January 27, 2014

"Its kinda ironic that an article announcing a new website that is going to focus on giving us context failed to do so..."

Says a commenter to Ezra Klein's announcement, on Vox, that "Vox is our next," which seems to have puzzled the Vox readers. Ezra responded to that comment with:
This is fair! This article absolutely lacks some necessary context. OTOH, the necessary context is a site we haven’t built yet! Stay tuned!
Puts a new twist on the old saying: You didn't build that.  Sometimes "you didn't build that" means "It ain't built."

Unbuilt websites... to clarify the context... and Ezra clarifies the context of nonexistence of the context clarifying. When there's nothing to explain, is it a criticism to say that nothing has been explained?

***

"A Zen Master lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening, while he was away, a thief sneaked into the hut only to find there was nothing in it to steal. The Zen Master returned and found him. 'You have come a long way to visit me,' he told the prowler, 'and you should not return empty handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.' The thief was bewildered, but he took the clothes and ran away. The Master sat naked, watching the moon. 'Poor fellow,' he mused, 'I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.'"

And the meaning of that is: If you're already naked, it's very easy to moon somebody, but not if they've already left.

47 comments:

Nonapod said...

Are comments about comments about someone announcing something that doesn't yet exist a thing that can be commented on? Or is that too meta?

chickenlittle said...

Vox proboscis!

Tyrone Slothrop said...

That kind of story is called a "Cohen", because you have to ask your rabbi what it means.

Big Mike said...

Vox is the title of a book about phone sex set in pre-chat room days. You can probably order it through the Althouse Amazon portal.

Seeing Red said...

He's going to "fix" the news? Journalist was a trial run?

Seeing Red said...

I keep typing Journo and stupid auto-correct.

Drago said...

As I understand it, the team that will create the site will have it in place for Beta by 1 March.

The concepts/design are already in place and proven out. They simply have to get the developers into action which will begin in about a week.

Henry said...

From the press release:

But the software newsrooms have adopted in the digital age has too often reinforced a workflow built around the old medium....Today, we are better than ever at telling people what's happening, but not nearly good enough at giving them the crucial contextual information necessary to understand what's happened.

In other words, Vox is going to be totally old school in assuming its readers don't have access to the Internet.

"Confirmation bias is our next"

YoungHegelian said...

If you're already naked, it's very easy to moon somebody, but not if they've already left.

"You now have the wisdom to leave Shao-Lin Temple & make the world a snarkier place with your mordant wit, O Grasshopper. Leave us now, and do not let the Temple doors hit you on the tuchis on the way out."

Howard said...

Zen Master fail: he has attachment to giving.

Klein is poised to unleash the Segway of news which will totally reset the world enlightenment paradigm.

Seeing Red said...

Our readers are stupid! If you only understood the nuance, you'd agree!

Ann Althouse said...

"Vox is the title of a book about phone sex set in pre-chat room days."

That book is mentioned in the Starr Report.

RecChief said...

just waiting for Klein and the rest of the juicebox rat-pack to explain why champion of the little guy, Hillary Clinton can't be bothered to drive her own car since 1996.

Imagine the "context" and "explanatory journalism" if Mitt Romeny had said that he has been chauffered the last 20 years?

YoungHegelian said...

Isn't the reason that press sources don't give "context" now is because there are only so many columns of print or minutes of a news cast that you can expect a news consumer to pay attention to?

Maybe this will just be a novel excuse for the Juice Box Mafia to blather on & on. "If I have to be concise & to the point, you won't get the context".

Ann Althouse said...

Footnote 79:

"Lewinsky 8/26/98 Depo. at 5-6 & Ex. ML-7. In response to a January 20, 1998, subpoena seeking "any and all gifts . . . to or from Monica Lewinsky . . . including. . . any tie, mug, paperweight, book, or other article," the President turned over a necktie, two antique books, a mug, and a silver standing holder for cigars or cigarettes. Subpoena V002; V002-DC-00000001; V002-DC-00000469. A subpoena dated July 17, 1998, identified specific gifts, including Vox, a novel about phone sex by Nicholson Baker that, according to Ms. Lewinsky, she gave the President in March 1997. Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 183-84; Lewinsky 7/27/98 Int. at 13; Subpoena D1415. The President did not produce Vox in response to either subpoena, though his attorney represented that "the President has complied with [the] grand jury subpoenas." David Kendall Letter to OIC, 8/31/98. Vox, however, does appear on an October 1997 list of books in the President's private study, and Ms. Lewinsky saw it in the study on November 13, 1997. 1361-DC-00000030; Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 183-84."

Mark Nielsen said...

.
RecChief says: Imagine the "context" and "explanatory journalism" if Mitt Romeny had said that he has been chauffered the last 20 years?

No, the Journolisters mock Mitt for *not* being chauffeured.

chickenlittle said...

@Althouse and Big Mike: Drudge should give that insight voice.

SteveR said...

Red Chief- thanks for that, I had a terrible vision of driving alongside a car and looking over and seeing Hillary driving looking all Margaret Hamilton complete with the music

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I couldn't help reading that as

Vox is our new NeXT.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Whenever Chu-chih was asked a question, he simply raised one finger. One day a visitor asked Chu-chih's attendant what his master preached. The boy raised a finger. Hearing of this, Chu-chih cut off the boy's finger with a knife. As he ran from the room, screaming with pain, Chu-chih called to him. When he turned his head, Chu-chih raised a finger. The boy was suddenly enlightened.
When Chu-chih was about to die, he said to his assembled monks: "I received this one-finger Zen from T'ien-lung. I used it all my life but never used it up." With this he entered his eternal rest.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Once the monks of the Eastern Hall and the Western Hall were disputing about a cat. Nansen, holding up the cat, said, "Monks, if you can say a word of Zen, I will spare the cat. If you cannot, I will kill it!" No monk could answer. Nansen finally killed the cat. In the evening, when Joshu came back, Nansen told him of the incident. Joshu took off his sandal, put it on his head, and walked off. Nansen said, "If you had been there, I could have saved the cat!'

RecChief said...

please don't besmirch the memory of Margaret Hamilton (who I am sure was a nice person in spite of the roles she played) by comparing her to Hillary(!)

SteveR said...

Well I should have said Wicked Witch of the West as Ms Hamilton was indeed a fine person.

RecChief said...

also, somehow I think the "context" coming from the juice box brigade can be boiled down to the following factors:

1. Racism
2. War on Women
3. Obstructionist Republicans
4. Uneducated bitter clingers
5. The Koch Brothers
6. The Tea Party

PB Reader said...

I hope that VOX logo spins, because that's what this is all about. "Context" my ass.

Explanatory journalism? It probably all boils down to "Shut-up, he explained."

EDH said...

Ezra could be the next Arianna.

He just has to marry a very rich closeted gay male Republican US senator!

Naw, that won't cut it.

Bob said...

The ox is slow, but the earth is patient.

Amexpat said...

Nothing has been explained and nothing has been delivered. That's too much of nothing or much to do about nothing.

MayBee said...

Adorable

RecChief said...

@EDH,

Just because he was int eh Air Force doesn't mean that he's...

Sorry even I can't make that argument


(a little inter service rivalry joke to lighten the mood)

jacksonjay said...


Full context: The back-end of "the" website hasn't been built yet!

gerry said...

Blogvapor.

The gestalt of the dialectic is Zen in the beltway.

Drago said...

I wouldn't spend too much time thinking about Ezra, or Glenn Greenwald or any of the others.

The real story is how this is another step along the path of the demise of traditional media.

Along the way conservatives will be popping up in the same way that Fox news jumped into CNN's knickers.

BTW, one of the "inside" concerns on the part of this new "startup" (does it really even qualify as a startup? I would argue "no") is that "Vox" sounds too much like "Fox" and could create some branding issues.

EMD said...

I think the name of the pub should be HUGE GET.

RecChief said...

@EMD
why? Because Pravda is already taken?

EMD said...

From the comments, someone claims Ezra Klein to be a "huge get."

SOJO said...

This zen dynamic would work quite well with NSA mining apps.

sinz52 said...

A number of commenters told Ezra that they didn't know who he is, because:

"I’m sorry Ezra, I simply didn’t know who you were. Which I bet, considering the international audience on the verge, isn’t that rare."

Ezra Klein isn't going to interest an international audience in the details of Washington DC politics. (Heck, many Americans beyond the Beltway aren't interested in the details of Washington politics either.)

He had better find something else to talk about.

Larry J said...

It sounds like the proposed website will be "all narrative, all of the time." Rather than just report news, so-called journalists have to fit it into the proper (left-leaning) narrative. This was seen very prominently with the infamous Duke non-rape lacrosse story where a reporter admitted after the fact that "the narrative was right but the facts were wrong." By that, the narrative was how a bunch of rich, white-priviledged college athletes and frat boys were suppressing a poor (but lying) black woman who incidently was later charged with committing murder.

So, he wants to take news stories and explain them (from the left perspective, of course) because people are just too stupid to come to the proper left conclusion on their own if actually presented with facts and stuff.

Joe said...

Not a fan of Klein, but I read his announcement and it's pretty damn clear what he's doing.

I suspect it won't actually happen once the reality of costs smack him in the face, but that's a different discussion.

khesanh0802 said...

Is Althouse using these two bloggers (Klein and Wilkinson) as negative comparisons with her work? Maybe it's the cold weather but neither of the linked articles is readable or makes any sense to me.

paul a'barge said...

...it's very easy to moon somebody...

OK Althouse.

Pics or it doesn't count.

MadisonMan said...

Now I understand why they think the Obamacare website snafu is no big deal. They compare it to their website that isn't even built yet.

Fen said...

And already, the script for the opening segment has been leaked:


Klein: "The chocolate ration has been increased to 25 grams per week! All hail Our Dear Leader!"


Wilkinson: "Indeed Ezra. And in related news, we are at war with Eastasia. We've always been at war with Eastasia."

cubanbob said...

A year and a half from now, tops two years his sugar daddy investors are going to call it quits and Ezra is going to find himself hustling for whatever he can get.

Fen said...

Its just another DNC media-front. He'll close shop right after the 2016 election.

Fen said...

And I'm not just being snarky. Ezra will float the propaganda BS that even the MSM would shy away from.

But this way, they get to bring it into their news cycle by claiming "prominent journalist Ezra Klein accuses Republican frontrunner of eating babies etc."