Charles Johnson questioning just where exactly New Jersey Senate hopeful Cory Booker lives. The headline: “Neighbors: Cory Booker never lived in Newark.” Johnson contacted the Booker campaign, but they did not return the request for comment.
Then on Monday night BuzzFeed‘s Ruby Cramer pointedly contradicted Johnson’s piece with a story saying Booker not only lives in Newark, but the candidate provided rent receipts allegedly proving as much. The headline: “Cory Booker: Yes, I live in Newark.” The Daily Caller took issue with Cramer’s reporting and asked for a clarification. Cramer added this to the end of her story: “Update: The Daily Caller emailed early Monday evening to deny that it ‘asserted’ Booker lived elsewhere, saying the sources quoted in the article, not its author, made the claim.” In the back and forth, Cramer emailed Daily Caller Executive Editor Tim Cavanaugh and somehow forgot to exclude comments from her boss: Ben Smith.
Considering the longstanding rift between Smith and The Daily Caller dates back to when he worked at Politico, his words were less than flattering. When Cramer asked Smith for advice on the matter, he wrote, “I think they have a minor point or 2 here and we should be non-defensive … what a pathetic outlet they are.”
Carlson told FishbowlDC, “I can see why a Booker fanboy like Ben wouldn’t like the piece: it didn’t help his candidate. I just hope he’s getting paid for the flack work he’s doing for the campaign.”
On Monday night, Cavanaugh and other Daily Caller reporters tweeted out a photo of the unintended email and wrote, “@BuzzFeedBen, nice to see @rubycramer’s inaccurate (see prev) hit piece on DC story was coming from an honest place.” Smith replied: “You can use Google or talk to Will [Rahn] or Tucker [Carlson] if this is news to you.”
Asked for comment, Smith had nothing further to add on the matter.
Another odd wrinkle in all this: Johnson initially offered the video to Cramer for BuzzFeed to use. But she never responded to his offer. Johnson offered the video to other media outlets, but in the end, it landed in The Daily Caller. He wrote, “I wrote 2 @rubycramer 4 days ago re: Booker offering her my story. She ignored me. Biased for @CoryBooker?”
Seven tweets later, Cavanaugh more than expressed his distaste for Cramer’s story and the way she handled it.
- “@rubycramer, almost forgot: Why are cops still guarding a residence Booker moved out of weeks ago?”
- @rubycramer, rent checks on Hawthorne rez are interesting, but do not demonstrate Booker lived there. Neighors say on camera he does not.
- @rubycramer, @dailycaller correctly reported ownership of Hawthorne, Longworth & Court properties. Yr article implies this is new info.
- @rubycramer, you misspelled the name of one of the activists. Her name is Cassandra Dock, not Cassandra Block.
- @rubycramer, main sources were not “two longtime anti-Booker activists and city council regulars,” but neighbors outside the Hawthorne rez.
- @rubycramer, Daily Caller did not “assert” anything. Claims made by two neighbors in on-camera interviews. @ChuckCJohnson contacted Booker