When I asked Jonathan Strong whether this Deep Tweet had asked for money at any stage, he told me, via e-mail, “The source never asked for money.” Carlson also told me, “He never asked, and obviously we never would have paid.” And there is no reason to distrust The Caller here. They have a knack for getting their hands on this kind of material. Strong was the reporter, after all, behind the outlet’s Journolist series last year, as well as a report this year that embarrassed former China ambassador and GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman by publishing his adulatory e-mails to president Obama.

If the source was after money, though, I know someone who probably would have been delighted to fork over some of those crisp hundreds. Starts with M and rhymes with Lansour.

Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.