…of this story in the Daily Caller: “True stories of bloggers who secretly feed on partisan cash.”
“It’s standard operating procedure” to pay bloggers for favorable coverage, says one Republican campaign operative. A GOP blogger-for-hire estimates that “at least half the bloggers that are out there” on the Republican side “are getting remuneration in some way beyond ad sales.” …
Ad purchases at above market rates are a common means by which some campaigns seek to influence bloggers, according to numerous campaign operatives and bloggers.
If it appears that conservative bloggers are more likely to take campaign money than their liberal counterparts, there may be a reason. According to Dan Riehl, conservatives can’t rely on the infrastructure of foundations and think tanks that supports so many liberal bloggers.
Riehl has made it a goal to mobilize conservative benefactors and organizers to establish a funding infrastructure mimicking what the liberal “netroots” created during the Bush years. “They did it the smart way,” Riehl says.
On the left, many of the once independent bloggers are now employed by, or receive money from, liberal organizations like Media Matters, the Center for American Progress and Campaign for America’s Future.
The last point is certainly true; many left-wing web sites are owned by George Soros, etc. And I have no reason to doubt the handful of instances involving local bloggers that the Daily Caller cites. But I can say categorically that no politician or political campaign has ever offered to pay us to write favorably about them, and I am highly skeptical that other well-known bloggers on the right have had a different experience.
Years ago, some lefty wrote that we were in the pay of the Claremont Institute. Would that it were true! Unfortunately, whatever cash flow there may be runs in the opposite direction. For the record, we have never received any income from this site other than ad revenue which, to the best of our knowledge, has always been sold at market rates to pretty much anyone who wants to buy space–including, at one time, the Democratic National Committee, and currently, to the consternation of some of our California readers, Jerry Brown.
This is, perhaps, an advantage of our amateur status. We are all full-time practicing lawyers, and have been for more than 30 years. Ad revenue is fun, at the margin, but we’re certainly not living on it. So it would be ridiculous to write something we don’t really believe in exchange for a few bucks from a campaign. Our readers can rest assured that everything they read on this site reflects our true views and our best judgment–for better or worse, some might say.