Department of silly headlines
Friday, January 14th, 2005
The Wall Street Journal headlines an article today “Dean Campaign Made Payments To Two Bloggers,” reporting excitedly that the Dean presidential campaign paid bloggers Markos Moulitsas Zuniga and Jerome Armstrong last year.
(Taking a crack at link whoring, the WSJ unpasswords the article and solicits a link from ur-blogger Matt Drudge, who links with these words: “BOUGHT AND PAID: Dean Campaign Made Payments To Websites — To Hype…” Update: as of 4.20PM, Drudge had toned his headline to remove the possibly defamatory “BOUGHT AND PAID” to the simpler “Dean Campaign Made Payments To Websites — To Hype…” Wonder if he’ll further undefame that to “seeking to hype” before the headline comes down.)
The WSJ “provides context” for the “news:” “The issue of political payments to commentators has become hot following disclosures that the Bush administration paid a conservative radio and newspaper pundit, Armstrong Williams, $240,000 to plug its ‘No Child Left Behind’ education policy.”
Newsflash: there’s a world of difference between people like Williams who hide payments that have a contracted goal of sweetening his public position, and people like Moulitsas Zuniga and Armstrong who go out of their way to publicize financial relatonships that might impact their opinions.
Since the financial relationship was explicitly disclosed and highlighted daily on DailyKos throughout the period in question, the WSJ article might as well be headlined: “WSJ didn’t read blogs last year when they were making history.”
Here’s a disclosure I’d like to make: my views may be favorably biased towards Moulitsas Zuniga and Armstrong, since my company receives a portion of the revenues from ads purchased on their blogs.
And here’s a disclosure the WSJ and similar “old news” businesses might make: their reporting may be negatively biased against bloggers, since their bloated businesses are losing mindshare and ad revenues to bloggers like Moulitsas and Armstrong.