Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Stupid Media


In the case of Duncan Black, this is what happened. The author of the popular liberal blog Atrios, Black wrote under a pseudonym. All the while, he was a senior fellow at a liberal media watchdog group, Media Matters for America.

“People are pretty smart in assuming that if a blog is making a case on one side that it’s partisan,” Jamieson said. “The problem is when a blog pretends to hold neutrality but is actually partisan.”

That is not a legal problem, however, but an ethical one. Black eventually claimed credit for his blog and fellow bloggers heavily publicized his political connections. But he is still blogging.

No, I wasn't working with Media Matters "all along." I started this blog in April 2002. My prior employment ended in May, 2004. I started working with Media Matters in early-mid June, 2004. I was out of the country for most of July, not doing anything for Media Matters, and then I came back, went to the DNC, and outed myself.

As for what the ethical problem is, I have no idea. But, as for these stupid fuckers who worked for the Thune campaign, all I have to say is YEAAAAAARGGHH:

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader and the National Journal first cited Federal Election Commission documents showing that Jon Lauck, of Daschle v Thune, and Jason Van Beek, of South Dakota Politics, were advisers to the Thune campaign.

The documents, also obtained by CBS News, show that in June and October the Thune campaign paid Lauck $27,000 and Van Beek $8,000. Lauck had also worked on Thune’s 2002 congressional race.

Both blogs favored Thune, but neither gave any disclaimer during the election that the authors were on the payroll of the Republican candidate.

No laws have apparently been broken. Case precedent on political speech as it pertains to blogs does not exist. But where journalists' careers may be broken on ethics violations, bloggers are writing in the Wild West of cyberspace. There remains no code of ethics, or even an employer, to enforce any standard.

Thanks for inviting the regulators over for dinner, assholes. And, yes, Kos has done consulting work and whatnot but that's very different from being on the payroll as a propaganda outlet.

As for this:

Beginning next year, the F.E.C. will institute new rules on the restricted uses of the Internet as it relates to political speech.

Jeebus knows what kind of crap they have in mind. I can think of reasonable extensions of campaign finance laws which really don't apply to internet activity currently, but I would hope that they instant they start they cross the line and make it necessary to hire a lawyer before you start shooting off your mouth online the Supremos will smack them down.