My Full Email Exchange With Markos Moulitsas

After I published my story at Mediaite, Markos tried to weasel his way out of what he had done, first in emails to me, and then in comments to The Daily Caller. Here is the remainder of our email exchange, plus the original exchange, which contains a few emails I left out of the original story, for brevity:

VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

date Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 9:22 PM
subject VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

They are sources of mine, and scared shitless, please call me. xxx-xxx-xxxx

from Markos Moulitsas
to Tommy Christopher
date Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 9:26 PM
subject Re: VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

Email me the info.

from Tommy Christopher tommy@mediaite.com
to dkos
date Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 9:29 PM
subject Re: VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

These are confidential sources. If you can’t call me, at least have this blog taken down, or redact the DM screenshot, including the names (redacted) and the name (redacted), and the girl’s picture. And any reference to those names in the comments or story

from Tommy Christopher tommy@mediaite.com
to dkos
date Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 9:58 PM
subject Re: VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

Please let me know what’s going on. I will be posting these girls’ story pretty soon, with proper protection. They just don’t want all these bread crumbs out there. They are 16 years old.

from Markos Moulitsas
to Tommy Christopher
date Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 10:34 PM
subject Re: VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

That’s a community member’s post. Not my staff. I don’t exert editorial control over what the community writes absent legal imperatives or deeply offensive material. Right now, I’m seeing neither.

I’m not sure I get why you want me to pull that. Those DMs appear relevant to the story. As I understand it, those two individuals injected themselves into a political smear effort, why should they be protected now?

Open to a counter argument that has nothing to do with protecting your source.

from Tommy Christopher tommy@mediaite.com
to Markos Moulitsas
date Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 10:37 PM
subject Re: VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

They are both minor children and (redacted) was not involved. Will discuss further if you need, not on email. There could be legal implications, I’m not a lawyer. I’m going to post their story fairly soon, but will discuss off the record by phone if you need.

from Tommy Christopher tommy@mediaite.com
to Markos Moulitsas
date Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 11:20 PM
subject Re: VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

I’m prepping my story now. Are you going to leave it as is? These girls are afraid. Here’s a redacted version, if you want to drop it in. That’s all I ask. You’re a father, think about it for a sec.

from Markos Moulitsas
to Tommy Christopher
date Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 11:35 PM
subject Re: VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

If they’re so afraid, why are they talking to you?

from Markos Moulitsas
to Tommy Christopher
date Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 11:35 PM
subject Re: VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

And to be clear, no, I’m not getting involved. I see no reason to protect your scoop.

from Tommy Christopher tommy@mediaite.com
to Markos Moulitsas
date Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 11:35 PM
subject Re: VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

Because I have promised to protect their identities.

from Tommy Christopher tommy@mediaite.com
to Markos Moulitsas
date Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 11:37 PM
subject Re: VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

It’s not my scoop I’m protecting, it’s these young girls. Jesus, all I’m asking is that you redact the names of these children. Please.

from Markos Moulitsas
to Tommy Christopher
date Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 11:37 PM
subject Re: VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

So did @goatsred.

Again, not my responsibility to protect your sources.

from Tommy Christopher tommy@mediaite.com
to Markos Moulitsas
date Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 11:40 PM
subject Re: VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

Dude, it is your responsibility to protect the identities of minors, sources or not. I can’t believe you. This gesture will cost you nothing, and it will save these girls being subjected to fuck knows what. As a father, I beg you, please redact these girls’ names.

from Tommy Christopher tommy@mediaite.com
to Markos Moulitsas
date Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 12:17 AM
subject Re: VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

This is the last I’ll say on the subject, and you can take it for what it’s worth, like I said, I’m not a legal expert, but this girl’s parents are livid and talking about legal action. Obviously, you didn’t know it was posted, but you know now.

from Markos Moulitsas
to Tommy Christopher
date Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 12:56 AM
subject Re: VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

Wish them luck going after @goatsred.

from Tommy Christopher tommy@mediaite.com
to Markos Moulitsas
date Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 1:08 AM
subject Re: VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors

Well, he has removed it from his YFrog. Probably not out of decency, but now, you’re the only obstacle to their safety. I really can’t believe you’re doing this. I hope you think better of it.

On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 11:10 AM, Markos Moulitsas <dkos@dailykos.com> wrote:

You do realize you’ve just brought more attention to a semi-obscure diary that never ran on the front page of Daily Kos, right? So if you promised to protect them, you just did the exact opposite.

Congrats.

On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 8:27 AM, Tommy Christopher <tommy@mediaite.com> wrote:

Your diarist had the decency you failed to display, and took the picture down himself. Fucking asshole. You are a disgusting shitheel. For a father to act as you did is unconscionable.

On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 11:35 AM, Markos Moulitsas <dkos@dailykos.com> wrote:

lol. You’re a funny man. Like I said, diarists control their content. You should bone up on how social networking sites work before acting as the OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE of other people.

But aside from that, this is rich. YOU’RE the one dragging the kids into the story. Not me. You guys are the ones obsessed with Weiner’s pecker. Not me. You guys are the ones who keep flailing this dead horse in the hopes of …what? More pageviews?
What’s sick is how you’re exploiting these kids for pageviews. And in the process, you help further out them to score cheap points. So smart.
But funniest of all, you expect me to exert editorial control over community members, when your own site whines that your boss doesn’t exert editorial control over its PAID staff!
Something about glass houses comes to mind…

On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 11:46 AM, Tommy Christopher <tommy@mediaite.com> wrote:

Glad you think it’s funny, you piece of shit. These girls came to ME because they were being harassed, and their identities would never have been an issue if your site hadn’t outed them, dumbfuck. And there is a difference between “exerting editorial control” and taking responsibility for possibly harmful information on your site. But it sounds like you’re preparing your defense, and by God, I hope you fucking need it.

from Tommy Christopher tommy@mediaite.com
to Markos Moulitsas
date Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 9:49 AM
subject Re: VERY Urgent you call me! One of your bloggers is compromising identities of two minors
mailed-by mediaite.com
hide details 9:49 AM (5 hours ago)
You’re trying to pretend you did this out of some respect for free speech, which is an obvious lie. You were perfectly willing to change it if you found my “counter-argument” satisfactory. The safety of children didn’t pass muster. Why? Because you think they deserve whatever they get for ” inject(ing) themselves into a political smear effort.”

Hysterical? You bet. If you ever did this to my kids, you’d be shitting your own teeth for a week, and I suspect you would feel the same were the situation reversed. That’s the real problem, you have an inhuman lack of empathy. You’ve demonstrated it before, plugging your goddam book while pools of blood were still warm in Tucson, but I never thought you could sink so low.

You can justify your behavior all you want, but your win-at-all-costs mentality only serves to undermine the values you are supposed to be championing. Is this really what you want, open season on 16 year-old girls? You think if you do it, the other guys won’t? They already have, and now, you can’t say a goddam thing about it.

I hope those girls remain safe, and I never have to resist the urge to tweet “Mission Accomplished, Markos Moulitsas.” You should hope so, too, if only to protect your own neck.

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