Friday, October 05, 2007

What's the truth, SLC politico?

Since everyone is dumping on Jason Bourne/Mark Trowner these days, I wonder if we have another astroturfer in our midst. I hate to call out someone, but after poking around SLCpoliticstruth somethings caught my eye, and they raise a few red flags.

  1. Of the three total posts on the entire blog, all of them since Buhler went on the attack against Becker.

  2. All three of these posts are not only pro-Buhler/anti-Becker, but also fit tightly into Buhler's messaging. (By contrast, Jenni's or Rob's or Marshall's or my blog write nice things about Ralph and mean things about Dave, but we don't coordinate between ourselves or the Becker camp)

  3. SLC Politico seems to have sprung up out of nowhere in response to my post on Buhler's first negative attack (I added him, as I do all non-spam commenters with a blog to my link list)

Now these suspicious signs could mean nothing. SLC politico could just be a Buhler fan and not like Becker. That's perfectly fine and he is entitled to his opinion. But if he is being paid by money or resume line to blog for a candidate, that to me is problematic.

I will take whatever response SLC politico offers at face value and assume it is true. If however, other facts come to light, I will not hesitate to bring them to the fore. So please feel free to comment here folks, I only seek to rid the blog of spam keep commenters emails etc. private. And to SLC politico, inquiring minds want to know.


Harm said...

I find this post interesting 3rd Avenue. It seems that you are weary of the Buhler campaign entering your blog world. You do know that your blog has a direct link from the Ralphbecker website right? I also believe that many of his payed staffers have personal blogs. You make strong assumptions 3rd Avenue, I will also take them at face value and assume them to be true. I do think you write well, not very critically minded, but well-- one of my favorites.

Oldenburg said...

Let me be clear, because I think Harm has confused the issue a bit. I have no problem with Buhler supporters or staffers blogging, but paid or volunteers should disclose such on their sites.

There are folks on other blogs that have volunteered for Becker, but they talk about their experiences talking to voters as volunteers so there is no hiding of the ball.

I do know that my blog is linked on their site, and I never asked for that. I have disclosed many times that Dave Everitt, Becker's campaign manager is a friend and thus my opinion on the race is not as objective. I never claimed to be objective, only to state my opinions and back them up.

Let me know which Becker staffers have personal blogs that don't disclose that relationship and blog about Becker, and I will be happy to shame them. Maybe I am making assumptions about SLC politico, but I am happy to be proved wrong and will admit any error if it is one.

Anonymous said...

I'm not being paid by Dave Buhler to blog. Thanks for drawing attention to my new blog, though! Let's keep up the discussion!

Oldenburg said...

OK, well that clears it up partially. But I still am unclear: do you get paid or work for (including without pay) any group (company, PIC, non-profit etc.) that does stuff on behalf of Buhler?

Tyler said...

I'm not sure what difference it makes what affiliations this individual associates with (in all sincerety). If it's in the interest of journalistic integrity, I could understand if these were something other than blogs. Blogs don't count as journalism.

So let me be clear: What exactly is your hang-up? (again, with sincere interest)

Oldenburg said...

Blogs, among other things, have played a vital role in being journalists and covering stories that traditional media have refused (US Attorney firings, FISA, Plame, etc.) or been unable (the killing of Monks and civilians resisting Burma's Military Junta).

In order to remain a credible force in current events, bloggers should disclose if they are being paid with money or a resume line for a certain cause or company.

And even if you don't buy the quasi-journalist angle, the internet's ethos is all about transparency. Revealing one's potential conflicts of interest goes directly to that.

I have made no bones about my conflicts, and I call on others to do the same.

The Independent Mormon said...

Well I actually help out with the Buhler campaign and these blogs were brought to my attention, so I decided to make one myself. The only problem with identifying yourself as connected to a campaign in some way is that then the campaign feels that it doesn't want you saying things that might be interpreted as being from Dave, when it is really just some unpaid volunteer like me. I will admit it, but I don't see how it has any relevance that I feel so strongly about the race that I donate my time to actually make a difference.