This well-reported piece shows the danger of hidden interests in journalism. The game played by the pro-Thune blogging campaign should have been known before the election, not after, because it might well have changed the outcome had voters known what this crowd was doing.
Personal Democracy Forum: Daschle, Thune and the Blog-Storming of South Dakota. The blogging efforts on behalf of Thune's Senate campaign didn't cause greater civic participation or bring in piles of small donations. Instead nine bloggers -- two of whom were paid $35,000 by Thune's campaign -- formed an alliance that constantly attacked the election coverage of South Dakota's principal newspaper, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. More specifically, their postings were not primarily aimed at dissuading the general public from trusting the Argus' coverage. Rather, the work of these bloggers was focused on getting into the heads of the three journalists at the Argus who were primarily responsible for covering the Daschle/Thune race: chief political reporter David Kranz, state editor Patrick Lalley, and executive editor Randell Beck.