I promise not to make my entries here revolve around politics, but when the shoe fits, I say wear it! The story is a’brewin surrounding Markos Zuniga from Daily Kos and compadre Jerome Armstrong from myDD, in which Armstrong was hired as a “consultant” to
Jim Jon Corzine gubernatorial campaign in New Jersey. As it turns out, there is a virtual dovetail between Kos’ writing and Armstrongs, one that would appear on the surface to be, as Outside the Beltway’s James Joyner puts it, a” symbiotic relationship”.
Peeling back the onion a bit, we see that there seems to be a rather symbiotic relationship between Armstrong’€™s consulting business and the blogging activities of his Crashing the Gates co-author Markos Moulitas Zuniga. Clients of Armstrong’€™s consulting business, including rather netroots unfriendly candidates like Mark Warner, strangely seem to capture Kos’€™ fancy and get ringing endorsements.
I don’t want to get into the politics of all this. However, if bloggers are to be seen as credible sources, it would seem to me that being transparent in endorsements and dealings should be a natural requirement. Even outside of the political realm, advertisers, sponsors and such seem rather shady and disingenuous at times.
Take Tris Husseys entry last month which talks about sponsored posts and aggressive monetization of blogs – getting paid to be favorable to a product or company.
For the “sponsored post” or “paid placement”, the same thing goes. Just because you pay me, doesn’t mean you’ve bought me. I won’t sing the praises of you or your product. Frankly, you don’t want that really. I’m of no value to you, as a place for your ad or information, if no one is reading me anymore.
In politics, and other areas of blogging, having that transparency means more trust. What’s the old saying: If it looks like you’re hiding something, you probably are?