Sunday, April 20, 2008

Blogger Ethics Panel

Yes it's an old joke, but a still relevant one given the constant demands for bloggers to live up to ethics and transparency standards which don't exist, even in theory, anywhere else in the world. Anyone watching the teevee over the past few years knew that this independent military analyst stuff was just another way for the Bush administration to launder information and propaganda to give it more authority. Kudos to the Times for actually doing the hard work and fleshing out the story, but real questions remain about the standards and practices of CNN and other cable networks who used - and probably will continue to use - these people.

Back when blogger ethics was all the rage I was chatting with one reporter who was a bit obsessed about financial transparency, as if the fact that you spout off on the internets means that you have to post your bank statements. Trying to get this reporter to understand that such transparency exists nowhere in the world, I asked what kind of financial disclosures their various op-ed contributors have to make. He paused for a minute and... well, I don't want to say he was lying, but he said something he wanted to be true more than it was true, that such people were "vetted."