In recent months, Washington Examiner political reporter and New York Post columnist Salena Zito has faced heavy scrutiny over her reporting. After a number of anonymous and pseudonymous Twitter accounts highlighted instances of potential fabulism and misrepresentation in her tales from Trump country, several media outlets — including this one — reported on the controversy, finding several red flags that warranted additional followup.
Despite (or possibly because of) all the skepticism surrounding the Trump voter whisperer, conservative media figures and colleagues have rallied around Zito. This would apparently include The View co-host Meghan McCain.
During a segment on the public’s lack of trust in the media, McCain wanted to make the case that Americans need to trust journalists even if they are reporting things they don’t like. This resulted in her highlighting Zito.
“Salena Zito, who’s literally out there reporting from Middle America — she’s been criticized before,” McCain declared.
“Well, she’s been discredited, Salena Zito,” co-host Joy Behar interjected.
“No, she has not!” McCain exclaimed. “Actually, actually, this is the problem. She’s an old-school journalist who tape records every single interview she does. When you question her because she’s not doing your narrative and you question [TIME reporter] Molly Ball because she’s reporting something about Michael Avenatti that you don’t like that’s also festering a problem with the media!”
As for the recordings of interviews, Zito has bounced back and forth on the assertion that she tape records everything, recently telling this author that she keeps audio recordings “most” of her subjects after previously saying it was every one. Also, the one recording of an interview Zito has publicly shared shows that she added words or mischaracterized the quotes altogether.
Interestingly, McCain’s husband, The Federalist founder Ben Domenech, is someone who has been plagued by journalism scandals his whole career. Back in 2006, he was forced to resign just three days into his Washington Post gig when it was discovered he had plagiarized several blog posts. He also had numerous articles removed from publications after it was revealed he had received ten of thousands of dollars to write favorable pieces on the Malaysian government.
Watch the clip above, via ABC.