The Daily Caller, following up on its vague, wildly unpersuasive article claiming that National Review and House Republicans "prearranged" an editorial praising the Pledge to America, doubles down with another attack on NR, in keeping with the publication's method of responding to questions about its credibility by broadening the attack. The follow-up article is framed around the question of whether NR shills for establishment Republicans over conservative principle, which is an interesting question but neither here nor there when it comes to the allegation at hand.
Toward the end of the article, the Daily Caller provides more detail to its charge that NR "prearranged" an editorial:
National Review editor Rich Lowry revealed in a Monday article the magazine had, as first reported by TheDC, coordinated with House Republican leadership before publishing their editorial.
Lowry said in the article that unidentified NR writers met Monday with a House Republican leader who gave them details about what was in the “Pledge,” to which National Review officials expressed their support.
Lowry also said that NR received a full copy of the “Pledge” on Wednesday afternoon. He argued “this sort of thing – getting an embargoed advance copy of a document—is extremely standard in journalism.”
This is pretty much what I suspected. National Review was leaked an early copy of the pledge, and told Republicans it planned to write a positive editorial. There's no evidence that NR was leaked the pledge in return for a promise to write a positive editorial, or that it promisd a positive editorial without undergoing the normal practices of determining an editorial position. Basically, this is standard opinion journalism being cast as a conspiracy.
The Daily Caller is clearly trying to establish a brand as the outsider conservative publication, sticking up for the true rock-ribbed conservatism that the conservative base suspects is being subverted by shadowy elite cabals. And of course, variants of this paranoia are often found within National Review itself, which makes the irony somewhat amusing. But it's clear that the DC's "reporting" should be viewed more as a marketing strategy for itself than actual journalism.