Fox News flunkie Tucker Carlson is in deep water over allegations that his web site, The Daily Caller, orchestrated a smear campaign against Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) that included paying prostitutes to make up stories about having had sex with the senator.
The story originally published by TheDC featured a pair of alleged prostitutes who claimed to have been hired by Menendez. The web site did not identify the women or most of the other sources they relied on. Subsequent to the posting of that article it was severely ripped apart by a Washington Post investigation that turned up a prostitute who confessed that her allegations were false and that she was paid to lie.
Now the already tattered reputation of The DC has been shredded further with a new report from WaPo that the attorney who represented the prostitutes in the scandal was himself paid to solicit women willing to make the false allegations, and that the source of the payments was [insert trumpet here] The Daily Caller:
“A top Dominican law enforcement official said Friday that a local lawyer has reported being paid by someone claiming to work for the conservative Web site the Daily Caller to find prostitutes who would lie and say they had sex for money with Sen. Robert Menendez.”
The lawyer making this assertion is Melanio Figueroa, who was the only named source in TheDC’s original story. Now TheDC is in the uncomfortable position of having to denounce their primary source as a liar without retracting the story that relied on his testimony. It isn’t easy for a “news” enterprise to say “The guy that we relied on for everything is a big liar, and we stand by everything he said.”
In response to WaPo’s latest revelations TheDC, not surprisingly, issued a blanket denial that they had paid anyone connected to the affair. However the article they posted containing the denial was blatantly spun to misrepresent the facts. TheDC’s Vince Coglianese wrote that…
“Figueroa blamed four news outlets — CNN, The Daily Caller, Telemundo and Univision — for allegedly encouraging him to fabricate false accusations about Menendez.”
That sentence is an artificial blending of responsibility for the dishonest reports in an obvious attempt to distribute the blame. However, a more detailed account of events appeared in the WaPo and pointed to just TheDC as the instigator.
“In comments reported by Univision, [District Attorney] Polanco said that Figueroa stated he was been contacted by four media outlets — Telemundo, Univision, CNN en Español, and the Daily Caller — that were interested in having interviews with the women. But Figueroa told police it was only ‘Carlos,’ who identified himself as working for the Daily Caller, who came to the Dominican Republic and paid him to arrange the recorded interviews, according to an interview with Polanco.”
In TheDC’s account all four media outlets were accused of encouraging false statements. But in the WaPo’s story it was only TheDC who did so, and the other three only sought to interview the women. The is evidence that The Daily Caller is scrambling desperately to extricate themselves from a web of deceit of their own making.
To be sure, the credibility of the persons connected to this affair is suspect all around. But that only affirms the careless and/or corrupt practices at TheDC. If their primary source, Figueroa, is telling the truth about receiving payments from TheDC, then they are guilty of bribing a source to lie. If he is lying about the payments, then they are guilty of publishing a story based on the testimony of a liar. It’s a lose-lose for Tucker Carlson whose own credibility is not much better than the cretins he hangs around with.