Please Excuse My Day-Long Absence
Don't pay the ransom, I've escaped. The explanation is as simple as it is ironic. I spent most of the day pushing back against this story:
“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.”
As Ace of Spades put it: Blogola! Having recently argued that conservative bloggers need to pay more attention to campaigns and candidates, and warning against the assumption that mere polls assure a midterm triumph for conservatives, I woke up to this unfortunate assertion. If every time a blogger promotes a candidate, there is a suspicion that he's being paid to do so, this obviously undermines the political effectiveness of blogs. Therefore, I felt compelled to compose first one response, and then a second response. The irony, of course, is that I'd just agreed to spend a week guest-blogging here at Ricochet gratis -- rewarded only by the prestige
of being associated with such esteemed luminaries of the conservative intellentsia. So while "one Republican campaign operative" is assuring a reporter that half the blogsophere is on the take, I'm pretty much advertising myself as a cheap date.
Further compounding the irony is that Republicans are supposed to be the "Party of the Rich," greedy capitalists, one and all. Why is it therefore scandalous that a certain California blog managed to collect $125,000 from Meg Whitman's gubernatorial campaign? Let's have more such "scandals" -- this is the kind of economic stimulus I heartily endorse!