That's because none of you know.
Nobody really knows. And that's a goddamn shame. Terry Coppage was quite possibly the single person most responsible for the rise of the Left in the United States.
He was, as he liked to say, a man with "a modem, a smart mouth and the truth." He didn't know jack shit about web design. He wasn't particularly interested in joining open.salon or Daily Kos or the Huffington Post (he predated all of them by a decade or more). His last page on February 18th was every bit as hideous as his first page in 1996. But without Bartcop, there would be no Media Whores Online. Without MWO, there would be no Black Box Voting.. Without the tone set by Bartcop and his descendants, there would be no Air America. No Huffington Post. No Howard Dean Media Machine. Patient Zero of the "liberal blogosphere" was a former used-car salesman from K-drag, AKA Knuckledrag, AKA Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Prior to Web 2.0, prior to news aggregation, prior to Facebook, prior to anything there was Bartcop. Asshole started on the BBSes, if you believe that, and spent his days putting links together. It's a simple formula - the day's political stories, some pointed commentary, shit tons of political cartoons and a letters section. It was all assembled by him, in his basement, every day, day in, day out, for eighteen years. He championed Greg Palast before the Guardian did. He championed Joe Conason and Gene Lyons. He supported Robert Parry tirelessly and he never let the Right forget.
I found Bartcop shortly before September 11th. Our office had Internet but we weren't allowed to use it except on one computer - I would save the HTML to the server in the morning and read it at my desk at lunch. Bartcop was a one-person aggregator - the Daily Beast Cheat Sheet owes a lot to him. He hated Tiger Woods, loved Shirley Manson and would always find an excuse to drink Chinaco Anejo. He got me to volunteer for the Kerry campaign. He showed me Get Your War On, the most singularly sublime War On Terror cartoon ever made. And working in a born-again Christian firm with the Left Behind books sitting out in the meeting room, he made certain things okay.
Terry Coppage was the George Bailey of the Left. Had he never been born, we'd be into our 2nd McCain presidency. He'd been fighting leukemia for years; we all pitched in back in 2003. In many ways, the extra ten years was a gift. And although I stopped reading Bartcop in 2006 (and stopped paying him $30 a month in 2009), I can say with no quaver in my voice that the world is... less today.
I drank the last of my Chinaco three weeks ago. I'd pour some out for the bastard if I had any. Now I gotta go get some.
And reread Get Your War On.