Reviewing and selecting available means is done on a straight utilitarian basis — will it work? Moral questions may enter when one chooses among equally effective alternate means. But if one lacks the luxury of a choice and is possessed of only one means, then the ethical question will never arise; automatically the lone means becomes endowed with moral spirit.(Page 32.)
We don't have the full text of what Drum and Schmitt wrote. But in The Daily Caller quotes, they only ask what will work best. They don't even throw in as a makeweight argument that it would be more ethical to refrain from calling their opponents racists.
Another distinction is that Alinsky was talking about rules for political activists, not journalists. Even as means are subordinated to ends, journalism is subordinated to political activism.