Approached not once, but twice, by inside-the-beltway types to push a story for a cash contribution.
Ace declined, both times.
Twice I had conversations with people in DC in which the notion of a pushing a story for pay was floated. The first time was years and years ago and was vague, more of a "You know this sort of thing happens some time" more than an offer, and I could have gotten in touch about it if I decided in favor of it. I decided it was unethical and never did.
The second time was about a year ago, more specific this time. And I did entertain doing it. I thought about it, and was tempted -- I did believe the basic storyline I was being asked to push -- and, frankly, everyone else in DC was getting paid (including fundraisers, consultants, strategists, mistresses...), why shouldn't I?
But as much as I tried to sell it to myself I just couldn't. And I did try to sell it to myself. I tried every argument I could think of to somehow get that cash in my pocket and call it a legitimate transaction.
But I couldn't. I decided it was unethical again, and didn't do it, and also said I wouldn't do it in the future.
I didn't run either story, by the way. (And neither did any coblogger, and neither was there a link... there wasn't anything about it at all.)
The problem with it was that even though the story I was being asked to push was the sort of thing I would push... well, I couldn't get past the pay-for-play aspect of it. Because even though I would push it, if I came across it and found it interesting, the problem was I wouldn't typically come across it and find it interesting. It was a good story, but... Eh, I couldn't do it.
You may have noticed that I had a candidate’s logo just beneath this blog’s header. I have removed that, not because I was being paid to promote the candidate (I wasn’t, it was gratis), but because I don’t want anyone to think this blog is for sale. It isn’t. I don’t do advertising of any type here, and I have no intentions to do so anytime soon.
What you get here is my own damned opinion, thank you very much!