What Does ‘Off-the-Record’ Mean? Just Ask Politico’s Dylan Byers

Politico‘s media writer Dylan Byers had a real knee slapper of a post on Tuesday afternoon concerning the apparent shaky future of off-the-record conversations due to a Des Moines Register editor writing on an off-the-record chat with President Obama. “What does ‘off the record mean?'” his headline asks.

What does it mean, Dylan? Oh goody, we’re going to learn something! But actually, he never answers the question and in his concluding graph says, “There’s actually no clear answer on whether this is right or wrong — agreements always depend on the source and the reporter. But this muddies the water a little bit, and probably portends more cumbersome pre-conversation negotiations.”

Indeed the waters are muddy where Dylan is concerned. In July of 2012, multiple sources tell us he phoned The Daily Caller to inquire whether they’d produce print editions come January. But instead of saying who he was or where he worked, he cryptically said he wanted info on how to advertise in the print edition. Byers offered his first and last name but not his workplace — why bother, everyone knows the famed reporter, right? He called back a second time, questioning a salesperson about that alleged print edition.

Eventually he got around to telling her who he was and where he worked.

An anonymous media insider had this to say about Dylan’s behavior… “I found it fascinating considering that Dylan himself has been involved in sketchy reporting –  calling into The Daily Caller posing as an ad buyer and talking to a salesperson who was unaware he was a reporter and then quoting her verbatim,” said a media insider speaking on condition of anonymity. “Looks like the guy is trying to drum up buy-in for his existing bad behavior.”

Byers wouldn’t comment for the post we wrote on it, either on or off the record. He also wouldn’t comment for this one.

Publish date: October 31, 2012 https://stage.adweek.com/digital/what-does-off-record-mean-just-ask-politicos-dylan-byers/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT