Kos Gate

The Developing Story at Powerline Blog about KOS GATE?:

"It's been widely reported in the blogosphere that Markos Moulitsas (of the Daily Kos) and his partner Jerome Armstrong have made it their practice to hype political candidates (including some not generally associated with the left) who hire them as consultants. I mentioned this story, along with Armstrong's past as a hired stock tout and the SEC's displeasure with that conduct, here.

The New Republic's blog, The Plank, reports that, in response, Kos has urged selected liberal bloggers not to discuss this story. His hope is that, by stonewalling, they can prevent it geting play from the mainstream media. Here is the memo that Kos reportedly sent:

The YearlyKos media people have already forced corrections at Slate and NY Times (Suellentrop's blog). There has been some serious overreach by the few outlets that picked up this story (which as I mentioned before has been shopped around). It was interesting how this one piddly-ass story was used to try and smear Jerome, me, AND YearlyKos.
So the only paper to run this as a news story is the disgraceful NY Post. Others who picked up on it have had to backtrack from their original sensationalistic claims.

I am exploring legal options against some of the wingnut bloggers who are claiming I'm syphoning netroots money into consultants and my own pockets. Note how Glenn Reynolds is fueling it with his typical passive aggressive, "I don't think it's a big deal, but let me provide links to everyone who thinks this is THE BIGGEST STORY EVER!"

And Jerome's case, if it could be aired out, is a non-story (he was a poor grad student at the time so he settled because he had no money). Jerome can't talk about it now since the case is not fully closed. But once it is, he'll go on the offensive. That should be a couple of months off.

This story will percolate in wingnut circles until then, but I haven't gotten a single serious media call about it yet. Not one. So far, this story isn't making the jump to the traditional media, and we shouldn't do anything to help make that happen.

My request to you guys is that you ignore this for now. It would make my life easier if we can confine the story. Then, once Jerome can speak and defend himself, then I'll go on the offensive (which is when I would file any lawsuits) and anyone can pile on. If any of us blog on this right now, we fuel the story. Let's starve it of oxygen. And without the "he said, she said" element to the story, you know political journalists are paralyzed into inaction.

Thanks, markos"

Sounds like it's time for a rebuttal and alert press release from the right. New Republic's 'The Plank' Jason Zengerle puts it this way:

So far, Kos's friends in the fiercely independent liberal blogosphere seem to have displayed a sheep-like obedience to his dictat. And while it's true that Kos himself hinted at the controversy in this blog post yesterday, he didn't come anywhere close to addressing the questions that really matter. You might even call Kos and company's behavior in this whole affair just another case of politics as usual. So much for crashing the gates.

P.S. Was Armstrong really, as Kos claims, a "poor grad student" when he settled with the SEC? Armstrong agreed to the settlement in December 2003. That was eleven months after he and Kos started their political consulting business and six months after the two were hired by the Dean campaign at a rate of $3,000 a month."

This is going to get good.


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