Friday, July 28, 2006
More on the Disclosure Issue
There's nothing wrong with working on a candidate's PAC or on his campaign, and there's nothing wrong with blogging about that candidate. The error is in not informing readers. I think bloggers have an obligation to disclose their relationships to entities in which they have a financially compensated relationship or interest. There’s no reason to think that anything Hynes wrote is anything less than his unvarnished opinion; but his readers ought to be informed that McCain is not just his favorite presidential contender; he is, ultimately, a client.
This is a sensitive issue because nowadays one of the easiest ways to shut down criticism and debate on foreign policy issues is to insist or hint that someone is "on the take". Incidents like these, no matter how innocent or trivial in the end, continue to add more straws onto the camel's back that commentators, pundits, etc. are simply puppets for their paymasters.
to be universally hostile to regulating financial conflicts of interest between bloggers and the people who will buy their endorsements.
I'm skeptical that Hynes was writing his unvarnished opinion - it's like expecting to get an unvarished opinion from a presidential candidate's campaign manager. Frankly, when you pay for someone's opinion, often you own/control that opinion.