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John McCain's Blogger

Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz filed a dispatch for The Fix on the news that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has inked a well-known conservative blogger to aid his efforts.

Blogger Patrick Hynes, a New Hampshire political consultant, has been firmly in John McCain's corner lately.

On July 11, Hynes wrote on the Web site Ankle Biting Pundits: "It was only a short time ago that Sen. McCain took a lot of grief for mending fences with the Rev. Jerry Falwell. Anti-McCain politicians, pundits, and bloggers cannot have it both ways: McCain cannot be a finger-in-the-wind liberal and a suck up to the Religious Right."

Two days later, Hynes was biting the ankles of the Arizona senator's critics again: "Sen. McCain's remarks seem to have been taken out of context and misconstrued and then blown way out of proportion."

Jim Geraghty, a National Review Online columnist, raised questions about whether Hynes might be more than just a McCain admirer, and it turns out he was right. Hynes confirmed yesterday that his firm, New Media Strategics, has been hired by McCain's political action committee, Straight Talk America. And Hynes has been working for the PAC for at least a month.

He acknowledged Geraghty's criticism, writing: "You are right, Jim. I ought to have disclosed my relationship with Straight Talk America earlier. The reason I didn't do so is because I was not being paid 'to blog.' I have been a political consultant for fifteen years. That's what I was doing for Straight Talk America: providing political consulting."

Maybe Hynes wasn't being paid "to blog," but he was being paid, and his readers should have known that. He is not the first blogger to go to bat for a candidate without disclosing that he was on the payroll, but that doesn't make the practice any less questionable.

-- Howard Kurtz

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 26, 2006; 6:12 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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