Tucker Carlson's latest antics may have set back his attempt to turn The Daily Caller into a legitimate news outlet.
Following Keith Olbermann's temporary suspension from MSNBC, Carlson admitted to pranking a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News by impersonating the MSNBC host.
Stu Bykofsky attempted to contact Olbermann for a column he was writing for the Daily News but mistakenly sent the email to a fake email address owned by Carlson.
The website Phawker published Tuesday a series of emails between Bykofsky and Carlson posing as Olbermann.
"Unfortunately your column (which I just saw) had already run before I read this email," wrote the fake Olbermann and added that Bykofsky was "pathetic" and "a hack."
"Olbermann" went on to criticize MSNBC President Phil Griffin.
"As I've said publicly before, Phil Griffin is not my boss (thank god), nor is he intellectually qualified to be. Phil pretends otherwise in public. I'm not his shrink, but I assume it makes him feel better. The remarkable thing is that fools like you believe his fantasies."
It wasn't long before the real Olbermann confirmed to Yahoo! News that the emails were fake.
"Mr. Bykofsky has been, I would suggest, hoist on his own petard," Olbermann said.
In July, Carlson's The Daily Caller announced that they had purchased the KeithOlbermann.com domain where the fake emails originated.
"We want to be the Keith Olbermann superstore," Carlson told Yahoo! News.
Carlson admitted to Yahoo's Michael Calderone that he had been behind the prank. "Could you resist?" Carlson asked. "It was just too funny. The flesh is weak."
When Carlson launched The Daily Caller in January, he stressed that he wanted the website to be taken seriously.
"We see our core job as straightforward: Find out what’s happening and tell you about it. We plan to be accurate, both in the facts we assert and in the conclusions we imply. If we’re not, tell us. We’ll fix it immediately," Carlson wrote.
The key email exchange was:
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2010 2:46 PM
To: Bykofsky, Stu
Subject: RE: [SPAM] From the Philadelphia Daily News
Unfortunately your column (which I just saw) had already run before I read this email. What a shame. I assume you saw the irony in attacking someone for betraying journalism, while you, a self-described journalist, failed to get a single quote from the person you were attacking. Pathetic. Indeed, beneath contempt. How dare you pose as the heir to Murrow.
You didn’t wait for the facts before writing your screed, but for what it’s worth I, unlike you, am a journalist, not a hack. Was I treated fairly by MSNBC? It’s hard to imagine a dumber question, as I don’t work for MSNBC, but for NBC News. As I’ve said publicly before, Phil Griffin is not my boss (thank god), nor is he intellectually qualified to be. Phil pretends otherwise in public. I’m not his shrink, but I assume it makes him feel better. The remarkable thing is that fools like you believe his fantasies. That pleases Phil, but only exposes your ignorance. The proof? I’ll be anchoring on election night 2012, long after Phil Griffin has moved on to a job for which he’s actually qualified, perhaps on QVC.
I hope that clears up your misconceptions.
Read the full set of fake Olbermann emails here.