Thursday, April 20, 2006

Every Time I Try to Get Out...

I wish I could get past all this FEC nonsense now that we've basically won, but I can't seem to let it go. First, to correct a falsehood by Carol Darr in her online chat today:

Question from David Glenn:
In your National Journal interview last week, you said that you fear "undisclosed payments to bloggers made by third parties, not candidates, in order to escape disclosure." Can you flesh out what such a scenario would look like, and why it might be a problem? Is the South Dakota Senate race relevant here?

Carol C. Darr:
The difficulty with the payments from Thune to the bloggers was that they were not disclosed until after the election. Many people thought that the faux-independent bloggers did a lot of damage to Daschle, a fact that would have been very different if readers had known that Thune was behind it.

This simply isn't true.

Payments were disclosed in 2nd quarter FEC filings and mentioned in an August 9 news article.

Also, I want to address the recently forming conventional wisdom that the Swift Boat Liars were somehow a product of the scary dangerous internets. This is similar to the conventional wisdom that in 2000 Gore was smeared by "right wing radio" and not the Spite Girls at the Post and the Times and others in the mainstream media, which was actually the case.

While there was some internet-based colloborative research which went into the publication of the Regnery book Unfit for Command, the book was, it must be said, published on paper. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were a 527 organization with big money backers which got their message out through paid advertising in our mainstream media, as well as through immense amount of free media coverage on, but not limited to, cable news and talk radio. Bloggers talked up the story, as they did any campaign story, but the prominence of the Swift Boat Liars in our media had absolutely nothing to do with the existence of the internet.

Anyway, if you read through the Carol Darr transcript you get the sense that she sees "the media" or at least appropriate media as highly non-partisan respectable dry newswire copy. It's weird.