Thursday, July 01, 2010

The $100,000 Indecent Proposal is causing the most problems for conservatives right now

Rightwingers at Breitbart are offering $100,000 for any one of the 400 members of a moderate-to-liberal, journalist email list to betray their confidentiality pledges and to turn over the archives, with Breitbart guaranteeing anonymity to the source.  We're on day three and nearing day four with no-one having taken the leap yet.  Kind of a pleasant surprise that game theorists would find inexplicable.

So all four hundred members of the list have so far maintained their integrity, but some conservatives are having a little more trouble.  Sad-sack cases like Breitbart and Althouse try to gasbag their way into claiming that selling out and encouraging people to sell out are ethical things to do.  Others like Instapundit and Transterrestrial have transmogrified way beyond such petty ethical concerns.

I expect we'll soon see a conservative blog reminding the 400 listmembers that each person probably cares deeply about 10 or more people, any one of whom could be in deep financial or medical trouble and need that money.  Shouldn't you be able to find the people who are most worthy, she'll wheedle, and you'll only keep what you need rather than some other idiot taking it all for alcohol and prostitutes.  These people will be implicitly saying that your soul isn't really worth more than $100,000, because they're selling out their own just for the joy watching someone else go down the drain.

Someday I expect the archives will be made public, but we'll see how many other conservatives first fail the test that they think is being placed just on the Journolist members.

(Kudos btw to The Corner of all places for acknowledging the ethical problem, if somewhat vaguely.)

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