July tends to be a slower month for us at Daily Kos: the sun is shining, summer is in full swing, vacations are happening, and our staff and readers are taking advantage. Despite all that, we’ve still got some new things brewing that I’d like to highlight in case you missed it last month.
With the delta variant on the rise, there was a lot of coverage about COVID-19 on the site in July, and these stories were widely read—four out of our 10 top stories were about COVID-19 or vaccines. Generally, our readers have been less focused on COVID since 2021 began in comparison to 2020, for obvious reasons: many folks have been vaccinated, public spaces reopened, and the party in charge actually believes in science. But now with the delta variant and various restrictions once again changing in response, people have understandably been seeking more information and news about COVID. Along with COVID, big topics this month continued to include the former occupant of the White House (32% of our top 50 stories centered on Trump), ongoing coverage of the the January 6 commission and first select committee hearing, and Simone Biles’ decision to pull back from the Olympic Games for mental health reasons.
Daily Kos continues to fight the ridiculous Robert Kennedy Jr. lawsuit. If you haven’t heard, Daily Kos is being sued by Robert Kennedy Jr. to hand over the name of one of our anonymous users who wrote a story about Robert Kennedy Jr. joining neo-Nazis for a COVID protest in Berlin. Of course, we’re fighting this lawsuit tooth and nail—Daily Kos would never willingly hand over the personal information of our users, and this would set a dangerous precedent. Earlier in the month, Markos shared his response and an update on how we’re now fighting this lawsuit in not one, but two separate states—New York and California. Markos also dove into the danger Robert Kennedy Jr. poses to public health, as one of the leading people responsible for spreading vaccine misinformation on social media. If you’re interested in chipping in to help us continue this fight, click here.
Our Community Contributors team, led by Jessica Sutherland, welcomed Chitown Kev as our latest community fellow. If you don’t know and love him already, Chitown Kev is a longstanding active member of this site—writer of Abbreviated Pundit Roundups, Black Kos contributor, part of the Readers and Book Lovers group, and much more. You can now find his APRs up on the top of the front page on Thursdays and Sundays, and soon you’ll be seeing some longer form stories from him as well. Emily Epstein-White also joined Jessica’s team as Senior Editor to help us continue building more support for community writers.
Other highlights from July:
- The community wrote many of the most-read stories this month. Seven of the 10 most engaging stories, and half the top 50, came from the community. The three most engaging stories were Unvaxed Trump supporter who spread coronavirus conspiracy theories dies of COVID-19 by DannyB, Ron DeSantis fed COVID crow by doctor he’d ridiculed on Fox News by Aldous J Pennyfarthing, and Roger Stone attacking Ivanka and Jared, did somebody flip on Daddy Douchebag? by Upstate NYawker.
- These community stories were the stories with the most first commenters: Unvaxed Trump supporter who spread coronavirus conspiracy theories dies of COVID-19 by DannyB (18 people signed up to comment on this story), Eric Clapton says he won’t play venues that require COVID-19 vaccinations, because of course he did by Aldous J Pennyfarthing (11 people signed up to comment on this story), and I’d like to talk about introversion…. by canadiangal (10 people signed up to comment on this story … and it was this writer’s first story ever!).
- We had some excellent original reporting. Dave Neiwert attended the Red Pill Festival in Montana, a gathering of conspiracists and pro-Trump Republicans, and wrote about the experience. Additionally, Laura Clawson reported on the Frito-Lay strikers in Kansas, relying on original footage, photos, and quotes from our Community Organizer Christopher Reeves.
- We announced the disbursement of the second installment of Black Solidarity Grants, fulfilling our pledge to to grant 1% of our revenue to organizations fighting for Black liberation. Daily Kos Liberation League oversaw these efforts.
- The Brief covered the fight to win rural voters with J.D. Scholten and John Ray, Democratic women voters and 2022 with Emily Cain, and polling with Civiqs Director Drew Linzer. The Brief is also streaming on the following platforms: Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcast.
- Our Daily Kos/Civiqs poll this month showed that half of Americans blame Trump and Republicans for the attack on the nation’s Capitol on January 6. It also showed 39% still believe the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, 96% of Americans believe the history of slavery should be taught in schools, less than half of Republicans believe it’s important for children to receive vaccinations for diseases other than COVID-19, and more.
- Our Activism team has been working with outside coalition groups to keep the pressure on Congress to make the American Jobs & Families Plan big, bold, and green. We have a historic package that rivals the New Deal and Great Society, but we need all hands on deck to get it through a closely divided Congress. You can help by urging Democrats to get the job done here.
- Our Activism team has also focused on judicial advocacy campaigns and working with the Fair Courts Task Force coalition, working to confirm bold, progressive nominees to the federal bench. We are also working with a small group of organizations to respond to the new Brett Kavanaugh revelations regarding the botched FBI investigation and preparing for a possible Supreme Court vacancy. Click here to demand hearings on the Kavanaugh sham investigation.
- We produced a video explaining all that we do at Daily Kos. It’s often hard to explain the many things we have to offer to folks who might not be familiar with us. This video does a good job of breaking it down in just two minutes.
What were your highlights this month? Big stories you followed? Favorite comments? Shoutouts to community members? Anything you think deserves more attention? Sound off below!