Politico Reporter Skates Thin Line of Sketchiness

This afternoon Politico media writer Dylan Byers reported that The Daily Caller is considering a three day a week print edition possibly starting in the new year. But what he didn’t let readers know is that in the course of his muckraking, he didn’t initially tell those he phoned where he worked or that he was a reporter. He also made it seem like he was interested in advertising, not writing a story.

Is this ingenious, stealth reporting or dishonest?

A Daily Caller newsroom source who spoke only on the condition of anonymity said Byers phoned in twice. On one call, he reached an editor and said he had questions about “advertising in the print edition.” Naturally the editor tried to refer him to a salesperson, but none was available. So the editor asked to take a message and Byers offered his first and last name and an out of state number, but did not say he worked at Politico.

Byers later called back and reached a salesperson. He told her he was calling about “your print edition.” She told him that they don’t have anything like that now and he said he heard the first edition was coming out in January. She asked if he was interested in print, specifically, and started talking about other products. That’s when he said he was a reporter. The ad rep said she’d have to have someone else call him back. She asked for his name, which he gave her, and where he worked.

At this juncture he revealed Politico, a publication that has been engaged in wretched warfare with The Daily Caller for two and half years. In other words, The Daily Caller‘s entire lifespan.

We broached the subject with Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson, who did not respond by press time. Carlson responded to Byers, but barely, just to say, “I’m not going to comment on that at all. People are very gossipy.” We reached out to Byers and posed questions. He never returned the request for comment, but you can see what we asked after the jump…

Questions for Dylan Byers:

1. I’m told you initially called into The Daily Caller, reached an editor and said you had questions about “advertising in the print edition.” You gave the editor your name when asked and gave an out of state number, but did not disclose that you were a journalist or where you worked. Why not?
2. Next, you spoke with a salesperson and gave her the impression you were going to purchase an ad. At this point, when she began detailing products you might purchase, you finally came clean and told her you were a reporter. Why did you not start off saying who you were and where you worked?
3. Obviously there’s a longtime feud between Politico and The Daily Caller. Did you feel because of that you couldn’t just go in the front door (so to speak) and ask directly if they were considering a print edition?