The Daily Caller

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The Daily Caller is a conservative/Republican news spin organization founded by conservative reporter Tucker Carlson and former Dick Cheney aide Neil Patel.[1] The Daily Caller's announced objective is to be a "content" response tool to articles on The Huffington Post. The Daily Caller intends to "challenge mainstream and other liberal news-media outlets." A "representative screenshot" of their "actual news reporting and not just opinion-writing" includes articles with headlines such as "Obama's Credit Card Rejected By NY Resturant" and "Chris Matthews: It's More Complicated To Be A Liberal." [1]

History

Tucker Carlson initially floated the idea for The Daily Caller in 2009 at CPAC. [2] He and Patel then officially announced the creation of The Daily Caller later that year at a Heritage Foundation gathering in May. When the cite launched in 2010, Carlson said "This is primarily a news site. We see our core job as straightforward: Find out what's happening and tell you about it. We plan to be accurate, both in the facts we assert and in the conclusions we imply." According to the Guardian, Carlson insisted that the Daily Caller "won't be a right-wing site." [3]

At the time, Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post noted that Fox News Commentator Carlson's assertion of not being right-wing came after signing on with "a former Dick Cheney aide ...the Republican National Committee's press secretary. ... [and] $3 million in funding...from Wyoming financier Foster Friess, a big-time GOP donor." [4]

The Daily Caller News Foundation

According to The Washington Post, "the website owes some of its fortune[s] to a peculiar business structure that enables it to increase revenue while reducing its tax obligation ... Most of the roughly 50 journalists who produce content for the Daily Caller actually work for the Daily Caller News Foundation, a tax-exempt organization with 501(c)(3) status that is ostensibly separate from DailyCaller.com. The two entities share the same floor of the same Washington office, however, and virtually everything produced by the foundation — which accepted $3 million in donations in 2015, according to an IRS filing — appears on the for-profit website, which sells advertising on the articles."[5]

An investigation by the Center for Media and Democracy was the basis for the aforementioned Washington Post article. CMD's Calvin Sloan reported that the way that the Daily Caller News Foundation and The Daily Caller "operate raises significant tax law questions ... DailyCaller.com regularly features stories from The Daily Caller News Foundation, helping to drive traffic that The Daily Caller Inc. converts into advertising revenue ... The Daily Caller claimed in its 501(c)(3) application to the IRS and on its website that the foundation deserves its charity status because it “is a consumer research educational organization” whose goal is to provide 'consumer news and research'” to 'mainstream consumers,' and because it licenses its content to other news outlets free of charge and has a mission 'to train up-and-coming reporters and editors.' But CMD’s analysis indicates that one of the Daily Caller News Foundation’s primary activities is to provide The Daily Caller Inc. with a steady stream of content for its for-profit news website. 'focuses on longer-term investigative writing and on policy focused coverage,' and that 'the Foundation’s reporting is difficult to do in a for-profit environment because it has a smaller audience potential (policy reporting) or because it takes a long time (investigative reporting).'CMD’s analysis of the Foundation’s output does not support those statements. Of the 672 stories the Foundation published during the two weeks CMD reviewed, only 39% was original content, and much of that “original” content was repurposed public press statements, Tweets, and government-authored reports." [6]

News and Controversy

Questions of Nonprofit Status

In 2017 The Washington Post reported that the arrangement between the non-profit Daily Caller News Foundation and The Daily Caller "appears to violate the spirit of a federal law governing nonprofits." Linda Sugin, a law professor at Fordham University, told The Washinton Post, “It really does look like the reason for the existence of this 501(c)(3) organization is to provide benefits to the for-profit company, and that should be a private benefit that is not acceptable.” [5]

CMD's Sloan reported that the Trump campaign was paying The Daily Caller, "which paid Carlson an untold sum." Meanwhile, "Carlson never disclosed the Trump campaign cash to his viewers on FOX News, even as he analyzed the presidential race. Meanwhile, as a FOX News headliner, Carlson has attacked news outlets like the New York Times, claiming they are biased against Trump. CMD–which analyzed emails sent by the Trump campaign to The Daily Caller subscribers–estimates that Carlson’s Daily Caller received at least $150,000 from the Trump campaign in the months right before the November election based on the fee charged for mailings to its list, though the full extent of the funding is unknown." [6]

Ties to White Supremacy

In May 2017, ProPublica reported that The Daily Caller had "published a news story about recent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia ... The article noted that some 200 people had carried torches in a march to the monument, a procession it called “visually striking.” It also quoted a young black man speaking favorably about one of the protest’s organizers. The story, it turned out, also carried some critical omissions: It didn’t disclose that its author, Jason Kessler, is supportive of white supremacist groups, and on the day of the march had himself made a speech to the protesters in which he praised fascist and racist organizations, thanked a prominent Holocaust denier, and declared the beginnings of a cultural “civil war.” [7]

A Southern Poverty Law Center report claimed in 2017 that "The Daily Caller Has A White Nationalist Problem." The report says that "the Daily Caller has not only published the work of white nationalists, but some of its writers have routinely whitewashed the Alt-Right, while one editor there is an associate of key Alt-Right figures. Two Daily Caller contributors, including a senior investigative reporter, were recently announced as speakers at the upcoming white nationalist H.L. Mencken Club conference organized by Paul Gottfried, a godfather of the Alt-Right." [8]

A reporter for The Daily Caller told The Washington Post, "I regret that I put these ill-formed thoughts out into the public domain," about blog posts he had made prior to being hired by The Daily Caller. "It’s part of the oeuvre that preceded the blogger’s hiring at Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller, starting in 2014." [9]

Journalistic Intergegrity

In 2011, The Columbia Journalism review characterized 'The Daily Caller's news coverage as "Headline-grabbing exclusives—mostly intercepted e-mails and tweets and attacks on media rivals—[which] explode[] across the web before fizzling under scrutiny. Sexed-up headlines burned above stories too twisted or bland to support them. Quotes were ripped out of context, corrections buried, and important disclosures dismissed." [2]

A "representative screenshot" of The Daily Caller chosen by members of its staff purports to show "actual news reporting." Articles include "Obama's Credit Card Rejected by NY Resturant" and "Cheapskates! Seattle Socialist Part wants $20 Per Hour Minimum Wage, Offers $13 Per Hour For Website Manager" [1]

Ties to the Koch Brothers

The Daily Caller News Foundation receives funding from the Koch Family Foundations and the Charles Koch Institute.

Koch Wiki

The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.

Ties to the Bradley Foundation

In 2014, The Daily Caller Foundation received $100,000 from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation "to support general operations." Bradley detailed the most recent grants in internal documents examined by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). Below is a description of the grant prepared by CMD.

Bradley staff writes, "DCNF's activities are, in many ways, closely akin to that which the Bradley-supported nonprofit National Review Institute and [[Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity do the for the for-profit National Review in the opinion-writing context...Mindful of Directors' stated desires to encourage this kind of 'forward-lookingness' in public discourse, staff recommends a $100,000 IRA investment in DCNF for its general operations."

Bradley Files

In 2017, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), publishers of SourceWatch, launched a series of articles on the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, exposing the inner-workings of one of America's largest right-wing foundations. 56,000 previously undisclosed documents laid bare the Bradley Foundation's highly politicized agenda. CMD detailed Bradley's efforts to map and measure right wing infrastructure nationwide, including by dismantling and defunding unions to impact state elections; bankrolling discredited spin doctor Richard Berman and his many front groups; and more.

Find the series here at ExposedbyCMD.org.

Funding

The Daily Caller is a for-profit company, but The Daily Caller News Foundation is a nonprofit which receives donations from many sources.

"Sources of Support include the Charles Koch Foundation, the Charles Koch Institute, an anonymous donor through the donor trust, the Bradley-supported Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, and the Searle Freedom Trust" [1]

Core Financials

2016[11]

  • Total Revenue: $1,142,882
  • Total Expenses: $2,058,802
  • Net Assets: $1,151,947

2015[12]

  • Total Revenue: $3,009,557
  • Total Expenses: $1,167,196
  • Net Assets: $2,067,867

2014[13]

  • Total Revenue: $723,578
  • Total Expenses: $469,432
  • Net Assets: $225,686

2013[14]

  • Total Revenue: $134,570
  • Total Expenses: $287,154
  • Net Assets: $-280,460

2012[15]

  • Total Revenue: $215,640
  • Total Expenses: $84,988
  • Net Assets: $124,124

2011[16]

  • Total Revenue: none
  • Total Expenses: $3,642
  • Net Assets: $1,358

Employees

At it's launch, according to The Guardian, "The site employ[ed] a reporting staff of 21 in its Washington office, among them opinion editor Moira Bagley, who spent 2008 as the Republican National Committee's press secretary, as well as Megan Mulligan, formerly an editor in the Guardian's Washington bureau." [3]

It's unclear besides an editorial and accounting staff whether they actually employ any journalists other than Carlson, whose career has been as a talking head as opposed to a reporter. According to Carlson, they intend to use and adapt content from bloggers, possibly under freelance contracts. Per a 2010 article in The Washington Independent, it's reporters are from the conservative Washington Times (Jon Ward) and Government Executive (Gautham Nagesh) along with a humor opinion writer Jim Treacher (real name Sean Medlock).

As of June 7, 2018, the staff of the Daily Caller includes: [17]

  • Geoff Ingersoll, Editor in Chief
  • Vince Coglianese, Editorial Director
  • Paul Conner, Executive Editor
  • Scott Greer, Deputy Editor
  • Derek Draplin, Associate Editor
  • Eric Owens, Education Editor and Opinion Editor
  • Mike Piccione, Guns and Gear Editor
  • Amber Athey, Media and Breaking News Editor
  • Justin Caruso, Media and Breaking News Reporter
  • Saagar Enjeti, White House Correspondent
  • Julia Nista, General Assignment Reporter
  • David Hookstead, Head of Security, Sports Reporter
  • Katie Jerkovich, Entertainment Reporter
  • Derek Hunter, Reporter and Host, “The Daily Daily Caller Podcast”
  • Heather Hunter, Reporter
  • Richie McGinniss, Chief Video Editor
  • Guillaume Pierre-Louis, Video Editor
  • Stephanie Hamill, Video Columnist
  • Benny Johnson, Politics Reporter at Large
  • Betsy Rothstein, Media Columnist
  • Jena Greene, Entertainment/Sports Reporter
  • Will Ricciardella, Social Media Strategist
  • John Wellington, Digital Content Manager
  • Brian Danza, Chief Operating Officer
  • Margaret Crilley, Director of Operations and Public Affairs
  • Neil Stevens, Web Developer
  • Patrick Kuo, Infrastructure and Hosting Specialist
  • Reverend Billy Cerveny, Chaplain
  • Chad Brady, Director of Programmatic & Advertising Operations
  • Krista Staley, Senior Vice President of Sales
  • Jack Kocsis, Director of Commerce & Affiliate Partnerships
  • Ford Springer, Marketing and Operations Associate

The Daily Caller News Foundation staff includes: [18]

  • Christopher Bedford, Editor-in-Chief
  • Dave Brooks, Deputy Editor
  • Emma Colton, Senior Editor
  • Ethan Barton, Senior Editor
  • David Sivak, Editor, Fact-Check
  • Leah Jessen, Network Editor
  • Syndey Shea, Editor
  • Richard Pollock, Senior Investigative Reporter
  • Michael Bastasch, Senior Reporter, Energy, Climate and the Environment
  • Sean Moody, Producer, Video
  • Luke Rosiak, Investigative Reporter
  • Chuck Ross, Investigative Reporter
  • Andrew Kerr, Investigative Reporter
  • Katrina Willis, Video Editor
  • Emily Larsen, Reporter, Fact-Check
  • Joe Simonson, Reporter, Politics, Media
  • Steve Birr, Reporter, Politics, Vice, Tobacco, Vaping
  • Chris White, Reporter, Politics, Energy, Transportation, Climate, the Environment
  • Eric Lieberman, Reporter, Politics, Tech, Cyber Surveillance
  • Kevin Daley, Reporter, Politics, Courts
  • Thomas Phippen, Reporter, Politics, Government Contracts, Agriculture, Welfare
  • Robert Donachie, Reporter, Capitol Hill, Finance, Health Care
  • Ryan Pickrell, Reporter, Politics, China, Trade
  • Rob Shimshock, Reporter, Politics, Education
  • Will Racke, Department of State, Foreign Affairs, Immigration
  • Grace Carr, Reporter, Politics, Abortion, Marriage
  • Gabrielle Okun, Reporter, Politics
  • Henry Rodgers, Reporter, Politics
  • Joshua Gill, Reporter, Politics, Religion
  • Anders Hagstrom, Reporter, Politics, Justice, Crime, Punishment
  • Nick Givas, Reporter, Politics, Television
  • Timothy Pearce, Reporter, Politics, Energy, Labor
  • Jason Hopkins, Reporter, Politics, Energy, Environment, Regulation
  • Vandana Rambaran, Reporter, Politics
  • Julia Cohen, Reporter, Politics, Health Care
  • Kyle Perisic, Reporter, Politics, Tech
  • Molly Prince, Reporter, Politics, Finance, Economy
  • Neetu Chandak, Reporter, Politics, Immigration
  • Evie Fordham, Reporter, Politics
  • Jessica Kramer, Reporter, Politics, Abortion, Marriage
  • Hanna Bogorowski, Politics, Capitol Hill
  • Neil Patel, President
  • Tucker Carlson, Chairman
  • Carter DeWitt, Chief Development Officer
  • Nanette Bian, Senior Vice President of Development
  • Margaret Crilley, Executive Director

Writers

Those who have written for it include Tucker Carlson, Andrew Breitbart, Newt Gingrich, Moira Bagley, Doug Bandow, Milo Yiannopoulos, Larry Kudlow, Jason Kessler, Peter Brimelow, Anne Coulter, Ginni Thomas, and Matt K. Lewis.

Contact

Address: 1920 L Street NW Suite 200 Washington, DC 20036

Phone: (202) 506-2027

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DailyCaller
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dailycaller
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfDdlNLRVb1h3_7Xh-WhL3w

External

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Bradley Center detailed grants in internal documents examined by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). The quoted text was written by The Daily Caller News Foundation
  2. 2.0 2.1 Joel Meares The Great Right Hype: Tucker Carlson and his Daily Caller, Columbia Journalism Review, July/August 2011
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mercedes Bunz The Daily Caller: the conservative answer to the Huffington Post The Guardian, Jan 11, 2010
  4. Howard Kurtz [2] Tucker's Excellent Adventure] The Washington Post, January 11, 2010
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Callum Borchers Charity doubles as a profit stream at the Daily Caller News Foundation, The Washington Post, June 2, 2017
  6. 6.0 6.1 Calvin Sloan EXPOSED: TUCKER CARLSON, HIS “CHARITY,” AND THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN CASH HE DIDN’T TELL FOX VIEWERS ABOUT, Exposed by CMD, June 1, 2017
  7. A.C. Thompson A Few Things Got Left Out of The Daily Caller’s Report on Confederate Monument Rally, ProPublica, May 31, 2018
  8. Stephen Piggott and Alex Amend The Daily Caller Has A White Nationalist Problem, The Southern Poverty Law Center, Aug 16, 2017
  9. Erik Wemple Daily Caller reporter renounces racist, misogynistic writings The Washington Post, Sept 14, 2017
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Conservative Transparecy Daily Caller News Foundation American Bridge 21st Century Foundation, accessed June 7, 2018
  11. Daily Caller News Foundation IRS 2016 Form 990, organizational tax filing, accessed June 7, 2018
  12. Daily Caller News Foundation IRS 2015 Form 990, organizational tax filing, accessed June 7, 2018
  13. Daily Caller News FoundationIRS 2014 Form 990, organizational tax filing, accessed June 7, 2018
  14. Daily Caller News FoundationIRS 2013 Form 990, organizational tax filing, accessed June 7, 2018
  15. Daily Caller News FoundationIRS 2012 Form 990, organizational tax filing, accessed June 7, 2018
  16. Daily Caller News FoundationIRS 2011 Form 990, organizational tax filing, accessed June 7, 2018
  17. The Daily Caller About Us The Daily Caller, Accessed June 7, 2018
  18. The Daily Caller News Foundation About Us The Daily Caller News Foundation, Accessed June 7, 2018