The Daily Caller pulled a Politico last night and published opposition material from a disgruntled candidate as a legitimate story, replete with “anonymous sources.”
The story was to be a hit on Missouri 2nd congressional candidate Ann Wagner and the donations she’s received from Enterprise, a private company. It had been shopped to various members of the media before a Daily Caller scribe received the email and cleaned up the grammar to make it publishable. In publishing the story the Daily Caller became the propaganda arm of a congressional campaign. The media outlet didn’t dig into Ed Martin’s history to see that Martin didn’t have a problem with Enterprise donations when hundreds of thousands of Enterprise dollars went to his last failed race; it’s only when they went to Wagner, who herself is making a run for office for the first time, and whose husband is a 20-year employee of the company. Wagner’s previous political employs included raising money for various candidates across Missouri, including Ed Martin. This is also all public information, and if the Daily Caller had performed due diligence with the email they received, they would likely have recused themselves from publishing another article which only cements their status in the conservative blog world as a Republican hit machine. (Remember Bachmann and Palin?)
The Daily Caller also didn’t reach out the members of the St. Louis Tea Party for comment, aside from Martin’s campaign workers who apparently pushed the story. ??ENNENBACH QUOTE??
At the heart of the matter is whether it’s acceptable for employees of a company may freely donate to a candidate’s campaign and whether or not campaign contributions are equal to free speech. The First Amendment doesn’t say that the rights of speech change depending on the number of people exercising it. Is the Daily Caller taking a position on the limitations of speech?
The Daily Caller also made a rather large error in failing to note the difference between employer/employee contributions, instead choosing to target a private business with innuendo and progressive tactics for choosing to support a particular candidate over another. Is the Daily Caller a media outlet or a mouthpiece for petty, interparty squabbling? I hope it’s the former, not the latter.