Michelle Malkin and a bunch of other right-wing folks are in Washington for a “blogger forum” courtesy of the Republican National Committee. She says:
The morning session will feature RNC head Ken Mehlman, briefings from RNC senior staff on races, polling, and blogs, plus live-blogging of Judge Alito’s opening statement. The afternoon session will be led by White House senior staff and will conclude with a Q&A hosted by Fred Barnes, who is coming out with a new book on President Bush. The RNC is providing bloggers with an Internet connection and brown bag lunch. Nothing more and nothing expected in return.
Meanwhile, Powerline’s Scott Johnson is also there:
at the invitation of the Senate Republican Conference to report on the Alito confirmation hearings today and tomorrow. I’ll be at the hearings this morning and hope to meet up with Senators Cornyn and Kyl, who are scheduled to speak with the other bloggers attending the hearings today.
Sounds like the Republicans are pulling out all the stops to get Alito confirmed, and bloggers are part of the mix.
If any bloggers are having their expenses paid — or receiving actual pay — but not disclosing it, then I’d have a problem with it. Otherwise, despite the fact that this is more of a Hallelujah Chorus than journalism, it’s an example of the opinion machine at work.