Archive for the ‘American Prospect’ Category

In a comment on this blog’s first post, lo these many hours ago the brilliant young mind Ezra Klein offers a weak defense not far off the one he gave to Wonkette and Fishbowl DC yesterday:

You’re absolutely correct that this was patently offensive. It was a private text message to friends, an inside joke we have because it’s so over-the-top obscene. It was never, ever meant to be public, and I’m deeply apologetic that it crossed that barrier. It’s not the sort of work I publish as a writer, and not what I seek to contribute to the discourse. The other examples of my writing, those that appear on my site, were meant to be in the sphere, to be argued with, even mocked. But the Twitter was ripped from my private life, and it was never meant to brought out of the bar-like context in which it was born. Guess those privacy settings are more important than I realized.

Well, maybe. Compared to his post WORST. MODERATORS. EVER you know, it’s hard to be sure this wasn’t his true feelings, expressed in a “spiky tipped” manner. And that’s still how I see it. HOWEVER, “deeply apologetic” is more than we’ll get out of most left-wing bloggers, so, fine. Ezra Klein is in fact smarter and more intellectually honest than most of those who we really mean when we say “nutroots.” That’s why such invective from him was worth making the first post of this blog.

For more interesting insight along these lines, see a couple comments on Hot Air yesterday:

Don’t you get the feeling he’s trying to endear himself to the nutters, get on their good side by being as hate-filled?

Topsecretk9 on January 16, 2008 at 6:47 PM

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Topsecretk9

I think you have hit the nail on the head. Klein’s early writings are not so crazy. He actually gives a fair opinion. He has pieces on the net about Bush, Iraq, AQ and Vietnam. He actually says everyone thought Iraq had WMD, just US was the only one willing to do something about it.

He has another piece about Heath Care. He does not attack the other side as you can see here

“The question, of course, is why this goes on. Conservatives, enmeshed in their current push for so-called consumer-driven medicine, would have you believe that patients are to blame—they demand the surgeries, excited as all get-out to spend a couple weeks on a luxurious hospital cot. Under this analysis, all the system needs is more patient vulnerability. As Arkansas governor and likely 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee puts it, “One of the reasons we have a health-care crisis is because, as a consumer, I don’t have that much skin in the game. A lot of us feel there needs to be a transformation from a third-party [insurance] system to more [financial] participation by the [patient].”

Mahar neatly dispenses with that excuse, reminding readers that patients don’t actually know what they want. The doctor-patient relationship, indeed, is built on a trust akin to deification—we rely on their extreme training and vast knowledge to navigate an organism that we inhabit but don’t understand, and we take their recommendations as the unswerving expressions of their education and oath. Forgotten in this analysis is that medicine is a business like any other, and profit matters. Even the motto of non-profit hospitals has become “No margin, no mission,” to express the reality that their capital comes from bond investors, and if the investors aren’t happy, there won’t be a hospital left to treat either the poor or the rich.”

It seems he is changing, like they all do to win the hearts and minds of the left.

WoosterOh on January 16, 2008 at 7:40 PM

Food for thought. Or, closer to my own interpretation:

Itchy Twitter finger.

Jim Treacher on January 16, 2008 at 8:17 PM

 

“Big Media Ezra” Klein is well-known to bloggers and some media pundits as a sort of wunderkind — a lowly blogger who quickly rose to a perch at the little-read esteemed American Prospect and to appearances on the little-watched influential “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on MSNBC. He’s half your age, but his book will be out before yours.

He is important enough to command his own special blog on the Prospect’s website, cleverly named “Ezra Klein” and with the so-clever-it-kills-me tagline “Momma said wonk you out.” [Special note, Prospecters: LL spelled it “Mama”] Last night he said this about the moderation of the Democrat debate on MSNBC:

It’s almost impossible for me to convey the damage Tim Russert and Brian Williams are doing to the republic this evening. So far, the questioning has gone something like: “Hillary, are you a racist?” “Barack, are you a scary black man who will continually remind us that we are racists?” “Senator Obama, why are you such a dick?” “Senator Clinton, would you like to comment on Senator Obama’s past drug use?” “Senator Obama, you say you want to move us forward, but your press people have released documents mentioning Hillary Clinton. Please explain.”

It’s “almost impossible … to convey the damage [they] doing to the republic”? Hyperbole, good to see you, too.
But that’s nothing. Klein also maintains a publicly available account on the short-message blogging service Twitter, where he wrote, and forget quotes, here’s the screen shot:

Ezra Klein on Twitter

Now that’s what I call contributing to the public discourse!

Of course, Russert is the managing editor of NBC News, the top NBC man in Washington, so he has a lot of control, if not complete sayso over who appears on the air. Don’t you think he’d like to hear about this? How about his fellow “Hardball” guests? What are the chances they would let him back on the air to share his nutroots wisdom with the cocktail party chattering classes? Well, they won’t have to make a decision if they don’t find out about it. And they SHOULD find out about it.

If a conservative was caught fantasizing (or even joking about fantasizing) about committing murderous sodomy against the management of a TV show he or she frequently appeared on, what is the likelihood that blogger would be invited back? You can bet the nutroots would be crowing about this on Daily Kos. We should be able to do the same.

If you have time, please send an e-mail to these e-mails below. And if you do, please be polite. Our strength is in reason, their strength is swearing up a storm. We have reasonable demands. Ezra Klein should not be invited back to “Hardball.”

Tim Russert, NBC News managing editor
mtp@msnbc.com

Chris Matthews, Hardball host
hardball@msnbc.com

Chuck Todd, NBC News political director
chuck.todd@nbcuni.com

Steve Capus, NBC News president
steve.capus@nbc.com

UPDATE – Yet Ezra himself finds “Clinton hatred” to be “baffling.” Really? Sounds like he understands hatred pretty well.

UPDATE II – Welcome, Kausfilers! You’ll notice this is the first post. I’ll be back.

UPDATE III – Oh well, looks like Ezra has locked up his Twitter account. I wonder what secretive, Townhouse-style rants he will be cooking up next. If anyone knows, leave a comment.

UPDATE IV – Welcome, everyone. This post has been much more popular than I expected. This was the first post launching the blog, but only that. Click here to visit the main page and see the latest posts at The Unpopular Front.