February 12, 2013

"[T]he pantheon of hungry young men who have moved to Washington and shape-shifted, whether consciously or not..."

"... into something that’s more palatable to the city’s establishment. The blogger who, in 2008, tweeted, 'fuck tim russert. fuck him with a spiky acid-tipped dick,' now styles himself as the evenhanded, empirically driven adult in a room of squabbling, stubborn children. Even his critique of Washington, grounded in data and charts and graphs, is establishment to the core: This place, he says, is not like it used to be."

From "Ezra Klein: The Wise Boy/A tale of striving and success in modern-day Washington," by Julia Ioffe (in the redesigned New Republic). I'm not sure what to make of this long, long piece about Klein, but this is a funny picture to publish:



That's just a photoshoot misfire that ought to have been deleted instantly. To select it to illustrate the article is practically to announce: This is a hit piece.
I pointed out that, in spite of his loathing of being subjected to the journalistic gaze, he had agreed to be profiled not only by me, but also by New York magazine—simultaneously. The “people above me” he said, “seem to think it’s a good idea.” It would bring in readership, and Klein felt it would be “hypocritical” not to cooperate with the press when he, the press, was constantly asking people to cooperate with him. It was almost too meta to bear. “You’re sitting there taking notes and recording while I’m sitting here taking notes and recording,” he said. “It’s a peculiar situation!”...

Klein later told me that he found our exchange “slightly threatening.”

“Don’t take it personally,” one of Klein’s friends explained. “He didn’t get this far being casual about his image management.”
Oh, good lord, this thing has me sympathizing with Ezra Klein! Ridiculous.

By the way, a pantheon is "a temple dedicated to all the gods." (OED.) The figurative meaning is: "The group of people or things most revered by an individual, nation, profession, etc.; a group of people particularly respected, famous, or otherwise significant in some capacity; a set of things having acknowledged value or importance." It doesn't make sense to talk about "the pantheon of hungry young men." Either they hungry or they are in the pantheon. The ambitious young strivers are not the gods.

(Are there hungry gods?)

61 comments:

edutcher said...

Hmmmm,

There was a pantheon of lean and hungry types back in the 60s, according to the media - the SDS, Weathermen, Black Panthers.

I suppose you can be a god and still be hungry - one of the backbenchers like Ceres who'd like to knock Juno off her perch.

As for Klein, he'll go back to being his ugly self soon enough.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

Gods.

And that poseur's poseru, Ezra Fucking Klein.

Seems a good discussion of "The Gods of the Copybook Headings" might be in order one of these years, but what the hell do I know?

Jay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay said...

The blogger who, in 2008, tweeted, 'fuck tim russert. fuck him with a spiky acid-tipped dick,

Isn't it funny how nasty these lilly-white, homosexual liberals are? Also, note the dick obsession here.

I mean, it is almost as if they have some sort of pent up rage or something.

Jay said...

“The president talks to Ezra.”

That explains a lot.

X said...




you're easily influenced if you can sympathize with the creator of Journolist, basically a conspiracy to distort information.

what would you say of someone who did the same in another industry?

Henry said...

I'm reminded of Cronus. A pantheon of one hungry old man.

This guy.

EMD said...

Bukkake face!

Joe Schmoe said...

I don't know much about this guy, but the gist I get from reading this post is that I don't like him. At all.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Are there hungry Gods?

Yes. Lots

Mictlantecuhtli: The worship of Mictlantecuhtli sometimes involved ritual cannibalism, with human flesh being consumed in and around the temple

Coatlicue: Coatlicue is the Mother Earth, but a devouring mother who consumes everything — and who is thirsty for blood.

Cronus: ate his own children

Lots. The Gods are hungry for YOU!!

Seeing Red said...

We are living The Hunger Games, or the world as it was for most of recorded history.

And people wonder why I want to keep mine?

Scott M said...

(Are there hungry gods?)

Dan Simmons' "Setebos", the many-handed like a cuttlefish, was very hungry.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Tell David Brooks I didn't lose my devotion to the future until I saw what it looks like.

ByondPolitics said...

What a confusion of ideas! In your opinion, the photo immediately tells the reader that this is a hit piece but it caused you to sympathize with the subject. I merely think overtly ironic photos from the post-baby-boom generation don't register with you.

Limos and her siblings would disagree with your limited understanding of "pantheon." Perhaps you should brush up on your Ovid or Hesiod.

sydney said...

I remember reading Ezra Klein before he was famous, and some of those other now so-called "mainstream" internet media types. I always thought, while reading them in the early days, that they were mental and linguistic lightweights. I was truly surprised at how readily they were hired by the mainstream media to help them usher in the internet era. Their arguments were terrible. They were all ad hominem attacks. No attempt at any sort of intellectual rigor. I lost a lot of respect for the MSM when they hired the likes of Klein and his friends.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Pantheons are even older than the Constitution. Probably 150 years old or something like that.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I'm surprised Hyundai doesn't make an SUV called The Pantheon.

jr565 said...

fuck Ezra Klein. fuck him with a spiky acid-tipped dick,'

traditionalguy said...

Klein is a creator of visions for an internet age that is hungry for content that cannot be that same old stuff. He wants attention and feeds folks whatever sounds cutting edge.

So Klein may be an interesting read, but what he does is still an attempt to deceive people the best.

Give that man the Nobel Propaganda Prize he craves, and also a Propagandist's Hall of Fame exhibit next to Tina Fey's.

Jay said...

this is a funny picture to publish

It looks like he's pleasuring himself either thinking of how great his Wonk Blog is, or recounting his phone calls with Obama.

traditionalguy said...

The Pantheon was built to last. It's still there in Rome in honor of all gods while awaiting Rome's comeback kid.

SteveR said...

If you wanted to come up with a name of some one whose "prominence", however defined, exemplifies what's wrong with the media, you can start and stop with Ezra Klein.

Colonel Angus said...

That is not a pose any self respecting heterosexual male should ever make. Even in jest.

chrisnavin.com said...

They hired them likely because the MSM needed to co-opt the bloggers to stay relevant. Technology has changed the game.

He's been wonkish from the start. There's a market for a progressive policy analyst, not exactly a quant or spcial scientist, who's up on Obamacare. He stays on message and is useful for even Obama.

Perhaps in earlier times, a young, Jewish, idealistic progressive with a decent mind would have become a social or political scientist railing away at UCLA.

If we're really lucky, he'll eventually be compelled by the fact/value distinction, get mugged by reality and become a neoconservative.

As it stands, he's at Obamacare ground zero, believing in the numbers and his vision, and is not exactly a journalist

Basta! said...

There's a section of the early Egyptian Pyramid Texts called (by us) the Cannibal Hymn in which the deceased pharaoh Unas, who is now a god, asserts that he is going to kill and eat all the other gods, except for 2 minor ones, whom he'll keep around to serve as his butcher and cook.

Geoff Matthews said...

May not be hungry gods, but there are angry gods:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdy48KJdGY8

Mr. D said...

I prefer former Packer great Ezra Johnson.

Marshal said...

What fluff. The article claims he has a reputation for serious analysis. While that's his branded image it is not true.

In fact his function is to provide the most plausible talking points for lefist policy to underknowledged and overcertain left leaning gadflies. His core competence is understanding how that cohort think and tailoring the leftist positions to fit their preconceptions.

chrisnavin.com said...

What is a journalist these days, anyways?

It's pretty clear Klein knows he's come far, fast, and is trying to stay there.

DADvocate said...

Maybe it should have been a Parthenon of hungry young men. In the 9th grade my class visited the Parthenon in Nashville, some of us young men were very hungry at the time.

DADvocate said...

BTW - isn't that a huge booger in Klein's nose?

kimsch said...

Cthulu?

southcentralpa said...

"To select it to illustrate the article is practically to announce: This is a hit piece."

Either that, or they're announcing they hired one of the Washington Post's photo editors ... just about everybody (with the very disappointing exception of President That Guy) gets that treatment on a regular basis ...

Jason said...

Ezra was perhaps THE guy behind Journo-List, and was one of the lead cheerleaders behind the ObamaCare disaster.

He was basically temptation, whispering plausible arguments in libtard ears via Journo-List, to create minions to do his work.

Klein is a useful idiot. Basically the Pied Piper of libtardism for young and ambitious journalists in Washington - the worst of whom aspire to be like him.

Greg Hlatky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
furious_a said...

It looks like he's pleasuring himself either thinking of how great his Wonk Blog is, or recounting his phone calls with Obama...

...or taking a growler after a really big lunch....which would, come to think of it, aptly describe Klein's body of work.

furious_a said...

Ms. Ioffe, OTOH, has some chops. This article seems, for her, a Lifestyles-section phone-it-in.

Mark said...

One of my favorite hungry gods: Yidhra.

You don't find Lovecraftian deities, they find you.

William said...

I don't think less of Ezra Klein because of his age. I think less of Ezra Klein because of his insipid, naive, fluffy advocacy journalism that is passed off as serious analysis.

That he talks with the President is also not surprising because they share a similar depth of sophomoric understanding about the world. It is as if these guys are still sitting around the dorm room solving the world's problems with ever so earnest theory without the benefit of experience with reality.

Rich B said...

I can get misinformation directly from the original sources without EK's help, thank you. I read his pieces a few times until I figured out where he was coming from. I don't any more - I had enough.

Rich B said...

I can get misinformation directly from the original sources without EK's help, thank you. I read his pieces a few times until I figured out where he was coming from. I don't any more - I had enough.

James said...

There's no doubt that Ezra Klein, policy work extraordinare, is more qualified to opine on health care than a distinguished practicing neurosurgeon.

wildswan said...

"Shape-shifted into something more acceptable"
and my mind finished that sentence as "werewolves" ie "Shape-shifted into something more acceptable werewolves". While I looking to see if a group of werewolves was a pantheon of werewolves (which feels wrong) I found this description:

"The first written definition of a werewolf in the English comes from Richard Verstegan‘s A restitution of decayed intelligence: in antiquities (1605) where we see;

The were-wolues are certaine sorcerers, who hauing annoynted their bodyes, with an oyntment which they make by the instinct of the deuil; and putting on a certaine inchanted girdel, do not only vnto the view of othres seems as wolues, but to their own thinking haue both the shape and nature of wolues, so long as they weare the said girdel." This useful blog also points out that Scots differed from the English on the topic: What is a werewolf? According to the Scots in the 1808 An etymological dictionary of the Scottish language, John Jamieson defines a warwolf as “a puny child or an ill-grown person of whatever age; pronounced warwoof.”

Then I looked for antonymn to pantheon and found this: "A building dedicated to atheism (no gods) would be the opposite of a pantheon, a building dedicated to all the gods. ACLU headquarters comes to mind."

Source:
http://etyman.wordpress.com/2009/11/29

Clyde said...

I thought it was a young Stephen Hawking there for a minute...

eddie willers said...

The Pantheon was built to last. It's still there in Rome in honor of all gods while awaiting Rome's comeback kid.

I think of that beautiful building every time I come across some article glorifying the Easter Island statues or some other dubious "achievement".

I can't help thinking, "The Pantheon was 1500 years old when they were carving these goofy things".

Kirk Parker said...

sydney @ 11:30 AM,

Definitely! But how is this any different than Colbert or Stewart?

Kirk Parker said...

chrisnavin,

Where did you get the "decent mind" from? Surely not from any actual contact with Klein or his writings...

sydney said...

Kirk Parker,

At least Colbert and Stewart know they are comedians. It is the audience who confuses the issue with them, not them or their bosses. Our country is doomed.

Henry said...

In Klein, the president has the wonk he deserves. And vice versa.

Oso Negro said...

Ezra Klein is a whistledick.

chrisnavin.com said...

Kirk,

I'm guessing an IQ of 135 or above. What he chooses to do with it is another matter.

chrisnavin.com said...

One message should be clear:

For a variety of reasons, technology being a big one, a young 20's progressive blogger and an inexperienced Senator cum progressive President are having a big say in the laws all of us will live under.

Both are manipulating technology very well, and have ridden it into positions of wealth and influence

tim maguire said...

I can never figure out the secret of Klein's success. He’s really quite a schmuck. Sure, he has all the right opinions, but lots of people do and some of them even have talent.

Palladian said...

I can never figure out the secret of Klein's success. He’s really quite a schmuck. Sure, he has all the right opinions, but lots of people do and some of them even have talent.

It's all about blowing the right people, and being willing to swallow.

KenK said...

I was reading David Brooks' "Bobos in Paradise" this past weekend and he admits the pundit class are like Klein is portrayed here. UC, Princeton, blogging, then a WP column. Brooks followed the same career path too, more or less. They produce nothing actual they're simply courtiers for one of the DC factions. Few have ever worked at an actual job in the sense that the rest of us do. They're professional dilettantes who do a few interviews, read a few books, and then go on TV, radio and the print media and prattle on like they're polymathic experts on everything.

McTriumph said...

Ezra is the pencil necked cunt the 7th grade girls beat the shit out of in junior high. He's the cunt that braces failed to fix his speech impediment. When he appears on MSNBC, he talks like he has a load stuck in his throat. Worse, he is a "the Constitution is worthless" liberal.

Truckee Man said...

A hitpiece on Klein writes itself

Truckee Man said...

A hitpiece on Klein writes itself

veni vidi vici said...

That photo has "I am a douchenozzle" baked into the watermark.

David Davenport said...

When Ezra Klein started out in the Washington journalism business, he had no relatives or other connections in the industry.

Ezra is a self-made young man.