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Tuesday, January 03, 2006
 
The Great God Kos

This is completely overblown:

Moulitsas's appearance before the Democratic caucus was a verbal version of what he writes every day on his blog, DailyKos. The site, which has existed for only around three and a half years, now has 3.7 million readers each week. That's more than the top 10 opinion magazines—of both left and right—combined, more readers than any political publication has had, ever, in the history of the world. In addition, Moulitsas used the site to raise $500,000 for Democratic candidates in the last election cycle—making him one of the party's top fund-raisers. And, thanks to his early and enthusiastic backing of Howard Dean's campaign for the party's presidential nomination, Moulitsas became perhaps the key player in Dean's Internet-based rise to prominence.

Of course, the writer is misinformed. Kos may have 3.7 million visitors to his site in the course of a week, but that is not 3.7 million different people; it's probably more like half a million or fewer who come to the site several times a week. And even those aren't all readers; Kos has the diary pages where people can create their own blogs.

The article is reasonably balanced, but this got a horselaugh:

In June 2003, after television cameras caught a cheering, thousand-strong mob in Fallujah dragging the charred, dismembered bodies of American contractors through the streets, Moulitsas linked to the reports and said of the contractors: “I feel nothing… Screw them.” The declaration, gleefully seized on by right-wing bloggers, provoked weeks of controversy. Democratic candidates came under pressure to pull their advertisements from the site, and even Moulitsas's traditional allies in the liberal blogosphere—including The Washington Monthly's Kevin Drum—criticized him. (When I asked Moulitsas recently how he felt about the episode, his mouth stretched into a smile: “Vindicated,” he said. The media has recently begun to question the role of American contractors in Iraq, he pointed out, which was the point all along. This is how a liberal noise machine, freed from the don't-shatter-the-porcelain decorum, might work.)
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