Blogger Mickey Kaus got himself whipped up into a lather Monday night after Politico reported what amounts to basics on GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush.
Kaus attacked one of the writers, Florida Politico Playbook writer Marc Caputo, for what he claimed was Politico going easy on Bush. The four-day-old story is: “5 reasons Bush isn’t freaking out about Trump.”
Caputo, who isn’t a stranger to Twitter controversy, ripped Kaus apart in an eye for an eye revenge scenario that prompted some observers to blast Caputo for his apparent insensitivity.
The exchange, which quickly erupted into a giant fight, shows Kaus can dish it out but apparently when shit flies in his direction he pulls the victim card and makes fun of everyone’s “maturity” except his own.
The Fighters: Mickey Kaus, formerly of The Daily Caller, and Marc Caputo, a reporter for Politico who previously worked for The Miami Herald.
What started the brawl: Kaus attacked Caputo for what he charged servicing Bush. On his website he wrote:
“Politico has a habit of credulously printing sources’ spin with little or no counter-commentary. It’s a service they provide! Here’s Exhibit #27,593. … I suppose the argument is that if Politico reporters showed skepticism — or called the other side(s) for comment — then the sources wouldn’t give them the story in the first place, and Politico‘s readers would never learn that Bush aides aren’t panicking about the Trump surge because (Reason #4) ‘no other Republican candidate can match [Jeb’s] record as governor.’ He was known as ‘Veto Corleone!'”
Things took a very bad turn from there. Grand Kleagle, by the way, is a recruiter for the Klu Klux Klan.
Kaus backers called on Caputo apologize. Which wasn’t happening.
Another follower asked, “What has Kaus done to deserve the Nazi allusions?” Caputo replied, “He misrepresented my work so I repaid the favor. An eye for an eye. A troll for a troll.” The follower countered, “He wrote that you republished a campaign press release under your byline. That’s comparable to being a Nazi?”
Kaus fired back with Politico‘s own coverage of why he and The Daily Caller parted ways. Moral of the story: Always best to burn as many bridges as possible when leaving an employer of four years.
Accusations against Caputo took a fairly vicious turn.
And the nastiness continued.
A tweet that really set people off included one that referred to neo-Nazis.
Caputo wrote, “Although we should wait for @kausmickey’s Stormfront take on this poll to make sure it’s accurate.”
Hey, at least this guy was thankful for the fight.
Analysis: To insinuate that Politico or specifically Caputo is doing Jeb’s bidding ignores work that obviously paints the candidate as a hypocrite. The statement is among the lowest things you can say about a journalist outside of plagiarism — that a reporter will just write anything they’re handed or get in tight with a campaign just for access. Kaus wanted to play politics on Twitter instead of actually digging to find out if what he said is even true. He incites his followers and then acts like, what, nothing to see here.
Who won the fight? On its face, it appears that Caputo lost since Kaus had so many of his loony followers attacking the Politico reporter. But honestly, Caputo was right to knock Kaus and his disciples around and give him a dose of his own medicine. A big thumbs down to Kaus for slamming a basic story as the publication getting cozy with Bush. It’s not like Caputo helped get the candidate’s kids ready for bed or wrote about Donald Trump’s toilet. Next time, attack someone for bias who deserves it.
Would the fighters ever break bread?
Caputo: Sure. While I didn’t like what he said and then gave it back to him in kind, he remains a smart, interesting person. I’d even have a few drinks with him. Obviously I wouldn’t dine with someone who didn’t want to with me. But in the end, this generated controversy, buzz and a few extra followers. Most of my reader feedback is they loved the show. So here, there’s no such thing as bad press.
Kaus never replied to The Mirror‘s email request for comment.