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Monday, March 06, 2006

Will My Name Become Mud In the Blogosphere?

Tomorrow the New York Times will be running a story about Wal-Mart and it's PR firms use of blogs to get their word out. A number of bloggers who have been contacted by the Times have put stories up tonight about this, basically "scooping the issue" from them. (Here is a link to the story, I'll comment on it tomorrow)

Michael Barbaro wrote the story, and as anyone who's read my blog knows, I haven't been easy on him or the Times for some (alright, most) of their Wal-Mart coverage. That's why I chose to help him with the article that is being published tomorrow.

By providing some insight into the info I've gotten from Edelman PR, I'm hoping that his story will be more accurate. I know I'm not the only source, but I do know I'll be quoted in it on a few things.

That's also why I hadn't planned on blogging about the story until tomorrow, because I made a gentlemen's agreement with him not to. However, with a number of blogs hitting it today, I thought I'd join the chorus, but in a different key.

So folks will wonder why I would do that, and "sell out" to the NY Times, a paper I basically loathe, and the answer is pretty easy. Bloggers want to be seen as the new media, and we are, but at the same time there is a lot of existing media out there, also. Both should work together to get correct information out to the public.

Bloggers and newspaper folks may not see eye to eye on a lot of issues, and we might have differences of opinion and slant on how we want to report things. But when chances come along to work together, and try and get stories rights, we should.

I haven't seen an advance copy of the story, so I don't know if the quotes of me are accurate, or how they chose to use the information I gave them, but I'm sure from my previous writings that Mr. Barbaro knows that I'll hold him to task if I feel I was misquoted, or misused in the article.

One quote I hope did make it into the story, "I'm not nearly as Pro-Wal Mart as I am anti-union", I don't blog about Wal-Mart because I want them to do well, I do it because I think the AFL-CIO and UFCW unions have unfairly targeted them because they've become sucessful selling groceries at a reasonable price. And a bunch of their paid political hacks have taken to writing targeted legislation, which is something I hate.

Here are some other blogs that are writing about this today.

Marquette Warrior has 2 posts up, here and here, the second with a very complete list of folks covering this story.

Marathon Pundit has his take on it here, his quotes the AFL-CIO blog's claims that some bloggers were paid by Wal-Mart. If they were, I want my check too! They also spend a lot of time trashing John at Marquette Warrior.

Iowa Voice say's he wasn't paid either.

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Note, I've been assured that the article in the Times points out clearly that Wal-Mart and Edelman did not pay anyone for blogging about Wal-Mart. Which means tomorrow, after I read the story I'll probably rip the AFL-CIO blog and their information.

7Comments:

Blogger Brad V said...

Keep up the good work - it's been fun to follow here and at Marquette Warrior!

10:45 PM  
Blogger James B. said...

It is rather ironic, the mainstream media runs stories all the time that it is fed by PR firms, but if WalMart does that to blogs all of a sudden it is a scandal. A couple of weeks ago I was touring the HQ of Waggener-Edstrom, most of their business is promoting Microsoft. Their job is to have a connection with every major media source in America and get out the company line. I wonder when the NY Times is going to run a story on that "scandal"?

12:25 AM  
Blogger Lone Pony said...

Mud? No way! Love your blog Bob. You had my trust quite some time back. I don't see that changing.

5:29 AM  
Blogger Ginger Winchester said...

Corporate Kiss-Butt... Good? Bad? I guess if you like the smell, then it pretty much says a lot.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Ginger, Thanks for visiting, though I'm sure it's probably a drive by.

Thanks LP. I've gotten a lot of supportive e-mails today from a bunch of folks saying I'm not mud.

James, that point was just debated on CNBC's Closing Bell, in their cover of the NY Times story. The blogger they had on asked the host if they always disclose when their stories start with a PR firm.

Thanks Brad!

4:06 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Name is mud? I think not. I'd say you're going big time, soon to move up in the "blogosphere ecosystem". good going.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

After a few days the links will fade, but at least my phone number and e-mail on in some interesting hands now. So maybe I can keep myself in the news :)

7:08 PM  

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