Daily Caller: Politico Has Taken a Nosedive

The warfare between The Daily Caller and Politico continues today with The Daily Caller devoting its morning homepage to its latest charge: Politico readership is taking a nosedive. This, after American Journalism Review, painted the Rosslyn outlet in a rosy manner earlier in the week, complete with Washington reporters afraid to critique the outlet by name out of fear of maybe needing a job there someday. Based on internal tracking provided by Politico, AJR says the publication receives 60 million hits a month.

The Daily Caller, meanwhile, cracks on Politico‘s own “Playbook” by Mike Allen, with the blaring red letter headline, “This Wasn’t in Playbook.”

“Measurements of U.S. Web traffic provided to The Daily Caller by Compete, Inc. indicate that the number of total monthly visits to Politico.com dropped by 31.8 percent during the 18-month period that ended on October 31.”

We reached out to Politico for reaction to this story. So far, zero response. All is quiet on the Rossyln front. Maybe FakeJimVandeHei will weigh in on Twitter?

A media executive who knows Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson spoke on condition of anonymity: “It is well known they are struggling financially and journalistically, so they need to punch up and try to pick fights with serious, successful enterprises. I assume that is why Tucker seems oddly obsessed with POLITICO and let’s his opinion columnists write whatever is on their mind about them.” The exec also noted that “a war” typically involves two sides.

The Daily Caller questions the numbers gathered by AJR author Jodi Enda, saying she refused to give the name of the researcher who affirmed the numbers given to the publication by Politico. They also insinuate she had some sort of bias, pointing out that she has written for HuffPost, Mother Jones and “the liberal” American Prospect. The Daily Caller, obviously known for being a conservative publication even though it has bristled at that description, reports that their numbers on Politico come from Compete, Inc. Josh Peterson, the publication’s Tech Editor, wrote the story.

Politico, which generally adopts a condescending attitude toward the younger publication, has both praised and attacked The Daily Caller. In October of 2010, Politico‘s Ben Smith wrote that The Daily Caller is “struggling” to find its place and therefore attacking more established publications like National Review. Carlson responded by email: “The Daily Caller is ‘struggling’? What a ludicrous hack job, and stupid. F*** you.” And in a recent story by media writer Keach Hagey (“The Daily Caller’s Growing Pains”), she writes a largely positive piece with critiques folded within.  She wrote that Carlson has largely achieved what he set out to do: “The site, which has grown from around 20 to more than 40 employees, has injected an unprecedented level of original reporting into the conservative online media landscape, which had been, as Carlson himself noted, largely made up of opinion before its arrival.”

Previously Politico drew the ire of Carlson when they ordered two reporters to re-report the reporting of then-reporter Jonathan Strong on the Michele Bachmann migraine headache story and called the publication “conservative.”

Just two weeks ago, The Daily Caller accused Politico of liberal bias by charting the appearances of Politico reporters on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” At the time, Politico responded by asking, “What story?”


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