Karl Rove and Markos Moulitsas Newsweek Gigs
Earlier this week, news that Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas Zuniga would be given a regular Newsweek column created quite a stir in the blogosphere. Now, the other shoe has dropped, with an announcement that Karl Rove would be his right-wing counterpart:
Newsweek has signed the president’s former deputy chief of staff as a commentator who will turn out several columns on the 2008 campaign through inauguration day. The move is not likely to prove popular among liberals who believe the mainstream media have been too soft on the Bush administration.
“We want to give readers a feel for what it’s like to be on the inside,” says Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham. “Our readers are sophisticated enough to know that what they get from Karl has to be judged in the context of who Karl is…Readers will have to decide if he’s simply an apologist.”
Newsweek (which is owned by The Washington Post Co.) will announce tomorrow that it is granting regular space to both Rove and Markos Moulitsas, the liberal firebrand who founded the Web site Daily Kos. “I’m fully prepared for both the right-wing and left-wing blogosphere to be outraged, which means we’re doing our job,” Meacham says.
I’m not at all outraged by either choice, frankly. Both men are firebrands who are going to draw large audiences but whose rhetorical styles won’t change many minds. That’s not my cup of tea but, goodness knows, there’s a huge market for that kind of thing and neither is any more over-the-top than many who have gone before.
What does strike me as rather odd, though, is the pairing of the two as equals. What Kos has done in building far and away the most important blog community is certainly quite extraordinary. Still, its not comparable to Rove’s role as the chief architect of two successful presidential campaigns and the chief domestic advisor to a two-term president. Wouldn’t, say, James Carville have been a better analog to Rove? Or, if freshness were the goal, Mike Krempasky or Erick Erickson a more appropriate counterpart to Kos?