Yesterday someone in my local  9/12 Tea Party group happened to mention in one of their threads something they read about bloggers taking cash for influence.  (If I could find the darn thread, I would have copied and pasted the person’s entry here).  The article in question mentioned Florida’s blogsite “The Shark-Tank”, which is why I would imagine the 9/12 member brought it up in the first place.

The item our 9/12er mentioned is an article published in a website called The Daily Caller.

It has spawned quite a bit of discussion amongst a blogging group of which I am a member.  This group is comprised of some of the best writers out there, many of whom break stories you don’t and won’t find in the media. (Or at least not for another five or six news cycles, by the time they catch up with us).  Many of these bloggers are quoted as sources by Rush, Sean, Beck, et al.  They are the New Media, and they are breaking ground with exposes about Obama and the people he surrounds himself with, and much more.  In fact, the revelations about the Ground Zero Mosque’s connection to Hamas and the Jihad/Shariah was broken by a blogger.

So when a writer like The Daily Caller makes an unsubstantiated claim that we’re on the take, without offering corroborating proof, it casts aspersion on all bloggers, and we react swiftly, defensively and decisively.

I thought you might be interested in this observation from one of our bloggers in an email:

“Meanwhile, real blogger-Journalists like Michelle Malkin and, yes, Dan Riehl, break news. They are conservative and unrepentantly so.

You are right: Integrity is everything. Without a good name, my words mean little. I can have integrity and be biased AND be fair.

The Daily Caller article said that 50% of bloggers are bought. No sourcing. No back-up. No fresh examples. It was crappy journalism all the way around. As a lowly, independent blogger, I would never pull figures out of thin-air and expect anyone to take me seriously. Yet we’re supposed to take this hit on our profession and hand-wring about integrity when I don’t know of one example of a national blogger taking money to write a story to benefit a candidate–which was the premise of the story. Not one. Now, this might happen in state blogging. South Carolina proved what a cesspool state and local politics can be. But on the national level?

The story about Red County, while valid, was nearly a year old. Not fresh at all and not ground-breaking.

Anyway, I’ve gone on long enough. I don’t like thin stories that have the potential to harm all of us. Our side has plenty of integrity. What we don’t have plenty of is money.

Good bloggers are worth far more than their crappy compensation implies and I will defend a fellow blogger to the end unless there is some egregious ethical breach that would harm all of us. From where I sit, though, the unethical reporting is at the Daily Caller, not from Dan Riehl.”

We really ARE the New Media.  And we ARE doing the work the state-run/state-conrolled media stopped doing a long time ago.  Our work is our reputation, and we stake everything we are on it.