Daily Caller Employees Embarrassed By EPA Story Debacle

by Ben Dimiero, in a Media Matters cross-post

Last month, Daily Caller reporter Matthew Boyle published a story that was basically catnip for the anti-regulation crowd. Citing a court brief from the Environmental Protection Agency, Boyle wrote that the EPA was “asking for taxpayers to shoulder the burden of up to 230,000 new bureaucrats — at a cost of $21 billion — to attempt to implement” new climate change regulations. Boyle also took to Twitter to broadcast how EPA administrator “LISA JACKSON wants an ARMY OF 230k BUREAUCRATS.”

Predictably, the story got picked up by Fox News, the office of Sen. James Inhofe, and the usual climate-change-denial suspects. Unfortunately for them, Boyle’s story was 100% false. Boyle completely misread the court brief, which detailed how the EPA had avoided the scenario he described.

Boyle’s misfire was widely ridiculed, but rather than admit fault and correct the error, the Daily Caller stuck to their guns. Executive editor David Martosko compounded the damage to the publication’s credibility by issuing a snide comment to Politico and following that with a misleading editor’s note on the Caller website.

Apparently outside observers weren’t the only ones aghast at Daily Caller’s complete lack of standards. According to a report this morning by FishbowlDC’s Betsy Rothstein, “newsroom sources” at the Caller were dismayed by Martosko’s defense of Boyle’s “pointedly bogus” story and “feared their reputations would be sullied by the widespread negative attention”:

Martosko has undoubtedly been a controversial figure from the start. Newsroom sources say his profound defense of reporter Matthew Boyle and his recent EPA piece troubled reporters who believed the story was false and feared their reputations would be sullied by the widespread negative attention the ordeal received in publications such as Politico and parts of the right-wing media. They couldn’t conceive why their editor was defending a story many considered pointedly bogus.

I suppose it’s slightly reassuring that at least some people at the Caller are capable of acknowledging facts and reality — too bad their executive editor doesn’t seem to be one of them.

This piece was originally published at Media Matters for America.

2 Responses to Daily Caller Employees Embarrassed By EPA Story Debacle

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    I’ll bet 1000 people saw the Fox piece for everyone who read the retraction. Lying is often effective these days: see Fred Singer, for example.

    Smart career move by Boyle. He’ll soon be offered a job at CEI or the Heritage Foundation as a Senior Fellow. Or, since he looks to be about 16, maybe a future Senior in high school.

  2. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    There are still journalists who care about the facts. Who’d of thunk it?

    Time and time again the extreme right wing media gets caught in la la land, and they just do not care.