In a knife fight?
Regarding the flock of scandals where Armstrong Williams, Markos Zuniga of Daily Kos and Jerome Armstrong of MyDD each took money from political agents, I cannot help but think that this is typical for how money and influence interact.
The powerful rarely bribe politicians to purchase support; they instead fund politicians who already agree with their agenda. Is this a whiter shade of pale?
If a given voice poses as a non-partisan who is objectively picking amongst issues and positions then and purchased influence would be more significant that these cases where people with a clear track record are paid to carry on as expected. Yes, I am thinking of CBS and Dan Rather again. They claim they have no bias, and their big report failed to consider evidence the networked coordinated activities with the Kerry campaign- and perhaps breaking the law. To me this deserves a larger focus.
Now, I agree the details of the financing should, in a perfect world, be transparent- and for politicians there is a legal obligation. But for citizens, I am not sure there is the same requirement.
Perhaps one day there will be an accreditation process and an oath for voices that want to be respected, from CBS to Kos to myself. Until then I am reminded of Ted Cassidy in a famous western: “Rules?!? In a knife fight??!?!!!”
I agree it all sounds shady, but in part because there were no actual surprises so far- I wonder if this is merely a tempest in a teapot. I mean, we are talking about free speech from private citizens.
What should we expect from our pundits?