Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Truth About Kos (DailyKos)

The Truth About Kos (DailyKos): The Indictment of Markos C.A. Moulitsas Zuniga by Justice and History (Updated with Additional Information and Counts)

I don't know if this is true or not, but I think it warrants mention. It is certainly consistent with my view that Kos is not a Liberal, and is extremely sexist. There's a story on the web currently about blogger Lee Stranahan being banned from the Daily Kos site for discussing a scandal involving John Edwards. If the Edwards story is true, it's tragic, but I'm not concerned with anyone's personal sex life unless they make a living advocating against gay rights or trumpeting family values to manipulate voters. It might indicate reliablity, but it's not a reflection on an individual's fitness for office.

It's important to distinguish between Markos and his community. The DK community is full of passionate people committed to Progressive causes. In spite of a few extremists who spew vitriol when someone doesn't march in lock-step with the current agenda, it's a place where good writers make good commentary. Having assembled the community and taking it to the levels that it has reached is an accomplishment, to be sure, though I think that had more to do with his connection to Joe Trippi and the Howard Dean campaign than anything else. I just don't like the idea that the guy who benefits from the work of those good people is touted as a Liberal spokesman when he takes positions that are not beneficial to Progressive causes and he periodically bans a bunch of women who object to his anti-women positions.

First, there was the dust-up when he promoted an anti-choice candidate over a true Progressive in a PA election. Then there was the infamous "pie fight" when women who frequent the site objected to blatantly sexist advertising on the site. That was when he said he didn't want to hear from the "women's studies set." He later apologized, but I didn't buy it - it takes a certain level of hate to come up with a phrase like that, and I saw no sign that the underlying misogyny had changed. Recently, Hillary Clinton supporters were savaged by extremists there and ultimately Kos banned some of them. The Lee Stranahan (Lee is a man, btw) is just the most recent example of the suppression of free speech by DK.

There is a difference between an individual's blog, like this one, and a community that claims some position of authority in the Liberal political movement. When someone comes to my blog, they are entering my house, and I expect civility or out you go. I don't speak for anyone but me. At a large community like DK, however, there's a higher standard. Even if the goal is blatant partisanship, people should be allowed their own opinions. Dissent is not the same as disruption. To silence what seems, so far, to be a valid story is the furthest thing from Progressive values. Liberals are supposed to embrace truth in media, not seek to suppress it.

In the interest of full disclosure, I don't participate in the site, and I have no direct knowledge of Kos except what I know from the web and his TV appearances. I know several women from other sites started in reaction to being banned from DK, and I hear about the conflicts second hand since I won't go to that site, nor will I link to it. I have friends who do participate there, and I respect their right to do so. I just think people need to be aware that just because someone claims to be a Liberal, it's not necessarily so. Judge what people do, not what they say. Things may not be as they seem.



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