Virginia Federalist: Pseudonymous Blogging

Virginia Federalist (a pseudonymously run blog) has been running a great series on blog ethics.  You can read the first three installments below:

This is following in the wake of at least two websites devoted solely to the topic of blogging ethics in Virginia, notably God Save Virginia and Blogging Ethics, most of whom are following in the wake of the hibernating Shaun Kenney weblog, a long time defender of ethical blogging (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and in his swan song here)

Most of these sites have inspired themselves in the wake of Ben Tribbett’s IP implosion, Lowell Feld’s continuing hackery at Raising Kaine, and the content and tactics employed in the 24th Senate District race by the SWACers

We here at VOM want to know your thoughts.  What makes an ethical blogger?  Should there be a code of ethics?  Obviously, we’re all pseudonyms, but as the tabloid bloggers start to implode and the greater Virginia blogosphere (Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian) becomes more sensitive to the unethical blogs, what’s next?


  1. “Contents and Tactics used by SWACers?”
    Namely 100% ethical tactics used by B4S…. which obviously was composed of SWAC & other bloggers who cared about driving home the issue of controlling spending, and truth in fiscal conservatism… (which is not raising taxes to pay for out of control spending).

    Ya’ll sneer at us like were unethical… it’s total hypocracy.. You babble about ethics.. and then deride those who blog ethically…

    If you want some respect, why not dish it out where it’s deserved, and then maybe a conversation can be developed. If we were unethical, point it out… My challenge has only been out for a week or so now…

  2. Anonymous

    It’s a matter of tone. B4S made it more about people than issues and attacked other bloggers instead of focusing on what should have been the relevant content of any debate, the issues. You do not stoop to the other person’s level to win, you win by staying above the fray and staying on topic. Otherwise you will always lose.

  3. virginiaoddsmaker

    How’s about the legion of anonymous/pseudonymous websites, for starters? Who was really behind them, STD?

    Hiding behind bloggers that were in name for Sayre doesn’t mean that they endorsed your negativity and anonymous tactics. Granted, we’re not saying the entire DUI argument was appropriate either. In fact, that was deplorable. But regardless, we doubt it would have stuck if not for all of the anonymous attacks on Hanger courtesy of GGD and the SWAC echo chamber.

    Now the tactic of group blogging and defense is pretty sharp (we’re getting ready to report on that in the next few days).

    But the tone? Can you seriously look back and say you wouldn’t have make the tone more pro-Sayre and less anti-Hanger?

  4. anonymous:
    ‘attack’, the most abused word in the blogosphere.. when we disagree with someone, and back it up with facts, and or logic… all of a sudden it’s an attack on another blogger..

    Digging around in someone’s personal life, attacking family members, and even employees… or even outing an blogger using a psyeudo just because you disagree with them is an attack..

    Uh, VA oddsmaker:
    or should I say anonymous VA ‘that’s odd’ you attack anonymous blogging’?
    uh, Hypocrite.. OK, now I’m I ready to reply…

    How about mentioning that B4H (hanger) was anonymous, or even the Teddy’s Truth that popped up right after it was anonymous? B4H makes a reference to a respected religous leader having a sexual act performed on him by Sayre… and don’t see ya.. getting all bent out of shape, or even mentioning it? Why not spread around you angst?

    I think two B4S were actually anonymous, everyone knows the rest.. and aren’t you just a fluster that GGD photoshopped some tasteful parodies of Senator Hanger… Why not criticize the Staunton News Leader for publishing.. GASP, editorial cartoons…. Actually we probably made VA political history in being the first bloggers subject to such a cartoon… nonetheless

    ‘tone’? We could have written about nothing but Sayre and still be accused of being negative by the MSM and I am sure you…

    Look, bottom line is, look at anything we individual SWAC/CASTLE/B4S blogged and then compare it to what RK, other lefty bloggers… did to Kilgore & Allen… or Sayre

    Tell us we got a negative ‘tone’… in comparison…
    and that is probably the bottom line.. because we refused to get down in the sewer…. and believe me there was plenty of Sh*t that could have been shoveled… We didn’t deliver the ‘blows’ necessary (against a fellow Republican mind you) to really get the Hanger campaign on the defensive… (beyond the issues, one which he sent out a completely false flyer on illegal immigration legislation he wrote)

    That is what you lefties want most… convince the right to even further ‘defang’ their blogging so the left can hurl any and everything at the Republican candidate… unanswered.

    The tactic sure worked for Hanger against Sayre…. We got sidetracked for a couple days in the sewage, and it did disrupt what we were doing on the ground, web etc… (I am speaking for us, and not the campaign mind you)

    In summary telling us to tone it down is a crock in light of what was thrown at us by our opposition, and by what is thrown at Conservative bloggers in general during campaigns… Try to deny that..

  5. virginiaoddsmaker


    We won’t deny that conservative bloggers get a lot of nonsense thrown at them, though there are a good number of Democratic bloggers that way outpace Republican bloggers in terms of content, even though that trend seems to be coming around (see what Lowell is getting from conservatives about the McDonnell thing).

    You have a sense of humor, so let’s summarize your defense.

    (1) B4H did the same thing!

    That’s like whining you got a speeding ticket when everyone else was doing 15mph+… two wrongs?

    (2) SNL did cartoons parodying people too!

    Yes, but I know the name of the artist who did that… unlike GGD where the attacks were both personal and distasteful.

    (3) Lefty bloggers do the same if not worse!

    Again, “but officer… I’m not that drunk!”

    (4) OK, so VOM was right about the tone…

    Darn skippy.

    Now on the upside, SWACers do have the added benefit of hitting in numbers… so that’s cutting edge (albeit blunt as in technology, just sheer numbers). It certainly caused Hanger to respond. Is this the kind of online atmosphere candidates and readers should expect in ’07? Probably.

    We’re not trying to be negative on individuals. We do want to analyze tactics and such. But the ethical bloggers have a point. Nor are we entirely critical of the SWACers approach, though the tone was over the top in our opinion (and the opinions of quite a few others).

    That you’re willing to concede that some the tone was a bit much is encouraging. We agree with you on that! You should really do some sort of synapsis about what you think went right, and what went wrong (without giving away too much, of course)!


  6. Std, I in my post stated that B4S was mostly ethical, I also agree with VOM that tone does count for something…I also like VOM’s Idea of pointing out what went right and what went wrong, it would help us all as bloggers, cause B4S was a force to be reckoned with, maybe all the contributors did not make it so in the most positive light, but it was a force…

  7. Anonymous Hypocrite:
    #1 we did not do what b4H did.. not even close, and totally anonymous.. except Myron knew how to shut it down after a phone call from Sen. Hanger…

    #2 We do not know for a fact who you are.. and don’t care, because you are just lefties babbling… (see example 1, 2, 3 & 4)

    #3 Lefty bloggers do not nearly have the class B4S has/had.. only a couple are decent, and then those decent ones, and I will use the example of Vivian, do not go out of their way to call out totally inappropriate conduct on the left… We on the right will get called down by our own in a heartbeat…

    #4 Our ‘tone’ as I stated before was muted in comparison.. and frankly Sen. Hanger has a whole lot of voting record to talk about so why not? it is apples and oranges…

    In summary.. this is a total farce… My thoughts are that you are just lefties trying to hide under the cloak of being impartial. So of course you will wink at the left, criticize the right, and just do it on a new platform (blog), because if you were out in open (not anonymous, and not a hypocrite) we would all just laugh at your past indescretions as bloggers….

    Who the heck do ya’ll think you are fooling?

    we are 100% ethical or you would have at least pointed something out… take your ‘mostly’ and get back to me when you can prove it…

    If ya’ll want a synopsis read my previous comment… we came up short in votes hardly due to blogging… that wasn’t 866 votes… as a matter of fact if I could trade each post I did on B4S like (50) for the chance to literally talk to just 5 people per post in door to door in neighborhoods I didn’t visit… we’d have a different score….

    Maybe I will do something, you just gave me an idea…

  8. virginiaoddsmaker

    Sometimes Chris, you’re your own worst promoter…

  9. you ever really worked a campaign, vs. a keyboard?

  10. virginiaoddsmaker

    There’s working a campaign, and then there’s working a campaign that wins (which all of us have, ‘cept for our friendly VOM libertarian that is…)

  11. Myron’s campaign going down the tubes?

  12. virginiaoddsmaker

    Did he actually run for anything?

  1. 1 » Reflections of a Supervisor-Elect

    […] Of course, quality still trumps quantity.  Readers are demanding transparency (who is writing?) and authenticity (why is this being written?), while containment (given the first two, how should one accept the viewpoint in context?) is starting to develop a much more savvy electorate.  In essence, the principles of ethical blogging I endorsed back in 2005 (and have been trumpeting for a long, long time). […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Virginia Big Line

    Tips? E-mail us at Virginia Oddsmaker

    1st Senate District
    (R) Tricia Stall (3-1)
    Tricia continues to plow ahead with grassroots and phones...
    (D) John Miller (5-1)
    Still a lackluster effort... we've yet to see the spark that is going to make this a win.
    6th Senate District
    (R) Nick Rerras (3-1)
    Democrats aren't going away, but neither is Rerras...
    é (D) Ralph Northam (5-1)
    Astroturf for grassroots won't make up for fundraising advantage
    11th Senate District
    é (R) Steve Martin (2-1)
    Martin knows his district and represents it well...
    ê (D) Alex McMurtrie (5-1)
    Self-financed candidate, but where are the grassroots?
    13th Senate District
    (R) Fred Quayle (2-1)
    This one is out of reach for the Democrats
    ê (D) Steve Heretick (7-1)
    Credible candidate, wrong district.
    17th Senate District
    (D) Edd Houck  (2-1)
    Edd gets hit on immigration... abuser fee stunt wasn't all that great.
    é (R) Chris Yakabouski (5-1)
    Good hit on illegal immigration makes Yak a leader... no Edd signs in Spotsy either!
    20th Senate District
    ê (D) Roscoe Reynolds (3-1)
    Joe Stanley and Ben Tribbett come to the rescue?
    é (R) Jeff Evans (3-1)
    Great blog hit on Roscoe makes the Dems bring in the heavy artillery!
    22nd Senate District
    é (R) Ralph Smith (2-1)
    That cracking sound you hear from Roanoke???
    ê (D) Michael Breiner (8-1)'s the sound of the Brenier campaign's back being broken.  This race is done.
    24th Senate District
    (R) Emmett Hanger (2-1)
    Grassroots still on fire... infighting doesn't help.
    (D) David Cox (6-1)
    Conservative vs. moderate infighting is getting worse...
    ê (L) Arin Sime (15-1)
    STD says "no thanks" to Sime, Myron Rhodes.
    26th Senate District
    (R) Mark Obenshain (2-1)
    Obenshain for AG?  Not yet... first things, first.
    (D) Maxine Roles (6-1)
    Tough, tough uphill climb in the Valley.
    27th Senate District
    (R) Jill Holtzman-Vogel (2-1)
    Still plugging along, campaign staff changes a bit odd.
    é (D)  Karen Schultz (5-1)
    Tate aftermath helping Schultz a bit...
    28th Senate District
    (R) Richard Stuart (2-1)
    Chichester's money, Howell's politics... but Stafford could prove problematic.
    ê (D) Albert Pollard (5-1)
    Stupid debate attack on Stuart for prosecuting drug lords...
    29th Senate District
    ê (D) Chuck Colgan (3-1)
    Lackluster fundraising makes this race officially a toss-up.
    é (R) Bob Fitzsimmonds (3-1)
    Strong fundraising makes this challenger race a potential GOP pick-up.
    33rd Senate District
    ê (D) Mark Herring (3-1)
    More money, favorable demographics leans this race left.
    é (R) Patricia Phillips (5-1)
    Surprisingly strong showing in fundraising...
    34th Senate District
    (R) Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis (3-1)
    Strong fundraising advantage, plenty more where that came from...
    ê (D) Chap Petersen (4-1)
    Hits JMDD on abuser fees... shortly after waffling on them himself.  duh.
    37th Senate District
    é (R) Ken Cuccinelli (3-1)
    Good fundraising, great grassroots, and on the offensive against very liberal opposition.
    ê (D) Janet Oleszek (5-1)
    Downgrade here... Janet just isn't getting the traction against a strong Cuccinelli campaign
    39th Senate District
    ê (R) Jay O'Brien (3-1)
    O'Brien is in the fight of his life here...
    é (D) George Barker (5-1)
    Finally a bump that is earned.  Barker is making the push...
    1st House District
    é (R) Terry Kilgore (2-1)
    Terry's got nothing to worry about here...
    ê (D) Jerry Taylor (10-1)
    Best o' luck, me boy-o
    5th House District
    (R) Bill Carrico (3-1)
    Close NOVA matchup
    é (D) Suzie Dixon-Garner (4-1)
    Picking up steam, getting stronger
    6th House District
    (R) Anne Crockett-Stark (3-1)
    Tough district, but managable
    ê (D) Bill Thomas (4-1)
    Needs more $$$ to make this seriously competitive
    7th House District
    ê (D) Peggy Frank (3-1)
    Slack fundrasing made this a contest...
    é (R)  Dave Nutter (3-1)
    Strong fundraising, competitive campaign.
    9th House District
    é (D) Eric Ferguson (3-1)
    Fundraising advantage, previous campaign in '05, good district to work from
    é (R) Charles Poindexter (4-1)
    Heck of an effort, isn't going down or away without a fight!
    11th House District
    (D) Lee Ware (2-1)
    Roanoke Dem has six figures in the warchest
    é (I) Mac MaCadden (9-1)
    Doubt this will become interesting; $10K is a voice.
    13th House District
    é (R) Bob Marshall (2-1)
    Uber-conservative benefits from abuser fee opposition...
    ê (D) Bruce Rommelt (6-1)
    Ain't.  Gonna.  Happen.
    14th House District
    é (R) Danny Marshall (2-1)
    Silly Dems... "silly" as in even Gov. Kaine defended Marshall...
    ê (D) Adam Tomer (6-1)
    Kindly say "thanks" to the Joint Democratic Caucus for ruining your shot...
    16th House District
    ê (R) Donald Merricks (3-1)
    Heir to Robert Hurt has a tough race/district
    é (D) Andy Parker (3-1)
    Good district for the Dems...
    19th House District
    é (I) Lacey Putney (2-1)
    Sizeable warchest barely makes this a race
    (D) Lewis Medlin (6-1)
    Why is he "medlin" in this race?  Is this mic on?
    21st House District
    (R) John Welch (3-1)
    Fundraising and name ID are the kickers...
    é (D) Bob Mathieson (4-1)
    Nice warchest makes this a potential D pickup.
    26th House District
    é (R) Matt Lohr (2-1)
    Solid district, good warchest, good name ID.
    ê (D) Carolyn Frank (6-1)
    Tough race... needs the cash and the grassroots to be serious.
    28th House District
    (R) Bill Howell (2-1)
    It's the Speaker of the House... what's the big deal?
    é (D) Clyde Matthews (6-1)
    Abuser fees!
    31st House District
    é (R) Scott Linamfelter (2-1)
    No one outworks Scott...
    ê (D) Bill Day (5-1)
    Tough district, tough race, not enough cash (yet)
    32nd House District
    ê (D) David Poisson (3-1)
    Lots of cash may make this R district tough to win...
    é (R) Lynn Chapman (4-1)
    ...but Lynn is the next Paul Harris for the RPV.  Good district too.
    33rd House District
    ê (R) Joe May (3-1)
    Rumors of poor staff and conservative opposition put this seat in play.
    é (D) Marty Martinez (4-1)
    Good fundraising performance and a mobilized grassroots game... watch out!
    34th House District
    ê (R) Dave Hunt (3-1)
    Callahan's old district; big ol' target on it.
    é (D) Maggie Vanderhye (3-1)
    Excellent showing for cash, inside the beltway, and good grassroots...
    35th House District
    é (D) Steve Shannon (2-1)
    Warchest looks OK, district looks good.
    (R) Arthur Purves (6-1)
    Knew it was a tough race, jumped in anyway.  Working hard, too.
    40th House District
    é (R) Tim Hugo (2-1)
    Tough district, nice warchest, good network of volunteers.
    ê (D) Rex Simmons (5-1)
    Gotta rely on something other than ActBlue and demographics...
    45th House District
    (D) David Englin (3-1)
    There's no crying in baseball!
    é (R) Mark Allen (4-1)
    Can Republicans win in NOVA?  This race will say a lot if it's won...
    50th House District
    (R) Jackson Miller (3-1)
    Short line to cash, didn't have much time in the House...
    é (D) Jeannette Rishell (4-1)
    Is bringing the wood... will probably get a big line upgrade by Labor Day...
    51st House District
    (R) Faisal Gill (3-1)
    Will have to overcome rumors, get on issues to carry the day.
    é (D) Paul Nichols (3-1)
    Potential Dem pickup due to nasty GOP primary...
    52nd House District
    é (R) Jeffery Frederick (2-1)
    $330K in the bank.  Yes, $330K....
    ê (D) Chris Brown (6-1)
    Can't use the abuser fees on Jeffy... don't see this one happenin'.
    54th House District
    (R) Bobby Orrock (2-1)
    Gets token opposition... but this, plus abuser fees, plus a skimpy warchest means effort.
    é (I) Kimbra Kincheloe (6-1)
    Ever hear of VVAW?  You will after this...
    59th House District
    ê (I) Watt Abbitt (3-1)
    This one is going to be close...
    é (D) Connie Brennan (3-1)
    Can the Albemarle Dems reach out to rural African-American voters?
    67th House District
    ê (D) Chuck Caputo (3-1)
    Was gifted the 67th in 2005, won't be so easy this time...
    é (R) Mark Cadin (3-1)
    Caputo has the cash advantage, but everything else points to this as a pick-up.
    68th House District
    ê (I) Katherine Waddell (4-1)
    Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
    é (R) Manoli Loupassi (3-1)
    Nice warchest, would be stronger if not a three-way race.
    (D) Bill Grogan (4-1)
    Three way race is the only bit of bright light, but his cash flow looks OK
    72nd House District
    é (R) Jim Massie (2-1)
    Henrico's GOP won't let this one go.
    ê (D) Tom Herbert (8-1)
    Not a chance...
    78th House District
    (R) John Cosgrove (2-1)
    May have to get the lead out on grassroots and fundraising, but should be OK
    (D) Michael Meyer (6-1)
    Tough contest in this district... and Cosgrove isn't going to lay down for long
    82nd House District
    é (R) Harry Purkey (2-1)
    Coming back from '05 challenge, Purkey needs a bit more cash
    (D) Bob MacIver (5-1)
    Running hard... if he gets more cash in the bank, this could become quite competitive.
    83rd House District
    (R) Chris Stolle (3-1)
    A conservative named Stolle?  GASP! 
    é (D) Joe Bouchard (3-1)
    Still running behind Stolle, but running well.
    86th House District
    (R) Tom Rust (2-1)
    OK district, but huge fundraising advantage
    é (D) Jay Donahue (5-1)
    Been running a very skillful race... we're impressed, anyhow.
    87th House District
    ê (D) Paula Miller (4-1)
    ... is in trouble, and not the kind of trouble easily gotten out of
    é (R) Hank Giffin (3-1)
    Admiral Giffin is doing everything right in a district he should win.  GOP pickup here.
    88th House District
    é (R) Mark Cole (2-1)
    Slow and steady fundraising, slow and steady candidate. 
    ê (D) Carlos del Toro (5-1)
    "Jabba del Toro" isn't walking his district as he should...
    96th House District
    é (R) Brenda Pogge (3-1)
    Nagging Noll is a nuisance negating notions of near-sighted nanny-staters
    ê (D) Troy Farlow (5-1)
    Translation: Tell Noll to shut up if you want to win.
  • Virginia Oddsmaker (VOM) is a non-partisan, collaborative blog on Virginia politics, focusing on real news, rumors, gossip worth paying attention to, and fact-checking the blogs and the MSM.

  • VOM Blog Stats

    • 16,174 visitors placing their bets
  • TOP VA BLOGS (08-22-07)
    é 1.  Virginia Virtucon
    Drops NLS's drawers.  Everyone laughs.
    é 2.  Raising Kaine
    The Dems owe everything to Lowell Feld, that is painfully obvious.
    é 3.  Leslie Carbone
    Steps up and levels Ben Tribbett on the ODBA/NAMBLA stuff
    é 4.  SWAC Girl
    Transitioning from SWACtion zealot to den mother of the Republican blogs.
    ê 5.  Not Larry Sabato
    If what is rumored is true, Ben Tribbett may be facing some serious legal problems...
    ê 6.  VB Dems
    Attending RPVB meetings now...
    é 7.  Now at the Podium
    Quickly becoming the resident conscience of the Virginia blogosphere.
    é 8.  The Ward View
    Yes, eight is probably way too low...
    ê 9.  Black Velvet Bruce Li
    BVBL is at 1,100 readers a day... not the 10K reported in the WaPo???
    ê 10. The Daily Whackjob!
    We love these guys... but they got sucker punched by Tribbett.
  • Meta

  • Recent Posts

%d bloggers like this: