Attorney General Eric Holder apparently struck a nerve yesterday when he accurately called out the Daily Caller for effectively creating a movement of congressional Republicans seeking his resignation. Both editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson and reporter Matthew Boyle have since done damage control with extremely friendly media outlets, claiming that they are acting legitimately and attacking Holder for his criticism.
Boyle has led the website's reporters in a month-long effort to find Republicans willing to take a free shot at the Obama administration by calling for Holder's resignation, with the stated rationale being the ATF's failed Operation Fast and Furious. The campaign has led to nearly two dozen articles featuring calls for Holder's resignation from 51 low-level members of Congress, Republican presidential candidates, Sarah Palin, and congressional challengers, among others.
Carlson stopped by Fox & Friends' curvy couch this morning, accusing Holder of being "Nixonian" and saying that "we are not in control of the legislative branch." When co-host Gretchen Carlson asked the Daily Caller editor whether he thought Holder "had that reaction to your reporter because it hasn't been covered as much by the mainstream media," he noted that "our reporter Matt Boyle has written a number of stories on this," but never acknowledged the character of that reporting.
Boyle sounded similar notes in an appearance on NRA Radio (the NRA has called for Holder's resignation). He told host Cam Edwards: "To assume that we're 'behind' the calls for his resignation, I don't know how he can think that. All I'm doing is calling up congressmen and senators and asking them, and then whatever their answer is I print it."
He went on to say that "if he thinks that I have the ability to control what they say and what they don't say, that's unbelievable," adding, "I'd love to know what other conspiracy theories the attorney general can come up with about the media."
Boyle, demonstrating his trademark inability to stick to facts, went on to falsely accuse Holder of previously attacking a Daily Caller article:
BOYLE: By the way, it's not the first time Holder's attacked a story that ran in the Daily Caller on Fast and Furious. I mean, he did -- in that October 7 letter he sent to Congress, the first time he ever talked about Fast and Furious unsolicited, he sent a -- he referenced a story where Congressman Paul Gosar told me that administration officials responsible for Fast and Furious are equivalent to accessories to murder. And this is the second time now that Holder has attacked the Daily Caller for our reporting on Fast and Furious. I kind of wear it as a badge of honor, to tell you the truth.
Here's the passage from Holder's letter to which Boyle is referring. See if you can find the criticism of the Daily Caller.
I have watched for some months now as the facts surrounding Operation Fast and Furious have been developed on the public record. I have not spoken at length on this subject out of deference to the review being conducted, at my request, by our Department's Inspector General. However, in the past few days, the public discourse concerning these issues has become so base and so harmful to interests that I hope we all share that I must now address these issues notwithstanding the Inspector General's ongoing review.
For example, I simply cannot sit idly by as a Majority Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform suggests, as happened this week, that law enforcement and government employees who devote their lives to protecting our citizens be considered "accessories to murder." Such irresponsible and inflammatory rhetoric must be repudiated in the strongest possible terms. Those who serve in the ranks of law enforcement are our Nation's heroes and deserve our Nation's thanks, not the disrespect that is being heaped on them by those who seek political advantage. I trust you feel similarly and I call on you to denounce these statements.
Holder didn't criticize the Daily Caller; he didn't even mention it. He called out Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) for his comments -- which were reported by that publication -- but at no point turned his attention to the publication itself. Boyle's characterization of this being an example of Holder having "attacked the Daily Caller for our reporting on Fast and Furious" is flatly false.