Wired’s Tired Portrait of an Overly Familiar Blogger

What's not to like about the magazine's profile featuring one celeb-blogger writing about another? At first glance it has all the makings of the must-read article of ... 2004.

What’s not to like about a profile that appears in this month’s issue of Wired featuring celeb-blogger Ana Marie Cox writing about celeb-blogger Markos (Kos) Moulitsas? At first glance it has all the makings of the must-read article of … 2004.

Yet here we are: 2006. Wired. One overexposed media personality writing about another. Cox on Kos.

But wait! you can practically hear the magazine’s editors begging. Don’t flip over just yet to our fantastic feature about the Swedish gangster-turned-electronics exec-turned-Ferrari-crashing-antiterrorism commish. There’s something new here, we swear!

“He runs Daily Kos, the wildly influential liberal blog. But Markos Moulitsas says he’s no political leader,” reads the story’s promising subhed. “Now he wants you to argue about another great American pastime: baseball.”

Baseball? Okay, fine. We admit we haven’t read much about Moulitsas’ plans for baseball-blogging domination.

As it turns out, however, the feature actually has little to do with Moulitsas’ interest in baseball. We do learn that Moulitsas has helped to start a “network of sports blogs” called SportsBlogs Nation, with which he hopes “to make lots and lots of money” and which currently “averages 3 million visitors a month, about 20 percent as much traffic as Daily Kos.” Also: Kos likes the Cubs. But that’s about it.

All told the feature runs on to the tune of some 2,000 words. Of that, Cox devotes roughly 300 words to Moulitsas’ plans for sports blogging, ostensibly the heart of the piece.

The rest is crammed full of boilerplate background information about Kos, which any seasoned political observer could crank out in between Romenesko refreshes. (Sample observation: “[H]is blog has become the preeminent site for liberals on the Web.”)

In the meantime, Cox happily devotes a fair chunk of Wired real estate to hear Kos’s complaints about (what else?) being the subject of so much media attention.

“Do you know how many interviews I turned down today?” Moulitsas tells Cox at one point. “ABC, NBC, Charlie Rose, McLaughlin Group, not to mention a bunch of radio. If I were into self-promotion, I would have said yes to all of them.”

All of which left us wondering: Would it really have been too much to ask to say no to one more?

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Felix Gillette writes about the media for The New York Observer.