A lot of people want to know, who are the bloggers and what is it all about?
At places like The Washington Post lately they’re asking: “Who are these people?!”
I started my blog Seeing the Forest in 2002. Like many others I have been blogging every day since, usually several posts a day. I’m not paid to do it, and I don’t consider what I write a “product.” To me, blogging is about shouting “wake up!”
A remarkable thing about the progressive political blogs is that this phenomenon was all largely started by average citizens, men and women of all ages and ethnicities, all around the country, all fed up with what right-wing government is doing to the country and with the failure of the Democratic leadership to confront them.
And as traditional news media became increasingly concentrated in corporate hands with news analysis more and more reflecting corporate and right-wing “conventional wisdom,” the bloggers stepped in as “Citizen Journalists” filling the vacuum.
I have described blogs as a big, open-source think tank. One blogger posts an idea, people respond in the comments, other bloggers link in, and the original blogger responds. Ideas are generated, discussed, refined and – very important – widely disseminated at a very rapid pace.
Blogging is a true meritocracy in which the best thinkers and writers gain wide readership.
Which brings me to Markos, our speaker today.
Markos Moulitsas was raised in El Salvador, served in the US Army and earned a law degree from Boston University.
Markos started the website DailyKos in May, 2002, and it has emerged as the “top” politically-oriented blog. Currently averaging about 750,000 visitors per day, on a “big news” day the site can receive well over 2 million visitors.
But a progressive really knows you have arrived when the right-wingers call you nasty names. Markos is number 52 on Jonah Goldberg’s “100 people who are screwing up America.” The Republican Senatorial Committee calls him a “liberal extremist.” He has received the Daily Coward and the Weekly Jackass awards. And one site (ankle-biting pundits) writes that his postings are “an illogical, barely literate mess.”
We can laugh at that (I hope) because WE know that what right-wingers say is ALWAYS the OPPOSITE of the truth. Which makes that last insult a good segue to Markos’ IMPORTANT new book.
In the coming months you are going to be hearing a lot about the new book, Crashing the Gate, written with Jerome Armstrong of the blog MyDD. An information card about this book is included in your tote bag – I urge you to order a copy soon.
Crashing the Gate is about what we are doing here.
Crashing the Gate is about winning.
And I’ll let Markos talk about that. Please welcome Markos Moulitsas