Why do I always miss the good stuff?
😉 Instapundit opened up a post on blog ethics for a while for comments last night – I missed it, darn it! Oh well, I’ll post my comments here in response to his post there:
I think if a blogger is working for someone officially, i.e. being paid for his/her services, it should be disclosed. Not for legal reasons – as Glenn states, this really isn’t a legal issue. But I think it’s more of an unwritten code of blogger ethics issue (if that makes any sense).
For example: I freely write my opinions here, no one has to pay me to do it. It’s no secret I’m a Bush supporter. But I sometimes disagree with the President, and with Republicans, and will say so here when I do. But paid political bloggers like Kos, for example, who are hired by candidates or politicians to promote an official agenda are a different banana. Everyone knows that Kos supports Democrats and most of their policies. Fine, no problem. But how do we know now that when he discussed Howard Dean on his blog that what he was saying at all times was what he really felt or if he felt compelled to post good things about Howard Dean even though he may have had disagreements with his campaign?
What you blog about should be what you really feel, not what you are paid to say.
Before I get jumped on in email or the comments section regarding my comments on paid bloggers, please let me make it clear that I have no problem with bloggers who get paid to blog – my problem is when that payment comes from a politician or elected official without being disclosed in advance . If that blogger doesn’t disclose such information from the start and it comes out later that he was, he or she will rightly lose some of the respect they’ve gained in the blogosphere. People have lost some respect for what Armstrong Williams did and while his was a legal as well as written ethical issue, the unwritten code of ethics for bloggers suggests that Kos and bloggers like him who have received money for what they’ve written will lose a bit of that respect, too.
More: Jim Geraghty from NRO’s “Kerry Spot” on why those payments Howard Dean made to bloggers matter:
But here’s why it matters. As I’ve been covering the DNC race, I (and other DNC-race-watchers) noted that one of Dean’s strengths was the widespread perception that he spoke for the angry Democratic grassroots. If you’re an angry Democrat, chances are you’ve visited Daily Kos at least once, and the discussion boards on Kos’ site are full of pro-Dean comments. (I even listed “Daily Kos” as one of Dean’s key supporters.)
Now, I don’t doubt Kos really likes Dean, or that he genuinely thinks Dean is the best pick for the next DNC Chair. But I sure didn’t see much about his employment with Dean during my (admittedly sporadic) clicking around of Kos’ site, looking to assess how the grassroots are reacting to the DNC race.
Humorous take: Michelle Catalano: “Selling Myself To The Highest Bidder” – on who/what she’d accept money from and for what … don’t miss it! 😆