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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

DANGERStein: I'm getting paid by Lieberman...so what!

DANGERStein responds to Greg Sargent's piece on his hit-job piece on blogs in on Politico.
Dan Gerstein has responded to my post below. He says there's no problem at all with the fact that The Politico published a piece by him attacking some of Joe Lieberman's high-profile foes at the same time that he was collecting money from Lieberman:
[W]hether I am a paid, unpaid, or former advisor to Lieberman was not relevant to my column. I was not writing in any Lieberman capacity or on his behalf -- I was expressing my own opinions. And the content of the column was not about Lieberman -- it barely mentioned him -- but about the blindness and irresponsibility of many liberal bloggers. (I will leave it to readers to decide whether Sargent's process point undercut my arguments or unwittingly reinforced them.)

The question that I keep coming back too is what would have been gained by highlighting my current status as a paid adviser in this particular context. The reason for disclosing that kind of information is to avoid hiding conflicts of interest or presenting interested opinions as independent ones. As I noted above, that was not at issue here -- both the column itself and the tagline at the bottom made clear my Lieberman affiliation. So what would have been the point?
What would have been the point? Why, how's this for a point: Because disclosing that he is getting paid by Lieberman would have constituted telling the full truth. The description of Gerstein as a former communications director alone was a misleading one at best. It's unwittingly revealing indeed that the basic goal of being as truthful as possible simply doesn't appear to enter into the equation for Gerstein here.
Whack, Sargent knocks it out of the park.