Sunday, July 02, 2006

Time For Another Goddamn Blogger Ethics Panel

The worst thing that could ever happen in the world, according to many Beltway types, is that a blogger could be paid by a campaign and not disclose it. Of course, paid consultants/strategists appearing in the media without fully disclosing their client lists is something which happens all the time. For the record I'm for disclosing such arrangements, I'm just tired of bloggers being held to a standard which doesn't apply anywhere else in the universe.

Today James Carville and Mark Penn write an op-ed in support of Hillary Clinton. Good for them. I have no problem with that, though I do have to say that Clinton supporters apparently think they can hold a 2008 presidential campaign without mentioning the war. Mark At the end Penn is identified:

Mark J. Penn was a key strategist in Clinton's 1996 bid for re-election and in Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign.

Penn is a pollster and the May 29 New Yorker describes him as (present tense) Clinton's "chief strategist."

A 2005 Roll Call article says:

But, perception does matter, and winning a fight for a sought-after consultant or firm lends momentum to a candidacy in the inner circles of political Washington.

Even though few firms dealing with cross-pressures from the 2008 presidential contest publicly acknowledge the decision they face, several consultants have already made choices.

Mark Penn, a partner in the Democratic polling firm Penn, Schoen and Berland, parted ways earlier this year with Bayh to devote full attention to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And, a December 2005 2005 Washington Post article says:

But Penn said in an interview that he will continue to work for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), as well as do corporate work for other clients. PSB will be a division of Burson, and Penn will remain its president; partner Mike Berland becomes chief executive of PSB.

Here's Arianna describing a recent encounter:

Then came the post-panel Q & A, during which I asked Mark Penn whether Hillary Clinton's cosponsoring a bill criminalizing flag desecration was also the product not of polling but of her deeply held convictions.

Without batting an eye, Penn said: "You guys want to make believe that you know better what her beliefs are than she does. This is her belief. This has been her belief for a long time. She's been listening to veterans in New York, and that's what she believes." After catching his breath he added: "And you know what? She doesn't care what you think!"

"Well, if she doesn't care what we in the blogosphere think," I said, "why did she hire Peter Daou to build bridges to us?"

That one went unanswered.