BuzzFeed: Breitbart’s Boyle, GotNews’ Johnson ‘Were Right’ on Menendez Prostitution Story

Bob Menendez
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

With a new Department of Justice (DOJ) court filing showing that the feds have compiled “corroborating evidence” that allegations that Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and his mega-donor Dr. Salomon Melgen solicited underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski tweeted that Breitbart News’ Matthew Boyle and GotNews’ Chuck Johnson “were right” all along.

“[I]t looks like” Boyle and Johnson “were right about Menendez according to latest FBI filing,” Kaczynski tweeted on Tuesday, referencing an earlier Tweet about the DOJ filing based off a Breitbart News story on the matter Monday evening.

Boyle had broken the story while working for The Daily Caller before the 2012 election and shortly thereafter came to work for Breitbart News. Johnson, then a freelancer, helped contribute research to the story, and since went on to found GotNews.

Boyle, Johnson and David Martosko—the former executive editor of The Daily Caller who went on to become Washington editor of the U.K. Daily Mail—wrote several followup stories digging into the same matter. All three were the subject of vicious and false attacks mainstream media-wide over their now-proven accurate reporting–including, most egregiously, from the Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig and Manuel Roig-Franzia, who inaccurately accused them of being part of a Cuban plot to take down Menendez.

“Sen. Robert Menendez is asking the Justice Department to pursue evidence obtained by U.S. investigators that the Cuban government concocted an elaborate plot to smear him with allegations that he cavorted with underage prostitutes, according to people familiar with the discussions,” Leonnig, a previous Pulitzer Prize winner, and Roig-Franzia wrote last summer—literally accusing the journalists who pursued this story of being part of a Cuban plot. “In a letter sent to Justice Department officials, the senator’s attorney asserts that the plot was timed to derail the ­political rise of Menendez (D-N.J.), one of Washington’s most ardent critics of the Castro regime. At the time, Menendez was running for reelection and was preparing to assume the powerful chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

David Weigel, then a writer for Slate who went on to report for Bloomberg Politics before becoming a Washington Post reporter again, backed the false “Cuban plot” allegations. Weigel seemed to imply he believed that there should have been some kind of “consequence” for Boyle, Johnson and Martosko for accurately reporting what is now confirmed by the Department of Justice to have been accurate—all because he didn’t believe it was accurate based off of what others in media were saying.

“The implosion of the prostitution story drained attention away from Menendez’s connection to a wealthy eye doctor who was being investigated by the feds,” Weigel wrote in response to Leonnig’s and Roig-Franzia’s Cuban plot accusation. “The fact that Mendendez took tropical vacations with the guy and initially failed to report them became boring, once the trips stopping looking like ‘sex parties.’ We knew at the time that Menendez had tapped an aggressive response team. They earned their wage. Funny enough, so did the conservative media that broke the ‘story.’ Now that the entire Menendez scandal may have been concocted by Cubans, it’s amazing to remember how the Daily Caller hyped this thing and how no one who worked on the story suffered any consequence.”

NewsWeek’s Taylor Wofford backed the false “Cuban plot” story, too.

“When you think ‘Daily Caller,’ the first thing that springs to mind is probably not ‘patsy in Communist plot to smear U.S. senator,’” Wofford wrote in July 2014. “But according to The Washington Post, that’s precisely what reporters Matthew Boyle and Charles C. Johnson became when they reported that U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez paid two women for sex in the Dominican Republic.”

But clearly Kaczynski, who wrote about it as well, by his Tweet on Tuesday was admitting the DOJ filings are correct and so was the original reporting.

“The former Daily Caller reporter who first reported claims that Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez had hired underaged Dominican prostitutes says he’s ‘waiting to see where the investigation goes’ into whether his sources for the story were working on the behalf of the Cuban government,” Kaczynski wrote about a conversation with Boyle when that allegation of the “Cuban plot” first came out.

Clearly, the government investigation, according to Kaczynski, went in the direction that proved Boyle and Johnson were right.


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