Kaitlan Collins bylines deleted on stories she did for Tucker Carlson site

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There is something strange going on with the bylines of CNN’s star White House reporter Kaitlan Collins tied to stories she wrote as an entertainment reporter for the Daily Caller — the right-wing website co-founded by Tucker Carlson, where Collins cut her reporter teeth.

At least five of Collins’ Daily Caller bylines tied to potentially embarrassing click-bait stories appear to have been erased. Where her name used to be is now the word “contributor.”

But a quick check of the internet archive known as the Wayback Machine shows Collins’ byline still affixed to the top of those stories, including an April 6, 2015, article headlined, “The Internet Wonders Are the Obama Girls Skirts Too Short.”

At the time, President Barack Obama’s daughters, Malia and Sasha, were 16 and 13, respectively.

Also missing a byline is a Nov. 18, 2015, pictorial titled: “13 Syrian Refugees We’d Take Immediately.” The story explains it’s because “they are Syria-sly hot.”

Photos of the supposedly hot refugees are no longer attached to the story or cached on the Wayback Machine because they were Instagram photos. But the Wayback Machine clearly shows Collins’ byline attached to the story.

Kaitlan Collins standing in front of a microphone
At least five of Kaitlan Collins’ Daily Caller bylines tied to potentially embarrassing click-bait stories appear to have been erased.AFP via Getty Images

One of the most cringeworthy stories was “Ice Bucket Challenge Hipsters: These Guantanamo Detainees Did It First,” published on Aug. 18, 2014. It likens the then-viral ice bucket challenge, where people threw freezing cold water on their heads to raise money for ALS, to waterboarding. What follows is a list of Guantanamo Bay detainees who “got their due.”

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Kaitlan Collins’ byline on a Daily Caller story about Melania Trump.

The Daily Caller

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Kaitlan Collins’ byline has now been removed from this story.

The Daily Caller

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Kaitlan Collins’ byline on a story about then-first lady Michelle Obama.

The Daily Caller

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The story now has a generic correspondent byline.

The Daily Caller

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A past clickbaity Kaitlan Collins story on The Daily Caller.

The Daily Caller

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The story now has a generic correspondent byline.

The Daily Caller

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If the Knicks want to trade for Collin Sexton, Kevin…

Collins’ byline also appears to have vanished from a pictorial posted on June 14, 2016, titled, “Stunning Photos of Melania Trump on Donald Trump’s Birthday.” Her name is also gone from “DIY: How to Glare Like Michelle Obama,” posted on Oct. 22, 2014.

Reached via Twitter and asked about the disappearing bylines, Collins responded, “I am sorry but I have no idea. I haven’t worked there in over four years. Best to ask DC (Daily Caller).”

Indeed, the byline switcheroo would seemingly have to have been done by someone inside the Daily Caller, whose phone message instructs “patriots” to press “1 to leave a message.”

Calls to Daily Caller co-founder Neil Patel, who reportedly bought out Carlson’s stake in 2020, and to the site’s current editor-in-chief, Geoff Ingersoll, were not returned at the time of writing.

Kaitlan Collins standing among a group of White House reporters and camera people.
Kaitlan Collins (left) is now a CNN reporter known for lobbing tough questions at US presidents.
The Washington Post via Getty Images

The New York Post’s Jon Levine, who brought the disappearing guidelines to my attention, thinks Collins might like the stories to disappear because they don’t suit her current image.

“Kaitlan L. Collins has been a fixture at the network since she joined in 2017,” he said. “She’s not popular in Trump land where she was viewed as a standard hectoring partisan CNN journo. Few today remember that she got her start at the Daily Caller as an entertainment columnist doing a lot of low-rent clickbait.”

Collins was famously banned from the White House briefing room in 2018 for shouting a question to President Donald Trump that he deemed “inappropriate.” Conservative pundits quickly jumped to her defense, however, and she was reinstated.

Tucker Carlson speaking
Kaitlan Collins got her start at Daily Caller, the right-wing website co-founded by Tucker Carlson.
Getty Images

She has also managed to rankle Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, including by shouting a question at him last month about his recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Biden later apologized for his “where the hell” response, saying, “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy.”

Collins’ byline was not deleted across the Daily Caller site and is still visible on many other stories she wrote. The site lists over 2,900 mentions, but they also include links to stories she has done for CNN.

Kaitlan Collins
Kaitlan Collins says she has no idea how some of her bylines have disappeared from stories she did while working for the right-wing Daily Caller.
Getty Images

By 2017, she had graduated to White House correspondent for the Daily Caller, covering the Trump White House, and was quickly snapped up by Jeff Zucker’s crew at CNN.

CNN, when asked if it pushed to have her byline removed, denied any knowledge of it.

“Do you honestly believe A) I/CNN would ask for this [or] B) that Daily Caller would happily oblige if I did?,” spokesman Matt Dornic said. “Wish I had that kind of influence. But sadly no. Sounds like a question for DC [Daily Caller].”

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