When it comes to bloggers, the biggest name in liberal politics on the web is The Daily Kos. He’s raised a lot of money for political candidates, is frequently referenced by campaigns, and Hugh Hewitt has even discussed putting him on the air. All this as a result of his successful web site.
But yesterday Kos stepped over the line and it looks like it may cost him. He posted this about the deaths of four American contractors in Fallujah:
I feel nothing over the death of merceneries. They aren’t in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.
I’d link to the entry but it’s been deleted (and half of his Kos’s political candidate advertisers have demanded their ads be removed), but Friedman got a screenshot.
I won’t go into a huge diatribe about what Kos wrote. Others have done that. I will just note that some are of the opinion that these security personnel were “mercenaries”. I don’t see them that way. But even if they were, it doesn’t make their deaths any less horrific. It’s not just that they were killed — as Kos himself points out, there were regular military personnel who died the same day — it’s what happened afterwards. The contractors were beaten, dismembered, burned, spit on, dragged through the streets, and hung from bridges and telephone wires.
Kos’s error was multiplied by his poor timing, choice of words, and implication of the contractors’ motives. His subsequent post makes an attempt at justifying the deleted entry by leaning on his childhood. Kos didn’t ask my opinion, but a straightforward apology might have been better received and appreciated.
It’ll be interesting to see what long term fallout this has on his rising star.