Dispatches from the Creation Wars

The Daily Caller has a story about Republican candidates secretly paying bloggers to promote them.

But increasingly, many bloggers are also secretly feeding on cash from political campaigns, in a form of partisan payola that erases the line between journalism and paid endorsement.

“It’s standard operating procedure” to pay bloggers for favorable coverage, says one Republican campaign operative. A GOP blogger-for-hire estimates that “at least half the bloggers that are out there” on the Republican side “are getting remuneration in some way beyond ad sales.”


Some examples:

In California, where former eBay executive Meg Whitman beat businessman Steve Poizner in a bitterly fought primary battle in the campaign for governor, it sometimes seemed as if there was a bidding war for bloggers.

One pro-Poizner blogger, Aaron Park, was discovered to be a paid consultant to the Poizner campaign while writing for Red County, a conservative blog about California politics. Red County founder Chip Hanlon threw Park off the site upon discovering his affiliation, which had not been disclosed.

Poizner’s campaign was shocked to learn of the arrangement, apparently coordinated by an off-the-reservation consultant. For Park, though, it was business as usual. In November 2009, for instance, he approached the campaign of another California office-seeker — Chuck DeVore, who was then running for Senate — with an offer to blog for money.

“I can be retained at a quite reasonable rate or for ‘projects,’” Park wrote in an e-mail to campaign officials. In an interview, Park defended himself by claiming, “nobody has any doubt which candidates I’m supporting,” and noting that his blog specifies which candidates he “endorses.”

But while Red County’s Hanlon expressed outrage at Park’s pay-for-blogging scheme, questions arose about his own editorial independence when it emerged that Red County itself had been taking money from the Whitman campaign.

I’m sure this goes on to some extent on the other side as well. The blame lies with the bloggers themselves, who at least have an ethical obligation to make such financial relationships public.

Comments

  1. #1 Montana
    October 4, 2010

    Griff Harsh, the husband of California gubernatorial candidate Nutneg Whitman, acknowledged in a statement on Thursday that “it is possible” he received and wrote notes on a letter from the Social Security Administration back in 2003, regarding the former housekeeper. The Whitman/ Harsh household then fired their housekeeper in June 2009 (after nine years of service), when Nutmeg handlers decided that she was an election liability.

    Meg, Meg, Meg, where do I start, you have reportedly spent $119 million of your own money to get elected Governor but you couldn’t use some of it to get your housekeeper (after nine years of service) some legal help to get her papers, and worse you lied about it. Wow, what a WITCH, of course I meant it with a “B”.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#39450925

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGRrNs8-s5w

    But your comments on holding employers accountable for hiring undocumented workers real takes the cake, I assume you exempt yourself and your husband, or will you be turning yourself in.

    Meg on holding employers accountable:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4fWLHiw8zA

    Meg you think you can buy the election, but what puzzles many is if you real cared and loved California then why not do your civic duty and vote, seems more rhetoric than anything else.

    In good times we might give you a try but not in our disaster mode that we find ourselves in after that so-called outsider Independent Republican, named Arnold Schwarzenegger (sold to us by radio personalities John and Ken), ruined our state, yah we will trust another one of you liars, think not. And another thing nine years this maid was in your house, in your house and you failed to learned this major thing about her, come on this sounds like a huge lie that no one can believe in.

    Ebay paid out $200,000 because Nutmeg assaulted an employee, so it’s not the first time she has mistreated an employee. Good luck winning Nutmeg, money will buy you admiration from the majority just from the Gay Old Party (GOP), but not from all of California.

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