January 3, 2014

Does Ezra Klein really have a following, the way Nate Silver had a following?

Or is he what he his because of his platform at The Washington Post? He gambled that he is the former, and The Washington Post called his bluff.

58 comments:

Rich B said...

"Ms. Weymouth and the paper’s owner, Jeff Bezos, declined to support the project." Ha.

Oso Negro said...

Who cares what the Journolist twat does? No matter what his platform, he will be shilling for the progressive agenda.

Skeptical Voter said...

You know smart business owners--and Bezos is certainly that---have a pretty good bullshit detector when it comes to new business proposals.

Little Ezra may have been a hero with Journolist to spread the 1600 Pennsylvania Pravda Line, but that was yesterday. And the shine has come off the Obama brand just a teensy weensy bit.

So Ezra--that was yesterday, and what can you do for me today?

The answer is "not much" and "adios muchacho".

Thorley Winston said...

Correct me if I’m wrong but my understanding is that people follow Nate Silver because they believe he was accurate in his predictions about the 2008 and 2012 elections. What has Ezra Klein shown himself to be accurate about?

Fritz said...

Who?

tola'at sfarim said...

Is it just me or is the wapo headline in need of some editing

Julius Reincarnate said...

Just get me in a poker room with Klein and Brooks and Friedman...

...will clean house! Wait for the pocket pair, flop a set, and clean house!!!

rehajm said...

Can't fault a guy for trying but jeez the Washington Post was nearly kicked to the curb until it found it's sugar daddy, and who knows how much red ink he'll be willing to suffer?

The Post is better than Ezra.

madAsHell said...

Explanatory journalism??
....as opposed to UN-explanatory journalism?

Is the mask falling?

Carol said...

"explanatory journalism"! so that's what he does. LOL

Trashhauler said...

He's a younker with no personal achievements outside school and punditry. Makes it tough for anyone to consider him to be expert on anything but self-promotion.

Michael K said...

The arrogance of this recent UCLA grad is astonishing but not in lefty circles, I guess. AOL i still trying to digest Huffington Post. Maybe Bezos noticed.

Julius Reincarnate said...

"Mr. Klein... I've watched Phil Robertson... I knew (sort of) Phil Robertson... Phil Robertson was (sort of) a friend of mine... Mr. Klein, you are no Phil Robertson."

Who would Pierre Omidyar hire?

Why would Bezos do any differently?

Larry J said...

"a new website dedicated to explanatory journalism on a wide range of topics beyond political policy."

It sounds like "explanatory journalism" is all narrative, all of the time. You see, it doesn't matter what the actual facts of a news story are, what matters is how you explain those facts. Of course, they'll explain them in a way that matches the liberal narrative as in the infamous Duke Lacrosse fake rape case where a journalist stated, "The narrative was right but the facts were wrong." It's closely related to CBS News stating in the 2004 Dan Rather fake memos case, "fake but accurate."

Henry said...

Politics is a fun game, but you need something serious to fall back on. Nate Silver has sports.

In truth, you need a skill that sets you apart. Mr. Silver has a degree in economics. Mr. Klein has a degree in political science. Mr. Silver knows applied statistics. Mr. Klein knows how to read big words. Mr. Silver's VORP* is very high. Mr. Klein's VORP is very average.

*For example, Mr. Silver knows what VORP means and can calculate it himself.

PB Reader said...

He's not a journalist. Not even an "explanatory" one. What a crock.

RecChief said...

I don't care what he does. But there are enough true believers in progressivism that think everything that spills forth from Mr Klein are pearls dropped from heaven. Not to mention the MSNBC watchers who swoon when he is on. He'll do ok without WAPO

PB Reader said...

"Explanatory" journalism = spin.

Marshal said...

Thorley Winston said...
What has Ezra Klein shown himself to be accurate about?


That writers could more aggressively support Democrats without alienating anyone not already distrustful of them.

AJ Lynch said...

I think Pajama Boy is the president of the Ezra Klein Fan Club and vice versa. In fact, Ezra and Pajama Boy could be the same person.

RecChief said...

"a new website dedicated to explanatory journalism on a wide range of topics beyond political policy."

Like, on the science of global warming, not the policy?

So its a reeducation blog, once everyone is "thinking correctly" as its been explained from a certain point of view, the policy discussions come later.

I thought the media was supposed to already be in the business of "explanatory jouirnalism".

Bob Ellison said...

Eight figures? That's at least ten million dollars. What kind of expenses would be involved? It's basically a pajama party with a web server, right?

Brennan said...

Jeff Bezos is not interested in making money.

Ezra didn't do his homework.

St. George said...

Another article said he wanted Bezos to invest $10,000,000 in the project.

Ha!

He should have asked for a raise instead.

That he might have got.

RecChief said...

My guess is that Bezos looked at Klein's rosy projections (much like his rosy predictions about obamacare) used his business acumen, and thought "no freakin' way!!"

Brennan said...

Another article said he wanted Bezos to invest $10,000,000 in the project.

10 mil is the minimum. The reported number was "eight figures".

How much does bandwidth costs these days? I could run an entire newspaper on eight figures.

EMD said...

Silver's background in sports and his relative predictive success make him a much better cult leader.

Scott said...

If I was Jeff Bezos, having just bought the Washington Post, I would be focused on getting the core business working and profitable. It's not that Ezra Klein had a bad idea or couldn't make it work; nor was it necessarily about how bankable he was compared to Nate Silver. Its just that Klein's proposed site would be a side show. Bezos is a brilliant business executive who executes against big vision-driven plans -- his own plans, not Klein's.

If Klein wanted to continue his career at the WaPo, he would have been more prudent to study Bezos and understand what he wants. Apparently Klein didn't get it, and found that he wasn't relevant.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Eine kleine Nichtmuse

Julius Reincarnate said...

@El Pollo de Oceanside...

Ich liebe verr├╝ckte Huhn mehr als Mozart ...

Alex said...

one thing I've noticed about liberals is they lack agility in their thinking. They can't adjust to shifting realities.

SteveR said...

Its nice that Ezra's wife let him go to SF for the Holidays. Great time of year to visit.

RecChief said...

"he would have been more prudent to study Bezos and understand what he wants."

I could write paragrphs about why this fragment mad eme laugh out loud

Brennan said...

Silver's background in sports and his relative predictive success make him a much better cult leader.

Silver is not as accurate without leaked internal polling that is only shared with him. It's a nice arrangement the Obama campaigns managed quite effectively.

But what they giveth, they can taketh.

David said...

"Ms. Weymouth and the paper’s owner, Jeff Bezos, declined to support the project."

Bezos is very unlikely to be a man who suffers fools. Did Klein make any kind of convincing case that this would enhance either the profitability or reputation of the Post? More likely, it was directed at enhancing his own profitability and reputation, and Bezos had no trouble seeing that.

William said...

I wonder if Ezra and the other Washington Post columnists align themselves on a north south axis when writing. There should be a study done.

A. Shmendrik said...

Direct to palookaville!

Titus said...

He bugs me and he is no Nate Silver.

tits

gregq said...

Klein wanted $10,000,000+ for this website of his? Has he been spending a lot of time in Colorado?

Tom said...

I think Ezra believes that if controls the facts, he controls the outcomes. But he wants to do it on someone else's dime. If's he's that good, become the next Drudge.

Sam L. said...

I'm going with No.

pm317 said...

I thought the lefties were already getting journolisters' explanation of politics and policy. 8 figures more into the same old same old?

St. George said...

But, watch...he'll get funding from someone somewhere. Maybe not $10M, but enough. Short leash.

Larry J said...

"he would have been more prudent to study Bezos and understand what he wants."

This reminds me of various fans of different things (space exploration, environment, etc.) who used to say, "If only we could get Bill Gates to be interested in our favorite thing, imagine what we could accomplish with his money!"

Not thinking, of course, that Bill Gates has his own list of favorite things to direct his money towards.

Scott said...

@Larry J: Exactly.

Jupiter said...

"Bezos is very unlikely to be a man who suffers fools. Did Klein make any kind of convincing case that this would enhance either the profitability or reputation of the Post? More likely, it was directed at enhancing his own profitability and reputation, and Bezos had no trouble seeing that."

Actually, what Bezos is is a man that fools suffer. He has never made a dime, and says, to anyone who will listen, that he doesn't intend to. And the stock keeps going up, with nary a profit or dividend.

Why he bought WaPo is anyone's guess, but I don't think it was in order to hand the brand over to Ezra Klein.

Jason said...

He only got as far as he did because he's willing to lick Obama's nuts for access. The actual rollout of the ACA is proving him to be pretty much a shit.

JournoList alone is a big black mark on the EK brand.

He's got nothing.

RazorSharpSundries said...

I foresee a very fast diminishing of the EK brand. Look for Democracy Now! cub reporter duties by the end of the year. I got nothing against him other than everything he stands for.

Emil Blatz said...

Bupkes, he has got.

Fen said...

I forget which weasel is Ezra. Is he the one that wants to push Conservative Writers through plate glass windows?

Will said...

Kneepads.com will launch in time to prostitute itself in advance of the 2014 midterms

Drago said...

A couple of quick comments:

1) This is not just about a simple "website".
2) This isn't "Ezra's" idea. This is likely the first step along the path in the evolution of information/content delivery.

A couple of links which give you a flavor of what is going on:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/16/world/europe/greenwald-guardian-nsa-spying/

And this interesting "vertical":

http://www.voxmedia.com/

Food for thought.

chrisnavin.com said...

Clearly Ezra Klein has ideological and political commitments.

He's made them pretty clear having started out as a progressive blogger who got into health wonkery and then the ACA.

Call him a poor man's Silver, or a homeless man's Krugman (both poverty and homelessness will be resolved, clearly, by some of his ideas).

I suspect he's trying to stay a step or two ahead of what's going on on the web and create some kind of career and higher platform beyond those political and ideological commitments.

Bob Boyd said...

Ezra Klein has tendency to align himself along a north-south axis when he splains things, say scientists.

Cliff said...

As someone who follows (reads) him I say no. He thinks too highly of himself, though he does come up with lots of in depth data and mostly fair analysis if that is what you are interested in. But mostly it is regurtigated information that can be found elsewhere if one is inclined.

cubanbob said...

So Ezra got a little full of himself? He's young and will learn. Still give him credit for chutzpah, imagining that someone would actually invest eight figures in him.

America's Politico said...

THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE AS A POLITICO.

Klein is a DUMB PARROT. He writes what the DNC and WH people tell him. And, the Liberal Academics.

He is now the WONK of the DC.

My left foot - I am the Wonk. I know things. I can tell you the next POTUS is Hillary. The VPOTUS is Martin OMalley.

Why? Because I am not a parrot. I own a polling company which uses fast computers to see what voters will do in future.

I am the real Wonk. Klein is a fake.

Hyphenated American said...

Ezra Klein, is this the best liberal expert on obamacare who did not know that obama's promise "if you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance" was impossible to fulfill? The guy is dumber than a door knob,