Friday, January 14, 2005

Dean for DNC Chair and Trusting Kos

Patrick Hynes has an interesting piece in the American Spectator about the Kos-Dean bucks-for-blog arrangement. I've thought that this says more about Dean than Kos. Hynes agrees.

But Galley Reader J.W. asks an interesting question:

Here's something I haven't seen any blogger address yet. Kos fessed up about taking cash from Dean. But at the same time he admitted he had taken money from other politicians (apparently) but refused to disclose their identities. He said he had a nondisclosure agreement with them. So it is certain that Kos took cash from people his readers never knew about, and probably shilled for them on his blog. Is he still doing this? The nondisclosure agreements seem to create a real ethical conundrum--we will never know which opinions on his site Kos is being paid for, and which are gratis. How can his readers trust the guy?

Good point. What's the use of disclosure about being paid if you won't say who's paying you? Doesn't that make a blog kind of like an infomercial? (Amazing Discoveries!--Hosted by Kos) I say this without judgment. There are plenty of people who get up early on Saturday morning to watch the infomercials because there's entertainment value in them. Speaking only for myself, I can't get enough of Tony Little, the ADD body-builder who hawks the Gazelle. So if Daily Kos is an infomercial, and not really feature programming, that shouldn't necessarily eat into his audience any. It just means that other bloggers need to consider him differently.

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