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Rove v. Kos

This is going to be good. Karl Rove (Bush’s Brain) and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (Daily KOS) duking it out in Newsweek throughout the 2008 campaign. According to the Washington Post, Rove and Kos will each have a column.

For those who see this move by Newsweek to be unorthodox or even mundane, let me say this – by putting two major figures who have shaped politics from the right and left over the recent past, we the people will have a unique angle on watching issues in this debate shift. And we will have the opportunity to hear what they think. Plus spin. I expect less spin from Kos because that’s not his schtick, but Rove will undoubtedly be riding the spinwagon till the bitter end. Here are two people who are smart, articulate and knee-deep in the views of their parties’ political base. I believe they’ll call it as they see it and put up some great arguments for their respective causes.

Now, about the issue the Washington Post article notes of people moving from politics to press and vice versa, I understand why there’s concern – the folks in power worry about leaks and message control. But if you are a person with loyalty or integrity, that doesn’t happen. As someone who works on campaigns and also is a blogger, I won’t talk about the internals of campaigns I work on in any way that compromises any remotely confidential information, if I write about them at all, and I won’t say anything negative about the candidates because I feel it’s both ethically wrong and just plain stupid. You shoot yourself in the foot if you do that. Republicans should know by now Rove isn’t going to air their dirty laundry.

In cases where it goes the other way and campaigns hire people who have worked in media, they need an agreement from the get-go what those people will and won’t divulge and how, once they are working on the campaign or in the government office. It didn’t work out so well for the Edwards campaign early this year, but Hillary Clinton made a good move in hiring Peter Daou in 2006 from Salon.com. With media blurring into all aspects of our lives via the Internet and citizen journalism, media and political organizations should be working together more than ever.