The Daily Caller

Last updated

The Daily Caller
The Daily Caller Logo.svg
Type of site
News, opinion
Available inEnglish
FoundedJanuary 11, 2010 (2010-01-11)
OwnerThe Daily Caller, Inc.
Founder(s) Tucker Carlson
Neil Patel
Key people Tucker Carlson (Founder)
Neil Patel (Publisher)
Brian Danza (COO)
Geoff Ingersoll (Editor-in-Chief)
J. Arthur Bloom (Deputy Editor) [1]
Alexa rankDecrease Positive.svg 743 (December 26, 2018) [2]
Advertising Native
RegistrationOptional, required to comment
LaunchedJanuary 11, 2010;9 years ago (2010-01-11)
Current statusOnline

The Daily Caller is a conservative American news and opinion website based in Washington, D.C. It was founded by political pundit Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel in 2010.

Conservatism in the United States Political ideologies

American conservatism is a broad system of political beliefs in the United States that is characterized by respect for American traditions, republicanism, support for Judeo-Christian values, moral universalism, business, anti-communism, individualism, advocacy of American exceptionalism, and a defense of Western culture from the perceived threats posed by socialism, authoritarianism, and moral relativism. Liberty is a core value, as is with all major American parties. American conservatives consider individual liberty—within the bounds of American values—as the fundamental trait of democracy; this perspective contrasts with that of modern American liberals, who generally place a greater value on equality and social justice and emphasize the need for state intervention to achieve these goals. American conservatives believe in limiting government in size and scope, and in a balance between national government and states' rights. Apart from some libertarians, they tend to favor strong action in areas they believe to be within government's legitimate jurisdiction, particularly national defense and law enforcement. Social conservatives oppose abortion and favor restricting LGBT rights, while privileging traditional marriage and allowing voluntary school prayer.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

Tucker Carlson American political commentator

Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson is an American conservative political commentator who has hosted the nightly political talk show Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News since 2016. Carlson became a print journalist in the 1990s, writing for the magazine The Weekly Standard and others. He was a commentator on CNN from 2000 to 2005, also serving as co-host of Crossfire. Carlson then hosted the nightly program Tucker on MSNBC from 2005 to 2008. He has been a political analyst for Fox News since 2009. In 2010, Carlson co-founded and served as the initial editor-in-chief of the conservative news and opinion website The Daily Caller.



The Daily Caller was founded by Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel. After raising $3 million in funding from businessman Foster Friess, the website was launched on January 11, 2010. The organization started with a reporting staff of 21 in its Washington office. It was launched as an alternative to the liberal The Huffington Post , similarly featuring sections in broad range of subjects beyond politics.

Neil Patel is an American political advisor and publisher. He is the co-founder of The Daily Caller.

Foster Friess American businessman

Foster Stephen Friess is an American businessman and supporter of conservative and evangelical Christian causes. He was a Republican candidate in the 2018 Wyoming gubernatorial election who lost in the primary to State Treasurer Mark Gordon.

Modern liberalism in the United States is the dominant version of liberalism in the United States. It combines ideas of civil liberty and equality with support for social justice and a mixed economy. According to Ian Adams, all American parties are "liberal and always have been. Essentially, they espouse classical liberalism—that is, a form of democratized Whig constitutionalism, plus the free market. The point of difference comes with the influence of social liberalism". Economically, modern American liberalism opposes cuts to the social safety net and supports a role for government in reducing inequality, providing education, ensuring access to healthcare, regulating economic activity and protecting the natural environment. This form of liberalism took shape in the 20th century United States as the franchise and other civil rights were extended to a larger class of citizens. Major examples include Theodore Roosevelt's New Nationalism, Woodrow Wilson's New Freedom, Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, Harry S. Truman's Fair Deal, John F. Kennedy's New Frontier and Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society.

By late 2012, The New York Times reported that the site had quadrupled its page view and total audience and had become profitable without ever buying an advertisement for itself. [3]

<i>The New York Times</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper based in New York City

The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.

By 2013, the site was receiving over 35 million views a month according to Quantcast, surpassing rival sites such as The Washington Times , Politico , and Forbes . [4] The site has an active community, with over 200,000 comments made each month.

<i>The Washington Times</i> American conservative broadsheet newspaper published in Washington, D.C.

The Washington Times is an American daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C., that covers general interest topics with a particular emphasis on national politics. Its broadsheet daily edition is distributed throughout the District of Columbia and in parts of Maryland and Virginia. A weekly tabloid edition aimed at a national audience is also published.

Politico, known originally as The Politico, is an American political journalism company based in Arlington County, Virginia, that covers politics and policy in the United States and internationally. It distributes content through its website, television, printed newspapers, radio, and podcasts. Its coverage in Washington, D.C., includes the U.S. Congress, lobbying, the media and the presidency.

<i>Forbes</i> American business magazine

Forbes is an American business magazine. Published bi-weekly, it features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. Forbes also reports on related subjects such as technology, communications, science, politics, and law. Its headquarters is located in Jersey City, New Jersey. Primary competitors in the national business magazine category include Fortune and Bloomberg Businessweek. The magazine is well known for its lists and rankings, including of the richest Americans, of the world's top companies, and The World's Billionaires. The motto of Forbes magazine is "The Capitalist Tool". Its chair and editor-in-chief is Steve Forbes, and its CEO is Mike Federle. In 2014, it was sold to a Hong Kong-based investment group, Integrated Whale Media Investments.

Notable figures have commented on The Daily Caller. Karl Rove has said that "The Daily Caller is necessary reading for anyone who wants to be up to speed with what's going on with politics in America." Larry Kudlow referred to the site as "one of [his] faves." [4]

Karl Rove American political consultant and policy advisor

Karl Christian Rove is an American Republican political consultant and policy advisor. He was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff during the George W. Bush administration until his resignation on August 31, 2007. He has also headed the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Public Liaison, and the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives. Since leaving the White House, Rove has worked as a political analyst and contributor for Fox News, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal.

Staff and contributors

Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson Tucker Carlson by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson

The Daily Caller is in the White House rotating press pool and has full-time reporters on Capitol Hill. [5]

A press pool is a group of news gathering organizations that combine their resources in the collection of news. A pool feed is then distributed to members of the broadcast pool who are free to edit it or use it as they see necessary. In the case of print reporters, a written pool report is distributed to all members. A pool spray is a brief photo opportunity, for instance, at the White House following a meeting.

Contributors to The Daily Caller include economist Larry Kudlow, Congressman Mark Sanford, sculptor Robert Mihaly, diplomat Alan Keyes and Ann Coulter. [6] [7] [8] [9] .

The Daily Caller also hosts The Mirror, a blog written by former FishbowlDC editor and The Hill columnist Betsy Rothstein. The Mirror covers media in Washington D.C., news related to journalism organizations, as well as political and media related gossip. The tagline is, "Reflections of a self-obsessed city." [10] [11]

Political stance

When it first launched in January 2010, Mercedes Bunz, writing for The Guardian , said The Daily Caller was "setting itself up to be the conservative answer to The Huffington Post ". According to Bunz, a year before the website launched, Carlson promoted it as "a new political website leaning more to the right than Politico and TalkingPointsMemo ". However, at launch, he wrote a letter to readers that said it was not going to be a right-wing site. [12]

During a January 2010 interview with Politico, Carlson said The Daily Caller was not going to be tied to his personal political ideologies and that he wanted it to be "breaking stories of importance". [13] In a Washington Post article about The Caller's launch, Howard Kurtz wrote, "[Carlson's] partner is Neil Patel, a former Dick Cheney aide. His opinion editor is Moira Bagley, who spent 2008 as the Republican National Committee's press secretary. And his $3 million in funding comes from Wyoming financier Foster Friess, a big-time GOP donor. But Carlson insists this won't be a right-wing site". Kurtz quoted Carlson as saying, "We're not enforcing any kind of ideological orthodoxy on anyone". [14] In an interview with The New York Times , Carlson said that the vast majority of traditional reporting comes from a liberal point of view and called The Daily Caller's reporting "the balance against the rest of the conventional press". [3]

In a 2012 Washingtonian article, Tom Bartlett said Carlson and Patel developed The Daily Caller as "a conservative news site in the mold of the liberal Huffington Post but with more firearms coverage and fewer nipple-slip slide shows". [15]


Climate change denial

The Daily Caller has published a number of articles that dispute the scientific consensus on climate change. [16] In 2017, The Daily Caller published a story falsely claiming that a "peer-reviewed study" by "two scientists and a veteran statistician" found that recent years have not been the warmest ever. [17] [18] The alleged "study" was a PDF file on a WordPress blog, and was neither peer-reviewed nor published in a scientific journal. [17] Also in 2017, The Daily Caller uncritically published a bogus Daily Mail story which claimed that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) manipulated data to make climate change appear worse; at the same time, legitimate news outlets debunked the Daily Mail story. [19] [20] [21] Also in 2017, The Daily Caller published a story claiming that a study found no evidence of accelerating temperatures over a 23-year period, which climate scientists described as a misleading story. [16] In 2016, The Daily Caller published a story claiming that climate scientist Michael Mann (director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University) had asserted that data was unnecessary to measure climate change; Mann described the story as "egregiously false". [22] In 2015, The Daily Caller wrote that NOAA "fiddle[d]" with data when the agency published a report concluding that there was no global warming hiatus. [23] [24]

Misleading video about NPR

In 2011, The Daily Caller was the first news outlet to disseminate a video by conservative provocateur James O'Keefe which purportedly showed an NPR fundraiser deriding Republicans. The video was later proven to have been misleadingly edited. [25]

False prostitution allegations

In March 2013 The Daily Caller posted interviews with two women claiming that New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez had paid them for sex while he was a guest of a campaign donor. [26] The allegation came five days before the 2012 New Jersey senate election. News organizations such as ABC News, which had also interviewed the women, The New York Times , and the New York Post declined to publish the allegations, viewing them as unsubstantiated and lacking credibility. [27] [28] [29] Subsequently, one of the women who accused Menendez stated that she had been paid to falsely implicate the senator and had never met him. [27] [30] Menendez's office described the allegations as "manufactured" by a right-wing blog as a politically motivated smear. [31]

A few weeks later, police in the Dominican Republic announced that three women had claimed they were paid $300–425 each to lie about having had sex with Menendez. [32] Dominican law enforcement also alleged that the women had been paid to lie about Menendez by an individual claiming to work for The Daily Caller. The Daily Caller denied this allegation, stating: "At no point did any money change hands between The Daily Caller and any sources or individuals connected with this investigation". [33] Describing what it saw as the unraveling of The Daily Caller' "scoop", the Poynter Institute wrote: "The Daily Caller stands by its reports, though apparently doesn't feel the need to prove its allegations right". [34]

Fox News controversy

In March 2015 The Daily Caller columnist Mickey Kaus quit after editor Tucker Carlson refused to run a column critical of Fox News coverage of the immigration policy debate. [35] Carlson, who also works for Fox, reportedly did not want The Daily Caller publishing criticism of a firm that employed him. [36] Journalist Neil Munro quit two weeks later and Carlson said he was not going to go to work for Breitbart. However, he started writing for Breitbart four months later and has remained there, as of November 2018. [37]

2016 presidential election

According to a study by Harvard University's Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, The Daily Caller was among the most popular sites on the right during the 2016 presidential election. The study also found that The Daily Caller provided "amplification and legitimation" for "the most extreme conspiracy sites", such as Truthfeed, Infowars, Gateway Pundit and Conservative Treehouse during the 2016 presidential election. [38] [39] [40] The Daily Caller also "employed anti-immigrant narratives that echoed sentiments from the alt-right and white nationalists but without the explicitly racist and pro-segregation language." [39]

The Daily Caller played a significant role in creating and disseminating stories that had little purchase outside the right-wing media ecosystem but that stoked the belief among core Trump followers that what Clinton did was not merely questionable but criminal and treasonous. In a campaign that expressed deep anti-Muslim sentiment, a repeated theme was that Hillary Clinton was seriously in hock to Muslim nations. [39] In one of its most frequently shared stories, The Daily Caller falsely asserted that Morocco's King Mohammed VI flew Bill Clinton on a private jet, and that this had been omitted from the Clinton Foundation's tax disclosures. [39] The Daily Caller also made the "utterly unsubstantiated and unsourced claim" that Hillary Clinton got Environmental Protection Agency "head Lisa Jackson to try to shut down Mosaic Fertilizer, described as America's largest phosphate mining company, in exchange for a $15 million donation to the Clinton Foundation from King Mohammed VI of Morocco, ostensibly to benefit Morocco's state-owned phosphate company." [39]

Encouragement of violence against protesters

In January 2017, The Daily Caller posted a video which encouraged violence against protesters. [41] [42] [43] [44] The video in question showed a car plowing through protesters, with the headline "Here's A Reel Of Cars Plowing Through Protesters Trying To Block The Road" and set to a cover of Ludacris' "Move Bitch." [41] The video drew attention in August 2017 when a white supremacist plowed his car through a group of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. [41] After the video attracted attention, The Daily Caller deleted it from its website. [41] [44]

The Southern Poverty Law Center subsequently criticized The Daily Caller, saying that it had a "white nationalist problem". [45] SPLC also said that two other contributors to The Daily Caller had ties to white nationalist groups. [45] It later retracted its claim that Richard Pollock, a devout Jew, was a white nationalist, saying "Pollock was initially included in this story" but "there is no evidence to suggest Mr. Pollock is otherwise a white nationalist." [45]

Ties to white supremacists

In August 2018, The Atlantic reported that Scott Greer, then deputy editor of The Daily Caller, had written pieces under a pseudonym "Michael McGregor" in the white supremacist publication Radix Journal from 2014 to 2015. In articles for Radix Journal, Greer expressed white nationalist views, as well as racist anti-black and antisemitic views. While in his emails and messages, he expressed anti-Christian and antisemitic theories, as well his relationship with Richard Spencer. [46] Upon being confronted with his past white supremacist writings, Greer resigned from any affiliation with The Daily Caller. [46] In 2017, it had been revealed, Scott Greer had ties to members of the white nationalist movement, including friendships with Devin Saucier, assistant to Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, and anti-immigrant activist Marcus Epstein of VDare, who pled guilty to assaulting an African American woman two years prior to the relationship with Scott Greer. [47] Greer had later deleted parts of his Facebook page, but is seen photographed with nationalists such as Tim Dionisopoulos and Richard Spencer, Wolves of Vinland and appears wearing clothes belonging to the group Youth for Western Civilization. [47] The Daily Caller itself subsequently stated, about why he had not been fired in 2017: “We had two choices: Fire a young man because of some photos taken of him at metal shows in college, or take his word. We chose to trust him. Now, if what you allege is accurate, we know that trust was a mistake, we know he lied to us. We won't publish him, anyone in these circles, or anyone who thinks like them. People who associate with these losers have no business writing for our company.” [46]

The Daily Caller has posted articles by Jason Kessler, [48] a white supremacist who organized a rally of hundreds of white nationalists in Charlottesville. [49] [50] Before Kessler posted his article, he had spoken at white supremacist gatherings. [51] After Kessler received attention for his organizing of the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, The Daily Caller removed his articles from its website, [52] but The Daily Caller executive editor defended Kessler's articles. [53]

The website has also published pieces by Peter Brimelow, founder of the white supremacist website VDARE. [47]

Heckling of Obama

In 2012, Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro interrupted Barack Obama during one of the President's press conferences, while Obama was giving remarks. Obama said, "The next time I prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask a question." Cutting off Munro's reply, Obama said, "I didn't ask for an argument." [54] Munro's interruption of remarks by the president was widely considered a startling breach of etiquette. Editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson defended Munro's heckling, saying "As a general matter, reporters are there to ask [questions]" and that he was "proud" of Munro. [55] [56] [57] [58] [59]

Munro later said in a statement that his intention was to ask questions after the president made his remarks, but he claimed to have misjudged when the president was closing. "I timed the question believing the president was closing his remarks, because naturally I have no intention of interrupting the President of the United States. I know he rarely takes questions before walking away from the podium. When I asked the question as he finished his speech, he turned his back on the many reporters, and walked away while I and at least one other reporter asked questions." [54] [60]

Stefan Halper

The Daily Caller was the first news outlet to report on Stefan Halper, a confidential FBI source, and his interactions with Trump campaign advisors Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about campaign matters. [61] Page became the subject of surveillance warrants issued by the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court regarding his alleged contacts with Russian intelligence officials. [62] Other news outlets confirmed Halper's identity but did not report his identity because US intelligence officials warned that it would endanger him and his contacts. [63] [64] [65]

Allegation of non-profit abuse

According to Callum Borchers of The Washington Post, The Daily Caller has "a peculiar business structure that enables it to increase revenue while reducing its tax obligation." [66] The organization, a for-profit company, does this by relying on its charity arm, The Daily Caller News Foundation, to create the majority of its news content. [67]

According to Lisa Graves, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Clinton administration, the situation is “a huge rip-off for taxpayers if The Daily Caller News Foundation is receiving revenue that it doesn't pay taxes on, to produce stories that are used by the for-profit enterprise, which then makes money on the stories through ads.” [68]

Imran Awan

The Daily Caller kept conspiracy theories surrounding Imran Awan alive with aggressive coverage. [69] [70] Imran Awan was an IT worker for Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives. TheDaily Caller sought to tie Awan to a wide range of alleged criminal activity, including unauthorized access to government servers. [71] The reporter behind the coverage of Awan told Fox News that the affair was "straight out of James Bond." [71] An 18-month investigation by federal prosecutors found no evidence of wrongdoing in Awan's work in the House and no support for the conspiracy theories about Awan. In the announcement of the conclusion of the investigation, investigators rebuked a litany of right-wing conspiracy theories about Awan. [69] [70]

Chinese email hacking

In August 2018, The Daily Caller ran a story alleging that a Chinese-owned company hacked then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server and successfully obtained nearly all of her emails. The Daily Caller cited “two sources briefed on the matter.” After publishing the story, President Trump tweeted the allegations made in Daily Caller's reporting. The FBI rebutted the allegations. [72] According to The Washington Post, the claims are without evidence. [73]

Fake nude picture of Ocasio-Cortez

In January 2019, The Daily Caller published a story with the misleading headline "Here's The Photo Some Described As A Nude Selfie Of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez." The photo was not of Ocasio-Cortez. Ocasio-Cortez condemned The Daily Caller's action as "completely disgusting behavior." [74] The Daily Caller apologized for the headline, and changed it. [75] The Daily Caller said that the content of the story was not unlike stories published by Vice and Huffington Post. [76] Vice had published an article debunking that the photo belonged to Ocasio-Cortez. [77]

Article on Media Matters and David Brock

In February 2012, The Daily Caller published an "investigative series" of articles co-authored by Carlson, purporting to be an insiders' exposé of Media Matters for America (MMfA), a liberal watchdog group that monitors and scrutinizes conservative media outlets, and its founder David Brock. [78] Citing "current and former" MMfA employees, "friends" of Brock's and a "prominent liberal" — none of whom are named — the article characterized MMfA as having "an atmosphere of tension and paranoia" and portraying Brock as "erratic, unstable and disturbing," who "struggles with mental illness," in fear of "right-wing assassins," a regular cocaine user and would "close [local bars] and party till six in the morning." Reuters media critic and libertarian Jack Shafer, while noting "I've never thought much of Media Matters' style of watchdogging or Brock's journalism," nevertheless sharply criticized the Daily Caller piece as "anonymously sourced crap," adding "Daily Caller is attacking Media Matters with bad journalism and lame propaganda." [79]


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