The Zengerle Affair

A couple of points I’d like to throw into the mix in regards to the continung war between TNR (and now Daivd Brooks) and the lefty blogosphere. For one, most liberal bloggers aren’t defending Markos. They’re defending themselves. After all, it’s Zengerle who wrote things like this :

So far, Kos’s friends in the fiercely independent liberal blogosphere seem to have displayed a sheep-like obedience to his dictat.
. . .
Following up on this, why did so many of the people on the “Townhouse” e-mail list follow Kos’s orders to stay silent about the Armstrong story and the Kosola allegations? Part of it, I’m sure, has to do with their political allegiances to Kos. But let’s not underestimate their financial allegiances.

It’s not just Markos and Jerome Armstrong beign dragged through the mud, it’s every liberal blogger (especially those in the Advertising Liberally network). As one of the many, many unnamed bloggers whose integrity is being questioned by this yellow journalism, let me just say that Jason Zengerle is an asshole.Every liberal blogger has been besmirched by these unsupported insinuations and we’ve got every right to be pissed. And if that makes me just another lowbrow, potty-mouthed blogger, so be it. I’d rather be an immature fool than an immoral elitist.

Secondly, Zengerle’s ever-growing mountain of unsupported attacks and obvious attempts to discredit Kos have made him the Ken Starr of the blogosphere. Take a look at this capper on the end of Zengerle’s attempt to downplay the fact that he published a fake email :

…because the mistake that resulted from this failure has allowed Greenwald and others to try to use this minor error to distract people from much larger issues. Those issues are: Armstrong’s troubles with the SEC; Armstrong’s relationship with Moulitsas and Moulitsas’s pattern of supporting politicians who hire Armstrong as a consultant; Moulitsas’s attempts to silence liberal bloggers from commenting on these matters; the seeming acquiescence of so many of these liberal bloggers (including Greenwald) to Moulitsas’s demands; and now, strangely, stuff like this.

The “this” in question is a link to a weird astrology blog that Jerome Armstrong ran. Why is it relevant to the issues at hand? It isn’t. Just like a semen-stained dress is irrelevant when you’re investigating a failed land deal. The whole point of this little crusade wasn’t to actually build a case against Jerome and Kos, but to keep throwing allegations at them until something sticks. It’s the standard “there’s so much out there, something‘s gotta be true” trick that’s been used against John Kerry, Al Gore, John McCain, and Bill Clinton.

It’ll probably work this time too. The reason the trick works especially well in this case is that loud protests must mean that they’ve hit a nerve, right? There’s no way somebody would get this mad unless TNR is on to something. At least that’s how they’ll spin it. If the blogosphere rallies around Kos, it proves that we’re the well-trained poodles that TNR insists we are. And if we don’t comment on it, it’s becase Kos has issued “marching orders” (their words) to ignore the story and hope it goes away.

We’re all getting Swift-Boated now.