Yes, I'm borrowing a heading from Joe Jaffe who I've known a while ever since he profiled my Harrisdirect Direct Investors campaign and I've also been a faithful reader of his blog for a while. Jaffe wrote this post called Bloggers versus Bloggers which highlights some grief that the author of a corporate blogging book Debbie Weil is getting because she sent out emails soliciting comments on one of her client's blogs. You can read the post for Jaffe's opinion and follow what's happening, if that's what interests you, but one of the most important points he raises is towards the end when he says that she was completely transparent.
This got me thinking as to the differences between corporate/marketing bloggers and the political blogosphere. Corporate and marketing bloggers get so fired up about transparency, pay-per-posts when those issues are routinely ignored in the political blogosphere. Recently a bunch of fellow bloggers had to go out of their way when they accepted an invitation from Nikon to participate in their blogger program.
In the political blogosphere it seems to be common practice to just ignore or make one post about transparency and forget about it. Want to say something negative about a candidate because you are behind the scenes helping another - go right ahead. Get called on the carpet for making an erroneous post and never respond or offer a correction - that seems fine. A potential candidate like Fred Thompson blogs on Pajamas Media and Townhall and that seems to get him a free pass on those sites - that's OK too. Or how about my favorite when Townhall's Hugh Hewitt/Dean Barnett does any analysis on 2008 Republicans when Hugh is clearly with Mitt Romney and has written a book about him which if elected President would increase wildly in sales. Need proof? Check out this analysis on Q2 Fund Raising which really got me fired up; not because it was anti-McCain but because it painted such a rosy picture of Romney's fund raising when he had to loan his campaign millions of dollars. Finally, according to Michelle Malkin, The Daily Kos revoked Cindy Sheehan's posting privileges because she is exercising her right to run in opposition of Speak Nancy Pelosi.
After 20 months or so blogging and working in politics, it still surprises me how serious corporate/marketing bloggers take transparency and will jump all over a blogger or company like WalMart when they violate that, but when it comes to political bloggers it seems very common to do what you want without regard for how it looks. Marketing bloggers take time to cite sources or use credible metrics, but some political bloggers can make wild exaggerations based on one or two observations. I guess it wouldn't hurt to set your own ground rules and then try to stick to them, huh? That's why it is important to always keep in mind what a writer's blogging story is.