by Max Brantley
“In less than two months, Tucker has taken cable news by storm with his spirited interviews and consistently strong performance," said 21st Century Fox and Fox News executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, in a statement. "Viewers have overwhelmingly responded to the show and we look forward to him being a part of Fox News’ powerful primetime line-up.”
On May 25, 2010, Carlson asked [Joe] Klein via email whether he could join; Klein checked with other listserv members and responded in the negative. So people wondered: Who had leaked Journolist conversations to the Daily Caller?
No one, as it turns out. According to two knowledgeable sources, the Daily Caller impersonated an Arkansas writer to get onto Journolist. The site disguised itself as one Max Brantley, the influential Arkansas political reporter. A few years back, when the Erik Wemple Blog first got a tip about this story, we asked Klein whether he’d ever received a Journolist request from anyone doing business as “Max Brantley.” Klein passed along this email:
At the time, Klein no longer had all his records from Journolist, so he cannot say with certainty that he connected “Max Brantley” to the group. “I assume I added him,” he noted.
Contacted on the matter, Brantley replied, “I didn’t write that e-mail. I never had a Yahoo account with that e-mail address. I set up a Yahoo account once years ago, based on a variation of my name, for its news tickler, but never used it for e-mail.” Regarding Carlson, Brantley said that he’d crossed paths with him years ago when Carlson was working for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Media ethicists frown on journalists who fail to disclose their name and affiliation when seeking information.
In a brief phone conversation, Strong said of the Daily Caller’s Journolist procurement strategy, “I’ve never talked about any of that and don’t want to now either.”
Fox News and Carlson didn’t answer requests for comment for this story.