Friday, January 14, 2005

WSJ.com - Dean Campaign Made Payments To Two Bloggers

WSJ.com - Dean Campaign Made Payments To Two Bloggers: "Howard Dean's presidential campaign hired two Internet political 'bloggers' as consultants so that they would say positive things about the former governor's campaign in their online journals, according to a former high-profile Dean aide.
Zephyr Teachout, the former head of Internet outreach for Mr. Dean's campaign, made the disclosure earlier this week in her own Web log, Zonkette. She said 'to be very clear, they never committed to supporting Dean for the payment -- but it was very clearly, internally, our goal.' The hiring of the consultants was noted in several publications at the time.
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.
With the growing importance of blogs -- short for Web logs -- Ms. Teachout said she thinks bloggers need to rethink their attitudes toward ethics. A blog is an online personal journal or series of postings, dealing with just about anything. Millions of people use blogs to post diatribes, rants, links to other sites and erudite analyses hourly, daily or sporadically. Some make a little money by selling ads. The Dean campaign's adroit use of the Internet helped make its long-shot effort credible."
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