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Journalist? Activist? Troublemaker?


A great deal of virtual ink was spilt last week in long discussions about Markos Moulitsas – known to most folks as DailyKos – and his insistence that he’s not a journalist, he’s an activist.
Since he’s a partisan Left-wing blogger – not a journalist or, God forbid, a mainstream media representative – Kos argues that he’s doesn’t have to worry about some of the conflict-of-interest restraints that tie down others who style themselves as reporters and writers. So he can accept payment from candidates. Or have clients who are advertisers and advertisers who are clients who benefit from his fundraising. It’s a convincing argument – up to a point. A brief and unstable point.
Seeing Kos – he introduces himself with the simple “I’m Markos” — Saturday at the Western Caucus of the Democratic National Committee brought the back the questions raised last week with full force. Kos, the partisan blogger, was wearing a green card, a press credential. Sitting with a group of Simon Rosenberg supporters, Kos wasn’t wearing the yellow cards hanging around staffers’ necks or the necks of those calling themselves “observers” – folks attending for some particular purpose or cause. Nah. He was wearing a press card.
Kos hasn’t responded to an email asking about his choice of identification. And, make no mistake, it was a choice. The Western Caucus was keeping track of who attended and the organizations represented. And he’s certainly justified in claiming that his audience makes him a kind of reporter so people who talk to him know they have a reduced expectation of privacy. That’s why the press gets tagged.
But this sort of behavior undermines all the arguments Kos made last week. And it leads us right back to the path of full and open disclosure, now doesn’t it? And that’s a path Kos is refusing to take. That’s not good for anyone who’s calling themselves a “blogger.”

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 9:35 AM | Permalink

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