posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 02:37 PM
Somebody in the Edwards campaign needs to lose their job. This a failure that didn't need to happen. Becaue bloggers have the potentila to become
subject matter experts, they need to be vetted in the same way that you'd check out any other employee that's about to go on your payroll.
The Internet is like the Wild West in some respects. Anyone with a keyboard cna be a gunslinger. Bloggers are not professional journalists, but they
should abide by similar rules when it comes to disclosure. All good professionals know that when you hire a person to be your spokesman or to rep
your product, you've got to be sure that they don't have any known interests that are in conflict with your own.
Ask anyone who does background checks on possible employees, and they'll tell you that it's a pain in the neck. In some respects, it's even harder
to trace bloggers because they don't always write under one name. Even if you do ask for the bloggers list of aliases, you're not always going be
sure that you got them all. A cattle ranchr is not likely to hire a known vegetarian to say good things about his beef.
Don't reach for that keyboard just yet. This is about more than the 1st amendment free speech thing you may be itching to counter my argument with.
The Edwards campaign failed to do one of the most basic of professional employer chores. Those malicious mavens are free to say anything they want on
their own blogs, and they have. But...when they do go on record as saying something that would be damaging to a politician...they shuold avoid
working for a politician when they know that person doesn't share their views.
If you intend to be a public figure, you've got to be responsible and accountable. That's how you gain cred-i-bility. Those two beligerent
bloggers failed the responsibility test when they failed to disclose their views which could hurt the candidate. They failed the accountability test,
too. Why? Because they weasel'd. They held out until they had to be fired or encouraged to leave. They hurt their employer.
I'm not famous [yet], but by the definition of the law I am in the same boat as those two trouble makers. It's my responsibility to tell the people
whom I work with when I think there might be something that I've said in my official capacity that could be bad for them. If I'm not the right guy
to speak to their audience, I need to be the one who's smart enough to walk away even if the employer doesn't catch it.
Edwards should've known better. Somebody on his staff should have known better. Even if he didn't, his bloggers should have. Freedom of speach
doesn't mean freedom from professional conduct.