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Informing ... or Instructing?

Did the New York Times inspire a liberal blogger to shoot a hole in Fred Thompson's pre-embryonic presidential campaign?

If so, he's not talking.

Last Thursday's New York Times ran an article about Fred Thompson's non-candidacy entitled "A Campaign Undeclared, Not Invisible," the crux of which was that Fred Thompson's sorta-kinda campaign was sorta-kinda borderline illegal. The story suggested that Thompson's "testing the waters" Web site amounted to a "stealth campaign" in cyberspace, and that existing election laws didn't cover such activities. Then there came a curious little factoid sixteen paragraphs in:

The [Federal Election Commission]'s regulations say a "testing-the-waters candidate" may not conduct campaign-type activities "in close proximity to the election or over a protracted period of time." Mr. Biersack said the agency would need to have a complaint to act.
So they would "need to have a complaint to act," eh? I remember reading that article last week and wondering how much time it would take for that shoe to drop, since the Times dangled it in front of Thompson foes so darn enticingly. Enter blogger Lane Hudson – you might remember him from such Internet-related stories as Mark Foley's sexual instant messages and e-mails to a page – who, according to the Associated Press, has decided he'll be the one to file the complaint and question Thompson's tactic.
A liberal blogger has filed a federal complaint against former Sen. Fred Thompson, the actor and unannounced Republican candidate for president, accusing him of violating election laws as he ponders his entry into the race.
Public Eye's e-mails sent to an address registered to Lane Hudson on a Web site went unanswered overnight, but it's at most a curious coincidence when someone with an agenda files a complaint days two business days after the New York Times makes the observation that that's all it would take to put Thompson under the magnifying glass.

Informing or instructing? It's a fine line sometimes.

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