Secrets of Mommy Bloggers?!?

Blah, blah, blah:P I'm late to this party. Gah...I am so mad at you CBS 2 News at 10pm for getting me so whipped up that I have to jump into this sack of weasels:(

You've all heard about pay to play (no I'm not talking about our former Governor)...I'm talking about the legions of "Mommy Bloggers" hypnotizing the masses into buying products, simply by mentioning them on their blogs, and then laughing, Bwahahahah (wringing our hands like Mr. Burns) all the way to the bank...c'mon...all of us are doing it, right? NOT!

Truth be told, I don't typically watch CBS news. (I get my news from Jon Stewart) Yet, Monday night, there I was happily blogging away, while watching a rerun of CSI Miami (Hi Horatio!)...when up came a teaser for the news...

"Next up...The Secrets of Mommy Bloggers!"

Hey...wait a minute...technically, I'm a Mommy Blogger. What's my secret? I didn't wash my hair today, I parked my kiddos in front of PBS Kids to finish a blog design, Miss Peach was sleeping in the same Princess dress she wore all day...Had the stealth reporting of Dorothy Tucker found me out? Tell me Dorothy...what's my secret?

All Mommy Bloggers are dishonest product whores, and the FTC is gonna get us. Yep, that's the nutshell summary of the 2 part story The Secrets of Mommy Bloggers. It infuriates me that out of the hundreds of thousands of "Mommy Blogs" out there, we all get lumped into the blogging for cash and reviews category!

It might interest you to know Channel 2 that not only have I never done a product review on my blog, but a large majority of the Mommy Blogger demographic is not blogging for pay. Do I have ads on my site...yes. Do I ever blog about them...no. Does it affect what/how I write...no. Last time I checked, you Channel 2 News have advertisers on your site. Does it affect the way you report the news...I'd like to hope not.

I don't want to get into a debate on whether advertisers on your blog, or pay for reviews is OK. I'll break it down right quick for you. Yes, it's OK to have ads on your site. Yes, it's OK to do product reviews (if that's your thing) as long as you say "XYZ Company sent me this product, and here's what I think..." How easy was that?

What I'm all fired up about is...you set us up Dorothy Tucker. You lobbed up an easy ball to smack it in our face. I'm purposely not linking to the woman you talked to in your piece because I think you put her in a bad light. You made her sound like she'll write anything on her blog for pay...and I don't think that is the case. Seriously, you did a two part series and talked to exactly two Mommy Bloggers...TWO! The Mommy Blogosphere is a VAST space, and you shined a light on a small part of it, and acted as if that was the whole. To say I'm disappointed does not do my feelings justice. (tssk, tssk...yes, I just tssked you!)

Blogher was literally blocks away from CBS. There were over 1,000 Mommy Bloggers there. Why didn't you talk to the folks who started Blogher? How about talking to the Blogging With Integrity folks? Where was the investigative reporting here?

It might interest you to know that I am a mother, a blogger, and I get paid to design blogs. Yeah, I left the work force, had kiddos, learned a new skill, and put my two design degrees to work. Where is the sell out? Oh wait...there isn't one:P Yeah...not all of us Mommy Bloggers are sell outs...SHOCKING, I know!

*now excuse me while I go hide under my desk and wait for the fallout...(closing my eyes and hitting publish...)

63 comments

  1. I don't see why there would be any fallout (but I'm dumb (rational?) like that). You said it, it's okay to do reviews/ads with disclosure, but it's a small part of a large, large demographic known as 'mommybloggers.' I don't understand why CBS needs to sensationalize or misrepresent it either.

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  2. Once again....the media tells only part of the story. This is why I don't watch the news. It's all bullshit.

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  3. I didn't see the interviews, but what I've heard from several people, not just mommy bloggers, was not favorable. What they fail to understand is that mommy bloggers, however young or old (mine are 17 and 18 YEARS old) aren't always writing about their kids. My kids call me mommy, I sometimes write about them. does that lump me into that category? NO . I don't have any ads on my site, nor do I do product reviews. I don't think there's anything wrong with blogs that have done that, it's just not for me.

    What they also fail to understand is that bloggers, no matter what kind, are a great resource for information, financial help, spreading the word when a fellow blogger needs prayer, cheering people up, and what a wonderful community bloggers in general are.


    Did you go to far?


    Absolutely NOT! Kudos to you for defending other bloggers!

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  4. do you know that those articles pissed me off...SO BAD! i'm so glad you stuck up for our honor and INTEGRITY!!
    you rock. cbs...not so much!!
    they need to get their jaded and screwed up version of the story straight. THEY are not doing journalism of any form...with ANY integrity!! and their research sucks too!!

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  5. Sometimes I go weeks with no news because I just can't take it. So I missed this. But I'm not surprised. Journalism is rehtoric like anything else. CBS wants ratings. They will do what they can to garner those ratings including a shallow, useless piece on a subject they easily could have covered in depth.

    Your response is dead on. Thanks for taking the time to make sure your voice is heard.

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  6. I'm virtually high fiving you, girlfriend.

    Love the new banner, btw. :)

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  7. I haven't yet seen a positive news brief on t.v. about blogging, but I also rarely watch the news. I've seen a few links to Kathy Gifford claiming that she doesn't know how to turn on her computer, and then she spends the rest of her time talking over the bloggers that she's interviewing. I'm guessing it's not really in the best interest for t.v. news to promote blogging because it takes us away from our t.v.'s!

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  8. oh my me too..just not the mommy, my 4 year niece told me I was spending too much time on my puter today..I turned it off and we went swimming till the rain storms came back..then I just napped with her and Rudey dog. I felt bad :-( she noticed

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  9. Here, here! Well said . . . or is that written! Methinks we need to start re-classifying some of those bloggers -- say mommy reviewers and mommy bloggers?

    PS I also get my news from Mr. Stewart! Love him and if I do make a trip to NY for BlogHer next year -- I HAVE to get tix to see his show! Are you in if I do?

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  10. Silly me I didn't even know there was such a thing as blogging for money (product reviews).

    Thanks for keeping us informed.

    xx

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  11. Well said. I can't tell you how many "media" people I know (yes, personally) who have accepted things while being an "objective reporter." Some got busted, some didn't. I'm guessing THAT's the reason behind all the Mommy Blogger stories....latent guilt.

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  12. EXCELLENT EXCELLENT post!!!!!!!!!!!! Well done, my friend. Seriously, hungover, on my first week in broadcast journalism school - heck, DRUNK on my FIRST DAY I could have put together a better story that the one you're talking about. Big fat fail on that reporter's part. YOU? Rocked this post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  13. Leave it to media to do "full investigations" that support whatever a particular reporter already believes. Seems as though the term shouldn't be reporting, but more like "suspicion confirming" or "easy routing". Your post was very well written, and I thank you for bringing this to my attention.

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  14. Ohhhh.... nice banner. And a huge high five!

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  15. No, you did not go too far. What about the real story on MommyBloggers who blog for themselves and happen to enjoy sharing it with others because its entertaining? If I mention a product, store, or service, its because I have something to say about it, not because anyone has ever paid me to do so (I didn't even know that could happen!)

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  16. Oye.

    I'm so sick of stories like that. I am so far from fitting into that mold it's ridiculous (just like you--not. even. close).

    It aggravates me that I do know a few (and I mean a FEW, like maybe two) women who DO fit into the stereotype that media stories like that portray. It sucks that people are focusing on the minority and making it sound like they represent the majority. It's just not the case.

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  17. Doubt you'll get much fallout. Good for you for giving it right back to them.

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  18. Was Dorothy Tucker trying to come off like Nancy Grace? Like it is some sort of conspiracy that there are bloggers out there that do reviews with or without compensation? WTH? And who cares?
    I'll bet she was just jealous.

    and how did I not know you lived in the Chicago area until now? Sheesh, I really need to come out from under this rock I've been living under.

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  19. I saw the teaser on CBS but I didn't stick around to hear what was actually said. I figured it wasn't anything truthful anyway. But now i am really glad I didn't watch.

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  20. Shout it, sister. At the bottom of this ongoing mommyblogging/profit conversation seems to be some ugly resistance (on the part of those who buy into news stories like Tucker's) to the idea that moms have powerful voices and opinions. Like, hey, these moms are having a little too much fun and getting a little too much attention with this blogging stuff . . . let's try and hush them up with rumors of child exploitation and dishonest money grubbing.

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  21. Well said. I do see the blogs shilling out to make a buck, but I also read the blogs by people who are just writing. 60 Minutes did the same thing to poker. Told some half truths, took a few things out of context and then lumped every last hand of cards into a sham.

    Journalism it would appear, is dead. Thanks for writing this.

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  22. Well done!!!!! The vast majority are people of integrity and to zoom in on a few bad apples is really playing dirty.

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  23. I hope you're no longer hiding under the desk - cause I haven't seen any fallout (yet).
    As usual, the media picks who to talk to in order to make sure the story comes out the way they wanted it to. It's just irritating to be lumped into that category - just because I happen to have kids AND blog? And honestly? I don't blog about my kids all that often. I also don't have ads (that's more about me being lazy than me not wanting them) and don't do product reviews becuase I've never been offered a product TO review.
    Not sure how I'd respond if I were approached for reviews or ads, to be honest, though. Making a little $ for doing something I enjoy so much doesn't sound bad. But I wouldn't want it to change what my blog is, so... I'm happy where I am, thanks.

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  24. I haven't seen the article, but it seems that a lot of journalists just don't like bloggers, period and want to paint them in a negative light because they feel threatened. Yes, even mommy bloggers are threatening, apparently.

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  25. Sometimes you can't make someone LOVE you. Especially if they feel THREATENED by you. You know if they are COMPETITIVE or something.

    Worried much 'traditional media'?

    Yeah.
    We can tell.

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  26. Irresponsible journalism huh? I don't see why you need to hide under your desk. While I obviously didn't watch the news, it sounds like (just like everywhere else in the world) they just picked one angle to the story and told it. You're right to speak out for all of us mommy bloggers.

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  27. argh those interviews were HORRIBLE. Completely one-sided, they picked out one blogger and asked her like TWO questions, and painted the blogosphere with a broad brush. So dumb. Don't at all feel like you need to hide under your desk!!

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  28. I missed this but am glad for your overview. It would have been easy for CBS to do a well rounded story too...shame but not a surprise.

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  29. I wish I could be surprised and shocked, but I'm not. Because that's what the media does, it doesn't tell facts, it twists facts and tells an embellished version of them, whatever sounds more interesting, more controversial, whatever will get them more viewers. Because unlike what most people think, the media aren't in the business or reporting the truth. They are in the business of getting ratings.

    So once again, they are full of it. Except this time, we are the victims. What were they going to say? That we are all friendly and fun except for a precious few who sell their opinion and another precious few who are catty bitches? That's not very interesting. Sigh.

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  30. I never saw any sort of preview for this or anything. How biased is that story! Wow... I'll have to snoop around and see what I can find. Yikes! Their story seems highly unfair though - I agree!

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  31. I hear ya sister. I am a review blogger, not a mom at all. well unless you count my furballs. I am either always excluded with the positives or included with the negatives.

    Most blogs that do reviews have a policy to not do bad reviews, i do. and for me it isn't a pr thing, for me it is cause I want my blog to mainly be a positive place. I want my readers to trust me and know that the products I recommend are tried and tested my me or a family member. I don't get paid most of the time, I get products but last time I checked my mortgage couldn't be paid by face lotion.

    they lump everyone together. and make irrational comments. and you are so right on that they should have talked and interviewed at blogher.

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  32. I am a new reader of your blog and I am really enjoying your writing.

    You can always trust the media for one thing, to be untrustworthy. Any decent reporter can spin a story into whatever they want to sell us today. Don't worry too much because they will pick a new group to pick on next week.

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  33. Never once in my entire year plus of blogging have I ever reviewed something, anything. I ONCE gave a way items from a store that donated them to me and I made that very clear and got paid zero to do it. Otherwise, that was it.

    I'm a humor blogger who happens to write about her kid sometimes. Period. whoever wrote this should be ashamed and they wonder why they are losing their audiences and alas their jobs.

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  34. It cracks me up how obsessed mainstream media seems to be with the idea that "mommy bloggers" make money.

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  35. Right on! The report didn't exactly look at the demographic...like you said, we aren't all blogging to make a buck.

    Love the Mr. Burns reference.

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  36. How hard is it to be transparent? and how hard is it to NOT knock each other down when we're working hard? JEEEEZ, CBS, it must hurt to have your head that far up your own butt.

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  37. I think the media has lost it. I seriously quit watching a couple of years ago. You cannot believe anything they say. I see so many stories that I know are swayed that I can't imagine how the rest of them are not swayed. They don't even have to investigate anymore. They just need to make stuff up to get people talking and watching. Who cares what the truth is???
    But this FCC thing, that I think has deeper reasons. The government has an agenda to get ahold of our children so we can't "brainwash" them into having opposite opinions than they want. Take away mom's ability to work from home, force her into the work place and the kids into childcare that is mandated and controlled by government regulations, and away from parents controlling most of the day.

    I also don't get why non-review bloggers think that review bloggers get PAID. Seriously, do you think trying a Special K bar is going to have so much monetary sway that I am going to lie? I don't get more if I give a good review. And I don't get cash. I get to TRY a product. And I only try things I think I would like, because why would I want to review something I know I am going to hate? And if I do hate a product I will try to be positive without stating that I like it, and I have refrained from reviewing a product that was beyond disgusting, more because I shouldn't have an opinion on it because I don't eat similar products.

    I'm so sick of bloggers tearing each other apart and calling people blog whores and such. Celebrities do ads for products all the time and they don't have to say in their ad that they were "sponsored" by the company. They have a lot more sway than a blogger, go after them, they didn't disclose.

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  38. Thank you for such an insightful, dead-on blog post about that horribly reported, highly-biased CBS story. I am a long-time journalist who has written stories on everything from politics and murders to George Clooney and the Real Housewives franchise. I can tell you that there are A LOT of freebies floating around newsrooms and magazine editorial offices, and rarely, if ever, is anyone forced to give the products back to the companies that sent them for review, much less report them on their taxes or disclose in stories that they received the product for free. Moreover, no one seems to tell TV stations/newspapers/magazines that they can't accept ads from companies about which they write. In fact, in some cases, the ad departments are encouraged to seek ads from companies that have review products in their editorial stories. For instance, have you ever watched a news program in which a celebrity is interviewed about her new movie, and then seconds later, a commercial for that movie runs?

    I mean, really. Isn't this simply the pot calling the kettle black?

    I know the woman interviewed in that CBS news story personally. She is a woman of honesty and integrity, and I see nothing wrong with the way she runs HER blog. She is as sweet as pie and hardworking and was unfairly maligned in an incomplete, unbalanced piece full of holes. It was, in essence, journalistically incompetent. She's the victim here, not moms who depend on her sound, fair reviews of products they may want to try out for themselves.

    I'd like to add that as anyone who blogs knows, it takes an enormous amount of energy and time to write posts and run a blog, and if a blogger (mommy or no) decides that a company should pay for their products to be reviewed, then that is her right. So long as she/he is honest in her review (I liked XYZ product because it really got the stains out of my clothes or XYZ product sucks because it did NOT get the stains out of my clothes), I don't really care if she got paid a couple of dollars for it. In fact, good for her: the least a multi-million dollar company can do is pay for my hard work reviewing and writing about their products.

    This is my first time visiting here... I'm going to make a point of visiting again!

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  39. Didn't see it. Don't know that I will watch because it'll just make me mad. I have enough things to be mad about and I'm TRYING TO BE MORE CHEERFUL, damnit!

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  40. Ok. Here I go.
    1. Crappy reporting. Lazy reporting, just like you said. I'll bet her GPA in college was WAY up there, ya know.

    2. How long would we have media if we cut out all THEIR advertising? No more ads on tv or ads in the magazines. Let them sell enough subscriptions at a high enough price to pay for the content. yeah right. Taste of Home finally gave in and gave up their no ad policy. They just could not hack it anymore without advertising.

    3. Most of the celebs out there are at least GIVEN, if not PAID, to wear clothes by designers. I read an article interview with Nicole Kidman. She said she could kill herself reading scripts and making movies or she could do a couple of product endorsements and wear whatever clothes she got paid to wear and then go do whatever she wanted to do all day. She said she had gotten to the place in her career that there were very few movies anymore that she really wanted to do and the amount of money she got paid for the products was huge and so much easier. I think Chanel #5 is one of her "accounts".

    4. So what is wrong with the little reporter woman? Does she just want a piece of the action? Maybe she needs to start her own blog. Let her review a Gucci bag or whatever turns her crank and see if she changes her tune. As long as the reviews are fair and honest, let them stand. If a blogger says "best deal in the world!" about every product, she will lose her credibility with her readers very quickly and everything will reflect her scam: the subscriber numbers, the posts, eventually the ads will follow and the oppotunities to review will disappear.

    5. I used to write a restaurant review for a local mag. I told them when I took the job that if I ever ate anywhere that I would not send my own friends, I would not send our readers there either. At that point I would have to call the editor and let her handle the situation (these were our advertisers, so I could not say "this place sucks"), but I would not write a positive review if I had a negative experience and put my integrity as a writer and the magazine's reputation at risk just for a few hundred dollars' worth of advertising. She agreed with me. Fortunately, I never had to deal with that; everywhere I ate was good. However, I did have some places where I had to say things like "don't go if you are in a hurry" which was a veiled way of saying the service or cooks were not exactly speedy.

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  41. I love what you've done with the place. And? Way to speak UP, too! You go girl!

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  42. Perfectly put. And so YOU - now that I've met you in person. You write like you speak. AUTHENTICALLY. I guess that's not a word CBS is familiar with, but they should know it exists in the context of mommy bloggers. The problem for everyone, I'm so convinced, is that we're MOMS, and we have too much power here, too much voice (which, actually, so isn't the case). But, it scares the media (who pride themselves on being THE voice) when moms/women have might RISE, might UNITE and change the face of capitalism, of journalism, as we know it.... Again, GREAT job.

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  43. There are too many comments to read through here, so sorry if I'm saying pretty much the same as others, but I just want to say:

    YOU'RE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!


    There are a LOT of wonderful bloggers out there, some are mommy bloggers, some are review bloggers, some make money, some don't. It doesn't matter. So you're right...talking to a couple bloggers then lumping the thousands of other bloggers into one stereotype is just plain crap and bad journalism.

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  44. i didn't see the piece. and i'm glad i didn't - i don't think my blood pressure could taken it.

    i have a regular 'mommyblog' site with blogher ads and i also have a review/giveaway site. i'm totally upfront with what i review and giveaway and take it really personally that people would assume otherwise.

    a lot of the things i give away i don't even get compensated for... and when i do get compensated it's usually with one of the same product i'm giving away... not exactly a 'get rich quick' scheme. LOL.

    i actually prefer to do pure giveaways, rather than review/giveaways, because i don't want people to think that i'm pimping an object for pay... it's really sad that i have to worry about that.

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  45. I think you summed it up very nicely. I may take a foray into the world of the giveaway at some point. Or I may not. I think a PP found the motivation when she mentioned that tv has no reason to speak favorably of bloggers as we are their competition in a sense.

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  46. Keep preaching, sister! If I was in blogging for the money/product, I would be WAY stupid. Though I wouldn't mind a little money and product once in a while... :)

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  47. The amount of work we put into our blogs we should be getting paid! There is so much work (although I love it) involved in blogging that if I were to demand a paycheck for the amount of work I have to do my paycheck should be around $50,000.

    I blog because I love it, I write what I want, I don't get paid for any of it although that would be nice. The media has it all wrong. We are just another voice getting the word out good/or bad about a product as if we were talking to our friends or family. I try to do a well balanced blog by not going to commercial and remembering that I started this to create a legacy for my children to be able to read about our lives together and always know what I felt, thought, dreamed.

    You are right, if the news wants to be fair and balanced they should have interviewed way more bloggers and perhaps a PR person or two.

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  48. This is why I don't watch the news anymore. It's all about sensationism. And if there isn't anything legitimate, well heck, let's make a mountain out of a molehill. Well done, CBS, you have once again gotten it completely, unbelievably wrong.

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  49. I love u!!!

    Great post. I was on fire the other night when I got that link for you. That was a horrible piece of journalism.

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  50. All I can say is very well put. I just watched the footage online and they do put mom bloggers in a bad light.

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  51. Go girl! Nice banner by the way!

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  52. Another high five from over here. Very well said.

    And, yes, love the new banner!!

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  53. Seriously? What happened to my comment? Did CBS eat it or something? I have nothing to add now because it has all been said- this was shoddy "journalism" and I continue to wonder why Moms that blog are being targeted for so much negativity.

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  54. I am surprised I am just seeing this. This statement reeked of insincerity: "Many of these mothers had no idea that the bloggers are often compensated for expressing their opinions. When we told them, they weren't happy about it."

    I'm not about to blast those mothers who allegedly had no idea, because of how CBS presented the report. I have reviewed products before hence my disclosure link on one of my blogs and am in no way worried about federal regulators.

    Defend ourselves we will.

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  55. Now that I'm done rolling around in my piles of cash that I make from blogging {dies laughing}
    I can comment ;-)

    Very well put honey, I'm glad that you decided to write this. Good job. High FIVES and LOVE the new banner.

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  56. When women find creative ways to make money, it's a sell out. When men do it, it's entrepeneurial.

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  57. Thanks for coming to our defense in a superhero way, Nap Warden!

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  58. I didn't see this 'news' story, but I thank you for writing this.

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  59. I lost respect for media long ago. This is just another example of them NOT doing their job.
    Now off to sail around in the yacht I got with all my blogging money (and by yacht I mean the Little People one person 'boat' and by sail I mean let it float around my bath tub). It's the life of a mommy blogger ;)

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  60. Now I know why I don't watch Channel 2 here. Gah.

    Yeah, I'm a mommy blogger with ads on her blog and an review site (which I have yet to review anything) but what is the big deal? Most women who blog make next to nothing on their blogs.
    I heard an ad on the radio for Google AdSense today that implied that you could replace your income with it. Funny, I had it on my blog for almost two years and made NOTHING. So it was deleted.

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