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Sunday, January 16, 2005

Zephyrgate -- revenge of the dissed? 

So I looked for the very beginning of it all, and found it here, on John Palfrey's blog, dated Monday: "Z on who was paying whom for what. A propos of credibility on the web: everyone knew that the Dean campaign had bloggers on their payroll. But these bloggers? And does it matter how much they were paid, relative to staffers? I am intrigued by the issue of how much can be cured through transparency and disclosure, as Kos and others have argued. " This was the very first reference anywhere on the web to Zephyr Teachout's column. Then Ed Cone found the link, which was noted on Instapundit, which attracted the attention of the Wall Street Journal, which wrote the story, which lead to everything else.
I thought Palfrey's tone in the original piece was a little negative, a little dismissive, a little contemptuous of Kos and of MyDD's Jerome. So I googled some more.
Now, John Palfery is the head of Harvard's Berkman Centre for Internet and Society, which is sponsoring next week's Conference on Blogging, Journalism and Credibility , in which interest Teachout wrote the piece. This conference has already provoked some negative comments in the progressive blogosphere for its virtually total lack of progressive bloggers invited. Note that Teachout, who has been blogging for a week, is invited. As is Ed Cone (which is why, I suppose, he found the link). So is Powerline. NOT invited are Kos, Atrios, Josh Marshall, Steve Gillman, Liberal Oasis, Pandagon, Hullabaloo, Kevin Drum, Daily Howler, Oliver Willis, MyDD . . .
So, googling John Palfrey, I found some previous controversy here, too -- the October 2003 BloggerCon, also sponsored by Berkman, was roundly trashed by progressive bloggers including Pandagon, Atrios and Kos as both expensive and irrelevant to blogging. Palfrey had to back down a bit on the price. (By the way, if you click the trashing link, you will note that The Register promised more articles on BloggerCon. Apparently they never published them, though they have continued to say some pretty negative things about organizer Dave Winer.)
So does the earlier dissing of BloggerCon account for the "gotcha" tone in Palfrey's blog about the bloggers on the Dean payroll?

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