With the story about the 2012 hit job against NJ's Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez back in the news, it seems a good time to remind folks about the clown, Matthew Boyle, who originally wrote the now-discredited article breaking the fake "news" at Tucker Carlson's The Daily Caller.
We had a run-in with Boyle in 2011, posted below, that may give you an idea of just how this pretend journalist sources his stories --- or doesn't.
For those who may not recall, Boyle wrote a story for The DC, just before the 2012 election, claiming that Menendez had been enjoying the services of Dominican hookers while on a number of vacations down there. The supposed hookers were featured in a video including with Boyle's original reporting, claiming that they hadn't been paid properly by Menendez and were seeking revenge...or something.
The whole story turned out to be phony and was eventually pulled off line by Carlson's "news" site. The women on the video admitted they had been paid by someone to make their claims, and not long thereafter Boyle left The Daily Caller. He is now a featured "investigative journalist" at the even less credible Rightwing "news" site (if there can be such a thing), Breitbart.com.
The Menendez story has resurfaced once again, as the Washington Post ran an exclusive this week, claiming that an unnamed government source had evidence that the entire matter was a hit job planted by Cuban intelligence agents, intended to hurt Menendez just before the election, as the Senator is reportedly an ardent opponent of Cuban and was set to chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. WaPo claims that someone identifying themselves as "Pete Williams" had been shopping the story around to a bunch of media outlets, unsuccessfully, until Boyle was happy to fall for it at The Daily Caller. So-called "Pete Williams," WaPo reports, was actually a front for a Cuban agent.
Boyle now claims that he worked "with a wide array of sources in reporting on the story" originally, and that "there were no indications that they were connected to or working for the Cuban government." He also claims that the "Pete Williams" character "was not a source for the original story and never provided non-public information to this reporter."
But Boyle claims a lot of things. And the problem is, he appears to simply make shit up out of whole cloth as needed to defend his crappy "reporting". That point became pretty clear during a conversation I had with Boyle on Twitter back in 2011, in response to another terribly sourced story that he had run that day at The DC...
As The BRAD BLOG reported in September of 2011, Boyle had essentially "reported" anti-Obama, anti-EPA propaganda from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a coal company named Luminant.
At the time, Boyle had reported that Luminant was shutting down several coal-fired power plants in Texas due to EPA regulations that were just too costly for them. "EPA regulation forces closure of Texas energy facilities, eliminates 500 jobs," Boyle's Daily Caller story was headlined at the time.
The far rightwing corporate lobbying group, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, picked up on his report and happily linked to it on Twitter, as well as linking to their own blog story, simply headlined "EPA Regulation Kills 500 Jobs", which claimed that "A job-killing EPA regulation is costing 500 Texans their jobs," and included a link to Boyle's pretty-obviously planted report.
Something didn't sound quite right about the story though. Surely there was another side to the story. Another reason why Luminant may have been shuttering plants in Texas. So I looked into it, very briefly, and found a source from the Environmental Integrity Project who immediately responded with detailed information suggesting that there was, in fact, a completely different side to the story. He explained that Luminant's failure in Texas had to do with their own bad business decisions, rather than Obama's, "job-killing" EPA "war on coal" regulations.
"This company is highly leveraged, pays out about three and a half billion dollars a year in debt, and is flailing because it bought a lot of coal plants (and decided to build three new ones), as natural gas prices have fallen," the EIP's Ilan Levin told us at the time. "Luminant's anxiety about the declining price of natural gas, and its effect on the company's profitability, is right there in their 2010 SEC 10-k filing. So, they're trying to make the EPA and the Clean Air Act the scapegoat for their bad investment decisions."
Of course, that's just one person's opinion, but it was one that I found almost immediately. In the meantime, Boyle's story included absolutely no other side to the story than the U.S. Chamber of Commerce-parroted "EPA IS KILLING JOBS!" meme.
So I asked Boyle about that on Twitter, and here was the rather remarkable conversation that took place...
So Boyle claims that he did speak to other people, people who "support the EPA", but they just wouldn't go on record, he wouldn't say who they are, and he never referred to any of them --- even to point out that they would not go on record --- in his original story.
In the meantime, I found an alternate point of view to his silly story in just a few minutes of trying, with the very first person I had contacted about it.
Which brings us back to his claims about having had "a wide array of sources in reporting" the false Menendez story that threatened to unseat an incumbent Senator when it was published just days before his 2012 re-election bid.
Do you have any reason to trust that Boyle had a "wide array of sources" on that hit job either? I certainly don't. And, apparently, neither did The Daily Caller, which let Boyle go not long after the story was revealed to have been an embarrassing hoax.
But, hoax or not, guess who was all too happy to scoop Boyle up, and give him front page coverage on new pretend Rightwing stories, even today? That's right. The legacy "news" site of the King of the Rightwing Hoaxsters himself, the late Andrew Breitbart's Breitbart "News" Network. The website that launched with one of the Rightwing's greatest hoaxes of all, James O'Keefe's and Breitbart's phony ACORN "pimp" hoax, which we had no small part as outing as totally fraudulent back in 2010.
There is, apparently, no such thing as "failing" or being too discredited in the world of pretend Rightwing "news" sites. It's amazing that The Daily Caller, the website of the long ago disgraced Tucker Carlson, even got rid of Boyle in the first place. The story may have been complete bullshit, but, hey, it got a lot of traffic and helped to sell a lot of phony medical cures or gold or survival seeds or whatever else the site was likely peddling at the time.
Anyway, that's who Matthew Boyle is. Keep that in mind whenever you see his name pop up in the byline of some new, Rightwing "exclusive" on whatever ridiculous new, corporate- and Republican-friendly conspiracy theory nonsense this wingnut tool is more than happy to put out there for them.
The new Cuban allegations about the phony Menendez story are getting a lot of play this week in the mainstream media. But the guy who brought you the fake story in the first place --- after countless other legitimate news organizations had rejected it --- isn't getting nearly the "credit" he deserves for having "reported" it in the first place.
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)