Duncan Riley> If you haven’t heard the story yet, you soon will. The doyen of left wing blogging, Democrat Blogger Markos Moulitsas ZÃºniga, editor of the Daily Kos, slinger of mud against all things right of centre and advocate against conflicts involving financial interest has been caught with his hand in the till, or swill, as the case may be.
Zonkette reports that the Howard Dean campaign paid Markos and Jerome Armstrong (of mydd.com) as consultants, “largely in order to ensure that they said positive things about Dean. We paid them over twice as much as we paid two staffers of similar backgrounds, and they had several other clients…while they ended up also providing useful advice, the initial reason for our outreach was explicitly to buy their airtime. To be very clear, they never committed to supporting Dean for the payment — but it was very clearly, internally, our goal.”
If true, any credibility Markos Moulitsas ZÃºniga had is dead.
There may well be a denial on the basis that positive comment was not required as part of the deal. None the less we see no disclosure of the money being handed over at the Daily Kos.
One of the most highly viewed bloggers has taken cash for comment on his blog and lied to his readers for financial gain.
I know many people who would argue that it is well deserved, but the issue is far deeper than this.
Kos was, and until today, was held high by many in “old media” as a shining light of what is good on the Blogosphere.
A poppy this size has a long, long way to fall.
The crash of Kos may not only ruin his reputation, but it will also throw fire on those in “old media” who are circling, waiting to attack the medium of blogging.
And in this case, Kos has handed them a dream story.
Unfortunately this wrong doing will affect all bloggers, big and small. Mud sticks. And as I said in the 2005 predictions: the actions of a few will reflect on us all.
Get ready for the onslaught, and send your love to Mr Kos, and be sure to ask that he has spent his blood money wisely.