Matthias: blog
Das Logfile über mein Leben im Netz.

Credibility revisited Montag, 17. Januar 2005, 18:46:03

Just in case you don't follow, this is what I meant by 'hilarious' in my previous posting.

In the conference blog, Rebecca MacKinnon claims that Zephyr Teachouts smear campaign is an important blog post. Obviously she didn't do any fact-checking or she would have realized it's nonsense - neither one of the two accused were hired for blogging.

Here's the story:

Zephyr Teachout claims:

On Dean's campaign, we paid Markos and Jerome Armstrong as consultants, largely in order to ensure that they said positive things about Dean. We paid them over twice as much as we paid two staffers of similar backgrounds, and they had several other clients.

While they ended up also providing useful advice, the initial reason for our outreach was explicitly to buy their airtime. To be very clear, they never committed to supporting Dean for the payment -- but it was very clearly, internally, our goal.

To which Laura Gross, Communications Director for the Dean campaign, answers:

[...] these guys were hired as technical consultants. Specifically, they helped the Web team pick a technology platform for the blog (Movable Type) and helped manage Internet advertising (banner ads, Google ads, etc.). They weren't paid to write content -- either for the campaign or on their own blogs. And just in case there was any ambiguity, the campaign made sure they had a notice saying "I am a paid consultant for Howard Dean" right smack on the front of their personal blogs.

And Matthew Gross (no relation to L. Gross) says:

As for the accusation that we had any other "internal goal": As is well known, I was the Director of Internet Communications and "Blogger in Chief" for the Dean campaign. To my knowledge, there was never any internal expectation that either Markos or Jerome would provide anything other than technical or advertising advice or services, and those were the only services they did provide.

Simply put, Zephyr Teachout was lying through her teeth and knew it.

Of course the fun continues here, there, basically everywhere. Particularly entertaining is this bit here by The Blue Lemur:

The chief editorial writer at the Wall Street Journal, the paper which disparaged two progressive blogs over accepting money from Howard Dean's campaign, serves on President Bush's fellowship board with Armstrong Williams, RAW STORY has learned. He is also being hired as chief speechwriter for the Bush Administration

Doh! I mean, DOH! Guess the conference on Blogging, Journalism & Credibility is necessary after all - just don't invite Teachout, MacKinnon, or the WSJ.