Nationally noted political blogger, Peter Daou, who writes the Daou Report for Salon, announced that he would begin doing political consulting for Hilary Clinton’s upcoming presidential campaign. One of his alleged goals will be to try to undo some of the damage done to her reputation by the savage attacks emanating from political blogs like Daily Kos and many others. In short, most Democratic political bloggers detest Hilary. Daou’s going to try to undo that or at least mitigate it. All I can say is good luck. I think he’s running a fool’s errand.
But what I personally find even more troubling is that Daou will continue to be affiliated with Salon & the Daou Report while he works for Hilary Clinton. To me this raises too many possibilities of conflict of interest between his allegiance to Clinton’s campaign and the interests of his Salon readers.
While I generally decried the attacks on Kos by David Brooks & Chris Suellentrop, one thing I thought valid was the latter’s contention that when you’re a political blogger who also consults you have two masters. Can you serve each one well and not do a disservice to either? Perhaps. But perhaps not.
I think it’s too much of a crapshoot for Salon not to disaffiliate with Peter for the duration of his involvement with Clinton. When he writes about politics in ways that even remotely intersect with Clinton how will we know which hat he has on? How can we see him as a fully disinterested observer of the political scene? In short, how can we fully trust what he’s saying to us?
My views on this subject are influenced by the post I just wrote about Kos’ troubles with the conservative and moderate media types who’ve just tried to roast him for various alleged ethical misdeeds. In that post, I called for a political blogging code of conduct which, among other things, would insist that political bloggers enumerate precisely their consulting relationships: how much they’re making, who they work for, etc. But the issue for Daou and Salon is even more complicated since Salon is not his site. That’s why I think it would be far better for the two to part ways at least temporarily.
It’s similar to what happens when a media/news personality declares themselves a candidate for political office. It’s customary for the customary for the candidate to take a leave of absence so that the radio or TV station’s credibility and non-partisanship will not be questioned. I don’t think the Daou-Salon situation is much different.
As for Salon, what will it do with Daou’s material? Will it publish a disclosure each time he publishes which notes his involvement with Clinton. And if not, why not? How will it enforce a separation between Daou’s work for the site and his political affiliation? How will it guarantee that his professional prejudices will not inform his writing for Salon? I have written to Salon asking them to clarify what their policy is regarding their politics writers who consult for political candidates; and what Daou’s relationship with Salon will be while he works for Clinton. No answer yet.
Arieh Lebowitz says
People need alternatives. Even those in New York State.
A Democratic Bid That’s Anti-Clinton All the Time
New York Times, United States – Jun 26, 2006
With his glasses, balding head and leprechaunish smile, Jonathan Tasini doesn’t look like a political threat to anyone. But he has … http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/26/nyregion/26challenger.html?ex=1151467200&en=ab31e06294fc3bcd&ei=5087
“Jonathan Tasini is so much more than the antiwar candidate.”
OpEdNews – Jun 15, 2006
You’re not endorsing Jonathan Tasini by signing and providing your address. … Jonathan Tasini doesn’t accept contributions from corporations. … http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_missy_co_060615_jonathan_tasini_3a__th.htm
Guerrilla News Network The Democrats’ Election Year Stunts
Guerrilla News Network – Jun 30, 2006
… Here in New York, Jonathan Tasini is gaining support among a large majority of antiwar Democrats, garnering praise from The New York Times to Amy Goodman’s … http://www.gnn.tv/articles/2387/The_Democrats_Election_Year_Stunts
Madelaine Sobolo says
I am amazed at the small-minded, hate-filled Democrats who claim they despise Sen. Clinton but haven’t even taken the time to visit her website or find out that he has, in fact, done some great work as a Senator, both for New York and the country. Bloggers have been damning this woman for years; but as soon as she hires a blogger herself, she is attacked even further.
Keep it up. The more unbalanced this becomes, the more supporters will be drawn to Sen. Clinton.
Richard Silverstein says
I don’t hate or despise Clinton. I quite like her. It’s her policies I cannot stomach.
Like that little vote to approve the Iraq invasion. Or her lockstep formation with Aipac on every silly piece of legislation they propose. Where was she on extraordinary rendition? Enemy combatants? Torture? On national security, she’s been with the Bush Administration practically every step of the way. Perhaps, it’s you who don’t know her record. And by the way, you do realize, I hope that “he” is really a “she,” don’t you?
I’m under no illusion that a blogger like me will cause any groundswell for or against her. But it’s our responsibility to ensure that our readers will not forget the policies she espoused which should come back to haunt her.
I notice you’re writing from Canada. What would you know about Clinton’s supporters here? And how would you know whether they’ll flock to her or not? Gee, I don’t make a point of weighing in on Canadian elections. Maybe you ought to think twice about that yourself vis a vis our own internal political debate. And if you insist on weighing in, you might want to be a little less insulting toward those of us who live here and don’t share yr perspective.