The Cold War between Politico and The Daily Caller is over. Now it’s just war.
This morning, The Daily Caller leads its site with a potentially explosive story by TV writer Jeff Poor on Politico‘s tight relationship with MSNBC. They’ve long tried to paint the Arlington, Va. giant with a tainted, liberal bias. Back in July, Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson backed down after ordering staff to refer to Politico in their stories as “a liberal publication based in suburban Virginia.” The ill will stemmed from a story by then-DCer Jonathan Strong (now at Roll Call) on GOP Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann‘s migraine headaches. Politico royally pissed off Carlson by reassigning the story to reporters who described the DC as “conservative” and who “confirmed” the DC’s reporting, as though it needed confirming. At the time, new Managing Editor David Martosko was so eager to please that he vowed to go back into each story mentioning Politico and make the change. But it never happened and Carlson walked back his email decree to use the description.
But now The Daily Caller has a sampling of numbers on Politico reporters who regularly appear on the network. For this story, Poor had his eyes glued to MSNBC. “I watched a lot of MSNBC the past three days,” he told FishbowlDC. “I ought to get a Purple Heart.” His watching also unearthed other news: Politico‘s Mike Allen, who appears regularly on MSNBC for his Playbook segment, switches up his attire. “I can speak on authority that Mike Allen changes clothes on a daily basis,” Poor said, recalling some discrepancy on that.
Fox News pounced on the anti-MSNBC bandwagon. The story reports that no Politico reporter has appeared on the network in 18 months. And no network media story is complete without one of those blind and bitchy Fox News PR quotes — this one declares that Fox News is just not that into Politico reporters appearing on their programs: “We try to book guests that make for compelling TV; Politico reporters tend not to rate well,” a Fox News spokesperson told The Daily Caller.
That’s right. They prefer the company of Daily Caller journos such as Carlson, an FNC commentator, and Jamie Weinstein, who regularly appears on “Red Eye.” They also frequently invite on reporters and editors from Roll Call and The Hill. But not all Politico foes appear on FNC. NJ and Politico also have an abrasive relationship. Former FNC White House Correspondent Major Garrett, now an NJ congressional correspondent, has returned to his former network minimally. He appears far more often on MSNBC.
Politico did not return requests for comment from Poor. Though the DC does quote Editor-in-Chief John Harris on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show after the host wondered about the potential harm of Politico co-hosting a debate with NBC. Harris replied, “Well, I just don’t accept the premise and I don’t accept your premise about Chris Matthews, who I admire.” He also said Matthews was not moderating the debate — that would be Brian Williams.
In the meantime, we hear Politico media writer Keach Hagey, recently freed from the constraints of daily short bursts of blog writing and allowed to write long form, has been fishing around for a new bombshell story on Martosko, perhaps involving his former ties with the lobbying and consulting firm, Berman and Company. For today, The Daily Caller newsroom is aglow in anti-Politico sentiment, reflecting a longtime vendetta between the publications.
We reached out to Politico for comment. For now, radio silence.
Read the full story here.