Much has been made about Ezra Klein’s move to Vox Media. He eschewed traditional outlets like the Washington Post (or, perhaps more likely, they weren’t interested in funding his pet project) for Internet upstart Vox Media. In some ways, I applaud Klein’s entrepreneurial spirit. If the Post doesn't want his idea, he’ll make it a reality somewhere else. On the other hand, is there anything more insipid than explanatory journalism? This new-fangled term is Klein’s way of saying that he will fully explain every subject to his sadly uninformed audience. He and Vox will dive into every nitty-gritty detail while still following the daily news cycle.
WASHINGTON—The hapless Richard Cohen has done it again. He was acting like a good scout in slandering Americans “with conventional views,” and in the course of his noble endeavor he brought down on himself the full force of the virtue patrol. Well, he has only himself to blame.
In the course of writing a column assessing Governor Chris Christie’s 2016 presidential chances he went off on a playful scherzo, to wit: “People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York—a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children [What did Cohen expect, tri-racial children?—RET]. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts—but not all—of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.”
Over at the Washington Post web site, liberal thought-leader Dana Milbank castigates Republicans for "governing by anecdote."
It seems that Mr. Milbank is pontificating by anecdote, missing the fact that Obama is the one who mastered the use of human props (or perhaps human shields) in his efforts to pass and defend legislation.
How could Milbank miss the fact that the first human props (or at least the first one that I saw in the news anywhere) in the debate over the rollout were in Obama's Rose Garden speech on October 21st?
I didn’t think much of accusations “against” news columnist Ezra Klein that he had briefed some Senate Democratic aides. I thought that, being a pundit, Klein did that kind of thing all the time. I don’t think there’s anything wrong about a reporter talking to a couple of Senate aides curious to hear how certain messages are playing out in a reporter’s mind, or for a reporter to sit in on a policy discussion of staffers.
But then Klein’s scattered and mealymouthed response left me scratching my head, and I wonder whether his editors are scratching their heads too. And it's probably because his response means that he is continuing the charade of being some kind of objective news reporter, a charade the Post's editors are happy to allow considering how they portray him.
You see, under Jen Rubin's name at the Washington Post, we have this:
Suzy Khimm of the Washington Post deserves special praise for noting just how much conservatives have done to keep taxes on the poor low (even if it is just to accuse them of hypocrisy). While covering Erick Erickson's "I am the 53 percent" rebuttal to the Occupy Wall Street "I am the 99 percent" cry, she writes that the logic is flawed:
But there is some tension between the site's critique and conservative tax policy. Part of the reason that over 40 percent of Americans don't pay taxes is because of the continual push to lower them - a cause that conservatives have championed. For example, while the Bush-era tax cuts benefited the wealthy, they also lowered taxes at every income level, making it "relatively easy for families of four making $50,000 to eliminate their income tax liability," as the Associated Press notes. Ronald Reagan's tax cuts, similarly, took many lower-income Americans off of the tax rolls, an accomplishment about which the Gipper was quite proud.