Is Daily Kos Really A 'Hate Site'?

Bill O'Reilly thinks so. So does Investors Business Daily . And Democratic leaders who spurned an invitation to speak at the moderate Democratic Leadership Council last weekend who cozy up to the likes of Kos and other denizens of the netroots should take note of just who it is they are legitimizing by their support:

Highly trafficked Daily Kos, which boasts contributors such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, provides a forum for the looniest of the left to vent their anonymous venom and expound their wildest conspiracy theories .

Diarist "Dburn" recently suggested that Pat Tillman, the NFL star who gave up his career to fight in Afghanistan, was whacked on orders from the White House because "it was well known that he was against the war in Iraq."

The Daily Kos was created in 2002 by Chicago native Mar- kos Moulitsas Zuniga, nicknamed Kos, who claims it was a response to "those dark days when an oppressive and war-crazed administration suppressed all dissent as unpatriotic and treasonous." But as the Tillman post illustrates, the Daily Kos goes beyond being a forum for dissent.
That very well may be true. But is conspiracy mongering evidence of "hate?" And even more problematic, do diaries and comments on the massive Kos site demonstrate a general disregard for the niceties of politics and normal human discourse or is it too much to ask that Kos police his minions more carefully?

Full disclosure: I am moderator of comments on Michelle Malkin' s website. In that capacity, I keep an eye on thousands of commenters and on average, about 500 comments a day - more when the issues are controversial.

Indeed, Mrs. Malkin is a lightening rod for the left who point to some of her writings as "hate speech" - evidently because Mrs. Malkin exposes their hypocrisy with the skill of a surgeon cutting into diseased flesh.  I can testify that I delete several comments a day that cross the boundary of propriety and violate the "Terms of Use" for commenting on her site.

But Kos gets 10 times that number of comments as well as dozens of "diaries" or blog posts from individuals on their own satellite pages of the website. Is it possible for him to police such a rabble?

The short answer is yes he can and well he should. Kos's income from the site is considerable and there should be no reason why he can't pay a couple of people to ride herd on the unruly contributors who make up the Kos community. The problem for the proprietor, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, is that so much of his readership is immersed in this conspiracy culture that eliminating it would drive a significant portion of them away. He is well and truly trapped by his own success.

The right has its own problems with hateful commenters. But most blogs make an effort to weed out the haters and not allow them to pollute the site with their poison. Whether Kos can summon the will to rid his site of these purveyors of spite will depend on how much he and the other netroot bloggers really want to participate fully in Democratic party politics.

If Kos is going to thrust himself forward and announce to all that he and other lefty bloggers are the heart and soul of the Democratic party, then he should fully expect the Republicans to take advantage by using the hateful comments and writings appearing on their websites in the upcoming campaign. No doubt, the American people would be shocked to see the kind of company Hillary Clinton and the rest of the leading Democrats are keeping these days.
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