Thursday, 13 January 2005

Payola on my left, payola on my right

I don’t have anything particularly insightful to add to Robert’s post on Armstrong Williams below, except to note that everyone’s now abuzz that America’s favorite lefty blogger-slash-political consultant, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, was on the Dean campaign’s payroll; the Daily Kos founder draws distinctions between himself and Williams in an email to InstaPundit, as does Jerome Armstrong of MyDD fame. Being on the government’s take and on a campaign’s take are two different things—that said, I’d expect those who condemned the Thune v. Daschle guys to also come down hard on Kos and Armstrong for their ties to the now-defunct Dean campaign.

The issue of payola in general is a sticky one; for example, I was asked to review a textbook to give suggested revisions for an upcoming edition a while back, a book I’d planned on using anyway (although I hadn’t placed any orders yet)—but if I hadn’t made that decision before the review, would the $150 they paid me have influenced the adoption decision? I can’t honestly answer that question “no,” although I’ve also reviewed other textbooks that I’d never use in a million years.


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It’s hard for me to get worked up over this, though the blogosphere has been all over it. The only thing I found interesting was the hostility that Michelle Malkin had been experiencing.

I haven’t seen the media as unbiased observers for many years and think the best we can hope for is that they are honest about their bias.

BTW, being a professor has to be quite cool, though few would describe it that way; you get a lot of free books, many of which I’m paying big bucks for now.


I don’t get that many free books… in fact, I don’t even have all the textbooks I’m using this semester. I used to get a lot more at Ole Miss, actually.


That makes sense, I suppose. Smaller school, smaller market. The professors here can usually just call a publisher, request a copy and get it.

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