On a daily basis I get several hundred emails from people pitching me stories to see if I’m interested in writing about something. Most are campaigns making sure I’ve seen stuff about other campaigns. Some highlight news I missed while on a trip and people want to make sure I’ve seen it because they know I’m interested.
Occasionally a friend will send me something asking if I’m interested in writing about a topic.
When I was at CNN, if I had encountered something, I made sure to email various producers and let them know if they wanted to develop a segment around what I was thinking. Occasionally it happened and often it did not.
Someone did this with Rosie Gray at Buzzfeed. They got her information and she’s dug in as a reporter and wrote a story about conservatives writing about Ukraine. The irony here is that Rosie Gray did not just get up one day and decide to write articles about conservative bloggers blogging about foreign governments, but had someone suggest it to her, provide her information, and leak her documents. Or maybe she did have an interest in the subject, but then reached out to others and others provided her information. Either way, it is the same.
It’s what journalists do. They get tips, data, and then form stories.
It’s what bloggers do too.
The Ukraine story notes that Breeanne Howe, a stay at home mom and RedState front page contributor, wrote a story about the Ukraine after being encouraged by George Scoville, a friend of mine. Breeanne was interested in the subject and wrote about it. That’s what bloggers do. I know it may be shocking to people on the left that a stay at home mom in South Carolina might be interested in Ukraine, but it’s not all laundry and play time for stay at home moms.
No money exchanged hands. The Buzzfeed article and others imply that money was changing hands, but neither Breeanne nor RedState got any of it. This is deeply humorous in that Buzzfeed makes much of its money by writing articles for pay as a form of advertising. An organization attacking others for doing what it is doing seems a bit absurd, and the absurdity is compounded by it writing articles attacking others for doing what it is doing when those other organizations are not actually doing anything like that. But hey, we’re no Richard Blumenthal.
It’s also worth pointing out that Buzzfeed places those ads as content and Rosie Gray earns a paycheck therefrom. RedState allows any conservative group to place posts here, we don’t get paid by them, and Breeanne does not get paid by RedState, nor did she get paid by anyone to write about a topic she was interested in and pitched about. The Buzzfeed article is really just an ongoing series of efforts to question the legitimacy of content at right-leaning organizations by organizations subsidized by the left. It then makes it easy for them to dismiss their political opponents without ever having to address legitimate points raised.
This morning I wrote a post about the AARP. I was interested in the subject given my own experience dealing with the AARP, had read several stories about their joining up with left-wing groups, and coincidentally had a friend email me asking if it was something I was interested in writing about. As a matter of fact it was. So I wrote about it. In fact, right before clicking “Publish” the FedEx man showed up with a copy of a book from a publisher. They are no doubt hoping I will read it and write a review. Oh the horror.
It is what happens on a daily basis on the left and right, in newspapers, on television, and the internet. About the only difference is RedState does not make millions of dollars passing off advertisements as something else like Buzzfeed does.
How about a mini Starburst?
Should any of those entities ever advertise on RedState, I have no doubt that multiple BuzzFeed writers and their former Journolist friends would coordinate a public boycott. It’s not enough to attack conservative credibility, but advertisers outside the conservative movement must also be attacked for daring to advertise with conservatives.
More specifically on our policy, the bulk of our revenue comes from banner advertisements placed in the Morning Briefing. Any person or conservative organization can post in the diaries at RedState without pay. While we’ve considered moving in BuzzFeed’s direction, should we, we would make clear those are sponsored placements. In any event, RedState’s front page contributors can write about any topic they want, with the exception of two of us the front page contributors are not paid by Eagle Publishing, Inc. our parent company, and they are not to post on the front page anything they get paid for writing without a disclosure at the beginning of the post.