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are half of right-wing bloggers paid shills?

According to this story at right-leaning site The Daily Caller, the GOP has made it "standard operating procedure" to pay bloggers for favorable coverage. One GOP blogger-for-hire estimates that "at least half the bloggers that are out there" on the Republican side are taking payola.

The results during the California primary for governor, pitting Meg Whitman against Steve Poizner, were almost funny:

One pro-Poizner blogger, Aaron Park, was discovered to be a paid consultant to the Poizner campaign while writing for Red County, a conservative blog about California politics. Red County founder Chip Hanlon threw Park off the site upon discovering his affiliation, which had not been disclosed.

Poizner’s campaign was shocked to learn of the arrangement, apparently coordinated by an off-the-reservation consultant. For Park, though, it was business as usual. In November 2009, for instance, he approached the campaign of another California office-seeker — Chuck DeVore, who was then running for Senate — with an offer to blog for money.

“I can be retained at a quite reasonable rate or for ‘projects,’” Park wrote in an e-mail to campaign officials. In an interview, Park defended himself by claiming, “nobody has any doubt which candidates I’m supporting,” and noting that his blog specifies which candidates he “endorses.”

But while Red County’s Hanlon expressed outrage at Park’s pay-for-blogging scheme, questions arose about his own editorial independence when it emerged that Red County itself had been taking money from the Whitman campaign.

The Daily Caller also cites bloggers who acts as paid consultants to campaigns, including Lowell Feld, who writes for the liberal blog Blue Virginia and has received money from Democratic campaigns -- but Feld discloses his consulting work on his blog. A rather different arrangement than pay-for-blogging.

By the way, if any Zenarchist candidates happen to read this, my rates are quite reasonable...


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