When former MSNBC host and current Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson launched The Daily Caller last winter, he described it as a general news site, a conservative but non-ideological version of Politico or the Huffington Post.
But now Carlson is scheduled to appear at Thursday's Tea party rally on the Washington Mall. And on Wednesday evening, the Daily Caller co-hosted what Andrew Breitbart's Big Government touted as "a happy hour for tea party activists who are coming to town for the rally," along with Americans for Prosperity, Dick Armey's Freedomworks, and Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform.
Last winter, Carlson appeared to be trying to give the impression that the Daily Caller would be non-ideological. He told Politico that the aim was simply to publish news stories that would be factual and "hard-hitting." And the Washington Post's Howart Kurtz also wrote that "Carlson insists this won't be a right-wing site."
"We're not enforcing any kind of ideological orthodoxy on anyone," Carlson told Kurtz.
But Kurtz also noted that "when he announced the Daily Caller last spring, Carlson was more explicit about its ideology, telling Human Events the site would be 'opposed to what's going on' under President Obama -- 'a radical increase in federal power . . . a version of socialism.'" Now Carlson's ideological bent appears to be coming to the forefront.
One bond between the Daily Caller and the other groups sponsoring that Tea Party happy hour may be the issue of climate change. A recent report from Greenpeace International described Americans for Prosperity as one of the chief beneficiaries of the billionaire Koch brothers' "climate denial machine," and Americans for Tax Reform has also received Koch funding.
Brendan Demelle of the DeSmog Blog explicitly describes Thursday's rally as featuring a "cast of Koch Industries favorites." He notes that "Lord Christopher Monckton, infamous for his 'Hitler Youth' comments at the Copenhagen climate summit, is among the guest speakers at this weekÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Tax Day Tea Party in Washington, DC. Organized by FreedomWorks, the sister organization of Americans for Prosperity, the Tax Day Tea Party at the Washington Monument will also feature appearances from FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey and President Matt Kibbe, right wing publisher Andrew Breitbart, Texas Congressman Ron Paul and Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson."
In January, the same blog pointed out that "the primary funder of Tucker CarlsonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new website Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe Daily CallerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ is climate change denier and GOP bankroller Foster Friess, and Carlson has reportedly lined up sponsorship from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Mining Association and Southern Company, all major opponents of meaningful action to curb climate change."
Carlson told Kurtz last winter, ""Our goal is not to get Republicans elected," and that may be true. But any suggestions that the Daily Caller would be genuinely non-ideological appear to have been premature.