Tucker Carlson's E-mail Fun

Blog ››› ››› JOE STRUPP

Daily Caller's Tucker Carlson, whose recent fake e-mail claiming to be Keith Olbermann drew complaints and criticism, seems to like having fun with e-mails.

Carlson, a former CNN and MSNBC commentator who currently appears on Fox News, thought it would be fun to pretend to be Olbermann in response to a Philadelphia Daily News writer's request for comment.

As has been reported heavily, Daily News scribe Stu Bykofsky incorrectly thought he was reaching out to Olbermann when he e-mailed keith@keitholbermann.com to seek comment on Olbermann's recent suspension.

In reality, his request for comment went to Carlson, who had set up the phony e-mail last summer as some sort of joke.

After talking to some news ethics experts and journalism veterans about the stunt -- collecting their criticisms -- I sought comment from Carlson via e-mail. Sending him the following:

From: Joe Strupp
Date: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 9:49 AM
Subject: seeking comment for news story
To: Tucker Carlson

Sir, hope you are well.

I appreciate all of your past communication and response when I previously contacted you while at E&P.

As you might expect, Media Matter is interested in the e-mails you sent to a Philadelphia Daily News reporter under Keith Olbermann's name

Wanted to ask if you think this is a serious journalistic breach?

Are you surprised at the criticism?

Did you do anything wrong?

Why or why not?

What did you seek to gain from this stunt?

And any other comments.

I can also be reached at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

Thanks, Joe Strupp

Instead of responding to my questions, Carlson sent me a copy of an e-mail I had sent him back in January when I was job-hunting before coming to Media Matters. After being laid off from Editor & Publisher, I sought employment from many news outlets, including some that Media Matters now criticizes such as Fox News.

Carlson's response today with the January e-mail I sent him is below:

From: Tucker Carlson
Date: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 9:52 AM
Subject: Re: seeking comment for news story
To: Joe Strupp

Mr. Carlson,

Hello, I want to work for you.

For the past 21 years, I have been a reporter, with the most recent 11 years at Editor & Publisher magazine. During my time there, I have covered all aspects of journalism-related news, issues and industry concerns, as well as political impact from Washington to Iraq.

With the recent announcement of Editor & Publisher refocusing, I am looking for other opportunities. Daily Caller seems perfect. I have been a big fan of your approach and work and have been used as a media commentator on several Web sites and news outlets, including Fox News Channel and The O'Reilly Factor.

I believe my experience in news and media coverage, including investigative efforts, makes me a prime candidate for your site.

In addition, I have been blogging for several years at E&P's blog, www.eandppub.com, as well as Twitter and Facebook.

Since leaving E&P, I have also joined my former editor, Greg Mitchell, at www.eandpinexile.blogspot.com and on my own site, www.struppblog.com.

During my time at E&P, I built up relationships with many sources in the industry, from the White House Correspondents Association to the American Society of News Editors to a list of Washington bureau chiefs From XXX to XXX.

I would love to work with your site and help it dig up needed news as well as draw readers with interesting comment, daily scoops and researched insight.

I have attached a resume and a list of references. Please review these items and let me know if you need anything else.

Thanks, Joe Strupp

Pretty good pitch letter, if I do say so myself. And I believe it shows I am unbiased, willing to report news for any news outlet despite its political leanings.

Still, the fact that he would bring up my past job search in this way raises questions of whether he saw that as some kind of leverage to stop me from doing a story, hinting he might reveal that I once looked to him for work.

When I e-mailed back to Carlson today asking if his resending of my old e-mail to him was his response to my questions, he wrote me:

From: Tucker Carlson
Date: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 10:20 AM
Subject: Re: seeking comment for news story
To: Joe Strupp

Lighten up, Joe.

That's my answer. Please quote me. Thanks.

As you wish.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.