Kos is increasingly sounding like someone who doth protest too much. Last week The Opinionator reported on the stories going around about Jerome Armstrong’s alleged past pushing bad investments on the internet. They also had interesting comparisons between Joe Trippi’s days on message boards for stock speculators and how he hyped Howard Dean on line.
TNR covered the story in The Plank yesterday, including quotes from a private email list of liberal bloggers in which Kos asked that bloggers “ignore the story” and “starve it of oxygen.” The selection quoted from Kos did include a defense of Armstrong, with one fact (that Armstrong was a “poor grad student” when he settled with the SEC) refuted by TNR. TNR greatly overestimates Kos’s power in the blogosphere in a follow up post here and refuted here.
Today Kos has a post entitled TNR’s defection to the Right is now complete. I was expecting a story about TNR’s support for the war, Joe Lieberman, or some other conservative position. No, Kos’s claim that TNR has defected to the right is because they quoted from the private email list of liberal bloggers when such material was considered off the record and opposed Kos’s interests. Kos even advises “If you still hold a subscription to that magazine, it really is time to call it quits. If you see it in a magazine rack, you might as well move it behind the National Review or even NewsMax, since that’s who they want to be associated with these days.”
While I have my disagreements with them, I plan to continue my subscription to TNR (and I wasn’t aware that NewsMax appears on the magazine racks). I don’t know about the validity of the accusations against Armstrong, or the subsequent extending to Kos regarding selling favorable publicity at daily Kos (although Kos’s actions with regards to the Dean campaign make him quite vulnerable to such questions being raised). On the one hand, it is poor netiquete to publicly quote information from a private email list. On the other hand, who would expect any list which includes a number of journalists as well as bloggers to really be that secure? Regardless of these questions, none have a bearing on whether TNR is a liberal or right wing publication. Kos is a major blogger, and may very well have been wronged here, but I can’t go along with his attitude of, the left c’est moi.
Update: Kos is also attacking Mickey Kaus for also saying that Kos wants silence.
Update II: TNR responds, and quotes from this post.