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Crossing Kos Equals Being Right Winger?

by RonChusid

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.

Update III: After misfiring, TNR is back on target with a reply from TNR’s neocon owner, discussed here.

Update IV: David Brooks hits Kos from another direction (discussed here).

5 Responses to “Crossing Kos Equals Being Right Winger?”

  1. Here’s a take on this from MartiniRepublic.

    This certainly is a whole lot of high drama, from whether or not certain bloggers should have been named on the TNR pieces – to their responses why they didn’t respond. Way too much information.

    That said, there’s all sorts of email lists floating around between bloggers I would think, some casual, some for the purpose of sharing news tips, stories and information.

  2. […] as a whole is beyond me. Kos evidently believes that, as The Democratic Daily put it, “the left c’est moi.”  Fitzmas may have been a bust, […]

  3. There’s really a huge number of issues starting with the initial accusations against Kos and Armstrong to the email lists and Kos’s responses.

    There are even (at least) two different issues surrounding the email lists.

    TNR, and to an even greater extent conservative blogs, are using the existence of the list to claim liberal bloggers are all working together in an organized manner. It’s a real stretch to say that such lists mean centralized control over the blogs.

    It is even questionable to what degree Kos’s request that the initial accusations against Armstrong not be discussed influenced bloggers. I didn’t mention this last week, after I first read about it, simply because I really have no way to judge the validity of the accusations. I don’t want to repeat accusations against an individual which I’m not sure about, but I’m also not going to declare he’s innocent because he’s a liberal blogger when I really don’t know.

    As for TNR quoting the list, it depends a bit on the specifics of the mail list. Some are much more secure and private than others. On one side we had the private email lists during the Kerry campaign. These were limited to specific Kerry supporters and was for a specific purpose. It would have been quite bad form to reveal anything on the list.

    On the other hand I’m also on a list of dozens of liberal bloggers. About the only thing we have in common are that we have liberal blogs. We disagree among ourselves on many issues, and have no common goal other than mutual communication among bloggers. In this case I still wouldn’t quote what someone said privately (as opposed to items sent out as suggestions to blog about). However, I also wouldn’t place anything on the list which I would be terribly upset if it wound up being quoted somewhere.

    The Townhouse list is somewhere in between the two. It is less focused than the Kerry campaign list, but more restricted than the blogger list I mentioned. However, as it had many bloggers and journalists it would be foolish to believe that nothing would ever be quoted, even if Kos is justified in being pissed off at those who did quote him.

  4. Kaus’s history as a Republican shill is legendary by now and impeccably documented. As for “even the liberal” New Republic (so-called because it’s famous as a reprint vehicle for the RNC, which can then say “even the liberal New Republic agrees that …”), it’s 2nd only to Commentary as a neocon vehicle. Marty Peretz is the broker to the Dems basically saying we won’t hurt you TOO MUCH if you give everything JINSA says a pass, and I hope I don’t need to explain who Andrew Sullivan is?

    Plus, I like the implication that KOS is on a vendetta against KAUS. Astonishingly revisionist. The truth: Kaus has been gunning for every single liberal on the net since Day One and is frankly a bigger spreader of hatemongering crap than anyone at the Free Republic or NewsMax ever thought of being. Of all the “media whores online” the biggest one is, and has always been, Kaus. He’s in a class by himself.

  5. Also, David Brooks? David BROOKS? The literally never-right, often debunked fraud at Times Select? The genial war-monger and smear artist Brooks? the shoot-from-the-hipness guru of the smuggest Beltway Republican ass kissers? David anyone who questions the iraq war is an antisemite Brooks? Was Krauthammer too busy for you?

    Hey, Kaus likes using unanswered smear articles by PJ ORourke to smear Democrats (as he did with Kerry), you should quote him next time.