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March 07, 2006

NYT Hit-Piece On Bloggers

Basically, it appears that Wal-Mart sends stories and tips (in its favor, of course) to bloggers who show some sympathy to its cause.

The New York Times seems aghast at this practice.

Just wondering-- how many New York Times stories per week are cribbed directly from DNC sources, DNC releases, or "studies" by liberal-leaning advocacy groups?

They're making an issue of the fact that Marshall Manson, a co-blogger at RedState and (serendipitously) ontapblog.com (where Jim Geraghty co-blogs) sent tips and such to Rob at Sayanythingblog.com.

And that Manson offered to give Rob a tour of Wal-Mart's corporate headquarters (and possibly would help defer travel expenses).

Whoo-hooo! Touring a corporate HQ. It's payola and graft of the worst sort. Why, that's a privilege afforded to... well, just about anyone who's interested, I'm guessing.

In the spirit of disclosure, Marshall was nice enough to buy me several Miller Lights and one rum & diet coke at CPAC a few weeks ago (as he bought for most bloggers on Blogger Row). The topic of Wal-Mart never came up, but I'm sure I've been corrupted by that crazy Wal-Mart money. Some subliminal message he sent me compels me to publish something about dirt-cheap snow shovels.

PunditGuy also seems to have been caught up in this web of deception and corporate chicanery:

Bloggers who agreed to receive the e-mail messages said they were eager to hear Wal-Mart's side of the story, which they said they felt had been drowned out by critics, and were tantalized by the promise of exclusive news that might attract more visitors to their Web sites.

"I am always interested in tips to stories," said one recipient of Mr. Manson's e-mail messages, Bill Nienhuis, who operates a Web site called PunditGuy.com.

You see that? He's always interested in tips to stories. It's practically a bribe. He's "tantalized by the promise of exclusive news that might attract more visitors to" his web site.

Because if anything draws eyeballs, it's hot stories about Wal-Mart!

Let me go on the record right now: I'm interested in ALL tips about news, including from major corporations. Just don't clutter my email box with pure bullshit. Keep them infrequent and only send me the interesting ones.

And by all means invite me to tour your corporate headquarters-- that's the key to buying me off. General Mills, I'm looking right at you. I've always been fascinated by how you guys make Lucky Charms, and who thought of the masterstroke of adding the blue diamond. Send me a few snack-packs and I'll print just about anything you want me to.

It's all so stupid. Someone who wants press sends tips to someone who may or may not provide press (as he determines himself) and it's a scandal.

I'd like to see the emails between NYT and the DNC.

Oh, And... A left-wing anti-war veterans group is always sending me tips. I don't know how I got on their list, but I did post one tip (I think it was about Paul Hackett bad-mouthing the Democratic Party). They continue sending me tips, although, obviously, we're not on the same page.

It's just absurd. Of course advocacy groups are sending stuff like this to bloggers -- just like they send this stuff to the NYT.



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posted by Ace at 07:26 PM

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