By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Rebel with a Kos

I’ve got a second piece in the Guardian this week, and it’s on the Daily Kos, whose founder, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, gave the keynote speech at a conference last week at Boston University on “New Media and the Marketplace of Ideas.” As you’ll see, Moulitsas partied like it was 2003. Can’t we all just get along?

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  1. Anonymous

    Being a multimedia personality is much more important than being a journalist. All that matters is whose rotation are you in (they are lining up to get back in Imus’s good graces,right now). Anything that would put that in jepardy is to be avoided. As long as people like Kos keep pointing that out, he’ll always be portrayed as a troublemaking pipsqueak.

  2. Anonymous

    Dan has sometimes been a champion of new media. Too bad he has to get snarky about a guy who has done more for the cause this month than Dan in his career.Yeah, some of us are STILL really mad about the way the NYT helped make the Iraq Wet Dream a nightmarish reality.

  3. Anonymous

    You left something out here, a reporter would acknowledge, after doing the research. Markos is a political operative, he’s admitted his only role is to get Democrats elected. He’s been paid by candidates. His guise as an adjunct to the “media” is a canard.

  4. Dan Kennedy

    There’s a difference between being critical of his speech (which I was) and being critical of him and what he has accomplished (which I wasn’t; I was quite complimentary). I’m not sure how I “left out” the fact that he is a political operative. His entire site is quite obviously an exercise in political activism. Did that really need to be said?

  5. Neil

    What cause is anonymous 10:44 referring to, that Kos has done so much this month to advance? And already no less, only three days into it!Dan you should see Groundhog Day–it’s clever and great fun.

  6. Rick in Duxbury

    Neil,I hope 10:44 is writing from MA, as I am. We are in the middle of a Nor’easter that will no doubt endanger my home and perhaps that of 10:44. Unfortunately, as Michael Goldman points out in today’s Globe, we always vote for the “best Democrat” with the expected result: we get screwed on disaster relief from Washington. Perhaps Moulitsas might someday take responsibility for something besides divisive rhetoric?

  7. Anonymous

    That’s clever Dan..”I’m not sure how I “left out” the fact that he is a political operative. His entire site is quite obviously an exercise in political activism. Did that really need to be said?” He was at BU as a representation of alternative media. He is NOT alternative media. He is a paid political operative for Democrats. The “media” part of his aparatus is ruse to get volume and to direct market (candidates) to them. I bet you really busted a gut when it came out that some columnist were for Hire on the Republican side but you bury the lead about Kos.

  8. Dan Kennedy

    Anon 6:01: You seem to be laboring under the delusion that Moulitsas is engaged in some kind of subterfuge. In don’t think it would be possible for him to be any more open about who he is and what he’s doing. As I understand it, he did some paid political consulting a few years ago, but doesn’t do that anymore. It’s not like he’s taking secret payoffs to write columns.

  9. Peter Porcupine

    “As I understand it, he did some paid political consulting a few years ago, but doesn’t do that anymore. It’s not like he’s taking secret payoffs to write columns.”But we don’t know, do we?He made no disclosure last time it happened, but was outed by rivals. And became petulant about the disclosure, saying he was entitled to take candidate money, but saw no reason to disclose the same of his blog.Contrast that with YOUR conduct, including a disclaimer on every casino post.He’s dirty, Dan. And lest I be accused of a Keller, here’s the link:

  10. Dan Kennedy

    PP: Granted, I don’t expect my readers to have to watch 35-minute videos, but by any chance did you watch or listen to Moulitsas’ entire talk via the link I posted? If you had, you would have clearly heard him say that he no longer does paid political consulting, and hasn’t for several years. So if he is, he’s not just failing to disclose — he’s lying. And I have no reason to believe he’s lying. Nor do you.

  11. Anonymous

    You’re missing the point Dan. He flogs himself as a member of the “alternative media.” He is not, in any way, a member of the alternative media. He is an active political operative whose site’s sole purpose is to conjoin a political base with specific politicians he is championing. How is that “media.” He makes money off a site that promotes candidates, so he’s a paid political operative by proxy. It a clearhousing for votes with a built in constituecy. You’re alternative media. I’m the same guy who complained about your Casino posts. I’m complaining for similar reasons here. If you make money off this site (which I doubt) then you have veered into similary territory.

  12. Dan Kennedy

    Are you kidding? I make a fortune off this site. Have you not noticed those highly lucrative ads in the upper right?

  13. another face at zanzibar

    I think you’ve spelled his name incorrectly:

  14. Sean Roche

    While Daily Kos is an important internet phenomenon, it is hardly representative of the blogosphere.And, how can you make reference to Groundhog Day without even watching it? It’s a two-hour film, fer crissakes!At least you noted that you hadn’t watched it. Russell Baker had a wonderful Observer column about quoting de Tocqueville without having read him (PDF).Probably the first time anybody’s ever drawn a connection between Groundhog Day and Democracy in America.

  15. Dan Kennedy

    Zanzibar: Oof! Now fixed.Sean: OK, you mentioned Tocqueville. Have you read him? I actually did “Democracy in America” as a book on tape some years back. I can’t say I liked it, but at least I knew where George Will was getting all his material.

  16. Sean Roche

    Yup, read him in college. All of Democracy in America. I’m not so old that I shouldn’t remember it, but I confess I have forgotten most of it.Maybe it’s time to re-read it.

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