Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (/ˈmɑːrks mˈltsəs/; born September 11, 1971), often known by his username and former military nickname "Kos" (/ˈkz/ KOHZ), is an American blogger who is the founder and publisher of Daily Kos, a blog focusing on liberal and Democratic Party politics in the United States. He co-founded SB Nation, a collection of sports blogs, which is now a part of Vox Media.[1][2]

Markos Moulitsas
Moulitsas in 2015
Markos Moulitsas Zúniga

(1971-09-11) September 11, 1971 (age 52)
Other namesKos
EducationNorthern Illinois University (BS)
Boston University School of Law (JD)
Occupation(s)Columnist, author, blogger
Known forPolitical activism, blogging
Political partyDemocratic
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1989-1992

Early life and education edit

Moulitsas was born in Chicago to a Salvadoran mother and a Greek father. He moved with his family to El Salvador in 1976, but later returned to the Chicago area in 1980 after his family fled when threats were placed on their lives by communist insurgents during the Salvadoran Civil War.[2] As an adult, he has recounted his memories of the civil war, including an incident that occurred when he was 8 years old, in which he saw communist guerrillas murdering students who had been accused of collaborating with the government.[3]

After graduating from Schaumburg High School in Schaumburg, Illinois,[4] he served in the U.S. Army from 1989 through 1992. He completed training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and fulfilled his three-year enlistment as a Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Fire Direction Specialist while stationed in Bamberg, Bavaria, Germany.[2]

By his own account, he "missed deploying to the Gulf War by a hair." Moulitsas has described the Army as "perhaps the ideal society – we worked hard but the Army took care of us in return."[5]

Prior to enlisting in the Army, Moulitsas was a member of the Republican Party. During the 1988 presidential election, he served as a Republican precinct captain and assisted with the re-election campaign of Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde.[5] However, during his time in the military Moulitsas began a transition in his political philosophy that would lead him to change his party affiliation from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party.[2]

After leaving the army, he attended Northern Illinois University (NIU) and graduated in 1996 with two bachelor's degrees, majoring in philosophy, journalism, and political science.[6][7] While attending, he wrote for the college newspaper, the Northern Star. Further illustrating the transition of his political philosophy, now a staunch supporter of gay rights,[8] in 1993 while a freshman at NIU, he penned an opinion piece for the Northern Star denouncing efforts being made to lift the ban on homosexuals serving in the military.[9] As a writer, he also questioned NIU's policy of spending student fee money on athletic programs, generating a negative response from school officials, and waged an unsuccessful campaign to save the school's journalism program. In 2007, he was inducted into the Northern Star Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed by the newspaper's alumni association.[6]

Moulitsas attended the Boston University School of Law from 1996 to 1999, earning a J.D. degree.[7] He then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he worked as a project manager at a web development shop.

Personal life edit

He describes himself as a recovering Catholic, and says that while he has many problems with the Church, Salvadoran martyr and archbishop Óscar Romero is still his greatest hero and inspiration.[10]

Moulitsas has prosopagnosia, which makes it difficult to recognize familiar faces.[11]

Moulitsas currently resides in Berkeley, California, with his two children.[12]

Career edit

Daily Kos edit

Moulitsas founded his blog, Daily Kos in May 2002, and has managed the blog as a full-time occupation since early 2004.[2] It has become the largest liberal community blog in the United States, with over 2.3 million registered users and 8 million unique viewers per month as of July 2018.[13]

The popularity of Daily Kos has attracted the attention of many Democratic senators, members of Congress, governors and candidates who have posted on the site, including Senators John Kerry[14] and Barbara Boxer,[15] Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,[16] Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi,[17] former President Jimmy Carter,[18] and former President Barack Obama.[19] Daily Kos has also spawned an annual conference. The inaugural YearlyKos was held from June 8 to 11, 2006, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Guests included Harry Reid,[20] then-Virginia Governor Mark Warner,[21] and Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean.[22] The conference has since been renamed Netroots Nation.

In April 2004, Moulitsas and Daily Kos made controversial comments in a blog post about Blackwater USA after some of its employees were killed and mutilated in Fallujah[23] The next day, Moulitsas defended and clarified his remarks.[3]

On March 17, 2008, Moulitsas wrote that Senator Hillary Clinton, who was then involved in a protracted race against Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, "doesn't deserve fairness on this site" because she "fails the test of the guiding principles of this site" and because Clinton had "no reasonable chance of victory".[24] His statement was precipitated by a "strike" conducted by several pro-Clinton diarists, even though none of these posters was paid or in any way officially linked to the site.[25] Moulitsas responded directly to the "strike" by saying that it was more like a "boycott", noting that "It's a big Internet, so I hope they find what they're looking for."[26]

Consultant and entrepreneur edit

In 2004, Markos and Jerome Armstrong of MyDD founded BlogPAC, a political action committee focused on progressive bloggers and politics online.[27] In 2012, he was, by some measures, the most accurate major pundit to predict the result of the presidential election.[28]

During the 2005 United Kingdom general election, Moulitsas was hired by the British daily newspaper The Guardian to write elections analysis for its weblog.[29] Moulitsas was also a regular contributor to Newsweek,[30] having been hired by the magazine for its 2008 presidential campaign coverage.[31]

Moulitsas is a fellow at the New Politics Institute,[32][33] a think tank of the New Democrat Network, which was founded by Simon Rosenberg in 1996. The NDN's stated purpose is to help elect centrist Democrats, and is considered by many to be a successor to the centrist Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), an organization that Simon Rosenberg resigned from in 1996.[citation needed]

In addition to political pursuits, Moulitsas co-founded SB Nation, a network of sports blogs, with Tyler Bleszinski (of Athletics Nation) in 2003.[34] The network now covers all major American leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL), as well as dozens of colleges and other specific sports like golf, cycling, and ultimate fighting.[35]

In 2011, SB Nation became Vox Media and began expanding, raising capital to acquire and develop other blog networks.[36] Vox Media now owns eight media brands covering news, technology, sports, and lifestyle.[37]

In March 2018, Moulitsas announced the launch of Civiqs, a polling and data operation that tracks opinions on candidates, issues, and elected officials.[38]

Contributing to the anthology Our American Story (2019), Moulitsas addressed the possibility of a shared American narrative. He concluded, "The American Dream claims that anyone seeking a better life can aspire to rise above their station, and everyone has an equal opportunity to become something better. That is our unifying narrative."[39]

Books edit

Moulitsas has authored three books:

  • Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People Powered Politics (Chelsea Green, 2006); ISBN 1-931498-99-7 (co-written with Jerome Armstrong)
  • Taking On the System: Rules for Radical Change in a Digital Era (Penguin Group, 2008); ISBN 0-451-22519-8
  • American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right (Polipoint Press, 2010); ISBN 1-936227-02-9

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Sportsblogs Inc. Scores $7 Million in 2nd Round". New York Times. July 24, 2009. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e "About Daily Kos". Daily Kos. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Moulitsas, Markos (April 2, 2004). "Mercenaries, war, and my childhood". Daily Kos. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  4. ^ Johnson, Steve (August 2, 2007). "The Net roots of Kos: Schaumburg High School". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Moulitsas, Markos (April 16, 2006). "The Soldier in Me". The American Prospect. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  6. ^ a b "Northern Star Hall of Fame 2007 Class". The Northern Star. Archived from the original on January 6, 2010. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  7. ^ a b Brick, Tricia (November 10, 2004). "He's a Blogger on a Mission". Bostonia. Archived from the original on December 15, 2004. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  8. ^ "My metric". Daily Kos. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  9. ^ "Military right". Northern Star Online. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  10. ^ "Bush and Catholics". August 3, 2004. Archived from the original on August 3, 2004. Retrieved May 9, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  11. ^ "Photos: The faces of those who don't recognize faces". CNN. May 23, 2013.
  12. ^ "Today's Profile: Moulitsas Zuniga, Markos". H.W. Wilson Company. 2007. Archived from the original on April 27, 2009. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  13. ^ " Audience Insights". Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  14. ^ Kerry, John. "John Kerry's Diary". Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  15. ^ Boxer, Barbara. "Barbara Boxer's Diary". Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  16. ^ Reid, Harry. "Harry Reid's Diary". Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  17. ^ Democratic, House. "Nancy Pelosi's Diary". Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  18. ^ Carter, Jimmy. "Jimmy Carter's Diary". Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  19. ^ Obama, Barack. "Barack Obama's Diary". Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  20. ^ "Netroots Nation: History". Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  21. ^ YearlyKos: Mark Warner June 28, 2006.
  22. ^ YearlyKos Convention 2006 Keynote Speech by Howard Dean, June 10, 2006.
  23. ^ Moulitsas, Markos (April 1, 2004). "Every death should be on the front page". Daily Kos. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  24. ^ Moulitsas, Markos (March 17, 2008). "The Clinton civil war". Daily Kos. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  25. ^ Wheaton, Sarah (March 15, 2008). "Blogtalk: Pro-Clinton Bloggers Boycott Kos". The New York Times. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  26. ^ Tapper, Jake (March 15, 2008). "Clinton-Obama War Creates Serious Tensions at DailyKos". ABC News. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  27. ^ "The Blogfather",, June 15, 2005.
  28. ^ "Voteseeing". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  29. ^ Moulitsas, Markos (September 28, 2004). "A different noise". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  30. ^ Markos Moulitsas (September 11, 1971). "Markos Moulitsas's profile page at Newsweek". Archived from the original on December 22, 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  31. ^ Melber, Ari (November 14, 2007). "Newsweek Hires Kos". The Nation. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  32. ^ "New Politics Institute". Archived from the original on March 30, 2010. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  33. ^ "Moulitsas profile". Archived from the original on October 9, 2006. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  34. ^ "'Kos'-Founded SB Nation Picks Up $5M". Dow Jones Financial Information Services. January 14, 2009. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  35. ^ Hart, Kim (February 9, 2009). "A New Arena for Hard-Core Sports Fans". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  36. ^ Wauters, Robin (March 12, 2012). "Building a digital media empire: SB Nation and The Verge owner Vox Media raises $17 million". The Next Web. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  37. ^ Media, Vox (July 13, 2018). "About | Vox Media: Go Deeper". Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  38. ^ "Announcing Civiqs: the coolest thing I've helped build since Daily Kos". Daily Kos. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  39. ^ Claybourn, Joshua, ed. (2019). Our American Story: The Search for a Shared National Narrative. Lincoln, NE: Potomac Books. pp. 116–122. ISBN 978-1640121706.

External links edit