The bloggers seem to be notably unflustered about Carroll’s larger point, which is that some of them (not BMG) are on the take from political campaigns, and some of them don’t bother to disclose that.
Hey now … I’m getting there, Dan. Just getting warmed up here.
Carroll relied heavily on a New York Times article about payments to bloggers. Actually, Carroll relied not so much on the article itself, but on a chart that detailed names, payments, and bloggers. The article had this harsh little commentary:
Few of these bloggers shut down their “independent” sites after signing on with campaigns, and while most disclosed their campaign ties on their blogs, some – like Patrick Hynes of Ankle Biting Pundits – did so only after being criticized by fellow bloggers.
Hrm… OK, NYT, you found one, and that’s certainly not good. And the criticism (i.e. accountability) from fellow bloggers is duly noted. Thanks for that. Why isn’t the headline “Bloggers Hold Each Other Accountable”?
But this is the kicker: The chart doesn’t say which of the bloggers disclosed and which did not. It sloppily lumps responsible bloggers who are conscious of their obligation to disclose conflict of interest with those who do not. What the hell kind of responsible journalism is that?
So Dan (or John Carroll, or K. Daniel Glover), you tell me: Which of the listed bloggers disclosed or went on hiatus, and who didn’t? Here, I’ll get you started: Here’s Jerome Armstrong’s disclosure that he was working for Mark Warner, August 20, 2005. What about Pandagon’s Jesse Taylor? Oops — he transferred ownership of his blog to Amanda Marcotte. For more, follow the links from this post. UPDATE: Aldon Hynes holds forth on his role in the Lamont campaign.
Carroll’s piece then goes this bit of sloppiness one step further, by strongly implying that none of the listed bloggers disclosed their work or went on hiatus from their blogs while doing campaign work.
Look, with all due respect, I think all y’all in the traditional media can put down the sanctimony right about now. Getting the story right requires an open mind, a little humility, and yeah, some accountability. You can’t just make up a narrative and bend the facts to fit it. The New York Times (through Mr. Glover) and Greater Boston both blew it.
UPDATE: No, I’m not finished yet. Digby says it better than I could (or just about anyone else, as usual):
Throughout the segment and the roundtable, Carroll insisted that liberal blogs were offenders in this unethical non-disclosure, when in fact, the liberal bloggers were not implicated by non-disclosure at all in the New York Times piece. He got it completely backwards. The scenario in which bloggers are paid to secretly shill for a candidate on their own site happened one time that I’m aware of (aside from Hynes) and it was the notorious conservative Thune bloggers in South Dakota. I suppose it may have happened on the liberal side in this last election, but if it did, it was not revealed by that NY Times article or anywhere else. The dark speculation about the “kept” bloggers of the “left-wing’s glamour web-sites” simply has no basis.