: Ed Cone and Glenn Reynolds point to a post from former Dean web siren and campaign shaman Zephyr Teachout about “financially interested blogging.”

On Dean

  • You’re absolutely right. Starting today the FULL NAME goes on my site.

  • Cog

    I thought this was known, hence my comment in your post yesterday. The guy currently getting bashed said his payments from the government was for advertisments, other bloggers were paid outright to do nothing more than shill during the election.

  • “If you are paid by an organization — for more than just taking ads, but for interacting with that organization — then you should not expect to be taken at face value when blogging (reporting/commenting/punditing) about that organization or its competitors.”
    And just how do you think the reader gets to even be in the position to judge whether or not to take said blogger at face value?
    The very transparency and disclosure whose usefulness you appear to mock.

  • This is exactly why I stopped blogging when I joined the Clark campaign. They hired me to be the architect of their online community stuff, which is a job I gladly did. They did NOT hire me to be a mouthpiece for the campaign.
    I saw my blog as being a conflict of interest while I was at the campaign, so it just made the most sense to keep my mouth/blog shut and do the job I was hired to do.
    I also think that many of the bloggers who worked for campaigns, either as staff or as consultants were actually looking for a doorway to fame. Some of these people forgot to keep their ego in check and it ended up hurting them. By not disclosing that you were being paid by a campaign you are only hurting your credibility and possibly destroying your career.

  • Jerome Armstrong

    I was working it for Dean long before Zephyr came on board the internet campaign, regardless of when I came on board financially. And while working on the campaign, I didn’t blog (I did the campaigns online internet advertising), so where’s the story here other than Zephyr making shit up?

  • zephyr

    thanks jeff for teasing it out. its hard to explain. and my name is now on my site, under the profile.

  • AST

    The whole point of blogging is to tell the world what you really think. So if you’re taking money to withhold anything negative about some person or corporation, why should anyone trust you.
    Armstrong Williams took money to support something he already believed in. I’m not so sure that it works the same way, but I am sure that I don’t like the government paying for PR like this, since it muddies the message when it’s discovered. What was the point of all those “I’m George Bush and I approved this message” tags, if not to prevent this kind of stealth PR?
    What if the Sec of Ed had just solicited support openly from prominent media figures? I’m sure they wanted some way to get their point across to African Americans who wouldn’t hear it from Jesse Jackson. Wouldn’t that have gotten Williams to help without making it look like he was bought?

  • Regarding DailyDross and the others, you have to wonder how naive someone could be. If someone offered me money as a political consultant the first thing I’d do is try to figure out what the real reason is.

  • Tom

    Well, this is definitely a big story. It’s a free item on Friday in the WSJ. Bill Bulkeley and James Bandler chime in with an article that looks like it’s almost completely derived from blog posting research.

  • Ah, that must be the article about which Bulkeley contacted me but then we never managed to hook up via phone, heh.

  • Sorry, I have to disagree on the name thing. There’s nothing wrong with my name, but I’d rather stay with an alias, especially since quite a few people have been “dooced”, meaning fired from their jobs because a snitch complained about a comment they’ve made on their blog.

  • Instahack

    “The campaign used these guys. The campaign knew that. But the bloggers didn’t. The bloggers thought their wisdom was being sought out; they were paid to consult. No, they were paid to market, to flack.”
    Jeff, you ought to retract that statement immeddiately with regards to MyDD’s Jerome, as he WAS NOT BLOGGING DURING THE PERIOD THAT HE WAS WORKING FOR DEAN!!!!!!!!! This puts Zephyr’s whole premise in question. She says they were paying these guys more to blog, but one of them was on hiatus during the whole period which he was working for Dean. Although the same is not true for Kos, I think we have reason not to trust Zephyr’s impression given this obvious error.
    Keep shilling for the right by the way. All this about the media’s mistakes re Rather, and zilch about the media’s (more important perhaps) mistakes re WMD. Sorry dude, but you are turning into more and more of an instapundit wannabe.

  • Instahack

    And Zephyr, why don’t you respond to Jerome?

  • hack: see later post above.

  • This is a hatchet job on powerful people by the right-wing. There are legitimate issues that Zephyr is bringing up, but she is being manipulated by the right and refusing to see it.
    I make no apologies for what I do. I care about conversation and making the Democratic party part of the national conversation again. To make that happen I have to work for Democrats and get them to see the value of engaging aggressively with citizens. I have many right-wing friends, and we agree on some fundamental issues. Partisanship is not a barrier to citizenship.
    The pathetic nonpartisan holier than thou approach of some is the problem here. Many want to see politics in a vaccuum, as if they are not dirty because they don’t belong to a party, because they are nonpartisan. What a load of horseshit. Dante didn’t dignify those who refused to follow a banner with a place in any region of the afterlife.

  • That’s a very serious charge, Matt.
    Let’s see your evidence; be transparent, be journalistic: Exactly who is manipulating her and how do you know?

  • The problem is you have NO credibility talking about the primaries or the different candidates if you are paid by one of them.
    Throughout the pre-primary and early primary season, all Kos talked about was Dean. Dean this, Dean that, Dean, Dean, Dean, with some Wesley Clark thrown in for good measure. He was shilling for Dean because his blog was so widely read, and it doesn’t surprise me the Dean campaign hired him hoping he would do that, unwittingly, of course, given the size of the Daily Kos’s readership.
    I couldn’t take him seriously and often ridiculed the site because of the obvious slant and lack of any perspective. After all, both Dean and Clark were both promoted by the fringe sector of the Democratic Party, and I was stunned with amazement ANYBODY could possibly promote them as presidential material.
    Unfortunately, a lot of people did and DO take that site seriously.
    Of course, this isn’t even remotely on the same level as Armstrong Williams, not even close, and there are some who are trying to muddy the waters.
    And that’s the bottom line.

  • re: Matt Stoller’s accusation.
    Aw, c’mon, JJ! You know that Karl Rove is pulling the strings, he always is!
    Seriously, thanks for mentioning your “hidden name” pet peeve. Bloggers should heed your advise, and I’m glad to see some doing so already.

  • Somebody help we out. Aren’t we dealing with two nom de plumes here? Wonkette, Ana Marie Cox, Zephyr Teachout? Sort of undercuts her claims for propriety doesn’t it, she has a nom de plume for her nom de plume! Plausible deniability anyone?