Looks like a new 900-pound gorilla is about to join the left side of the American blogosphere.

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo fame is about to launch a new six-member group blog as part of a bigger web site with ambitions at organising his considerable readership into open source muck-rakers:

Another reason for launching the site is … the way that blogs can facilitate what amounts to a sort of distributed or open-source journalism. Perhaps, you might even call it open-source muck-raking.

… It would have been impossible for me, for instance, to have written most of what I’ve written on Social Security over the last few months if I didn’t have literally thousands of people reading their local papers and letting me know what they’re seeing or reporting back from townhall meetings or giving me the heads up on things that are about to break on the hill. That’s not a replacement for journalism; it’s different. But it’s potentially very powerful.