Oppo Research Targets Bloggers

Shaun Kenney reports that the Webb for Senate campaign apparently kept opposition research files on a variety of bloggers. The list allegedly includes: Chad Dotson, Jim Hoeft, Ben Tribbett, Waldo Jaquith, Josh Chernila, Lowell Feld, Jim Riley, J.C. Wilmore, Jon Henke.

Part of the outrage apparently is that:

the Webb campaign made a strategic decision to unleash this opposition research if something damaging came out against their candidate, simply to personally slander the blogger making the claim.

Once source for this information described it as “Nixonian”. Not only were Republican bloggers thouroughly researched, but Democratic allies of Webb as well, in the event they turned on the Webb campaign.

This post has inspired a variety of direct responses, ranging from “violation of civil liberties” to “That’s crap, prove it”, as well as responses by other bloggers on their own blogs.

My immediate response is “Dang, I didn’t make the list”.

Perhaps the most succinct and accurate comment came from an anonymous blogger over at Ben’s joint (see the 12/14/2006 0145 post) :

ok let me get this straight we are arguing about who broke the story? well the webb camapign broke it and used NLS and WPO. Look real campaign people love this blog shit. We can feed you all kinds of shit and you will print it. Rumor inuendo lies. You guys will run any bs we give you. get ready because we are going to use you and abuse the concept of free speech like like hell.

I don’t know who posted this, but they are on the money.

If bloggers want to run with the big dogs, then they better get used to things like having research files kept on them.


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