Inside the Yearly Kos Convention

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 6, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated

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MICHELLE MALKIN, GUEST HOST: Our top story tonight — an inside look at the yearly Kos convention. As you may know, Bill led the charge against Jetblue Airlines for sponsoring a gathering of the far left blog in Chicago this past weekend. Jetblue caved and pulled out, but the Democratic candidates for president all showed up at the Yearly Kos.

John Edwards seemed to be the crowd favorite, drawing big applause from the bloggers. And Hillary Clinton played to the far left audience as well.


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY): That's why I'm here today, to thank the blogosphere, to thank DailyKos, to thank you for being part of the progressive movement in America. I wish you'd been around in '93 and '94 when we were trying to get health care. And I'm standing up against the drug companies and the insurance companies.

So that's what we need. And that's what we're going to have. And I look forward to working with you when the nominee and the president.


MALKIN: Joining us now from Washington, FOX News political analyst Juan Williams. And from Chicago, Rick Moran, the editor of, who attended the yearly Kos convention.

Welcome, gentlemen.



MALKIN: I'm going to go to Rick first. And in the interest of disclosure, Rick also moderates comments at my personal website So I know your work. You were there covering the Kos convention for Pajamas Media. What were your general impressions? And would you agree that Edwards and Hillary were the prom king and queen of the netroots convention?

MORAN: Well, Hillary might like to think so. Certainly Edwards was the most popular candidate there as far the applause meter is concerned. I thought Dennis Kucinich, the other far left Democrat, who was there, probably was more popular than Hillary. That's — that was my impression anyway.

MALKIN: Did you see a lot of 9/11 truth types, the conspiracy theorists?

MORAN: No, no and it's — I made a point of asking a lot of people — a lot of the bloggers who were there. These are now really, I wouldn't say radical leftists in the sense that, you know, they're conspiracy mongerers and so forth. These are — the mainstream netroots, which is still far left, but not way out there like the "truthers."

MALKIN: Now there was a bit of a mini meltdown at one of the panels on progressives and the military. There was a soldier who had stood up in the audience and was shouted down by the moderator or rather E-moderator. You interviewed that soldier. What did you find out? And by the way, Bill will have an exclusive interview with him tomorrow here on "The Factor".

MORAN: His name is David Aguina, Sergeant David Aguina. He's in the Reserves right now. He's had two tours in Iraq. He's a very earnest, very honest young man, who really takes the idea that the surge is working, seriously.

And by seriously, I mean, he takes it so seriously that he thinks it's something of a — part of the battlefield here at home that he should go to conclaves like DailyKos or the Yearly Kos and you know, and inform people of exactly what's going on, because he doesn't think they're getting, you know, the full story.

MALKIN: Right. Juan, let me go to you. I take it you don't think it was a mistake for these Democratic presidential candidates to go to this convention?

WILLIAMS: Not at all, Michelle. Gosh, it's part of the media landscape right now. In fact, you know,, it's part of American politics, what goes on in the blogosphere. And in fact, what you see there is oftentimes cutting edge in terms of the debate that shapes the policies, helps to determine who's going to be the winning candidate on both Republican and Democratic tickets this year.

MALKIN: "Cutting edge", is that your euphemism for radical and hate mongering? Because in fact, if you are a daily or regular consumer of the Kos Web site, you know that that's exactly the stuff that they traffic in there.

WILLIAMS: I don't agree. I think that sometimes there are people who are hateful. There's an occasional wacko individual. That doesn't necessarily speak to the nature of the entire DailyKos or Yearly Kos meeting.

I think that to the contrary, I think you see some very serious arguments put forward there, things that people are forced to respond to, which is why serious people like those who are running for president of the United States would decide it was worth their time to show up.

MALKIN: Do you think that the founder,Markos Moulitsas, is a serious person, someone who we've talked about many times on this show and on others, the kind of comments that he's made about civilian contractors who were murdered? And the kind of comment that he made about Dick Durbin, for example, where after Dick Durbin apologized or no apologized about his comments about the military in Guantanamo Bay, agreed with another fellow liberal blogger that Durbin should "F" himself. Is that serious conversation, serious policy debate and conversation, Juan?

WILLIAMS: Michelle, you can say the same thing about the vice president on the floor of the U.S. Senate talking to Pat Leahy. I mean, people are going to sometimes overreact, say things that are, you know, wrong headed and profane.

MALKIN: He never apologized for that comment. He never retracted it.

WILLIAMS: I don't know that Dick Cheney ever apologized either. But gosh, let's go to the — what I think is the parallel universe to this left wing blogosphere. Let's talk about, you know, right-wing talk radio, where you can hear people like Michael Savage say Secretary of State Rice is an affirmative action hire or sometime who can call Rosie O'Donnell...

MALKIN: That's the same thing as saying "F" yourself?

WILLIAMS: Come on.

MALKIN: Rick, is this kind of moral equivalence, you know, something that's a problem? Because you know, you've got conservative blogs and Web sites that do not traffic in this kind of stuff. And yet here's Juan saying that they're equivalent.

MORAN: Well, you know, some on the fringes for sure. But no, what you're talking about the Yearly Kos, you're talking about the big lefty bloggers. And yes, they do in fact traffic in this kind of — hate mongering I guess would be the best way.

And you know, the reason it's hate mongering, Juan, is because the left has lowered the bar on what is hate speech. I mean, you know, as far as that's concerned, if you want to start talking about hate speech, you got to start talking about the way, you know, especially on Kos they talk about the Israelis and the Jewish people in general.

You know, "gassing" Joe Lieberman. I mean, that's just outrageous. You can't say that kind of stuff and expect to be taken seriously in politics, can you?


WILLIAMS: No, I think if you're listening to Michael Savage, going back, I mean these guys use outrageous language. And I think what you're seeing there is people are trying to match it in terms of the intensity on the left, given the intensity and the success that we've seen on the right for that kind of language and that kind of rhetoric.

I don't think there's any question where that rhetoric came from and started. It started on the right!

MALKIN: Well, we'll have to leave it there. Gentlemen, thank you. Bill will have a lot more on this story tomorrow night.

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