Prosecute the torture.

March 24, 2009

Blogging for The Man?

UPDATE: Matt is working for District 4 City Council candidate Anthony Coghill. He did not blog about this race yesterday.

Whilst trying to catch up on my local blog reading, I came across this exchange from last week in the comments section over at Agent Ska's place:
Matt H said...
I will be on the staff of a local campaign as of this Monday.

12:11 AM

Agent Ska said...
Aww, a candidate for president of the tools of the system wants your help.

how cute.

How about you take a step back from your mental power trip and realize that you're just someone other campaigns use for their own purposes and don't care about you?

11:42 AM

Matt H said...
Wow. Your really angry for some reason.

Mental power trip? Where is that from?

I think your just mad because your candidates just never win on a local level. A lot of you other bloggers hate it that I support people who win.

If I am someone that is just used then why did I get hired? How is that getting used?

You so far out of touch with what's reality in local politics.

I take it your supporting Dowd for Mayor?

4:21 PM
Matt H is of course Matt Hogue whose blog is Pittsburgh Hoagie.

I'm going to take a wild guess here that Matt was hired by Lil Mayor Luke Ravenstahl -- not just because Matt is Lukey's biggest fan ever and BFF wannabe -- but because most local campaigns don't have much in the way of paid staff and because we know that Lil Mayor Luke has been hiring and advertising for staffers from as far away as DC (in keeping with his practice of hiring non locals) and because Matt brought up the mayoral race in the above exchange.

So Matt, I got to ask:

Are you working for Ravenstahl's campaign?

If not his campaign, then which campaign hired you?
I ask this because yesterday -- the same day that you were supposed to start your new job -- you blogged about three local races: Mayor of Pittsburgh, City Council District 2 and City Council District 6.

Even by blogger standards it would have been unethical for you to blog about any of those races if you were a hired staffer of any of the candidates and you did not disclose any paid professional associations in your post.

Enquiring minds want to know.
.

11 comments:

emma said...

Matt H is working for Coghill, and he's going to lose.

(yes, that's right... he's supporting the non-endorsed candidate. I guess he doesn't respect the endorsement or the committee.)

Bram Reichbaum said...

Yup. Campaign managing, from what I understand.

Bram Reichbaum said...

"Even by blogger standards it would have been unethical for you to blog about any of those races if you were a hired staffer of any of the candidates and you did not disclose any paid professional associations in your post."

I think that's an interesting contention. I think I've had the same thought in the past, and it probably colored my view of some things in that past. But it's not my impression that Matt H is hiding his new employment. It's pretty brand new.

Maria said...

Bram,

I don't think that anyone has to automatically reveal employment with a candidate/pol, UNLESS they are blogging about that candidate/pol or their opponents.

We have reached a point now where multiple bloggers are either advising campaigns or being directly hired by them and I do believe that there should be some standards.

EdHeath said...

I would be curious about where one might read more about "blogging standards". Certainly in comments almost nothing seems to not be deleted. Almost.

Matt H has expressed the opinion that he would like to see Dowd and Georgia Blotzer come in third in their respective primaries. I am not sure what is gained or lost in the relative positions of the losers. It is, to me, an interesting question.

Regardless of whether Coghill wins or loses, Matt will have gotten valuable experience working that campaign, which I assume is the idea.

Infinonymous said...

My experience indicates that Matt has the deft touch of a jackhammer, the integrity of a weasel and -- most prominent -- the maturity of a newborn weasel.

The candidate for whom he is inclined to work, and who engages him, takes two small hits in my judgment.

Matt H said...

I wasn't hired by the Ravenstahl campaign.

Emma: I have never had a problem supporting or working for an endorsed candidate. It's ridiculous to ask someone to blindly support someone based off an endorsement. Especially an endorsement that is being challenged in court right now. There was some funny stuff that went down at the endorsement and we want to get to the bottom of it.

I have a lot of respect for the committee but they don't dictate who I support. When I worked for Bob O'Connor on his 2nd run the committee endorsed om Murphy. How smart was that? O'Connor was clearly the better candidate. The committee doesn't always get it right.

Should Natalia Rudiak drop out of the race since she didn't get it & she serves as an officer in her ward?

Matt H said...

Maria:


"Even by blogger standards it would have been unethical for you to blog about any of those races if you were a hired staffer of any of the candidates and you did not disclose any paid professional associations in your post."

That's your opinion. I disagree with it. I don't have to disclose anything. There are no blogging standards out there. Blogs are like free writes in a journal. They are thoughts and opinions.

Matt H said...

"Matt H has expressed the opinion that he would like to see Dowd and Georgia Blotzer come in third in their respective primaries. I am not sure what is gained or lost in the relative positions of the losers. It is, to me, an interesting question.

Regardless of whether Coghill wins or loses, Matt will have gotten valuable experience working that campaign, which I assume is the idea."

Ed: I am very against the Blotzer campaign. Hopefully a 3rd place finish would keep her from running again. It is always a plan to bury your opponents on election day to keep them from running again.

I am not working on his campaign to gain experience. I am in it because I believe he is the best man for the job and I believe in his message and skills.

Matt H Exposed said...

"There are no blogging standards out there. Blogs are like free writes in a journal. They are thoughts and opinions."

I sort of agree.

I try to follow the same rules on my blog.

See you around the blogs!

Maria said...

Matt H,

OK, first I will take you at your word that your blog is full of 'free writes' and only 'thoughts and opinions' so no one should seek any facts there.

Second, I know that I need to be highly cautious of your 'thoughts and opinions' because who knows who may be paying you to say whatever.

OK, enough snark.

Would you want to read an article or an editorial (thoughts and opinions) about food safety in the P-G without knowing that the writer was being paid by the peanut industry or the government of China? I wouldn't.

Of course we all have our own biases which shape our opinions, but generally speaking, those biases and any resulting spin is probably much higher if there's a paycheck at stake.

That's all I'm saying.

Again, I did not think that you had an automatic need to post that you were working for Coghill if you never posted anything about Coghill or his opponents.

But, you put out there that you were being employed by a campaign so I do believe that anyone reading your blog deserved to know if you were writing about/on behalf of your employer.

You believe differently.

Here at 2pj, we've turned down offers from groups who wanted to pay us to 'guest post.' We have no problem taking advertising money as long as our readers know that it is advertising and not advertising posing as a blog post.

Readers of both our blogs can take all this into consideration when it comes to who to trust.