The Mirror

Blame Politico’s Dylan Byers? Um, No.

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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Politico media reporter Dylan Byers has taken a few punches lately.

On Monday, Townhall Political Editor and FNC contributor Guy Benson freshened up the attack on Byers after the Politico reporter followed up on a Washington Free Beacon story posted Sunday night.

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Byers reported Monday that the Clintons donated $100K to the NYT charitable fund in 2008 — the same year the newspaper endorsed her — and cited Washington Free Beacon‘s report on the subject right away.

WFB‘s story by Alana Goodman broke Sunday night. The story contained no denial from the NYT.

The following morning, Byers reported that the NYT flat out rejected WFB‘s report.

“The Free Beacon story is preposterous from start to finish,” NYT spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told him.

Byers continued, “The Free Beacon provides no direct evidence of any relationship between the charitable contribution and the Times’ endorsement, which was given to Clinton on Jan. 25, 2008. Clinton had visited the Times less than two weeks earlier, on Jan. 14.”

But not even the WFB is holding anything against Byers — at least on the surface.

“Dylan Byers is doing his job—reporting. The staff of the Free Beacon is doing its job—reporting,” said WFB Editor-in-Chief Matthew Continetti when asked for comment. “What the New York Times and ABC News have done is dishonest hackery: by refusing to respond to requests for fair comment from a news outlet they are operating like political campaigns, not media outlets.”

Byers didn’t have a comment just yet. He’ll be out with a story soon on the matter. (The Mirror will update after that happens.) Byers’ newest story takes the attention away from himself and puts it squarely on the relationship between NYT and WFB. He describes a relationship in which the NYT refuses to take the WFB seriously. He describes himself as mere reporter in the situation — and not a pawn of any political party.

“Yet the Times’ response — or lack thereof — to the Free Beacon’s inquiries suggests that the paper of record holds little regard for Goldfarb and Continetti’s brand of journalism,” he wrote. “In both cases, the Times did not respond to Free Beacon reporters when they emailed requesting comment. Then, following publication of the articles, the Times responded to inquiries from the On Media blog while continuing to disregard emails from Free Beacon reporters.”

The story included sharp elbows from Continetti.

“ABC News and the New York Times have behaved in such petty and underhanded ways when we ask questions about their own conflicts that they’ve ended up ceding the high ground to the Free Beacon,” Continetti told Politico. “It’s not a place where we would’ve expected to find ourselves—yet somehow these august news outlets find ways of putting us there.”

Byers has received routine spankings from right wing media — as well as a love tap from WaPo‘s Erik Wemple, who previously ran TBD into the ground — which went after him after the WFB recently asked ABC about “GMA” and “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos’ $75K in donations to the Clinton Foundation.

After the WFB approached ABC on the matter, a spokeswoman ran to Byers with the “news” that Stephanopoulos had made the contributions and was coming clean about it. ABC eventually gave a comment to WFB after Politico published the “news.”

This inevitably caused an uproar in certain media circles.

But not all.

“People who worry about how Dylan Byers can sleep at night are missing the point,” a Washington editor told The Mirror. “Journalism is the free market of information. And scoops are essential.”