"I do not like to think of myself as a journalist. I'd prefer thinking of myself as an activist. Journalism is, to me implies a greater degree of diligency (ph) to talking to multiple sources, to talking to experts and to have at least some semblance of impartiality. And I'm not impartial. I'm not fair. I do not talk to---I do not like to call sources and verify and get multiple sources. What I'm doing is, I'm reacting to what the news of the day is. And I'm helping direct a lot of energy, a lot of activism, towards those issues that people like me find important and think are worthy of attention and action."
Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, in an Apri, 10, 2005 CSPAN interview (see below)
Photo Linked From: http://images.dailykos.com/images/admin/markos_head_1.jpg
In 2002, the country was gearing up for the Iraq war and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga was in San Francisco, working a non-descript job as a manager at a web developing firm. He was a veteran of the previous Gulf War and disagreed with the upcoming war. He felt the media wasn't questioning the administration, and he wanted to do something about it.
In a speech he gave at Boston University, he said, "Remember this was 2002, in the aftermath of the Afghanistan war, leading up to the war in Iraq. Anyone who disagreed with the administration on Iraq faced vicious attacks. In fact, anyone who criticized the administration on anything, even domestic policy, was criticized as giving aid and comfort to our enemies."
He decided to start a blog. He was influenced by how successful some conservatives like Rush Limbaugh were at activating the base and pressing their platform, and he used a similar no-apologies tone in his first post: "I am a progressive. I am liberal. I make no apologies."
Five years later, he calls Daily Kos, "Arguably, I'd say convincingly arguably, the most influential political web log in the United States." They average nearly 740,000 page visits a day. The advertising on the site has allowed him and his family, he has a wife and two young children, a comfortable living.
The blog has grown into a community site, with over 100,000 people registered to write. It is one of the leading stars of the netroots (the netroots convention was originally called the Yearly Kos). The 2008 presidential election once again brings up the debate that began during the Howard Dean campaign: how much political influence does the netroots have?MGP Researcher Sara Majka, August 2008
ALSO: Read The Media Giraffe Project review of "Crashing the Gate," a March, 2006, book by Zuniga and Jerome Armstrong which proscribes an agenda for reviving the Democratic Party. DOWNLOAD PODCAST OF INTERVIEW
From the transcript of a CSPAN Q & A interview with Markos Moulitsas Zuniga:
BRIAN LAMB, HOST, Q&A: Markos Moulitsas, how did you build a following for your blog site?
MARKOS MOULITSAS, FOUNDER, DAILY MOULITSAS: It's been a couple years. I started back in 2002, early 2002---started at a time when it was extremely difficult to be a liberal and proud to be a liberal. And if you remember, this is right after the Afghanistan war, during the run-up to the Iraq war.
And people were, there's kind of a hysteria in the country, kind of a political hysteria, where people were afraid to criticize the president. It didn't matter what the criticism was about. The fact is, if you criticized the president on domestic issues or whatever, you were giving aid and comfort to the terrorists.
So it was in that environment, out of that frustration, that my site grew. And clearly, there was a need at the time for that kind of content.
I mean, people were upset about what was happening in the country, and they may fully, they may have been fully supportive of the war in Afghanistan and of the war on terror, but this whole motion that being at war meant you couldn't criticize the president any more, there was quite a backlash, you know, quite a reaction to that. And people like me who ran sites like Daily Kos, I think, were the beneficiary of that reaction.
LAMB: Are you a journalist?
MOULITSAS: I do not like to think of myself as a journalist. I'd prefer thinking of myself as an activist.
Journalism is, to me implies a greater degree of diligency (ph) to talking to multiple sources, to talking to experts and to have at least some semblance of impartiality. And I'm not impartial. I'm not fair.
I do not talk to, I do not like to call sources and verify and get multiple sources.
What I'm doing is, I'm reacting to what the news of the day is. And I'm helping direct a lot of energy, a lot of activism, towards those issues that people like me find important and think are worthy of attention and action.