Sunday, January 16, 2005

Kos On Jerry Springer's Payroll Too

With all the discussion lately on Kosgate and Kos being paid by the Dean campaign, this nugget was casually dropped in an editorial entitled Springer's blog gives him edge in the new world of politics by Michael Meckler in the Columbus Dispatch today. As usual, this Dispatch link requires a subscription and I am looking for a second non-pay source of this information.
What Dean managed to accomplish was not lost on Springer, whose longtime friend and political consultant Mike Ford worked on Dean’s campaign. Springer hired two of the masterminds behind Dean’s Internet strategy, Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas, to devise his site. Moulitsas is extremely well-known in the blogosphere — the worldwide community of bloggers — for his own Web log, The Daily Kos, which averages more than 250,000 visits each day.
Springer's site, Jerry for Ohio, appears to have gone online sometime in January 2004, with it's first post on January 17, 2004. With recent posts entitled Could that possibly apology and Blackwell takes credit for defeating Kerry, it resembles the Daily Kos in both content and form.

A search of the Kos's site reveals no discloser that he is being paid by Springer. Clearly this is one of those "other clients" that he is "helping win elections." There is also no indication of whether Kos was paid a one time fee for "technical consulting" or whether he continues to be on Springer's payroll.

The next question, of course is what is meant by "what Dean managed to accomplish was not lost on Springer?"

What does Springer expect to get from Kos in return for his consulting? And what impact has that had on Kos's coverage of Springer to date, and in the future, as he considers a campaign for Ohio's governor.

Obviously, only Kos can answer that for sure. A quick review of Daily Kos posts referencing Springer, however, suggests that the Springer money is serving to legitimacize Springer as a candidate to Kos's readership.

Consider the changing tone in these three posts that are returned when searching Daily Kos for 'Springer'.

From October 17th, 2003, by Meteor Blades - Prior to the Springer web site going up and presumably prior to Kos's consulting help: Oh, Good, Make Ohio a National Joke
Jerry Springer, yes, that Jerry Springer is pondering a run for the governorship of Ohio. I’d normally express some sympathy to all you Buckeyes, but I live in California. ’Nuff said?
From February 25th, 2004, by Kos - One month after the first post was published on Springer's site: Nader asked Dean for VP Slot
Mike Ford is the guy that ran all of Jerry Springer's early campaigns (for mayor and councilmember of Cincinnati). Lest the "Springer" connection make you skeptical, he's also Joe Trippi's best friend and comrade in arms.
And finally from December 10th, 2004, by Kos - After potentially several months as a Springer consultant: Springer coming to liberal talk radio
Who says liberal radio isn't catching on? Even Clear Channel wants in on the action, signing Jerry Springer for a show in the Cincinnati market and, they hope, national syndication.

It's a one-year deal, which means Springer will still be able to run for Senate or Governor in 2006.
The change in tone is clear.

Springer goes from a joke candidate in the first post, to "you may be skeptical but here's another reason why it's legitimate" in the second post, to finally in the third, being referenced as a legitimate candidate for a Senate or Governor's race in 2006. Does anyone doubt that over the next couple of months the transformation would continue?

The fact that Kos himself made the last two posts is also extremely telling. It implies that Kos himself is personally overseeing the transformation on his site of Jerry Springer from trash talk show host to legitimate Ohio candidate.

There is nothing wrong with this - if Kos discloses his relationship with the Springer campaign. But to date he has not.

One can only assume that the relationship continues to this day.

And one can also assume that the transformation of Jerry Springer - at least as presented at Daily Kos - will continue as well.

UPDATE: A review of the Springer blog shows that Kos has published an average of one post a month to the site starting last March, implying that he is probably still getting something from Springer. None of the posts disclose the nature of their relationship.