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The new perils of political blogging
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, December 14, 2006

Shaun Kenney is following a story about the Webb campaign which is rather disturbing if true:
If you are a Virginia blogger, chances are that the Webb campaign has an opposition research book on you. Bloggers that made the cut include Chad Dotson, Jim Hoeft, Ben Tribbett, Waldo Jaquith, Josh Chernila, Lowell Feld, Jim Riley, J.C. Wilmore, Jon Henke, and a host of others. These are not your typical background checks either... a significant amount of money was spent crafting the kind of opposition research one would typically find on a candidate running for public office.

It seems as if the Webb campaign made a strategic decision to unleash this opposition research if something damaging came out against their candidate, simply to personally slander the blogger making the claim.

Once source for this information described it as "Nixonian". Not only were Republican bloggers thouroughly researched, but Democratic allies of Webb as well, in the event they turned on the Webb campaign.

UPDATE: NLS is confirming the opposition research as "having some truth behind it,", trying to find out how deep this story really is. So folks on the left aren't happy about this either.

More later...........
Says NLS:
What I have been told by some reliable sources is that Shaun's report is very close to reality. However, I am hearing that the list of bloggers researched is "smaller" than Shaun's list, while the amount of information compiled on those bloggers chosen is "very large". My source also assures me that this talk of credit reports that others started (notice Shaun never mentioned them) is totally false, and that the information gathered, while broad, "did not violate anyone's privacy".
Again, this is in the preliminary stages and may have nothing to it, but, and maybe it's just me, if true it seems more than a little over the top.

UPDATE: Not everyone is impressed or sees a problem with it.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

What I find truly funny is. I know Waldo! He is a fine gentleman who is very civic minded and also about as hard left as one can be. So Webb was preparing to face attack from his own establishment and when attacked out comes the flame (sheet) throwers. How funny is that. Just a prediction Webb is going to implode politically. I don’t think he will be able to gut out being a jr player in the democratic machine.

Written By: coaster
URL: http://
Attack a blogger like that and you’ll reap the whirlwind.
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
So Webb was preparing to face attack from his own establishment and when attacked out comes the flame (sheet) throwers.
Maybe. According to the NLS post, the list of bloggers was smaller than first reported and it may be that Waldo wasn’t really on it.
Written By: McQ
Could be. I will retract until further info comes out. It still doesn’t change my opinion on Webbs long term viability in the Democratic Machine
Written By: coaster
URL: http://
It still doesn’t change my opinion on Webbs long term viability in the Democratic Machine.
I don’t necessarily disagree with your assessment. I’ve been of the opinion that Webb’s alignment with the Democratic party is mostly due to Iraq and convenience. And if Tim Johnson is unable to continue serving and is replaced by a Republican in the Senate, James Webb could become the Democrat’s Lincoln Chaffee.
Written By: McQ
At least Jon didn’t have his credit report stolen by Schumer;s hit squad
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I can just imagine the crying, stomping and outrage if the situation was reversed.
Written By: coaster
URL: http://
Leaving out whose campaign researched which bloggers, I don’t see what the fuss is about. If someone wrote/blogged about me, I would want to know who that person is.

The question is, rather, when does inquiry lead to inappropriate scrutiny of private matters and, especially, smear tactics. And that question should be asked not only when a blogger is scrutinized, but equally when the blogger is scrutinizing a public figure.

Standards are low in every camp.
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
This is ridiculous. If bloggers want to play the game they’ve got to be ready for this. On top of that, why the hell do people care if information is gathered on them because a campaign feels they have a great deal of influence within the world of politics?

It doesn’t really matter anyway because like I wrote in my own blog (which is linked in the update), from what MY SOURCES have told me, this sort of thing has become common practice within campaigns.
Written By: Terry

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