The science is settled. General Electric Vox is now widely recognized as a tedious Web laughingstock.
I could Voxsplain it to you with a whole bunch of annoying and condescending Voxcards but others have already done so including James Taranto last month in the American Spectator. However, while his criticism and that of others might be Voxsplained away by founder Ezra Klein as just having a political axe to grind, now even the liberal Politico has written Vox off as mostly hype and little substance as you can see in the article by Dylan Byers:
Last Saturday, we noted that three well-known liberal bloggers had written that criticism about presidential vacations is silly and dopey. Vox’s Ezra Klein not only agrees with his brethren, but further contended in a Friday post that when a POTUS goes on vacation, he should get some real R&R, to the point that the vice president would “take over for a week or two,” with the president “get[ting] a call if something really goes wrong.”
Klein mused that “it's probably good for vice presidents to get a few weeks in the Oval Office now and again — that way, if they do have to step up to the presidency, they have a bit of experience. If Acting President Joe Biden had delivered the US's response to ISIS while Obama vacationed with his family, that would have been better for everyone involved.”
The major left-right disagreement regarding President Obama as a speechmaker hasn’t been over whether he’s talented (most conservatives concede he’s got a flair) but over whether he’s effective. Now, however, Ezra Klein thinks that a certain key group of liberals has lost confidence that Obama speeches in general, and specifically one about the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, would bring about the desired results. This group is known as...the Obama administration.
“If Obama's speeches aren't as dramatic as they used to be,” wrote Klein in a Monday post on Vox, “this is why: the White House believes a presidential speech on a politically charged topic is as likely to make things worse as to make things better. It is as likely to infuriate conservatives as it is to inspire liberals. And in a country riven by political polarization, widening that divide can take hard problems and make them impossible problems.”
Serving on Friday as the substitute host for Now with Alex Wagner, Vox founder and Editor-In-Chief Ezra Klein had a science reporter from Vox.com on to discuss the current outbreak of the Ebola virus in Africa and the arrival of two Americans who were working there to an Atlanta-area hospital. The segment was very informative, but it left out one key detail: Klein failed to disclose his own ties to Vox and the obvious conflict of interest that presents. Not only that, but Klein never even mentioned once his full-time job during the entire show.
At the conclusion of the previous segment, Klein provided this look ahead to the segment after the break by saying that: "Coming up, new reports that Ebola is coming to the U.S., so what will it mean to treat American patients with Ebola in the states? I will talk with Vox science reporter Susannah Locke next." [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Jonathan Gruber absolutely did not mean what he clearly said over and over and over again. That pretty much sums up the left's rationale for "Speak-O" Gruber stating again and again and again that states with federal health care exchanges would not be eligible for subsidies. Of course, Gruber made these quite clear statements before it became obvious that the vast majority of states would refuse to set up their own exchanges and the threat of withholding the subsidies fell flat.
Among the more amusing of those performing desperate damage control is Ezra Klein of General Electric Vox. Unfortunately for poor Ezra there is a large body of Obamacare documents besides the very language of the Obamacare law itself that contradict his assertion that it was intended all along that the federal exchange set up for the states would be eligible for subsidies. First let us allow Ezra to entertain us with his conniption fit over Speak-O:
Imagine the press letting a Republican or conservative get away with trying to avoid uncondtionally calling something as infuriating and outrageous as the Veterans Administration waiting list scandal a real scandal.
As we approach the 2014 open enrollment deadline for ObamaCare in a week, have you noticed how the airwaves are absolutely flooded with $500 million of commercials by health insurance companies plugging that program day and night? What, you haven't seen a thing? Yes, apparently Tinker Bell sprinkled Pixie Dust upon all that money and made it, poof, disappear despite assurances last December that such promised ad buys were proof that insurance companies were so positive of the ultimate success of success of ObamaCare that they had committed so much money to promoting it.
This supposed all in commitment by insurance companies to such a large amount of spending on Obamacare promotion was chronicled by your humble correspondent on December 17. Since that time no such ad spending has occurred. Did the media liberals hope that we wouldn't notice the utter lack of insurance company ad spending? If so, they are out of luck since they are now being called out here starting with Paul Krugman of the New York Times who claimed that The Big Money Bets on Obamacare:
The “new media” is expanding in the digital realm, but one trend of liberal bias certainly isn’t new: While The New York Times repeated and repeated that expanding Breitbart News network is “conservative,” left-wing ventures by Glenn Greenwald and Ezra Klein were apparently non-ideological, and drew no ideological labels of any kind – liberal, leftist, progressive – at all.
On the front of Monday’s Business Day section, the Times promoted “The conservative news group begun by Andrew Breitbart, who died in 2012, is going global.” The headline on B-3 was “Conservative News Group to Add Staff to Websites.” Leslie Kaufman's story began with another two C-labels in the first 45 words:
Apparently MSNBC wasn’t liberal enough for Comcast. Its division Comcast Ventures is funding liberal blogger Ezra Klein’s new startup. Klein, the boy wonder of left-wing journalism, is famous for creating a list of liberal media who planned how to spin the news called JournoList.
Klein has hired fellow liberal Matthew Yglesias from Slate as executive editor, and two fellow Washington Post staffers. Both of these Post staffers, Dylan Matthews and Melissa Bell, worked for a Wonk Blog joint project called Know More. This project idea, with an initial estimated cost of more than $10 million, was turned down by the Washington Post in January.
Tuesday was a big day over at the Washington Post with the announcement of the departure of one blogger and the bringing in of another. Left-wing blogger Ezra Klein who had been overseeing a supposedly ideologically neutral section of the paper’s website called “Wonkblog” will no longer be working with the Post. Supposedly, he was in a dispute with the paper’s new owner, Jeff Bezos, over some large-scale online project for which he wanted funding.
Joining the paper will be the blogging team put together by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, known in the web world for his libertarian-conservative political views and his love of data and free speech. Unlike Klein, however, Volokh and his co-bloggers will not make the pretense that their ruminations are utterly devoid of ideological thinking.
MSNBC personalities continue to do all they can to put a happy face on the rollout of ObamaCare. On Tuesday’s NOW with Alex Wagner, Ms. Wagner and MSNBC contributor Ezra Klein furiously spun the latest enrollment numbers of “young invincibles.” First off, Klein advised the MSNBC audience not to worry about the presently low enrollment among young people; things will probably get better!
Thursday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC displayed a classic example of how liberals fail to grasp the basic logic of people's economic decisions or, even when they are aware of economic principles, they still find reasons to be dismissive of a predictable outcome that goes against how they wish the world would function.
As host O'Donnell convened a group to discuss an article by Carl Gibson of ReaderSupportedNews.org about why it makes more economic sense for a young, healthy person to pay a $300 fine than to spend thousands of dollars for insurance since they cannot be denied coverage for a preexisting condition later, Washington Post columnist and MSNBC analyst Ezra Klein explained how ObamaCare could result in there being "no system that is affordable to take care of" elderly and sick people.
On the Wednesday, December 18, All In with Chris Hayes show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes fretted that uninsured Americans are not a "potent constituency" during a discussion of the debate over extending unemployment benefits.
He did not mention a CBS News/New York Timespoll which ironically was released earlier in the day finding that ObamaCare is as unpopular among uninsured Americans as with the general population.
Speaking with MSNBC analyst Ezra Klein, Hayes posed:
At long last. After weeks of unrelenting bad news, Obamacare supporters in the mainstream media believe the cavalry has come to the rescue in the form of increased advertising buys by insurance companies. Huh? How does increased ad buys translate into Obamacare success? Well, the talking point now being recited is that the promised increase in advertising by the insurance companies translates into their confidence in Obamacare which somehow means it's going to work.
Paul Krugman, who a couple of months ago was celebrating the "success" of Obamacare based on discovering one person in New Jersey who signed up, is now in a similar state of bliss because "The Big Money Bets on Obamacare":
As a reminder, the Washington Post's Ezra Klein was the founder of the secretive JournoList group late last decade. Their objective was to put left-wing writers, perhaps with input from the Democratic Party itself and certain of its candidates for national office, on the same page in their coverage of the news.
That's useful to know, as on Saturday Klein published a column which might as well have been called "Obama administration talking points meant to convince readers that the President's 'If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep your health insurance plan, PERIOD' promise really wasn't that important" (Alternative title: "As the Goalposts Move"). Almost four weeks after Barack Obama owned up to the fact that his guarantee wasn't true for millions of private individual health insurance policyholders (he has yet to acknowledge the current impact on certain small employer group plans or the impending impact on large employer-sponsored plans), and given the fact that his broken guarantee is already an established fact in the historical record — no less than the Associated Press acknowledged this on September 30 — Klein's topic choice is odd indeed. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):
In a segment on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press that host David Gregory laughably billed as an ObamaCare "reality check," he invited two of the law's biggest supporters to deliver White House spin, former administration health policy advisor and brother of the President's former chief of staff Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel and liberal Washington Post blog editor Ezra Klein. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Referring to the supposed fix to HealthCare.gov, Gregory teed up Emanuel: "Is it good enough progress?" Emanuel predictably replied: "I think it's good enough progress. Clearly, just like Google and Facebook and all the internet sites are constantly tweaking their sites, constantly improving them, this one still has a ways to go. But it is certainly working reasonably well....So I think actually we are going in the right direction."
You see, when then-President Clinton proposed a government-run health care overhaul, he "promised [Americans] would lose" their health care plan because Clinton's initiative was predicated on government building from scratch a top-down approach that left had to rip up millions of health care contracts in order to put in place a top-down government-knows-best framework. That scared the dickens out of folks, and so, accordingly, liberal "health-care reformers swung far to the other side," when they continued to eternal crusade to have government "reform" health care, Klein explained (emphasis mine):
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews apparently wants no discouraging words about ObamaCare on his program.
At the beginning of a segment about problems with the website’s launch, the Hardball host actually told his guests Monday, “I want you, both gentlemen, to be positive” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When Obamacare was signed by the president in 2010, NPR marked how its health reporter Julie Rovner had a "picture perfect day," and took a snapshot. She "was all smiles when asked about how important this day was to her.” She said: “It's the first month of my twenty-five years covering health policy...and I did not intend to miss this event!”
So it’s not surprising that she would write a blog on how utterly conservatives failed to nick Obamacare in the shutdown fight – or as she called it, “their 16-day tirade against the government.”
Ezra Klein may be young, but he’s not young enough to miss how recycled it is to smear the Tea Party as haters in every category. Nevertheless, Klein sought out and interviewed Christopher Parker, a political scientist at the University of Washington, is co-author of the book "Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America".
After rigorous, professorial study, Parker found people don't fully appreciate why Tea Partiers won't compromise: “when I looked at it empirically, I found that people who supported the tea party tended to be more racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and anti-Obama.” Klein then professed that this made him bristle a tiny bit:
As MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry made multiple appearances on Friday's MSNBC evening shows to discuss President Obama's surprise statement on the George Zimmerman acquittal, the MSNBC host declared that, after Obama became President, "every move that he made became where he ended up carrying the burden of race," during her appearance on All in with Chris Hayes.
A couple of hours earlier, as she appeared on PoliticsNation, Harris-Perry drew a parallel to the views of former confederates in the 1870s and those in modern times who dismiss liberal preocupation with racial issues. Harris-Perry:
As he guest hosted the Friday, July 19, All In show, MSNBC's Ezra Klein -- also of the Washington Post -- stuck by the liberal line that all of the blame for the Trayvon Martin shooting lies on George Zimmerman, primarily because the neighborhood watchman followed Martin, without regard to who might have thrown the first punch.
Ignoring the absence of any eyewitnesses to confirm which party struck first, or even the witness who saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, Klein asserted that Martin "was not the violent one that night."
President Barack Obama touted benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in a speech at the White House Thursday, claiming his signature health care bill is “doing what it’s designed to do.” The president also acknowledged the “glitches” that have impacted the implementation of the law, including his announced one-year delay of a so-called “employer mandate” requiring businesses with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance.
Alex Wagner, and most of her Thursday Now panel, came to the defense of the president over ObamaCare and its implementation, while blasting Republicans for being “reluctant to embrace” the unpopular bill. Wagner invited on White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri to tout the legislation’s purported benefits, but included no conservatives on her panel to challenge Palmieri’s claims.
On the Wednesday, July 3, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC analyst Ezra Klein -- also of the Washington Post -- joined host O'Donnell in complaining that congressional Republicans refuse to help the Obama administration make changes to ObamaCare that even the administration has concerns about, with Klein charging that the GOP is trying to let the act fail "no matter how many people get hurt along the way." Klein:
Well, it’s Washington Post official: the sequestration wasn’t all that bad after all. In fact, you could classify it as a dud, according to none other than Ezra Klein, a favored pet pundit of many a liberal MSNBC panel.
In a June 30 item at his Wonkblog, Klein concluded that the experts were “mostly wrong” concerning the impact of the cuts. At the same time, conservatives saw from the beginning that the actual amount of cutbacks, which was only $44 billion, would have a de minimis impact on the economy. However, government spending increased over the past year, just at a lower rate of growth than originally planned, so in real terms, there were no real cuts to speak of in real terms.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an all-time high on Tuesday.
But you wouldn't know that if you watched MSNBC's Hardball where two guests actually made the case that this really isn't an all-time high due to inflation (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Rather than take Woodward head-on, Klein gutlessly goes after three words in his Friday piece: "moving the goalposts." What Woodward wrote, followed by a portion of Klein's clunker, appear after the jump.
In a careless attempt to get a rise out of their readers, mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post and Esquire Magazine erroneously reported that the Navy SEAL credited with the assassination of Osama bin Laden had been unceremoniously stripped of health insurance following his retirement last September.
The story immediately went viral, thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff from the Post and their massive followings on Twitter. Former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle Phil Bronstein originally posted an 'exhaustively researched' article about it on Esquire's site. Upon its publication and online distribution however, some readers noticed just how rife with inaccuracies the story was. Former public affairs officer of the Department of Veteran Affairs Brandon Friedman was among them. (H/T - Twitchy)