Politicians Paying Bloggers For Positive Press?

Filed as News on August 23, 2010 9:07 pm

After the pay per post and pay per tweet fiasco’s that previously upset the blogosphere (mainly due to the lack of disclosure), it looks like blog readers may have to deal with a new scandal, one that could damage the reputation of conservative political bloggers.

“It’s standard operating procedure” to pay bloggers for favorable coverage, says one Republican campaign operative. A GOP blogger-for-hire estimates that “at least half the bloggers that are out there” on the Republican side “are getting remuneration in some way beyond ad sales.” […]

One pro-Poizner blogger, Aaron Park, was discovered to be a paid consultant to the Poizner campaign while writing for Red County, a conservative blog about California politics. Red County founder Chip Hanlon threw Park off the site upon discovering his affiliation, which had not been disclosed. (Daily Caller)

This isn’t the first time political payola has reared its ugly head (last time the issue was on the left), although the fact that this problem is potentially widespread could revive the debate about why the FEC needs to regulate political blogs in the United States.

The FTC already requires bloggers to provide disclosure regarding products, and one would assume bloggers would use common sense by doing the same regarding politics.

Although many bloggers do act as consultants for political organizations (as politicians usually are not as savvy when it comes to social media), most of them do provide adequate disclosure of their financial dealings for the sake of transparency with their readers.

As far as being paid for positive political press, bloggers should not be engaging in this type of affair, as doing so makes them no better than the propaganda pieces put out by hostile third world governments.

(via Hot Air)

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