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Ezra Klein Isn’t a Reporter

A pre-Thanksgiving afternoon item from Fishbowl DC’s Betsy Rothstein titled “WaPo’s Ezra Should Have De-Kleined” is making the rounds.

From JournoList to activist, it appears that WaPo‘s liberal blogger Ezra Klein is once again blurring the lines between being a journalist and trying to sway politics. In what appears to be at a minimum a breach of journalism ethics, Klein spoke to a group of Senate Democratic Chiefs of Staff last Friday about the Supercommittee, just days before the Committee announced its failing. “It was kind of weird,” said a longtime Senate Democratic aide, explaining that while people “enjoyed it” and gave it “positive reviews” this sort of thing is far from typical.

A longtime Washington editor who deals with Capitol Hill regularly also said this is not the norm: “”I have never heard of a reporter briefing staffers. It’s supposed to be the other way around. This arrangement seems highly unusual.”

It goes in circles from there, hitting its crescendo with “his readers need to demand answers from him if they are going to trust the integrity and validity of his journalism.”

Now, I haven’t the foggiest idea why Klein was briefing Democratic chiefs of staff about the inner workings of Congress. If there’s a scandal there, it’s that a 27-year-old blogger is apparently more clued in to the workings of our legislature than the people heading up Senate offices.

But here’s the thing: I just doesn’t matter. Klein isn’t a reporter. He just isn’t. He’s an opinion writer. Yes, he’s now doing wonkier work on certain aspects of domestic policy that he’s interested in. Still, he’s not trying to hide the fact that he’s a die-hard progressive.

He started blogging a couple weeks after I did while still a student at UCLA and had a meteoric rise. He blogged for the liberal American Prospect before getting hired on at WaPo. He’s a regular commenter on liberal talking heads shows, including Rachel Maddow, Hardball, and the defunct Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Anyone who doesn’t understand where he’s coming from politically is simply not paying attention.

Given how obvious this all is, one can’t help but wonder if this isn’t more of the “juicebox mafia” resentment felt by so many old line journalists toward people making their names in the media without paying the traditional dues. Traditionally, one didn’t get a column in the Washington Post without years of hard work in the trenches, working one’s way up from the police and city hall beats to national reporting. Only after years and years of that did one perhaps get a chance to do commentary. Klein bypassed all that, becoming a well-known commenter before graduating UCLA and getting the WaPo gig a few days after his 25th birthday.

That’s got to be as annoying as hell to people who think people like Klein and Matt Yglesias cut in front of them in line. But that’s no excuse for this silly pretense that some rules of “objectivity” and “journalistic ethics” are being violated when an opinion columnist shares his opinions with likeminded politicos.

UPDATE: Hours after Rothstein’s blog was posted, we get a possible answer to the question “Why in the hell did the Democratic staffers invite Ezra Klein to brief them on the supercommittee?” in the form of Klein’s latest Bloomberg column. The headline: “In Political Crosshairs, Staff That Saves Congress.”

As you have no doubt heard by now, the supercommittee failed. So did the Obama-Boehner negotiations that preceded it, and the Biden-Cantor negotiations that preceded that. Those efforts failed because the principals — and the political bases they represent — couldn’t come to an agreement. What chance they did have was almost entirely because of the staff scurrying in the background.

The idea that a handful of politicians, few of whom have any formal background in economics or budget analysis, were the ones doing the heavy policy lifting, is laughable. They’re in the room to make the final decisions. In some cases, they’re there to show that they and their party are taking the negotiations seriously. It’s common to hear stories of bored legislators tapping their feet through these sessions like schoolchildren waiting to be released for recess.

But behind the scenes were dozens of staff members putting in long nights and giving up weekends to try to find something, anything, that could lead to an agreement. The Congressional Budget Office was offering nonpartisan, detailed estimates on the costs of various proposals. The Congressional Research Service was sending out clear, detailed summaries of the provisions under consideration. Amid seemingly endless partisanship and polarization, the work of congressional support staff is, in most cases, an oasis of professionalism.

Perhaps the briefing was the staff taking a page out of the book of the military, which constantly invites reporters and columnists to tour combat zones in order to give them a guided tour of the parts of the war that they want them to see.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    That’s got to be as annoying as hell to people who think people like Klein and Matt Yglesias cut in front of them in line. But that’s no excuse for this silly pretense that some rules of “objectivity” and “journalistic ethics” are being violated when an opinion columnist shares his opinions with likeminded politicos.

    “Hey kid! Get off my grass!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. The professional jealousy is rather obvious here but, as you say, I don’t get why House and Senate staffers need to be briefed by Klein. One would think it would be the other way around.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Stan says:

    Before and during the 2008 election season I learned about health care plans in use around the world from Ezra Klein’s blogs. He explained the various models: socialized medicine in Great Britain and in our own medical systems for active duty and retired military personnel, single payer in Canada and France and in our own Medicare, and the individual mandate systems based on Bismarck’s legislation back in the 1880’s. None of our newspapers, not even the New York Times and the Washington Post, deigned to actually explain the policy issues, and much of the online commentary, particularly Megan McArdle’s, was strikingly inaccurate and ludicrously partisan. I felt that Klein was a treasure, and I still think so. He’s liberal, but not to the point of distorting his analysis for partisan reasons, and he’s informative. His subsequent success is richly deserved, and I hope he goes on to a long and productive career.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 3

  4. superdestroyer says:

    How does campaign finance reform work in a world where Ezra Klein can give the Democrats an almost unlimited amount of support but those not employed in the media will be limited to a small donation?

    That a company like the Washington Post gets government protection because it reports on politics while employees of the company are coordinating with those same officials is a clear conflict on interest.

    Ezra Klein should be free to be as partisan as he wants to be but the Washington Post, MSNBC, and everyone else should disclose the close association between Klein and Democrats instead of just saying that “everyone knows.”

    I doubt if Ezra Klein would be so prominent if all of his activities are disclose every time he is on television or in the media.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 24

  5. sam says:

    Ezra Klein should be free to be as partisan as he wants to be but the Washington Post, MSNBC, and everyone else should disclose the close association between Klein and Democrats instead of just saying that “everyone knows.”

    Only somebody cognitively deficient in the extreme, or totally unfamiliar with Klein’s writings, would be unaware of his political leanings. As to the former, no disclaimer, even one published in 90 pt. Marathon Bold, would offer a corrective. As to the latter, who is responsible for their ignorance?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  6. MBunge says:

    @superdestroyer: “Ezra Klein should be free to be as partisan as he wants to be but the Washington Post, MSNBC, and everyone else should disclose the close association between Klein and Democrats instead of just saying that “everyone knows.”

    coughFoxNewscough!

    Mike

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  7. superdestroyer says:

    @sam:

    The bio for Mr. Klein from the Washington Post website says:

    Ezra Klein is a columnist at the Washington Post, as well as a contributor to MSNBC. His work focuses on domestic and economic policymaking, as well as the political system that’s constantly screwing it up. He’s appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show, Charlie Rose, Real Time with Bill Maher, The McLaughlin Report, the Colbert Report, and many more. He really likes graphs.

    What is should really say is that Ezra Klein s a Democratic Party who activist who may coordinate his posts and column topics with other Democratic Party activist and the staff of elected Democrats.

    Every time Mr. Klein appears of MSNBC, NCC, McLaughlin Report, he should not be described as a policy blogger for the Washington Post but as a Democratic activist. Mr, Klein being employed by the Washington Post just means that Mr, Klein has a vernier of being objective when he is not.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 18

  8. Ron Beasley says:

    @superdestroyer: If that’s the case at least once an hour there should be a disclaimer on FOX “News” that it is a propaganda organ for the Republican Party.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 5

  9. superdestroyer says:

    @MBunge:

    Did you “cough” when the Washington Post had a liberal activist being the conservative blogger at the Washington Post. Did you cough when Mr. Weigel was fired because he was a liberal activist who coordinate with other liberal activist while being employed by the Washington Post as the conservative blogger.

    I suspect that you did not.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 19

  10. superdestroyer says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    As long as CNN, MSMBC, BET, MTV, PBS, NPR, CBS, ABC, and NBC all post disclaimers that they are organs of the Democratic Party.

    Every reporter, every columnist, and every editor should have their political donations, political associations, and political positions posted as a matter of professional ethnics.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 20

  11. superdestroyer says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Ron, how do you reconcile the left’s demand for the government to ration the speech of private citizens, PACS, and corporations with the concept that Ezra Klein can give unlimited support to the Democratic Party.

    Or do you just admit that campaign finance control is just a means to eliminating conservatives from politics while maintaining all of the advantages that liberals have?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 18

  12. steve says:

    “, I don’t get why House and Senate staffers need to be briefed by Klein. One would think it would be the other way around.”

    I read health care economics and policy more than most areas of economics. I have read it for a long time, and I have practiced for a long time. Klein has a very impressive command of the details of health care policy. He also writes and communicates well. Many of those staffers, the one who works for my congressman, are just out of college. They are bright and well informed, but not at the level Klein has mastered. While I think he is intrinsically bright, this seems mostly to be the product of hard work, just immersing himself in the topic. While you may disagree about his policy preferences (which are usually pretty moderate at least on health care), his grasp if detail is sound. Many right of center health care writers use his explanations to help people understand the issues.

    His leanings have been clear from the start, this is not news. The same is true of most opinion writers. I believe James has a right wing slant. Should he not appear on TV? Should Ross Douthat not have an editorial position at the NYT?

    “How does campaign finance reform work in a world where Ezra Klein can give the Democrats an almost unlimited amount of support but those not employed in the media will be limited to a small donation?”

    An entire cable network provides support to the GOP, including trying to employ all of the presumed future presidential candidates. Most people in the media probably, like all of the rest of us, vote for a given party most of the time. Unless you want to require that people in the media not vote, or have any political leanings (how you would do this is unclear), this is and always has been a fact of life. You need to evaluate what people say, not just assume they are correct because they are on TV.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  13. superdestroyer says:

    @steve:

    Steve, The Democrats have every other network on television. Remember when the PBS conservative commentator went to work for the Clinton Admintration. Look at how Dan Rather got into trouble because his family was invovled in Democratic politics.

    The problem is not that Klein is a Democratic Party activist. It is that he gets to hide behind the title of “Washington Post columnist” without disclosing his very close association with Democratic Party staffers.

    You should also remember that how man former Clinton staffers who for all the networks other than Fox News.

    Progressives are just upset that conservatives have their own network instead of having to watch networks like MSNBC that have liberal leanings.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 20

  14. steve says:

    “As long as CNN, MSMBC, BET, MTV, PBS, NPR, CBS, ABC, and NBC all post disclaimers that they are organs of the Democratic Party.”

    Only in your mind, and those of your ilk.

    “Ron, how do you reconcile the left’s demand for the government to ration the speech of private citizens”

    How so? What left?

    “Ezra Klein can give unlimited support to the Democratic Party”

    I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that most people do not read Klein. Like most media, those who agree with him make up most of his audience. His reach is not that broad. Also, if you read him, he does not give unlimited support to the Democratic party.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  15. superdestroyer says:

    @steve:

    Steve,

    It is insulting when progressives claim that they do not know or understand the proposals for campaign finance reform. Have you not heard all of the claims from the left to “get money out of politics.” Getting money out of politics means restricting or eliminating what private persons, corporations, NGOs, or PACs can spend on an election outside of government approved donations. That means that private persons would be limited to spend a few dollar on their own while Mr. Klein can go to work everyday and give the Democrats $100K per day of positive messaging.

    That is why progressives support campaign finance reform. It give more power to elite liberals like Mr. Klein but eliminate any political influence of non-media corporation, private citizens, or anyone on the right.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 16

  16. grumpy realist says:

    superdestroyer’s comments unfortunately demonstrate the vicious stupidity one is forced to descend to when everything is seen as a left-right axis.

    I don’t know where this meme came that NBC, CBS, and ABC happened to be “liberal media.” It certainly holds consolation for those on the right, since they can ignore all news reports outside of the Fox cocoon and lick their wounds in self-pity whenever a reporter actually acts like a reporter and starts digging out the inconsistencies and lack of accurate knowledge contained in, say, one of Sarah Palin’s word salads (or Paul Ryan’s blissfully overoptimistic assumptions of economic growth after tax cuts.)

    Sometimes it really is not a right-left question. Sometimes it is a reality vs. what-were-you-smoking question.

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  17. MBunge says:

    @superdestroyer: “Did you “cough” when the Washington Post had a liberal activist being the conservative blogger at the Washington Post.”

    The fact that Dave Weigel is both able to recognize when conservatives are full of crap and willing to point it out, does not make him a liberal activist.

    Mike

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

  18. steve says:

    “Steve, The Democrats have every other network on television.”

    Again, only in your mind. If you read far left blogs, they routinely complain about the MSM’s right wing slant. It is mostly observational bias, excepting the cable channels. If you watch CNBC in the morning, just as an example, it is heavily biased towards the right. Its primary hosts are writing, and promoting on air, their right wing books. What happens is that any attempt to cover anything in an unbiased fashion, leaves both sides seeing bias. A lot of the bias also exists in the audience rather than the media.

    http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/120368144.html

    “The problem is not that Klein is a Democratic Party activist.”

    This is because of what? What does he do that makes him an activist? He writes in the media and sometimes goes on TV.. He advocates for left of center solutions. How does this differentiate him from Eric Erickson, Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer ( I wonder what newspaper he writes for?), etc. I dont remember you advocating against Krauthammer and his ability to, as you put it.

    “How does campaign finance reform work in a world where CVharles Krauthammer can give the Republicans an almost unlimited amount of support “.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  19. superdestroyer says:

    @MBunge:

    Being a member of Journolist and coordinating his activities with out liberal activist is what makes Mr. Weigel a Democratic Party activist.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 17

  20. MBunge says:

    @superdestroyer: “while Mr. Klein can go to work everyday and give the Democrats $100K per day of positive messaging.”

    Hysteria is not your friend. Klein’s blogging is worth $100K a day?

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  21. MBunge says:

    @superdestroyer: “Being a member of Journolist and coordinating his activities with out liberal activist is what makes Mr. Weigel a Democratic Party activist.”

    Weigel is a Democratic Party activist in the same way you are an Outside The Beltway activist.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  22. superdestroyer says:

    @grumpy realist:

    NBC just went through the perfunctory apology for a sexist, crude joke played on Michelle Bachmann during her appearance on the Jimmy Fallon show. The same type of partisan behavior has occurred on virtually every network. Over 90% of those who work for the network, N Times, etc are liberal Democrats and most have probably never voted for a Republican.

    To claim that CBS or CNN is moderate is to display a hyper level of partisanship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 14

  23. superdestroyer says:

    @MBunge:

    How much does a full page add in the Washington Post cost? How much is ten minutes of advertising time on MSNBC costs? How much is a few minutes on NPR, CNN, etc worth. Klein can give more than $2000 worth of advocacy for the Democrats in a minute. Yet. Mr, Klein wants to limit the average citizen to $2000 worth of support for an entire campaign cycle.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 15

  24. superdestroyer says:

    @steve:

    I doubt if Andrew sorkin has voted for a Republican in his life, let alone coordinate his activities with them.. To argue that CNBC out of Fort Lee, New Jersey is a Republican leaning network is laughable. It just looks moderate when compared to very liberal MCNBC.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 13

  25. MBunge says:

    @superdestroyer: “How much does a full page add in the Washington Post cost? How much is ten minutes of advertising time on MSNBC costs? How much is a few minutes on NPR, CNN, etc worth. Klein can give more than $2000 worth of advocacy for the Democrats in a minute. Yet. Mr, Klein wants to limit the average citizen to $2000 worth of support for an entire campaign cycle.”

    1. You’ve still never addressed the point that Fox News does everything you’re complaining about in an even more blatant and aggressive manner.

    2. Since when does Ezra Klein get a full page in the Washington Post?

    3. As others have pointed out, Klein is not really a reporter. How is he any different than George Will or Charles Krauthammer?

    4. How many people can give $2000 dollars to any one candidate in a campaign cycle, let alone more than one? You’re complaining about a restriction that affects only the richest people in the country and it’s not exactly like their interests have EVER been underrepresented in American politics.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  26. Ron Beasley says:

    @superdestroyer: That means that private persons would be limited to spend a few dollar on their own while Mr. Klein can go to work everyday and give the Democrats $100K per day of positive messaging. How many people read Klein every day – a few thousand at best. At any given hour 1 to 2 million people are watching the 24/7 Republican infomercial known as FOX .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  27. MBunge says:

    @superdestroyer: “To argue that CNBC out of Fort Lee, New Jersey is a Republican leaning network is laughable.”

    Geography is destiny!!!!

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  28. superdestroyer says:

    @MBunge:

    It is a very weak argument that reports at the Washington Post, MCNBC, NY Times, etc should be able to coordinate their columns, reporting, and message with Democratic activist just because Fox News exist. Fox news is just one channel on a crowded cable network. Liberals and progressives own and control virtually all the rest of the media.

    Also, can you show when George Will was giving briefing to Democratic staffers on how to message after the supercommittee and writing a column in Bloomberg news about it a few days later. It is fine that Mr, Klein is writing editorials promoting his version of progressive, expensive, elitist government. However ,he should fully disclose that his bloomberg column was coordinate with Democratic Party staffers. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-24/in-political-crosshairs-staff-redeems-congress-commentary-by-ezra-klein.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 11

  29. superdestroyer says:

    @MBunge:

    When over 80% of the voters in an area are Democrats, it is pretty much destiny. The NYC area is one of the bluest areas in the country.

    Maybe you could provide links where Andrew Sorkin coordinate messaging with Republican staffers. Maybe you could provide links where Andre Sorkin ran a conservative e-mail list where conservatives coordinated their messaging.

    Of course, since Andrew Sorkin is a Democratic Party supporters, you will not be able to provide any links.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  30. steve says:

    “I doubt if Andrew sorkin has voted for a Republican in his life, let alone coordinate his activities with them..”

    I guess you dont watch the channel. Sorkin is clearly playing second fiddle to Kernan who dominates the show. He features Caruso-Cabrera quite a bit (Kernan does). Ever since Haines died the show has become quite right leaning. Santelli is featured a lot more also. No, it is not Fox or MSNBC tilted, but especially in the morning, its main show time, it has gone to the right.

    “To argue that CNBC out of Fort Lee, New Jersey is a Republican leaning network is laughable.

    Christie is out of New Jersey. Does that make him a liberal? I dont follow this line of reasoning.

    @Superdestroyer- Is it ok that Krauthammer writes for the the Washington Post? How is that different than Klein? Just the fact that he has been doing it longer?

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  31. MBunge says:

    @superdestroyer: “It is a very weak argument that reports at the Washington Post, MCNBC, NY Times, etc should be able to coordinate their columns, reporting, and message with Democratic activist just because Fox News exist.”

    What’s weak is paranoid conspiracy theories about the media. How did Keith Olbermann, the most watched liberal on cable TV, getting booted from MSNBC fit in with their nefarious plans?

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  32. MBunge says:

    @superdestroyer: “When over 80% of the voters in an area are Democrats, it is pretty much destiny. The NYC area is one of the bluest areas in the country.”

    So, you don’t actually deny that CNBC has a conservative or rightward slant. You don’t have any evidence that the folks at CNBC are Democrats or liberals. But because their network is located somewhere Democrats exist, that proves they’re part of the conspiracy. So that means all Texas-based media is biased toward Republicans?

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  33. superdestroyer says:

    @MBunge:

    Olberman wanted to leave. If he wanted to stay, he could have stayed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  34. superdestroyer says:

    @steve:

    Has Krauthammer coordinate with Republican staffers. Has Krauthammer coordiante with Republicans and then written columns reinforcing what was coordinated with Republicans?

    Krauthammer is a conservative columnist just like the many liberal columnist at the Washington Post. His columns appear on the opinion page. Mr, Kleins appear in the business section and do not disclose his very close ties with Democrats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  35. superdestroyer says:

    @MBunge:

    Of course, CNBC is going to be to the right of MCNBC because to be a reporter on CNBC you have to believe that a private sector should exist in the U.S. However, I doubt if few, if any, of the on air talent or editors at CNBC are Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  36. steve says:

    “Also, can you show when George Will was giving briefing to Democratic staffer”

    This would be the same George Will who helped Reagan prepare for a debate. Whose wife is coaching Perry for debates? What newspaper does Will write for? Will is on one of the Sunday morning talk shows every week. Does that make that shows conservative shows?

    Also, you seem to focus a lot on TV. What about radio? Does that have an ideological tilt? Is that ok?

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  37. MBunge says:

    @superdestroyer: “Olbermann wanted to leave.”

    1. You don’t know what Olbermann wanted.

    2. Even if he wanted to leave, why would the conspiracy ever allow it? He was the most successful liberal in the history of cable news. None of his replacements have come close to matching his success. Why wouldn’t the conspiracy give him anything he wanted to keep their most important cable news representative?

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  38. MBunge says:

    @superdestroyer: “However, I doubt if few, if any, of the on air talent or editors at CNBC are Republicans.”

    Larry Kudlow, member of the liberal media conspiracy!

    Rick Santelli, member of the liberal media conspiracy!

    Jim Kramer, member of the liberal media conspiracy!

    Erin Burnett, member of the liberal media conspiracy!

    Suze Orman, member of the liberal media conspiracy!

    Neil Cavuto, CNBC host from 1991 to 1996, member of the liberal media conspiracy!

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  39. Andre Kenji says:

    The point about “Journolist” and people like Weigel, Ezra Klein and people like that is that all of them are PERSONAL FRIENDS. Some of them share apartments, they go to weddings and things like that(And several conservatives and libertarians, like McArdle, share these circles).

    One can argue that Washington should not be a bubble or that this kind of personal closeness(Also shared by the White House Correspondents, including the Fox People) is detrimental to good reporting, but the idea of “cordination” is pretty dumb.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  40. steve says:

    “Has Krauthammer coordinate with Republican staffers. ”

    Yes. He and Kristol helped write Bush’s second inaugural speech. He regularly meets with GOP office holders. I think you could say he goes beyond coordinating the message, he helps shape it.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  41. Herb says:

    As long as CNN, MSMBC, BET, MTV, PBS, NPR, CBS, ABC, and NBC all post disclaimers that they are organs of the Democratic Party.

    Why would they do that? They’re not organs of the Democratic Party…….

    This reminds me of a conversation I had with my brother about the Federal Reserve. “It’s a fact,” he said, “that the Federal Reserve is illegal.”

    “No,” I said, “it’s a fact that the Federal Reserve exists in the legal realm. What you’re doing is making an argument for why you think it should be illegal.”

    In other words, don’t confuse your “arguments” for “facts.” Especially when the “argument” isn’t backed by the facts.

    Whether you agree wtih their point of view or not, “CNN, MSMBC, BET, MTV, PBS, NPR, CBS, ABC, and NBC” are not political arms of any party. They’re independent for-profit enterprises. Sorry, but that’s a fact. (Fox news, too!)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  42. superdestroyer says:

    @steve:

    Please provide a cite for that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  43. Stan says:

    @superdestroyer: I don’t watch MSNBC much, but when I do I don’t see anybody pitching for socialism. You’re living in an alternate reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  44. superdestroyer says:

    @MBunge:

    From http://www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/norindsea.shtml

    Orman donated to the DNC and Hillary Clinton.

    But Kudlow and Cavuto are supporters of the Republicans. Of course, Cavuo has not been there for a decade.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  45. superdestroyer says:

    @Stan:

    have you watched the commercials for RAchel Maddow lately. MCNBC is pushing a huge number of commercials promoting government jobs, government spending, and expanding government. Also look at the pushing for more financial, environmental health, employment, transportation, and energy regulations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  46. MBunge says:

    So, we’ve learned two things here about superdestroyer. He thinks political affiliation is determined by location and he thinks 5 years = a decade.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  47. MBunge says:

    And we’ve learned that I can’t count.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  48. ponce says:

    I think Super D is just upset that the Republicans don’t have anyone as talented and informative as Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias writing for his side.

    For some odd reason, probably first mover advantage, the American right decided to make mediocrities like Special Ed at Hot Air and Instacracker their most read bloggers, and every other right wing blogger trying to make a buck at it mimics their brain-dead, propaganda spewing shtick.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  49. superdestroyer says:

    @ponce:

    Do you really think that the Washington Post would ever hire a young conservative.

    However, i do agree that the Republicans are devoid of talent. Anyone who attends an Ivy league or ivy-like school and who is interested in politics will gravitate to being a Democrat. There is no future in conservative politics in the U.S. and there is no career on either coast if one is interested in conservative politics.

    The real question is what will politics will be like as the U.S. becomes a one party state and the media and the politics are coordinating their activities.

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  50. superdestroyer says:

    @ponce:

    ACtually an example of what conservatives policy wonk bloggers should be doing more of is what Iowahawk did to Paul Krugman. An amateur blogger who will probably never get a professional blogger position statistically demonstrated that a Nobel prize winning economist did not understand basic statistics about K-12 education. The blogger did it all using government databases.

    And what has the most humorous about Krugman being publicly embarassed was that all the left could do is scream racism because the left could not dispute the facts.

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  51. sam says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Do you really think that the Washington Post would ever hire a young conservative.

    Don’t be stupid.

    Jennifer Rubin is an American columnist and a blogger for the Washington Post. Previously she worked at Commentary Magazine, the Pajamas Media, Human Events, and the Weekly Standard. She also published at Politico, New York Post, New York Daily News, National Review, the Jerusalem Post, and a variety of other media publications.

    Rubin was born in the New Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia, and moved with her family as a child to California in 1968. She attended college and law school at the University of California, Berkeley. Before moving into journalism, Rubin was a labor and employment lawyer in Los Angeles, working for Hollywood studios, for 20 years. In 2005, she moved to Northern Virginia with her husband (who is an accountant) and two children. She offered a story to the Weekly Standard about Mitt Romney, and continued doing freelance work for two years before joining Commentary Magazine.

    Unless you think someone born in 1968 doesn’t qualify as young.

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  52. James Joyner says:

    @sam:

    Unless you think someone born in 1968 doesn’t qualify as young.

    Actually, I don’t–and I was born in 1965.

    A better example might be Ben Domenech, a RedState founder born in 1981 back in 2006, roughly the age Klein was when they hired him. He only lasted 3 days because of a plagiarism scandal dating to his college days.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  53. ponce says:

    ACtually an example of what conservatives policy wonk bloggers should be doing more of is what Iowahawk did to Paul Krugman.

    This is a good example of wingnut jealousy.

    In reality, Iowahawk is about as funny as your uncle who tells you the same knock knock joke every single time you see him, but to wingnuts, he’s a warrior humorist smiting the brainiacs on the “The Left!”

    Krugman is another example of a left leaning blogger who has no equivalent on the right.

    The closet wingnuts can come to a genius like Krugman are unimaginative economists like Greg Mankiw who did their best work 30 years ago and have since solidified into barely readable political hacks in the service of the wealthy.

    Again, the blogoshere’s shape was defined long ago by random events that quickly hardened into the structure we see today.

    The Left got funny, intelligent, talented writers at every level, on every subject and the Right got, well, Andrew Sullivan and a bunch of local bar blowhards on their 7th or 8th beer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  54. MBunge says:

    @superdestroyer: “The real question is what will politics will be like as the U.S. becomes a one party state and the media and the politics are coordinating their activities.”

    i believe there’s medication that can help with that sort of low-level, incipient paranoia.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  55. Stan says:

    @superdestroyer: I define socialism as government ownership of a business or organization. American police and fire departments fall in this category. So do public schools, the health systems used by military personnel, atomic energy and weapons laboratories, and flood control. Regulation of the activities you mentioned may be unwise, but it’s not socialism. Neither are minimum wage laws or OSHA monitoring of workplace safety. If socialism is used to describe every government intrusion into the private sector or everything you dislike about the government, the word loses its meaning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  56. rspeicher says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Now Ron, you know darn well that all of the broadcast and cable networks as well as NPR lean heavily to the left. Over 90% of the DC press corps admits to voting Democratic. Fox may lean slightly right (actually, I think I saw a Syracuse university study that showed they actually are far more balanced than any of the other outlets), but you libs have every other major news outlet. And yet you are still losing. How funny is that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13

  57. rspeicher says:

    @ponce:

    Jealousy? Of Krugman? hahahahahahahahaha Seriously, you are actually holding up an Enron adviser as the left’s paragon of economic scholarship? Too funny. And Sullivan may be a great amateur gynecologist, but he’s no conservative. Nice try sparky. Man, it must suck to be losing so badly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  58. sam says:

    @James Joyner:

    Actually, I don’t–and I was born in 1965.

    Actually, I do. I was born in 1941.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  59. superdestroyer says:

    @Stan:

    I believe that socialism is defined as the state control of the economy but not state ownership. That means that the government would dictate how business operate, what products they can offer, and what they can do. Health care in the U.S. is about as close to socialism since CMS pays for about 50% of health care and all of the other providers know what the reinbursement rates are. CMS can kill drug, procedures, equip manufacturers, and providers by lowering reinbursement rates below costs.

    As environmental, transportation, housing, and financial regulations increase, there will be industries that adopt the price taking strategies that health care has had to adopt.

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  60. superdestroyer says:

    @MBunge:

    You should look at how one party states and cities work. The media appears very cozy with the politicians in places like Baltimore, DC, Chicago, Boston, etc.

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  61. de stijl says:

    To some people, a journalistic enterprise not actively shilling for your team is proof that it shilling for the other team.

    Since MSM outfits like CBS, CNN, et al. are not overwhelmingly pro-Team Red or Team Blue, some Reds and Blues read that to mean they are propagandizing for the other guys.

    Team Red exhibits this tendency a lot.

    For Team Blue, it’s usually more of a complaint about out of control Both Sides Do It and He Said / She Said journalism without much analysis of whether what He Said was factually correct.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  62. MBunge says:

    @superdestroyer: “You should look at how one party states and cities work.”

    You mean like Texas, Mississippi and Missouri? The media is cozy with politicians all over the place.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  63. superdestroyer says:

    @de stijl:

    The reason that TEam blue beleives that things are not biased is because the media is biased for them. It is more than being blatantly biased but in choice of story (See CNN black in america series that is very blatant for promoting policies promoted by the left of the Democratic party), how the story is reported (leaving off race as part of the description of a black assailant but always including it for whites), and the stacking of round tables (the CNN trick of having three Democrats and one Republican).

    Someone of the left will see a round table discussion with three Democrats and one Republican as balanced but the right will see it as biased. The best example of unbiased is CSPAN and it looks very different than CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  64. superdestroyer says:

    @MBunge:

    The Texas State Senate has 19 Republicans and 12 Democrats. Democrats have controlled both houses for less than a decade. The media in Houston is definitely left leaning and the largest cities in Texas lean Democratic. However, the Republicans dominate the white majority suburbs.

    Compare that to Maryland where the Democrats have 35 seats to the Republicans 12. Also, the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post are very left leaning and almost never endorse a Republican. That is why stories about how bad the schools are in Baltimore are never reported.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  65. de stijl says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Thanks for proving my point!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  66. Lit3Bolt says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Shouldn’t you be posting on Minutemen border patrol message boards or running for Mayor of Elohim City?

    Better yet, go make some white babies before posting…it might help you relax and make a coherent point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  67. MBunge says:

    @superdestroyer: “The Texas State Senate has 19 Republicans and 12 Democrats.”

    The Texas House of Representatives has 101 Republicans to 49 Democrats and Texas has had Republican governors for the last 16 years.

    And that fact that you are apparently unaward of the existence of the Washington Times may be more relevant as to why the media isn’t as pro-Republican as you would prefer.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  68. superdestroyer says:

    @MBunge:

    The Washington Times is basically irrelevant. The Washington Examiner is the more mainstream conservative paper in DC these days. The Washingotn Blade probably has a bigger circulation than the Washington Times.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  69. superdestroyer says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    Is that the best anyone of the left can do? To play the race card instead of actually providing a cite or providing any sort of argument that most networks do not lean left. I guess when I am watching all of the former Democratic staffers on CNN, ABC, MSNBC, etc, I should be looking for all of the former Republican staffers. But since almost none of them are on the networks, they are hard to find.

    Maybe you should ask Chris Matthews or george Stephanopoulos or Cokie Roberts about being unbiased.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  70. superdestroyer says:

    @de stijl:

    Which part of Soledad O’Brien is the unbiased part? Which part of black in America where they accused Silicon Valley (generally Asians) of being racist is the unbiased part? See http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/in.america/black.in.america/

    I wonder how many stories are done on CNN where they accuse whites of being racist versus how many stories ever point out that blacks commit crimes at a per capita rate that is seven (7) times the per capita rate for whites or more than eight (8) times the per capita rate for Asians?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  71. Stan says:

    @superdestroyer: As we all know, it’s impossible to pass social welfare legislation in the United States unless a powerful business interest makes money in the process. The food stamp program is an example. It helps poor people but it also helps farmers, food processors, and grocery chains. People in your camp can’t eliminate food stamps, much as they’d like to, because Walmart and Cargill have too much clout.

    The Obama administration understood this when it set out to pass the Affordable Care Act, and therefore it took pains to get organized medicine, the pharmaceutical industry, and as many of the health insurers as it could on its side. This was not to win Republican votes, an impossibility in the present climate, but rather to prevent defections by conservative Democrats. It accomplished this by dropping a public option and by refusing to allow the government to bargain about the price of prescription drugs or the cost of medical procedures. My witless fellow liberals were appalled by this, but it was necessary. The folks who provide us health care, and I include the insurers, will get 30 million new customers. That’s a lot of money.
    They realize that they’ll have to conform to the rather weak cost controls in the Affordable Care Act, but they think it’s well worth it.

    I read this blog and David Frum’s because I like to see how intelligent conservatives think. I understand their objections to an overly intrusive government and their outrage that their money is used to support people who they feel should be able to provide for themselves. By the same token, I think that conservatives should understand that most of the people on my side of the political fence don’t want total governmental control of the economy and recognize that for a private enterprise economy to work, businesses have to make a profit. You seem to feel that we’re all pining for Stalinism or that we’re willing to regulate our most vital industries to death out of sheer malice. This is silly of you, and it’s naive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  72. MBunge says:

    @superdestroyer: “The Washington Times is basically irrelevant. The Washington Examiner is the more mainstream conservative paper in DC these days.”

    And the fact that Washington DC has not one but two right-leaning newspapers doesn’t AT ALL undermine your liberal media paranoia.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  73. MBunge says:

    @superdestroyer: “providing any sort of argument that most networks do not lean left.

    When you got the point of accusing CNBC of having a liberal bias, you pretty much put yourself past the point of being worth it.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  74. de stijl says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Joe Scarborough
    Michael Steele
    Pat Buchanan

    And that’s just on MSNBC – the so called liberal news channel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  75. Hey Norm says:

    I always thought Kleins deal with the WaPo was that he was an independent who sold his product… Much like Nate Silver sells his product to the NYTimes. Am I missing sumptin’?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  76. ponce says:

    That is why stories about how bad the schools are in Baltimore are never reported.

    Superdestroyer,

    The key to being an effective wingnut ranter is never, ever make a claim like this that can be objectively disproven.

    Took me all of 10 seconds to find this article in the Balitmore Sun:

    Baltimore, like many recession-battered cities, has struggled. Its public schools are decrepit. A report last year from the American Civil Liberties Union found 70 percent of Baltimore schools in deplorable condition, with an estimated $2.8 billion in improvements needed.

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-public-places-20110908,0,221943.story

    There are 122 article from this year alone talking about what bad shape the Baltimore schools are in.

    Stick to making the usual vague, nonsensical fringe right rants that are the staple of the Republican blogosphere.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  77. G.A.Phillips says:

    I don’t watch MSNBC much, but when I do I don’t see anybody pitching for socialism.

    lol…more like Alinsky’s mob ruled communist chaos.But it is nice to see the entire MSNBC viewership come here and attack and vote down the one guy crazy enough and speak a little common sense….lol, probably some staff too….I do wonder what some of you do for a living seeing you are always here doing the group-think blitzkrieg….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  78. DRS says:

    You guys should take a lesson from the commenters on Daniel Larison’s Eunomia blog. When Superdestroyer infested that site and posted almost identical whines about the media and the folly of covering Republicans when Democrats were going to something-or-other-which-I-can’t-remember-offhand, the other commenters ignored him and he left after a few months.

    If you don’t feed the trolls, they’ll eventually go away.

    (Surfacing only because SD is really pushing the annoyance envelope today)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  79. “I believe that socialism is defined as the state control of the economy but not state ownership.”

    No one that understands political science defines socialism as that.


    ” Health care in the U.S. is about as close to socialism since CMS pays for about 50% of health care and all of the other providers know what the reinbursement rates are. CMS can kill drug, procedures, equip manufacturers, and providers by lowering reinbursement rates below costs. ”

    No, it´s more complicated.The United States has a very generous public health care system to anyone that´s 65 or older, but offers nothing to people in the working age. But medical costs are extremely high. It´s ludicrous to have to pay thousands of dollars for single procedures, like a broken leg.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  80. steve says:

    @Superdestroyer-

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A46077-2005Jan28.html

    “Is that the best anyone of the left can do? To play the race card instead of actually providing a cite or providing any sort of argument that most networks do not lean left. I guess when I am watching all of the former Democratic staffers on CNN, ABC, MSNBC, etc, I should be looking for all of the former Republican staffers. But since almost none of them are on the networks, they are hard to find.”

    There are dozens of books and papers looking at the issue of media bias. Some are pretty awful, like the one that claimed the Drudge Report was liberal, but many make a serious attempt to look for bias. Some find a liberal bias, some find none and some find conservative bias. My sense is that a true meta-analysis would find a small liberal bias. But, that was not the question in the post. Klein is doing the same things that other opinion writers do. Conservative writers meet with GOP officials. They write for explicitly partisan sites like Weekly Standard while also writing for MSM outlets. The longest running, most influential conservative media figures, like Will and Krauthammer, are involved in direct partisan activities while also writing for the WaPo. This has become the norm. What Klein did was not new.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  81. steve says:

    ” Health care in the U.S. is about as close to socialism since CMS pays for about 50% of health care and all of the other providers know what the reinbursement rates are. CMS can kill drug, procedures, equip manufacturers, and providers by lowering reinbursement rates below costs. ”

    CMS does not control what I do, it is simply another insurance payor. A socialist health care system would look like the VA system. Private insurance pays, on average, about 20% more than does Medicare, though fro some specialties it is almost 300% more. This large discrepancy, plus some research, suggests that it is private insurance which drives costs in the system. Medicare needs to raise fees to keep up with private insurers.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  82. Console says:

    Superdestroyer, king of the red herrings. But I’ll bite.

    You do realize that the same people that bitch about campaign finance restrictions are the same type of people that defeated laws like the fairness doctrine? Why do we have to go through this cycle where liberals solve problems, conservatives repeal laws and recreate these problems… then get amnesia and pretend there’s no other way things can be?

    If there’s something wrong with what Ezra does, it is because conservatives helped to create the political media climate we live in. If there’s something to be done about it, it’s not going to get done by pretending things like the fairness doctrine didn’t exist to deal with the very concerns you raise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  83. superdestroyer says:

    While watcing the Chris Hayes show on MSNBC this morning, it is humorous to see Ezra Klein discussing the super committee while being described as being from Washingtonpost.com. No disclaimer, no discussion of the conflicts of interest, no mention of any controversy.

    If MSNBC was honest, they would use the term “Democratic strategist” that fox news uses to describe many of their commenters.

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  84. superdestroyer says:

    @MBunge:

    The Washington Examiner is given away for free. If it depended upon subscribers, it would not be in business.

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  85. superdestroyer says:

    @de stijl:

    Michele Steele and Pat Buchanan do not have their own shows but appear on round table shows where they are matched with several liberals.

    Joe Scarborough is always paired with Mika Brzezinski, Jeffery Sachs, MIke Barnacle, Harold Ford, Jr, and other liberals.

    I guess that is why liberals believe that networks like CNN are neutral. They give a conservative a few minutes to be yelled at by several liberals.

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  86. superdestroyer says:

    @ponce:

    Ponce, You linked to an article written by someone from North Carolina and who is writing about the need to spend billions more on government programs. Once again, the article you linked to demonstrates how the media in a one party state is hand-in-hand with the government.

    The Baltimore Sun has 68 stories about school cafeterias where the Baltimore public schools are spending money it does not have for SWPL style food.

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  87. superdestroyer says:

    @André Kenji de Sousa:

    CMS set the reinbursement for Zevalin below costs. That caused all of the hospitals to give up the idea of providing the treatment. If the reinbursement for an older treatment is above costs and the reinbursement for something new is below costs, the CMS is basically dictating what will be done in medicine.

    As the power of CMS grows, it will have an even larger effect on healthcare, what treatments are offered and what is not offered.

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  88. superdestroyer says:

    @Console:

    The Fairness Doctrine was designed to make the U.S. a one-party-state where the establishment media could slant stories and the right could do nothing about it.

    If the U.S. had a Fairness Doctrine today, the U.S. would be a one-party-state where the government would harass anyone on the right who criticized it. See http://www.ij.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1269&Itemid=165

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  89. steve says:

    “CMS set the reinbursement for Zevalin below costs. That caused all of the hospitals to give up the idea of providing the treatment. If the reinbursement for an older treatment is above costs and the reinbursement for something new is below costs, the CMS is basically dictating what will be done in medicine.”

    Do you work in medicine? If you have worked in the area for a while, and have to deal with billing issues, then you probably understand this. It often takes a while to correctly value new services. Private insurers often underpay or refuse to pay for new services. I currently have 3 private insurers that pay me less than cost fro services that the hospital wants. I would also point out that it is the drug manufacturer who is defining cost.

    Steve

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