Reporter: The head of NBC News's political coverage tried to bully me out of a scoop -- on behalf of the DNC

It must be noted up front that there’s no evidence that the DNC put her up to doing this. It may be that Dafna Linzer, former WaPo reporter and current managing editor of politics for NBC and MSNBC, simply took it upon herself to do the DNC a solid.

But even if so, that’s news too. Since when does the head of an allegedly independent news organization do a favor for a political party?

Yashar Ali is a reporter who publishes in HuffPost and New York magazine. He’s respected in the field from what I know and not known as conservative, which may explain why Linzer allegedly felt comfortable dialing him up and asking him for a favor. You can read Ali’s entire Twitter thread about this by clicking here and scrolling, but the gist is that he got a tip yesterday about when the first Democratic presidential debates would be held hours before the DNC was set to formally announce it on MSNBC. He called the DNC to confirm that the info he had was correct; they asked him to delay his scoop for an hour or so while they called their state parties to formally notify them of the dates. No dice, he said. It was newsy and if he waited he risked being beaten to the scoop by someone else, possibly MSNBC.

Lo and behold, within “two minutes” of hanging up with the DNC, says Ali, Dafna Linzer was on the line asking him to wait — not because MSNBC wanted to air the information first but because it’d be nice if he let the DNC talk to the state Democratic parties first. Why should the head of NBC News’s political coverage care what’s going on at the DNC? Good question. Ali wondered too.

“This is how people think it works.” Maybe … this is how it works and not everyone who’s subject to it is as scrupulous as Ali in blowing the whistle when it does. What are the odds that this was the first time Linzer’s done this?

More from Ali:

“I’m not naive to the fact that this incident is going to be twisted by some with an agenda to discredit the media and say they collude with political parties,” he sighed later in the thread. Well, not everyone in the media, surely. But when the head of NBC News’s political division is supposedly leaning on rival reporters to suppress scoops, not for her network’s benefit but for the DNC’s, what conclusion should we draw about how prevalent this behavior *might* be?

Ah well. This is destined for whataboutist treatment from lefties noting how Trump and Fox News work hand-in-glove. The best-case scenario for Linzer, assuming this is all true (she and NBC have no comment as of 3:20 ET), is that she really was looking out for her network and merely using the DNC as a fig leaf in trying to convince Ali to hold off on publishing. Obviously he wouldn’t have held back his scoop in order to let MSNBC have it first — but if Linzer had persuaded him to wait just an hour supposedly to give the DNC time to talk to its state people, then she could have backstabbed him and had MSNBC rush the news onto the air to beat him to the punch. That would have been unethical too, but at least it wouldn’t have involved her shilling for the left’s party.