I ONCE HAD A GIRLFRIEND WHO QUIT JOURNALISM and went into P.R. because she said public-relations work was “more ethical.” I thought of her when I read this:

Media credibility takes another hit: Fishbowl DC’s hottest reporter contest wasn’t on the up-and-up, reports Farhad Manjoo. “What’s surprising is not that anyone cheated — online polls are about as trustworthy as Soviet Bloc elections — but how brazen, and how easy, the cheating was,” he writes. Friends of this year’s two oh-so-hot winners built software “bots” that voted thousands of times for each of them on the Mediabistro site.

Sigh. (Via Michael Silence).

UPDATE: Dave Weigel says this is all backwards: “The media didn’t rig this silly popularity contest: Some dudes with websites did. Be proud of that.”