- By Elizabeth F. RalphElizabeth Ralph is a researcher at Foreign Policy.
This morning, visitors to the Daily Caller‘s homepage were greeted by the headline "Hooker Headache" — an apt way to sum up the reporting feud between the Daily Caller and the Washington Post over New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, Dominican prostitutes, and which prostitute was paid for what when. Here’s our attempt to sort through this scandalous imbroglio:
Nov. 1, 2012: The Daily Caller releases a video of two women claiming that they were paid to have sex (on separate occasions) with Menendez while he was vacationing in the Dominican Republic. (Each said she was promised $500 but was paid only $100.) Menendez denies the claims, and later blames the right for the false story.
March 4, 2013: The Washington Post reports that one of the women on the November video had admitted that she wasn’t actually paid to have sex with Menendez, but rather paid to say that she had. The 23-year-old escort, Nexis de los Santos Santana, told Dominican authorities that she was hired by a lawyer to tape the interviews in mid-October. She thought she was lying for a divorce case, not implicating a U.S. senator, the woman explained. "Those are my words and that is me, but it does not reflect the truth," she said in her affidavit. Menendez is vindicated! The Post wins.
March 5, 12:43 am: The Post has its prostitutes mixed up, reports the Daily Caller. According to the Daily Caller, this Nexis de los Santos Santana escort was not one of the two women pictured on the November video. At the time of the interview, both of the women said they were 24, and neither gave her name as Nexis de los Santos Santana. De los Santos Santana and her lawyer are lying, claims the lawyer accused of fabricating the interview.
March 5, 2:00 am: ABC news jumps in, saying de los Santos Santana is indeed one of the women in the video, and that Republican operatives had helped arrange the video interviews with the two escorts.
March 5, 7:32 am: The Daily Caller stands by its reporting, claiming that the Post "falsely reported" its March 4 story, and didn’t even contact the Daily Caller for comment.
March 5, 10:15 am: The Post stands by its reporting, and a Post spokeswoman asserts that reporters did indeed reach out to the Daily Caller but got no response.
The Post has yet to respond, but we are sure they will. Can’t imagine both sides don’t have a few more escorts up their sleeves.
John Hudson is a staff writer for Foreign Policy where he chases down stories from Foggy Bottom to the White House, the Pentagon to Embassy Row. Between 2009 and 2012, John covered politics and global affairs for The Atlantic Wire. In 2008, he covered the August War between Russia and Georgia for Salon.com and other news outlets. Over the years, he's dug up resignation-causing FEC documents; unmasked world-famous Internet trolls; exposed bizarre Photoshopping by government media; and revealed a secret Iranian military facility. John's weakness is cold craft beer from his birthplace of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He's appeared on MSNBC, BBC, C-SPAN, Fox News radio, and other broadcast outlets.| The Cable |