Apparently, integrity and trust are not bed fellows. If people had any trust in the integrity of Om Malik, Michael Arrington, John Battelle, and others, they would have just laughed off when Valleywag questioned it. Is integrity without trust worth anything?
As a consultant, I get paid to answer questions and state my opinions on anything my clients want yet no one questions my integrity because lip service sinks ships. Isn't it the same for journalists and analysts? It seems weird that people would so readily question the integrity of folks whose livelyhood depends on integrity. John's conversation campaign seems to be nothing more than getting paid to pay attention. Was there any attempt to influence, edit or filter opinions? I don't think so.
I think people need to give more slack and trust instead of condemning their favorite bloggers at the first sniff of rotting fish. There is more going on here than yesterday's sushi and I just don't think respected folks like them can sell out as easily and cheaply as some folks are suggesting. If people are so hungry for distrust, they should question Valleywag's premise which seems to be about profitting from others' misery and embarrassing moments as well as pulling pornography out of shadows.
If you value your own integrity, expect the same from others.