The strange scoop at Daily Caller

posted at 10:02 am on May 24, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Call it … vaguely Shakespearean.  The Daily Caller’s Jonathan Strong reports today on a string of direct messages on Twitter from the account of Sarah Palin spokesperson Rebecca Mansour that is filled with the unguarded opinions of … Rebecca Mansour.  There’s no denying a certain voyeuristic intrigue of looking in someone else’s mailbox, but in the end, it’s hardly a journalistic scoop to find out that one of the top aides to one potential candidate doesn’t think much of the other candidates or those who criticize her boss.  The piece is almost literally filled with sound and fury that signifies … nothing at all:

A series of messages forwarded to The Daily Caller show a top aide to former Alaska Gov. and possible presidential candidate Sarah Palin mocking top political figures and even her boss’s own daughter, Bristol Palin.

Red State Editor-in-Chief and CNN contributor Erick Erickson is “a total douchebag,” wrote Palin speechwriter and domestic policy adviser Rebecca Mansour in a May 22, 2010, message. “Greasy dumb ass with a talent for self-promotion. He threw himself in at the Gov’s SC rally. Self-promotion.” (Erickson said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley invited him to the rally).

Mitt Romney supporters are “wacky as hell,” Mansour wrote, but usually Romney’s presence online is just an “AstroTurf brigade.”

I guess this would be a scoop if Rebecca was running for the presidency.  Since she’s not, it’s more of an oversold “meh.”  Even the messages about Bristol Palin are less than advertised.  Mansour was responding at the time to the announcement that Bristol and Levi Johnston had decided to get married, an announcement that certainly caused heads to snap in more places than Palin Central.

Also, these messages were not intended for public consumption.  Whoever turned over these messages to Strong had Mansour’s trust, at least at one time.  I suspect that Mansour has learned a lesson about supposedly private communications in the political world, but that’s about the biggest news scoop in this story.  Otherwise, the messages themselves are little more than gossipy, transient thoughts.

I asked Jonathan Strong, whose work I normally like, to comment on the story, and he responded:

The messages reveal information about Palin’s political plans and interaction with other campaigns, and also show the judgement of one of her top aides, and by extension, Palin herself. They show a Palin aide leaking damaging information about an enemy in the media. They’re also of interest to readers, who can judge for themselves how well Palin is being served by her staff.

Well, having been around a few election cycles, I can attest that every campaign likes to push negative information about their opponents.  I’ve probably received a couple of those types of messages already this morning, and I’m sure I’ll get more by the end of the day, too.  “Leaking damaging information” is what they do.  Being shocked by that, or even considering it news, is approaching Captain Louis Renault territory.

Judgment, of course, is a different matter.  Clearly Mansour chose to trust the wrong person in this instance.  And if Rebecca was running for President or Congress, that might be a story.  This is only pertinent to whomever might consider Mansour for her next position.

Note: I want to add that I’ve been in contact with Rebecca for at least a couple of years and she has always handled communications professionally with me, for whatever that’s worth.

Update: Ben Smith at Politico reports that someone has been attempting to peddle these messages for a few months, although in the end, it appears that no money changed hands.


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Silence to ones who disagree…
petunia on May 24, 2011 at 4:40 PM

How many dozen comments have you made in the Palin posts in the last 24 hours, Petunia?

“Silence.”

Ha.

cs89 on May 24, 2011 at 6:04 PM

steebo77 on May 24, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Most of the candidates at this point “look” better than Palin because they have not had to go through the meat grinder that is the MSM yet. Comparing Palin and Mitt at this point is meaningless. One went through the meat grinder and came up with a deicated base of support and pone has not. Look no further than Newt and his numbers. Before he entered the POTUs his numbers next to Palin’s were pretty good. Now one week into it his numbers are falling off the clift because of him going through the meat grinder. Mitt will face the same as will TPaw and all the others.

so I don’t put much faith in the polls. but they do tend to point out major trends. And one major trend they pointed out wa sPalin falling in the polls from Tuscon until her Madison speech then a rebound of around 7pts since then. We know her bas eof support. The only thing we don’t kown is her ceiling of support. It has never been tested. I would think it would be around 70% after being elected before election I would think it would be 51-52%

A close election. Mitt we do know his ceiling of support. Which is the present numbers. He has gotten nothing but good press up until about a month ago. So he has gone as far as he can. Now with increasing negative press his negative will spike and his numbers will decrease. Mitt and Palin are on two different paths at two different times in their politcal careers. Mitt has peaked and Palin has bottomed.

unseen on May 24, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Do you really put any stock in what Bailey has to say against Palin, knowing that he previously approached Rebecca Mansour about writing a pro-Palin book?

steebo77 on May 24, 2011 at 4:59 PM

I do put stock in my similar experience. I don’t care who the guy is, he knows how Palinistas are taught to act. Either directly or by example. I have experienced what he discribes and only from Palin supporters. There is no moral relativism, only Palin people act like this.

I used to think it was just the supporters, but I don’t think so anymore.

That is all that changed… he describes exactly the behavior, I have witnessed myself.

petunia on May 24, 2011 at 6:07 PM

The most interesting part of the article……

Part of her online work, apparently, includes improving Palin’s morale by urging activists to say nice things about the former governor online.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/05/24/what-a-top-aide-to-sarah-palin-really-thinks-about-mitt-romney-bristol-palin-erick-erickson-and-more/#ixzz1NJIuSuNl

Can you say Astroturf

Dreadnought on May 24, 2011 at 6:11 PM

perhaps a flag of israel pin on a lapel, but a Star of David, which is a Jewish symbol, irrespective of state, is over the top which just goes to show how dull witted she is.
keep the change on May 24, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Are you SURE its not the “Blue Star Mothers” Star?

PALIN wearing ISRAELI Flag Lapel!???
Discussion about PALIN wearing ISRAELI Flag Lapel!??? at the GodlikeProductions Conspiracy … Blue Star Flag, Son Deploying Blue Star Mom

Sarah Palin: A Closet Zionist? – The Tamar Yonah Show – Blogs …
Sarah Palin was touted to be the Republican vice-presidential … Someone suggested that it may be a Blue Star Mothers of America pin, …
israelnationalnews

Excuse Me, But Was Sarah Palin Wearing an Israel Flag Pin? – Digg
Let me repeat: Sarah Palin — the Republican nominee for the Vice … The lapel pin is a “blue star” flag. She is a “blue star mother” …
digg.com/

Are you SURE its the Star of David and not the “Blue Star Mothers” Star?

How many points are on that star?

Does the number of points have anything to do with ID’ing this flag?

How come all we get here at HA are “D” rated trolls?

DSchoen on May 24, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Can you say Astroturf

Dreadnought on May 24, 2011 at 6:11 PM

Whenever I pronounce Astroturf it comes out as Dreadnought.

sharrukin on May 24, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Whenever I pronounce Astroturf it comes out as Dreadnought.

sharrukin on May 24, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Interesting. For whom?

Dreadnought on May 24, 2011 at 6:17 PM

How come all we get here at HA are “D” rated trolls?

DSchoen on May 24, 2011 at 6:13 PM

I have been thinking the same thing. We need another open registration or something. The class of troll around here has been on the slide for a while.

Kataklysmic on May 24, 2011 at 6:17 PM

I have witnessed myself.

petunia on May 24, 2011 at 6:07 PM

What we have witnessed is a bevy of comments that are contradictory, knowingly inaccurate and/or contrived. Goalposts that are moved from day to day, thread to thread and even from comment to comment.

Gohawgs on May 24, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Silence to ones who disagree…
petunia on May 24, 2011 at 4:40 PM

How many dozen comments have you made in the Palin posts in the last 24 hours, Petunia?

“Silence.”

Ha.

cs89 on May 24, 2011 at 6:04 PM

Nice pickup, sir. If that’s silence…..

Too bad you won’t take my advice, Petunia.

kim roy on May 24, 2011 at 6:20 PM

How come all we get here at HA are “D” rated trolls?

DSchoen on May 24, 2011 at 6:13 PM
I have been thinking the same thing. We need another open registration or something. The class of troll around here has been on the slide for a while.

Kataklysmic on May 24, 2011 at 6:17 PM

It’s not that we got D rated trolls it’s that we got A rated commentors. they make the trolls look D rated.

unseen on May 24, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Oh BTW Palin is ahead in the latest TX poll. Tx has a lot of delegates to the convention…Just saying…

unseen on May 24, 2011 at 6:25 PM

It’s not that we got D rated trolls it’s that we got A rated commentors. they make the trolls look D rated.

unseen on May 24, 2011 at 6:24 PM

I’m still highly amused that Proud Rino hasn’t shown his face around here since AP of all people took him to the woodshed a month or so ago.

Kataklysmic on May 24, 2011 at 6:27 PM

You know i would like to know what the beef Carlson has with Gov Palin. he called a Milf, has attacked her sinc eday one and has allowed hit piece afte rhit piece to infect his website. Does carlson have a woman issue? Or is is a Dc thing?

whatever it is it is getting old. None of these emails say much of anything.

unseen on May 24, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Kataklysmic on May 24, 2011 at 6:27 PM

oh missed that one. what was it about?

unseen on May 24, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Poll Confirms Palin Top GOP Pick-Leads All In Texas
University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll of 800 registered voters in Texas has Sarah Palin the leader. Palin out polls Romney by 5% and,perhaps surprisingly two Texans Ron Paul 12% to 10% and the media’s latest speculation-Texas Governor Rick Perry who only scores 4%.

This poll was taken just before the cascade out of contention of Palin’s possible rivals Huckabee,Trump and Daniels and before Gingrich apparently self destructed.

If the Gallup poll which reallocated preferences subsequent to these changes has its findings, which put Palin tied with Romney within the margin of error for the lead then her lead in Texas should be substantial.

Once again the media gets it wrong by pointing out Palin’s supposed “unpopularity’ in nationwide polls. What matters for the present is her standing with the only people who will choose the republican candidate-GOP voters.

These voters have Palin’s favorables at 72% and have her tied with Romney for the lead-those are the only facts worth noting as is Pawlenty’s 4% and Huntsman’s 1% support

.

http://recovering-liberal.blogspot.com/

unseen on May 24, 2011 at 6:30 PM

unseen on May 24, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Bow ties aren’t the only thing Tucker has in common with Will…

Gohawgs on May 24, 2011 at 6:31 PM

oh BTW Palin needs only 8,100 more friends to hit 3.0million an army of davids…

unseen on May 24, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Bow ties aren’t the only thing Tucker has in common with Will…

Gohawgs on May 24, 2011 at 6:31 PM

i think how 2008 made many in the dem party confront their racism, 2012 will make many in the GOP confront their sexism.

unseen on May 24, 2011 at 6:33 PM

oh BTW Palin needs only 8,100 more friends to hit 3.0million an army of davids…

unseen on May 24, 2011 at 6:32 PM

If I recall correctly, when I checked yesterday she only had about 2,987,000 friends and today she’s already at 2,992,000. Is it possible she gained more than 5,000 in a single day?

steebo77 on May 24, 2011 at 6:40 PM

unseen on May 24, 2011 at 6:33 PM

I think it was just the opposite in ’08. The Left embraced their racism. The Left routinely discriminates based on race/color/creed/national origin/gender. I do agree that there are too many on the right that still focus on the color of one’s skin and/or a person’s gender rather than the content of their character. And, we’re seeing that play out since ’08…

Gohawgs on May 24, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Palin 48.5%, Obama 48% in Ohio (Palin 51-49% W/ Assumptions)

Public Policy Polling’s magic is back to work again. A new Ohio poll, featuring an important swing state that Obama narrowly won in 2008, is up this week. Like most other PPP polls, Democrats are the overwhelming respondents in this poll. How bad? Lets take a look: The PPP poll had a respondent makeup of 45% Democrat, 35% Republican, 20 Independent, giving the Democrats a +10 Net Advantage over Republicans. In 2010, the Ohio turnout was 36% Republican, 36% Democrat, 28% Independent. So, no difference. The 45% Democrat sample even overdoes Democrat heavy 2008 by 6 points, where still only 39% of the Ohio electorate were Democrats. Its a near impossibility that 45% of the 2010 voting electorate will be Democrats in Ohio if it wasn’t even that close in 2009, as this poll shows.

What does PPP President Dean Debnam say about these results? “These Ohio numbers epitomize Barack Obama’s status right now- he’s not terribly popular but the Republican field is even more unpopular and because of that he’d be in a solid shape for reelection if we had to vote today. If a GOP candidate really captures the attention of the voters Obama will be in trouble but that is far from inevitable.” Ok, sure, if 45% of the electorate is Democrats….

PPP Reports a 10 Point Victory for Obama against Palin if the election were held today. Gosh, I wonder if a 10 point victory has anything to do with a 10 point artificial inflation of Democrats? Doing the work no media analysts will do, we re-run the numbers here and let you decide what is most accurate.

PPP Data: Obama 50%, Palin 40% (Unweighted poll, uses Dem sample 10 point higher than 2010 total and 6 points higher than 2008 total.)

Poll Insider Base Analysis: Obama 46%, Palin 43.5% – Here we see a statistical dead heat. We rework the the PPP numbers showing the makeup of the 2010 electorate of 36% Democrats, 36% Republicans, and 28% Independents. It is safe to assume that the 2012 electorate will be much closer to the 2010 one than to the 2008 one now that Obama has a (fairly unpopular) record in the state. Sarah Palin actually tops Obama slightly in Independents by 1% and even gets 1% more Democrats than Obama gets Republicans.

Poll Insider Analysis Level 2: Palin 48.5%, Obama 48% – This level I consider the best indicator on a statistical level as it includes all GOP and Dems and leaves out undecided Independents. Still a close race, but now Palin moves ahead. The reason Palin still trails in the first poll is that 14% of Republicans are undecided compared to just 5% of Democrats, these are allotted in similar fashion as the rest of the voting bases for each candidate. Challnger party high undecided rate is very common when testing an incumbent vs. a multitude of potential challengers, and the challengers usually trail in the undecided column. Why? In this case Republican voters often have a candidate in their minds to go up against the incumbent. Oftentimes they answer undecided when their candidate is not the one mentioned because at the time they don’t want to imagine that person as the candidate, even though they are likely to vote for them should they become the nominee. The incumbent’s party usually has low undecideds as they know who the candidate will be and there is no other horse in the race.

Poll Insider Analysis Level 3: Palin 51%, Obama 49%. Of the remaining 15% Undecided Independents, we allotted 9% to Palin and 6% to Obama, giving the break 3-2 to the challenger. We arrive at this rate knowing that Undecided Independents usually vote for the incumbents by similar (or greater) margins; Ohio Independents favored Republican Senate candidate Portman by almost 40% points over his Democrat challenger and favored now Governor Kasich by 16% over the Democrat incumbent.

4 scenarios, 3 of which show a reasonably close race, the other is PPP. I analyze, you decide. This is a good sign for Palin as she will have a much better opportunity to change minds in her favor than Obama will. If Palin’s numbers are this strong with the media coverage she has gotten, Ohio might not even be a toss-up a year from now.

Other tidbits from the poll:

Favorability among Conservatives: Palin Favorables among the “very Conservative” is at a solid 76% for a +62% favorable measure. She is +18% among “somewhat conservative” voters and falls off considerably from there with more liberal voters, not surprisingly. Gingrich meanwhile is at a softer (but surprisingly high) +32% among very conservative voters but at -9% among somewhat conservative voters. Romney knocks in +27% in the very important and active “very conservative group” which is 60% lower than Palin’s support. But he rebounds with somewhat conservative voters at +31% and does best in favorables among liberal voters.

Favorability among Republicans: Hey, remember all those media stories about how Palin is falling from GOP stardom? Well, turns out she remain the top Republican of the 3 main challengers. While Gingrich has a pitiful +9 standing among Republicans and Romney is at a pretty decent +30, Palin leads the pack among the Republican field at +36% favorability

http://pollinsider.com/2011/05/24/palin-48-5-obama-48-in-ohio-palin-51-49-w-assumptions/

hmmm so much for the she will lose in a landslide ABP meme . If Palin is polling this well in a swing state she is polling much better in the red states.

then again polls are worthless this far out but it doesn’t help to shoot the insane memes of the ABP people down. sinc ethey use polls to make their case and nothing else. live by the poll die by the poll.

unseen on May 24, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Going to bed after I eat my sirloin steak and vegetables…
Don’t wanna’ oversleep.

OmahaConservative on May 24, 2011 at 6:44 PM

If I recall correctly, when I checked yesterday she only had about 2,987,000 friends and today she’s already at 2,992,000. Is it possible she gained more than 5,000 in a single day?

steebo77 on May 24, 2011 at 6:40 PM

I think in the last 72 hours she has gained about 20,000. He rinterview on Foxnews Wed, Thurs and Sat were very very good.

unseen on May 24, 2011 at 6:45 PM

I think it was just the opposite in ’08. The Left embraced their racism. The Left routinely discriminates based on race/color/creed/national origin/gender. I do agree that there are too many on the right that still focus on the color of one’s skin and/or a person’s gender rather than the content of their character. And, we’re seeing that play out since ’08…

Gohawgs on May 24, 2011 at 6:41 PM

good points.

unseen on May 24, 2011 at 6:46 PM

I met Sarah in Omaha in 2008, shook her hand, introduced myself. hugged her and smelled her perfume up close. If she declares, I am with her 1000 percent! Those (sexy) boots are made for walkin’

OmahaConservative on May 24, 2011 at 6:54 PM

I met Sarah in Omaha in 2008, shook her hand, introduced myself. hugged her and smelled her perfume up close. If she declares, I am with her 1000 percent! Those (sexy) boots are made for walkin’

OmahaConservative on May 24, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Wow. Your comment is creepy.

terryannonline on May 24, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Wow. Your comment is creepy.

terryannonline on May 24, 2011 at 6:59 PM

As are your comments…

OmahaConservative on May 24, 2011 at 7:01 PM

Why is intrade and facebook so important in politics? Is intrade a reliable indicator?

csdeven on May 24, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Now, for the rest of the story.

Editors Note: Kelsey and Sheya were involved with this story from its inception over a year ago. Below are their accounts on what they know, how they handled it and what went down behind the scenes.

Kelsey:

So, you might have heard that the Daily Caller decided to turn itself into TMZ and published private direct twitter messages from Palin aide Rebecca Mansour. We’ve known this was coming for some time.

Rebecca knew Toki in passing before she ever went to work for Governor Palin. Toki used to blog with Joey Russo before C4P even got started. (Actually, Toki claims Russo only posted once; it was mostly Toki’s website.) Contrary to what some gutter sites are saying, Toki was not a C4P contributor. He used to comment on the website when it first got started, but hasn’t been around much for the past couple of years.

Months ago I was tipped off that Toki had posted a teaser post on his blog with some of the tweets screencapped and lines blacked out. I took it to the C4P editors who asked me to find out what the guy was up to. Toki sent me tips from time to time about the Palin-haters latest scumbaggeries, so I had contact with him. I asked him what was up.

He told me that he was out to get a “vanity post.” He said he wasn’t selling the tweets; he wanted someone to make him an offer so he could post the offer on his blog. Didn’t make much sense to me, but he took down his teaser post and we figured it was a done deal, at least for the time being. The email he sent to Politico he also forwarded to me at the time and I believe that at the time it still fell under the “vanity post” motivation umbrella. He e-mailed several sites about it. We even tested him on the money part. Sheya offered him money for the messages and he turned it down.

Months after this initial episode, the Daily Caller was brought into it. Toki claims that he did not sell the tweets; he gave them to the DC because they were one of the less scummy sites. At least that’s what he said. His reason for finally just giving them away was probably because of Bristol’s latest reality show. If you read his site you’ll notice that he has a major problem with Bristol being in the spotlight. It’s become somewhat of an obsession and his motivation in releasing those tweets was to embarrass Bristol. He even told me that whatever would happen to Rebecca was just collateral damage.

Days passed and the DC didn’t publish the piece. We started to think they were going to cling to a shred of credibility by not acting like an immature gossip site. Guess not.

Jonathan Strong claims he published the piece because people want to know how Governor Palin works. Excuse me, these direct messages were not from Sarah Palin. They were the opinions of one of Palin’s aides trying to calm down someone who was freaking out because Bristol and Levi got back together. They were Rebecca’s opinions, it was a long time ago and a lot has happened since.

Rebecca approached the Governor before this story was published and told her everything. From the information we have, Governor Palin was understanding and forgiving. Obviously, the Governor herself knows what it’s like to be betrayed; for private communications to be published just so someone can make a quick buck or get some attention. In RAM’s case it was a lesson learned.

Sheya:

While I don’t condone lying, I do know why Rebecca’s initial instinct was to deny it. Let’s face it, we all send private emails and DM’s to friends we trust that we would not say publicly. Toki was a friend of hers; he was around C4P from the start and she built up a relationship with him. Toki was a Palin supporter, and we think he still is. He is just obsessed with the Palin kids. Rebecca tried to calm him down and by doing so the conversation went a little long. She trusted him the same way we trust our acquaintances; the only difference is that our friends don’t leak it to some gossip website, Rebecca’s did. Rebecca did nothing wrong having the DM chat. What she did wrong was denying it, but even that is understandable when out of the blue you receive a phone call from a reporter asking you questions about a private conversation you had with a friend that could ultimately cost you your job, especially when you have not seen those tweets for over a year.

Also, when you send someone a direct twitter message, you don’t get an email of the message you sent and the messages were long gone from the twitter account itself. This all happened a long time ago, so Rebecca couldn’t say with any degree of certainty what was fake and what wasn’t. We know this because Rebecca emailed us and asked us if we had copies because she didn’t remember. When Rebecca had the chance to review it she corrected her statement to the Daily Caller.

I have seen all the tweets, even those not published, I am also in possession of the tweets Toki sent to Rebecca. Many of the now published tweets are taken way out of context. We are currently considering publishing them, or maybe the gossip site Daily Caller will offer me some gold coins and I’ll consider handing them over (Sorry, just lunch wont work).

As for the journalistc ethics by the Daily Caller, other blogs have already covered that. You can read those at HotAir, The OtherMcCain, Riehl World View here and here, Red State, Ace , more from Ace here. Doug has morehere

NoNails on May 24, 2011 at 8:17 PM

I think ‘Petunia’ and ‘The Blue Site’ are actually Romney and Rove. The only question is which is which. Because, if Romney is ‘Petunia’, well… damn.

trigon on May 24, 2011 at 8:23 PM

I think ‘Petunia’ and ‘The Blue Site’ are actually Romney and Rove. The only question is which is which. Because, if Romney is ‘Petunia’, well… damn.

trigon on May 24, 2011 at 8:23 PM

And that furthers the discussion how?

csdeven on May 24, 2011 at 9:37 PM

If you talk like a totalitarian, and you walk like a totalitarian… pretty sure you are a Palinista.

petunia on May 24, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Wow. Maybe I should start saving Petunia quotes. That one sure was a keeper.

Naah. I’ll just let Google be my memory

didymus on May 24, 2011 at 9:59 PM

The Louis Renault line is spot on. “I’m shocked, shocked . . .”

I sure hope that Palin doesn’t make her decision to run or not based on the advice of Rebecca Mansour.

flataffect on May 24, 2011 at 10:39 PM

And that furthers the discussion how?

csdeven on May 24, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Lighten up, Francis.

trigon on May 25, 2011 at 3:00 AM

Don’t feed it. It has been asking that question quite a bit lately, but it does nothing to further a topic either. It’s bait. Smelly, rotten, sourgrapes bait.

Freelancer on May 25, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Ah, the Conservative on Conservative swiping is still a go here. Someone meantioned the bad quality of trolls lately. I’m sure that is true, but it is also true about the infighting here the past year or so.

I am sure Palin is running. She gets all the Bush Derangement Syndrome energy (energy never dies…) and the stuff they try to take her down with is almost always pathetic. (I am neither pro or con Palin)

At least Mansour is an intellectually honest Conservative. Her reservations about Bristol Palin are legitimate since she is not a Liberal.

Gob on May 25, 2011 at 9:32 PM

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