Mild-mannered gate-crashers

I made the wise decision to drop by a DC “launch” event for Markos Moulitsas and Jerome Armstrong’s “Crashing The Gate” tonight. There would be pictures – and good ones! – but for the fact I forgot my camera on an endtable and noticed the loss when I was already well on my way. My best chance to post a picture of Markos Moulitsas and Byron York in the same room is lost. I’m dealing with that.

The main event was a very long 68 minutes. (I showed up about 5 minutes late after some terrible disaster shut down my train at the Foggy Bottom Station. Enough rubbing it in, George Mason.) Simon Rosenberg methodically interviewed Kos and Armstrong, both of whom answered without much joking around. Since I read CTG twice for an upcoming review, I didn’t learn much, although the two authors’ take on blogs is quite a bit different than you’d expect. Armstrong sees blogs as organizing tools, vis a vis old-school neighborhood politics. Moulitsas hates the term “blog” – “if I used a telephone, would you call me a telephoner?” – and sees blogs as just another kind of political writing.

The one really amusing moment came after a question about why the right wing hasn’t built an infrastructure like the liberal blogosphere. Moulitsas said it was because their system was working fine, and they were winning – and then he recognized Byron York, the National Review hotshot and author of “The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy.” “Hi, Byron!” said Kos. “Byron York, of National Review Online.” (The last three words were half-sneered, half-smirked.) York, unsmiling, raised his hand and waved. But York never really smiles, so don’t read much into that.

I wasn’t thrilled, overall, but it was worth coming to mill around afterwards. In a few minutes I met plenty of people I’d interviewed or e-mailed over the years – Tim Tagaris, Matt Stoller, Teacherken, to name a few I can link to. When the throng moved to Buffalo Billiards I met Oliver Willis and The Nation’s fantastic reporter Ari Berman. This would be a far, far more interesting post if I could divulge the silly things they said or how rotten they were in the flesh. Sorry; they were all fine people and you should really buy them drinks sometime.