Ann Althouse on blogola:
Is the blogger’s interest in his own credibility much of a safeguard? You might think that all a blogger has is his credibility, and anyone who’s built up his traffic to the point where someone wants to buy his influence won’t want to squander his credibility. But people cave in to temptation all the time when things they care a lot about are at risk, and bloggers are especially vulnerable. For one thing, the blogger – writing without pay – is more likely to need the money and to feel frustrated about having done so much work without getting paid. Add to this the fact that writing multiple posts day after day can burn a person out. A blogger might be thinking: look at all of this work, but how can I walk away from all of this traffic? One strategy for ending one’s grueling blog project might be to sell it off, by taking money during the next campaign season. If the blogger is discovered looting his blog’s credibility: well, he needed to quit anyway.
She’s right on the money. If a blogger is willing to trade reputation for a payday, it’s probably time for the blogger to stop blogging.
I don’t agree with her, however, that Kos would have refused the money the Dean campaign was offering – had he the advertising rates he has now – to keep his reputation intact. Unless I’m misreading his response, he doesn’t seem too concerned that the disclosure that he was paid for more than just technical advice will tarnish his credibility.