Paid bloggers important to VA Senate race

September 17th, 2006

Today’s Washington Post has an interesting story on the importance of blogging the 2006 Virginia’s U.S. Senate race between incumbent George Allen and James Webb. It’s been a campaign rife with controversy, widely discussed on the Blogosphere.

Liberal bloggers — two of whom are on the payroll of Democratic challenger James Webb — fanned the flames last month after Sen. George Allen aimed a derogatory remark at a young Webb volunteer. … The lack of an effective response from conservative bloggers has prompted Allen to hire a Virginia blogger as his “new media coordinator” to goose GOP supporters into action.

This is the paragraph that stood out for me.

The goal of the paid bloggers, both campaigns say, is to deluge online political journals with positive tidbits about their candidate and draw attention to the most negative news about their opponent. The campaign bloggers sometimes write their own bits. Other times, they spread gossip generated by others.

I wonder if both campaigns say that about the opponent’s bloggers or about their own?

We’ve been thinking about the general problem of how to identify and represent bias in blogs and other information sources. This might be a good use-case.