Daily Caller Hit Piece On RNC Chairman Michael Steele Gets It Wrong?

Today, Jonathan Strong of the Daily Caller headlines with an article titled “High flyer: RNC Chairman Steele suggested buying private jet with GOP funds”. He asserts the following:

Once on the ground, FEC filings suggest, Steele travels in style. A February RNC trip to California, for example, included a $9,099 stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the nearby Four Seasons, and $1,620.71 spent [update: the amount is actually $1,946.25] at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.

Someone with knowledge of the RNC meeting with Jonathan Strong responded:

“We are investigating the expenditure in question. The story willfully and erroneously suggests that the expenditure in question was one belonging to the Chairman. This was a reimbursement made to a non-committee staffer. The Chairman was never at the location in question, he had no knowledge of the expenditure, nor does he find the use of committee funds at such a location at all acceptable. Good reporting would make that distinction crystal clear. The committee has requested that the monies be returned to the committee and that the story be corrected so that it is accurate.”

In addition, the source vehemently denies many of the elements included in the story, including whether Chairman Steele declined interview requests, details around flights, etc.

The interesting thing about this piece? It’s written by a supposedly right-leaning web magazine [Full disclosure: I have written an editorial for Daily Caller.] Why would the Daily Caller writer want to portray the Chairman as having been to a strip club when it’s not the case? A damaging investigative piece of journalism should be tight and accurate.

It almost seems as if the right-leaning Webzine is trying to gain credibility with liberal news outlets and is willing to do so on the backs of their own ideological brethren. Or maybe they’re in the hip pocket of a conservative who doesn’t like Chairman Steele. Either way, this story may be another example of the right carelessly destroying their own.

No doubt, more details will be forthcoming.

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