Department of blog-navel gazing

The Unseen Editor forwards this from the Buckeye State Blog, documenting troubling aspects of the Sherrod Brown-Paul Hackett “netroots” Ohio senate fiasco, but from the standpoint of criticizing blogging 800 lb. guerrillas Markos “Daily Kos” Moulitsas and Jerome “founder of MyDD and friend of Kos” Armstrong, and in particular, their sorry role in that sorry event (that culminated in Hackett being kicked out of the race and withdrawing from politics, and perhaps, with Mike DeWine holding an otherwise takeable seat.)
Blogging, of course, is proof positive that no matter what the human endeavor, human beings have a herd instinct. Daily Kos is simply huge– at something like a seven digit daily hit count, it has more readers and viewers than all but a handful of newspapers and many cable shows. MyDD is pretty damned big too, with tens of thousands of daily hits. (Of blogs, probably only Atrios and Instapundit are in that stratosphere, close behind by some of the more impressive right wing hate sites.) And there are a few other blogs (numbered in the dozens, probably, but no more than a few hundred) that have thousands of hits a day. Then there are probably a few hundred, or probably under 3 or 4 thousand, anyway, that, like this blog, have a few hundred hits per day, and then there are literally millions of blogs that exist for their authors and a few friends and those who might stumble onto them. But Kos is the koolest of the kool kids… in his own planet. Daily Kos is not so much a “netroots” as a media presence of its own.
Notwithstanding the hyperbole that has gone into both attacking Kos, such as Jason Zengerle’s recent hit piece in the New Republic, and equally feeble attempts at defense (Kos’s own suggestion was to ask the more popular liberal bloggers to ignore it… a mistake, to be sure), the real issue has been missed: it’s something like “ye who is without sin can cast the first stone.”
Why I like the Buckeye piece is that it lays out something extremely troubling: Kos, by his own apparent choice, once amply supported the candidacy of Paul Hackett for senate. Jerome Armstrong, who was hired by the Sherrod Brown campaign, naturally, supported Brown. Armstrong and Kos are friends, and, among other things, co-authored a now successful book (“Crashing the Gates.) Also, the Brown campaign spent some money on advertising on blogs (an ad buy directed by Armstrong). And so, it seems, that just 48 hours after a ringing endorsement of Hackett, Kos did a complete about face, and suddenly endorsed Brown (to the detriment of Hackett, including a suggestion that Hackett drop out of the race.)
The Buckeye piece draws no other innuendos… no “kosola” or contention of a payoff… just those troubling facts and their timing, and the fact that Kos’s explanations to date have been anything but candid.
To be fair, Markos never portrays himself as anything but a Democratic party activist. But at this point, if one of the big themes is frowning upon Republican corruption (among which, for example, are hidden payments to, among others, bloggers, and of course, paid propaganda pieces such as to Armstrong Williams), then “our” house should be in order, don’t you think? Certainly, there has been much hyperbole… but it’s certainly the case that when we get up to this point, the “shtick” is that blogging (or at least, we like to think, “lefty blogging”) is a sort of spontaneous “vox populi”. We learn, of course, that it is as tainted with money and conflicts of interest as every other political endeavor (at least, up at the levels that get serious attention), although, of course, less money!
Which, in the end, might be fine; if one’s loyalty is for sale, that’s o.k. with me (as long as you tell me, of course.) But then please, please don’t adopt a holier than thou attitude when anyone else engages in siimilar conduct.