October 6, 2011

The 4 Mistakes of Ezra Klein... [ADDED: or Rich Yeselson].

1. He's written a blog post titled "The four habits of highly successful social movements," but he never talks about any habits.

2. He does have paragraph containing "four things," but the verbiage is mind-numbing and lacking in parallelism:
Whether [the Occupy Wall Street protests] will grow larger and sustain themselves beyond these initial street actions will depend upon four things: the work of skilled organizers; the success of those organizers in getting people, once these events end, to meet over and over and over again; whether or not the movement can promote public policy solutions that are organically linked to the quotidian lives of its supporters; and the ability of liberalism’s infrastructure of intellectuals, writers, artists and professionals to expend an enormous amount of their cultural capital in support of the movement.
3.  He evokes the best-seller title "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People"  which prompts us to think about his ineffectiveness.

4. He promised a list of a specific number of items and then he didn't put it in the form of a numbered list. People love numbered lists. The internet is full of them. They're highly clickable. What's wrong with us? Why do we keep falling for that? 

ADDED: The post is signed by Ezra Klein but has an italicized parenthetical at the top saying he asked Rich Yeselson, a research coordinator at Change to Win, for some "thoughts on Occupy Wall Street." The post I'm complaining about is introduced as "some notes" from Yeselson, which Klein says he thinks are "worth publishing in full." Obviously, I didn't think this was worth reading in full, but now I assume the published text is completely the work of Rich Yeselson. As Bill Harshaw alerts me in the comments, this is "The one mistake of Ann Althouse." This is the great danger of pointing out someone else's mistakes: You look especially bad if you make a mistake yourself — and chances are you'll make the mistake at that point. (It seems everything every time I decide it's worth mocking a typo, I make a typo.)

68 comments:

Scott M said...

Let that first freezing blow hit the occupiers and we'll see how dedicated they are.

rhhardin said...

Not stumbling into economics would help too.

There's always the risk that somebody will bring it up.

veni vidi vici said...

Well, Mr. Klein is also a "4 flusher".

That is to say, he's so full of shit that every time he skips to the loo it's 4 times on the button before the bowl is again clear.


wv: "kadsomy" -- sodomy between two caddish young men.

BarryD said...

It might be easier to find four mistakes NOT ever made by Ezra Klein. Or maybe it wouldn't...

Mark O said...

He'd do better if he were a Mormon.

TosaGuy said...

Some say that the existance of Ezra Klein proves that the United States is no longer a meritocracy. I say it confirms the US is such a thing because otherwise Klein may actually be entrusted with an important and meaningful job.

viator said...

Ezra Klein, JourNoLister

Hoosier Daddy said...

Are any of these protestors stockholders? Because a corporation's foremost obligation is to it's shareholders and not a bunch of misfits whining about fairness.

Maybe I'm biased because my retirement savings is pretty much counting on the 'greed' of these corporations and I don't to relish the idea of my retirement plans being pissed away because some dumbass 20 something with a degree in Women's Studies wants her $80k student loans forgiven.

Wonder what Ezra thinks about that?

Shouting Thomas said...

As Peggy Noonan recently wrote, the left is obsessed with the notion that the story line is all important in politics. They think that they're learning from President Reagan, who was supposed to be a magical Great Communicator.

The reality, as Noonan writes, is that Reagan's idea and policies were good. The electorate is able, after deliberation, to sort out good ideas from bad.

The problem with the Occupy Wall Street group is that their ideas are bad and incoherent, not that those ideas are delivered badly.

BJM said...

Lists! I love lists!!

"The 4 Mistakes of Ezra Klein."
1.Getting out of bed.
2.Spilling juicebox on jammies
3.Composing blog post
4.Hitting "publish" button.

Bill Harshaw said...

The one mistake of Ann Althouse: the context of Klein's post is not his, but Yeselsons, which he is quoting. His mistake is only mistitling the content.

SteveR said...

He's really easy to make fun of.

Maguro said...

Remember The Book of Lists from the 70s? I loved that book!

Coketown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

I blame David Letterman.

The top 100 time wasting Ezra Klein articles would be an easy list to make. Just number the first 100 and stop.

gutless said...

Is it possible to visit all the harm done by folks like these on them alone? I'm thinking of the teachers, other public employees and assorted bottom dwellers that are anticipating handsome retirement benefits derived largely from the success of the very institutions they are attacking. Any ideas?

John Althouse Cohen said...

He's written a blog post titled "The four habits of highly successful social movements," ...

No he hasn't. Richard Yeselson wrote that blog post. Ezra Klein says: "All opinions expressed here are [Yeselson's] own."

Ann Althouse said...

@Bill Harshaw. I can't see that I misstated that at all.

AJ Lynch said...

Ezra is the Post's Sgt. Schulz. He knows nothing.

PatCA said...

One crucial mistake the current "movement" makes is that it apes the movement of the 1960-1970s in a weird kind of nostalgia mixed with dullness of imagination.

We Boomers lived through those times and now realize the philosophical and pragmatic errors in our youthful thinking.

Which tags the scene of tie-dye stoners and apoplectic true believers as just wrong.

Donald Douglas said...

Ezra Klein's an idiot. The fact he's got that WaPo perch shows how vacuous the "elite" media class has become.

veni vidi vici said...

"He'd do better if he were a Mormon."

As it is, he'll have to settle for being a Moron.

Bender said...

An authentic social movement does not need or require "organizers," as if society were sheep to be led, much less an "infrastructure of intellectuals, writers, artists and professionals" to tell people what to think.

An authentic social movement sprouts and grows organically, with its members all acting on their own individual initiative -- unity in diversity.

Moreover, an authentic social movement does not need a deceitful and dishonest cheerleader, like Barack Obama, to fraudulently assert that the Wall Street mob is an act of, or representative of, "the American people" as a whole. But then again, that is part and parcel of the left's delusional thinking that everyone agrees with them (except for those evil extremists) and, until they do something, it hasn't been done already.

Mogget said...

Listing Ezra Klein's mistakes? Might be faster to just start shoveling out those stables!

Alex said...

Mr. Journolister himself? LOL!

ricpic said...

Since Occupy Wall Street is clearly a top down operation - Klein admits as much - it appears the 1 percenters (left wing division) continue to bamboozle the painfully gullible 99ers.

Matt said...

"So, rage against duly elected government is patriotic, quintessentially American. Whereas rage against multinational shareholder-accountable corporations is anti-American, gotcha."
- Jon Stewart speaks truth that many don't understand.

Alex said...

BTW - I notice the the left-wing bloggers are VERY offended that Rush Limbaugh is talking trash about the OWS slackers. They are very offended!

Alex said...

Matt - those people should be raging against themselves. For their own stupidity. For all the stupid decisions they've made. Much easier to blame somebody else.

Bruce Hayden said...

They really don't understand the Tea Party movement, do they?

And, I find it hilarious that they think that anything created by moveon.org, staffed by unions, and aimed at big Democratic donors is going to get traction.

Anyone see that Goldman-Sachs label with the "o" in Goldman replaced by the Obama logo? I thought that it was pretty good and to the point - that they were one of the big culprits in the meltdown, that the financial bailout was run by their people, that AIG, an insurance company, was bailed out with TARP money primarily to protect GS, that Dodd-Frank effectively exempts them, etc.

And, all these droids think that Wall Street is Republican. They need to get a clue - the Republican firms were allowed to die. Goldman-Sachs, big contributors to Democrats since at least the time of FDR, was not. Same thing we saw with which GM franchises were shut down, etc.

Keep in mind that in a previous generation, Wall Street was populated with white shoed WASPs. But much of it is now Jewish - and, up until now, they have tended to vote for Democrats. (Nothing wrong with the Jewish part, just that the droids don't put 2+2 together very well).

Paul Zrimsek said...

I wonder exactly what it was that Klein asked Yeselson for, and whether that phrase "habits of highly successful social movements" figured in the request. As it stands, both men give the impression that they define success in terms of self-perpetuation (Whether they will grow larger and sustain themselves beyond these initial street actions...)

My idea of a highly successful social movement is one that quickly brings about some useful change in the law and then disbands.

Alex said...

Let's see - Tea Party only brought about a GOP House and trimmed the massive Dem Senate lead down to a razor thin margin, elected a bunch of GOP governors and GOP state legislatures.

What the fuck have the left-wing protests since 2009 accomplished? Nada.

You see, we conservatives believe in accountability and results. Not endless circle jerks.

Matt said...

Alex
For all the stupid decisions they've made.

Explain what that means. Are you saying everyone should be rich and have a dream job? Are you saying the state of the economy is actually pretty good and everyone should stop complaining? Are those without work in Republican areas of the country to be blamed and accused of being lazy too?

Does it bother you at all that Bank of America gets a huge bailout and yet they continue to rake in millions - which will increase when they start charging for consumers who use debit cards?

Alex said...

Matt -

#1 - if you took out $40K for a Masters in Sociology and can't even find a Starbucks barista position that's YOUR fault.

#2 - all the TARP loans were repaid WITH interest.

Next?

Nobody Knows That I Am A Dog!!! said...

Don't worry in the end Althouse and Klein will be voting for the same guy, our beloved president, in 2012 and all will be right with the world.

edutcher said...

He says "Whether [the Occupy Wall Street protests] will grow larger and sustain themselves beyond these initial street actions will depend upon four things:", but I only count 3:

the success of those organizers in getting people, once these events end, to meet over and over and over again;

whether or not the movement can promote public policy solutions that are organically linked to the quotidian lives of its supporters;

and the ability of liberalism’s infrastructure of intellectuals, writers, artists and professionals to expend an enormous amount of their cultural capital in support of the movement.

So that's 5 - he can't count, either.

Scott M said...

he can't count, either

That was obvious, wasn't it, when he was waxing dismissive about the age of the Constitution?

X said...

Matt puts forth a cogent argument. I wouldn't be surprised if he convinced Alex to come over to his side by tomorrow.

J Scott said...

"whether or not the movement can promote public policy solutions that are organically linked to the quotidian lives of its supporters;"

What does that even mean?

Matt said...

Alex

#1 - So EVERYONE who is unemployed is a 20-something who got a socialogy degree? Gotcha.

#2 - So the TARP program was not an issue afterall? Better tell the Tea Party folks. Oh wait, they are bankrolled by the Koch Brothers and cozy with corporations. But you knew that....

Corporations are not evil and either is government. But both must be help accountable.

Alex said...

X - lying is not a cogent argument.

Quayle said...

Yeselsons apparently can tell us all about the world's great social movements and how they organized and fared.

(He can even get in the french word 'quotidian'. Wow! That kind of effective, persuasive writing is sure to win over the American middle-class.)

But he never quite gets around to specifying what is the exact injustice that's the cause of the current demonstrations.

“Justice for us,” says the Right. “Justice for all”, says the Left.'

Well, there you have it. He is fighting against the injustice of an imaginary foe who only wants justice for some people.

Quayle said...

Matt says, "Does it bother you at all that Bank of America gets a huge bailout and yet they continue to rake in millions - which will increase when they start charging for consumers who use debit cards?"

Matt, do you even know what the Tea Party platform is?

Cause the Tea Party is just as pissed as apparently are you about B of A getting a bail out.

Or didn't you know that.

kwood said...

Why do we keep falling for that?

Six reasons:

First,

Ann Althouse said...

Oops. Sorry, Bill. Original post corrected now.

Canuck said...

"Obviously, I didn't think this was worth reading in full, but now I assume the published text is completely the work of Rich Yeselson."

Never write your book review before you've read the book.

J. R. said...

Off-topic:

Okay, so the big conspiracy is that Team Obama is going to throw this election and let the Republicans suffer from their win.

But can't Joe Biden be a bit more discrete about it?

DADvocate said...

Never thought of groups as having habits, except for nuns. Characteristics, but not habits.

Matt said...

Quayle

Yes, I know the Tea Party is upset about the B of A bailout. But according to Alex if someone is upset about it then they aren't looking at the facts, which according to him exonerate them.

I understand why the Tea Party is angry but I don't agree with all their methods. I can understand being wary of OWS because it is left leaning but at I would hope everyone regardless of party would be critical of Wall Street.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
So EVERYONE who is unemployed is a 20-something who got a socialogy degree? Gotcha

STRAWMAN….

BUT, many of the signs at OWS complain of their student loans, and considering their idiocy, I’d say at least 75% of the OWS protesters are Humanities Majors, from pricey schools..so YES, spend $40,000-plus on a Sociology/Womyn’s Studies/Gay Studies/Arts/English/Political Science Degree and expect a job IS foolish…and many of them have compounded or contemplating compounding their foolishness by seeking an MA or PhD, in these areas-I’d bet. So, yes get an over-priced unusable degree and then blame “Wall Street” it IS foolish…how about looking in the mirror and saying, “Man was I ever stupid for getting a Madonna Studies degree from Columbia!!!”

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
I would hope everyone regardless of party would be critical of Wall Street

Why? Because Wall Street makes money? Why am I supposed to be a priori critical of Wall Street? Why am I to be critical of people who match capital to businesses? My business/state/town needs capital; I turn to Wall Street, they hook me up with people who give me the capital I need. And I’m supposed to be critical, why?

And the BofA fees, sparked by Senator Durbin and Wal-mart, not BofA…

Astro said...

@Ann,

(It seems everything I decide it's worth mocking a typo, I make a typo.)

Did you mean to write 'everyTIME I decide it's worth mocking a typo, I make a typo'?

Please tell us that was deliberate, and not a typo.

EDH said...

A potential theme song for the student loan protesters.

Versus, a more realistic theme song .

Ann Althouse said...

"Please tell us that was deliberate, and not a typo."

I wish I could tell you that was a clever joke, but I'm just not the liar type.

jacksonjay said...

Scott M,

He was dismissive about the age of the Constitution and said that it was hard to understand because it was so old! Phrases like "Congress shall have power ..." are very difficult to understand if you are the wonderkid of the WashPo! I think he as a degree in PoliSci from USC!

David said...

"Quotidian!!!!!!"

Do not listen to anyone who uses the word "quotidian."

EDH said...

People love numbered lists. The internet is full of them. They're highly clickable. What's wrong with us? Why do we keep falling for that?

Oh, especially when they all seem to be posted on kludgy, slow-loading web sites.

Can't get enough!

Matt said...

Joe
(The Crypto Jew)

Can you present an actual breakdown of facts and figures backing your claim? Sure, many are young and have student loans but that covers a lot of students these days in all fields.

Also, it's not a matter of being critical of Wall St just for the sake of being critical. It's looking at the whole culture of the market and being skeptical about their aims and the corruption and exploitation and crony capitalism and ownership of political parties. [And that includes Democrats btw].

Rabel said...

Hope this doesn't double post, but I have a list:

Yesterday the Unions joined the protest.

Today Klein posts a piece about organizing the protests from Yeselson.

Yeselson works for Change to Win.

Change to Win is a Union political org started by Andy Stern, SEIU honcho and Obama BFF.

Kelin ran Journolist.

Yeselson was a member of Journolist.

I have a theory about Conspiracy, Coordination and Co-option but I'm not gonna tell you what it is.

Thorley Winston said...

Does it bother you at all that Bank of America gets a huge bailout and yet they continue to rake in millions - which will increase when they start charging for consumers who use debit cards?

1) I didn’t agree with the bailouts.

2) If I can’t have my policy preference (no bailouts), loans that are repaid in full are less disagreeable than outright handouts.

3) A condition that the borrower forgo future income streams that it could use to repay the loan in full and on time would not be to the benefit of the taxpayers who were on the hook for the loan. It would also make it (at least marginally) more likely that the borrower would have to return for an additional loan.

4) The government who made the bailout conditioned it on Bank of America agreeing to limits on executive compensation but did not condition on Bank of America agreeing to forgo charging consumers for the use of its debit cards.

5) So even though I didn’t agree with the bailout, I prefer that the money be repaid in full to the taxpayers and oppose foolish conditions that make this less likely to be the case.

J said...

depend upon...the work of skilled organizers

like by..Ezra Klein and pals perhaps. Or is it Goldman Sachs

Bill said...

AAlthouse: "This is the great danger of pointing out someone else's mistakes: You look especially bad if you make a mistake yourself — and chances are you'll make the mistake at that point. (It seems every time I decide it's worth mocking a typo, I make a typo.)"

But of course. It's a law of the internet. Like Godwin's, though I don't think it has a name.

J said...

Asking Joejoe Wolfowitz for facts and figures backing his grossly generalized brainfarts, Matt? About like asking .... wall street swine to stop trading gold.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

You're right Matt, I don't have “proof” I only have the photo's and the DEMANDS...gee wonder why “Free College” and “Cancellation of debts” is so prominent?

And suspicious of the market...please demonstrate the transparency, egalitarian nature and efficiency of a non-market oriented capital market...gee just like Solyndra, huh?

Ann Althouse said...

"Never write your book review before you've read the book."

A good rule for people who don't want criticism to propound. That drivel was wasting my time. A list was promised and not delivered. I choose to express outrage.

Palladian said...

Young Ezra is at that awkward age. Maybe he'll grow out of it after he hits puberty.

Canuck said...

"A good rule for people who don't want criticism to propound. That drivel was wasting my time. A list was promised and not delivered. I choose to express outrage."


I don't follow. But each to her own.

As my advisor advised long ago -- if you're going to take them on, prepare to take them down.

Especially for book reviews.

Molly said...

The message of Occupy WS stripped to essentials is this:
A. We (the 99%) want things -- forgiveness of student loans, free health care, clean cheap energy, guaranteed incomes, etc. and
B. we want them all, rejecting the notion that one objective must be traded off to achieve another). and
C. we want someone else (the "government", the rich, or corporations -- presumably the 1%) to pay for it.

The mindset here is 180 degrees opposed to the needed habits of successful protests: sacrifice, hard work, organization and discipline, compromise with your fellow protestors.

How can it possibly succeed? or even last very long?