On Friday, a very thinly-sourced LA Times article that attempted to re-ignite the now-dormant feud between the White House and Fox News contained a rather inflammatory quote from former Carter administration pollster Patrick Caddell. The newest version of the article does not. When you see the quote, the omission gains a layer of irony atop its bravado.
Peter Nicholas’ article relies on on anonymous source paraphrasing an unnamed White House official, an uncertain timeline, and things Caddell says he has heard about other unnamed strategists, to suggest that the White House tried to intimidate Democratic strategists into boycotting guest appearances on Fox News. Despite a lack of key details, the story is the LA Times’ #1 most-viewed article.
When I first saw the piece, ironically, the only thing that stood out as newsworthy was this quote from Caddell:
Caddell said he had not gotten that message himself from the White House. “They know better than to tell me anything like that,” he said.
Now, that passage simply reads, “Caddell said he had not gotten that message himself from the White House.”
I tried to reach out to the LA Times, and to Caddell through Fox News, but neither have responded to explain the omission. To the naked eye, it looks like somebody thought better of trash-talking the White House. In accusing the White House of chilling dissent, it looks like Caddell got a little overheated.