Buried Lede of the Week
Did Clinton hint we went to war for Israel?
restatement that he is not a consultant still does not answer the serious questions that have been raised about his relationship with Armstrong and whether there is some arrangement by which politicians who hire Armstrong as a consultant then receive Kos's support.
Zengerle also quotes from some Kos-sympathizers on the secretive liberal "Townhouse" mailing list who were troubled by the Kosola allegations. (Sample: "I dont see how this can be ignored. We should all write in defense of this once we know the facts. Jerome?") ... Jerome? ... Confusion-generating update: See Gilliard's questioning of that e-mail. Correction and update: Zengerle now agrees Gilliard didn't write the email. But did anyone, or was it a fake? ...
P.S.: Kos repeats a boast he made in his "Townhouse" email, that the YearlyKos staffers
got a whole slew of corrections and apologies in response to pieces in the NY Times and Slate
Kos Wants Silence! TNR's Jason Zengerle has discovered one reason why normally fierce Kos defenders have been strangely silent on the Kosola controversy: In a message to "'Townhouse,' a private email list comprising elite liberal bloggers"--the authenticity of which seems to be undisputed--DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas has issued a
request to you guys [that] that you ignore this for now. It would make my life easier if we can confine the story. Then, once Jerome [Armstrong] can speak and defend himself, then I'll go on the offensive ... and anyone can pile on. If any of us blog on this right now, we fuel the story. Let's starve it of oxygen.
A shrewd strategy, designed to prevent the Kosola scandalette from "making the jump to the traditional media." I've pursued the identical strategy myself, in analogous circumstances, though with a far less powerful and centralized institutional apparatus. So far, the "sheep-like" Kositburo members have largely complied. ...
The email also contains a cursory defense of Kosbuddy Jerome Armstrong signing a suggestive consent decree with the SEC ("he was a poor grad student at the time so he settled because he had no money"), plus some thuggy blustering about "lawsuits" and "exploring legal options." Kos offers no defense, in Zengerle's account, on the central moral (not legal) corruption at the heart of the Kosola scandal: whether one thing you get when you buy Jerome Armstrong's services is highly effective "access" to his co-author Kos--access that in practice affects Kos' loyalties and the direction he sends his followers. If that's the case, it seems just as corrupt (and just as non-illegal) as when a former Tom Delay aide sells himself to corporate clients in part on the basis of his "access" to the bigshot he used to work for. That's business as usual in Washington--but I thought the Kos reformers were supposed to be different.
Photograph of Ann Coulter on Slate's home page by Brad Barket/Getty.