Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Markos Moulitsas on 'Countdown': Transcript (3-17-09)

The star of Daily Kos appeared with Keith Olbermann on Countdown. Read the full transcript of the show. Entire interview below:

OLBERMANN: The problem with a good conspiracy theory is that inevitably somebody blabs. However, as we continue Know Your Top Five Bill-O and Goldie Left Wing Smear Merchants week with our guest Markos Moulitsas, number three, the Daily Kos, there is the surprise in our third story tonight, a left-wing conspiracy so well policed that it includes Rachel Maddow, David Shuster, the “New York Times” and me. And I only found about it this morning from a right-wing blog.

The reality of this, as reported at, quote, “for the past two years, several hundred left leaning bloggers, political reporters, magazine writers, policy wonks and academics have talked stories and compared notes in an off the record, online meeting space called JournoList. Proof of a vast liberal media conspiracy? Not at all says Ezra Klein, the 24 year old ‘American Prospect‘ blogging wonder kind, who formed JournoList in February 2007. Basically, he says, it‘s just a list where journalists and policy wonks can discuss issues freely.”

Other so-called J-Listers also commented to Politico, characterizing their exchanges in a similar fashion. But from the right wing blog and a man named Erick Erickson comes this, “Politico this morning shows the left has moved into a secret email list serve, where left wing bloggers, policy guys and journalists collaborate online to form news stories that inevitably skew to the left.”

Wait, it gets better than this. “I‘m told such luminaries as David Shuster at MSNBC, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, a host of “New York Times” magazine writers, Frank Rich and others all collaborate on this list.”

Your told? Your told by what, a voice in your own head? Checked with David and Rach. None of us are on the list. I had never even heard of it until somebody told me about the RedState not. Rachel had not heard about it until I asked her about this afternoon. Now that‘s a secret left-wing conspiracy. It‘s so secret the people who are in it don‘t even know they‘re in it.

Besides which, everybody knows I take my instructions from our next guest, the founder and publisher of, Markos Moulitsas. Good evening, Markos. Congratulations on being number three on the list.

MARKOS MOULITSAS: Thanks so much. Glad to be here.

OLBERMANN: We‘ll get to that Bill-O list in a moment. First, something else from Red State. “I‘m told quite reliably, I might add, that left wing bloggers and policy guys use this site as an express train to get their ideas into the mainstream media. The questions now are, who all is on the list, what hit jobs have come through this list?”

So the JournoList thing gets magnified into a permanent record of some sort of what everybody on the left is doing when we all have this groupthink. Or should we be surprised that this is the interpretation of this by the right?

MOULITSAS: I don‘t think it‘s surprising at all, actually. You have a situation where the right has been completely discredited. And they‘re casting about it for reasons, because as we know, conservatism doesn‘t fail. It can only be failed. So if it‘s not them, then what could it be? Apparently, it‘s these conspiracy theories.

OLBERMANN: So is that the same sort of thinking that—that it must be failed? That there‘s some trickery involved if the conservatives don‘t win that got you number three on the O‘Reilly/Goldberg list? Or do you actually deserve to be there? And have you already in fact celebrated your success?

MOULITSAS: I always celebrate. I mean I looked for—I looked on as O‘Reilly attacked you for years and turned you into this ratings powerhouse on MSNBC, so I thought, I could use a little bit of O‘Reilly love. I‘m glad that he‘s actually delivered some of that.

But I think there is a conspiracy and it goes like this: I wake up in morning and I check out Youtube clips of Bill O‘Reilly screaming at his audience, and I see Glenn Beck crying on his show.


MOULITSAS: And I think—and I go on my blog, and I write, did you catch these idiots last night? And then somebody else—this is very nefarious. Somebody else also sees those clips, and they also write about what a bunch of morons Fox News is featuring that night. And suddenly you have some kind of collusion. It‘s all very insidious.

OLBERMANN: At no point is the actual shock of the event, these, you know, perpetual repetitions of the Hindenburg disaster that we see. At no point are these credited as being part of this equation. But there is another possibility here, isn‘t it? That there‘s an assumption that there is a left-wing conspiracy, because there has, in fact, been a right-wing conspiracy, that there are talking points that used to come out of the White House, obviously not anymore.

But that entire news days were built around this little cheat sheet that a lot—several guys put out. One being John Moody at Fox News. And they all followed it like it was the tablets, with Moses coming down from the mountain.

MOULITSAS: Yes, absolutely. And I don‘t begrudge them for doing that. They‘ve been very effective for decades by pushing out this conservative message to the masses, by being on message and unified in pushing out that message, across various media, radio, television, the Internet, and so on.

So I totally see this as a case of projection. The fact of the matter is people like me get too much e-mail already. I‘m sure you get enough e-mails. Do you really need to be on another list of someone tell you what to think, when we can think for ourselves, thank you very much.

OLBERMANN: Plus, we don‘t have time to read all of these e-mails that we‘re getting. The bottom line, people think what, they‘re vampires, they never sleep. While we have you here, let me ask you about something of substance in the news that has not gotten the attention that it deserves nationally. The latest of the endless series of the Norm Coleman defenses in this litigation against the man who beat him for the Minnesota Senate seat, Al Franken. Jon Cornyn of Texas is now citing Bush v. Gore. What does Bush v. Gore have to do with Coleman v. reality?

MOULITSAS: Well, Bush v. Gore was obviously a partisan hack ruling that was so bad and so unconstitutional that the Supreme Court itself, the majority said, don‘t ever cite this decision ever again, because they knew it was very poor legal under-pinnings. But it was a hacked partisan decision designed to make sure that their favorite candidate, George Bush, won the presidency.

Now, of course, Republicans are very, very much desperate. They want to hold onto that Minnesota seat. This is going to be seat number 59 for the Democrats. They‘re doing everything they can. And they are praying for their own hacked partisan rule from the courts. They‘re not going to get it. It‘s only a matter of time before Al Franken is actually seated and is rightfully called Senator Al Franken.

OLBERMANN: Good thing too. Markos Moulitsas, the founder and publisher of Daily Kos, number three on the list of the top three left wing smear merchants. Thank you and don‘t forget to send me my email full of marching orders in the morning.

MOULITSAS: Absolutely. Thanks so much.