Why the FTC's truth in blogging guidelines are truly terrible

Think fast: Which government agency is in charge of regulating journalistic ethics?

Okay, sorry, that's a trick question; there isn't one. Or at least it would've been a trick question prior to Monday, when the Federal Trade Commission appointed itself to that role by adopting a new set of guidelines governing product endorsements.

The guidelines were conceived, in part, as a response to a supposed plague of shady bloggers who are taking money or other types of compensation from marketers, and then turning around and plugging those marketers' products without disclosing the compensation to readers.