The Daily, Rupert Murdoch's iPad newspaper, has tracked down the richest dog in South Dakota. Why did they do this? Because Stephen Colbert told them to.

A bit of background here. Last month, Daily editor-in-chief Jesse Angelo sent around a much-mocked internal memo exhorting staffers to chase stories that were "new, different, exclusive and awesome." Said Angelo: "Find me a school district where the battle over reform is being fought and tell the human tales. Find a town that is going to be unincorporated because it's broke ... Find me the oldest dog in America, or the richest man in South Dakota."

Stephen Colbert one-upped Angelo a few days later by switching up the examples and declaring, "if you really want to call yourself a journalist, you roll up your sleeves, hit the streets, and find the richest dog in South Dakota."

 

Now, Daily reporter Sarah Ryley has done just this. The richest dog in South Dakota, evidently, is a cocker spaniel named Miss Charlie Brown, whose owners, Barb and Tom Everist, are valued at $130 million. Miss Charlie Brown lives a life of considerable luxury: Ryley visited the pooch at the Everists' Florida vacation home, and was there as Miss Charlie "luxuriated in a bubble bath sprinkled with rose petals, sunned herself by her screened-in pool, padded along Bonita Beach and rode on a 29-foot Hinckley motorboat, an American flag whipping in the wind."

It's good old-fashioned shoe-leather journalism--and it's sure to help The Daily's image if people think it doesn't take itself too seriously. Plus, Miss Charlie Brown is adorable. That said, we'd love to know just how many people were dispatched to Florida to chase down a dog. We've shot an email to Ms. Ryley and are waiting on a response. Based on the story and the photo that accompanied it, though, we're guessing at least two Daily staffers were involved in this lark.