In the newspaper business it is common practise for editors and reporters to search the archives and the Internet for an unfamiliar newsmaker's name to see what comes up. When we forget to do that (been there, done that) we are sometimes embarassed the next day by our competition.
NDP Leader Jack Layton might be feeling some of that morning-after regret today upon learning that his party's (now former) candidate in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast posted video depicting his apparent use of illicit drugs on marijuana advocate Marc Emery's site PotTV. That's a habit Google could have revealed to curious party officials in 0.14 seconds.
(Maybe the innovative folks at Google Labs should create a more focused search engine: Google Background Check?)
There's a reason "google" has become a verb and could also be a synonym for "cover your butt." If, for example, the Liberal party had Googled "green shift" they might have avoided an embarassing spat over the name of their green plan and whatever licensing fee they agreed to pay to settle the disupte. (Or maybe not, given they were aware of the conflict enough to try sticking a "the" in front.)
Okay, better example: if your humble bloggist had bothered to google the name "Campaign 2.0," he might have found his clever moniker had already been used several times before, including by the aforementioned competition. So, in the spirit of things, let me say I am embarassed by this lapse of judgment and take full responsibility. I apologize without reservation to my family, colleagues and leader and beg your forgiveness. I'm a human!
MORE FREE ADVICE: As my friend Paul Gorbould noted in a message yesterday about the Conservatives' disappearing Dionbook site, thanks to Google cacheing and the Internet museum site The Wayback Machine, you can't un-publish on the Internet. He should know - he works for the CBC's Digital Archives, which has compiled historical gems from past Canadian election campaigns - and archival footage of the current party leaders - from the CBC's unrivalled library.