The Daily Caller Quadruples-Down on Its Wrongness

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/atoxinsocks/4254919655/">daveoratox</a>/Flickr

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Earlier this week, I published a post pointing out that the Daily Caller‘s claim that the EPA plans to hire 230,000 employees to enforce new climate regulations is false. Since then the Daily Caller has quadrupled-down on the claim, despite a number of other outlets—first Politico, then Greg Sargent’s Washington Post blog—also pointing out that it was flat-out wrong. Now the Caller has published an editor’s note that, rather than reasserting the claim, attempts to reframe their entire argument.

In the note, David Martosko, the Daily Caller‘s executive editor, claims that the EPA “might hire as many as 230,000.” This is a different argument than the Caller was making earlier this week, which was that the EPA actually planned to do this. (It’s also different from the argument the Caller made to Politico, which is that its claim was true simply because massive bureaucratic overreach is what EPA is wont to do.) But the argument still misclassifies the entire context of the figure, which is that it came from a legal brief in which EPA was defending an attempt to avoid taking that action.

Despite what Martosko claims, Greg Sargent didn’t vindicate the Daily Caller‘s story—he merely offered the publication another opportunity to once again defend its (false) claim. The Washington Examiner story, which Martosko also suggests vindicates the original piece, actually points out that the Caller was wrong in its claim that the EPA is asking taxpayers to shoulder the cost of the regulations, and reiterates the fact that this is exactly what the agency is trying to avoid.

As a side note, dismissing Mother Jones as a “fringe” publication doesn’t make the Daily Caller‘s original story any less false. See David Corn’s piece for more on that front.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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