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Democrats Accuse Conservative News Outlet Of "Blackmail"

The Caller was, perhaps, leaning into the story a bit. Boyle stands by his warning.

Posted on March 14, 2012, at 5:40 p.m. ET

The Democratic National Committee is at odds with the conservative Daily Caller over a reporter's threat as to how he would interpret an unreturned email.

The Caller's Matthew Boyle warned DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse against ignoring a question about Attorney General Eric Holder and the "Fast and Furious" scandal, an incident in which federal agents were killed by weapons the government allowed to be trafficked in an attempted sting operation.

"Does Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz still have confidence in AG Eric Holder after Fast and Furious?" Caller reporter Matthew Boyle asked in a March 12 email, which apparently went without response – not an unusual practice from political organizations to news organizations, particularly ones tied to opposing political agendas.

Boyle emailed again two days later with the threat: "I'm giving you until 10 am tomorrow to answer this question, then I'm reporting Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not supporting Holder."

Woodhouse then forwarded the email to BuzzFeed with an angry postscript.

"So this is the way the Daily Caller does business," he wrote. "[I]f you don’trespond to their slanted, agenda-filled inquiry they threaten you with blackmail and with 100 percent misrepresenting your position."

Boyle, in an email, defending his warning.

"I've sent several inquiries to the DNC on this," he said. "They've had ample opportunity to respond with an indication that they support the attorney general. I wanted to give Brad plenty of time to respond before we reported, correctly, that the DNC would offer The Daily Caller no verbal support for Eric Holder."

BuzzFeed also asked Woodhouse whether Wasserman Schultz has continued her support for Holder.

"Complete and unwavering - 100 percent," he said. "We ignore dozens of media inquiries all the time for a host of reasons. It doesn't mean an outlet can make up our position for their own ends or try to blackmail us into an answer."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.