Jeff Jarvis has a post about the controversy with George Clooney and The Huffington Post. As I understand it: The Huffington Post put up a blog post supposedly written by Clooney, but it turned out it was actually just a compilation of things he's said in interviews that Huffington's people cut and pasted to pretend it was a piece of writing from Clooney, and his Good Night And Good Luck publicist said that was cool, but never checked with Clooney.
I think Jarvis is totally right in his thoughts on this, so go read him. Basically, Huffington is saying that what she did was fine, and it's not wrong to paste some stuff together and call it a blog post. That a blog post is about the message, no matter what the medium. Well, not really. Blogs are a form like anything else is a form. A good blog post is different from a good magazine article is different from a good book. And there's a trust you put into a blog post -- posting something is a social contract that the person named on the post wrote it. And without anything to indicate otherwise, I think it's a social contract that the person who wrote it intended it for this use. Not that I couldn't take a law school paper I wrote and post it up here (although that would be a crappy post, and I'd probably want to label it as what it originally was anyway), but I couldn't take someone else's article from somewhere and post it up here as a blog post without their permission. Maybe I'm wrong. Read the Jarvis piece.