Ezra Klein to WaPo

The Washington Post company continues its consolidation of the media universe with the hire of Ezra Klein.   Politico’s Michael Calderone breaks the news:

The American Prospect’s Ezra Klein, one of the top bloggers on politics and policy, is heading to the Washington Post.

Rumors about Klein’s upcoming move spread on Wednesday night during a reception thrown by The Nation magazine in honor of D.C. bureau chief Chris Hayes.

A Post spokesperson confirmed to POLITICO this morning that Klein was hired as a blogger at washingtonpost.com and is expected to start in about a month.

Klein, a 24-year-old associate editor at the Prospect, writes frequently on health care issues. And he also runs JournoList, an off-the-record listserv of mostly left-of-center bloggers and academics, along with nonpartisan reporters.

Matt Yglesias offers his congratulations, which I second.  I also concur with Matt’s praise for recent acquisitions at the Post, most notably the superb revamping of ForeignPolicy.com into a blog megaverse.

Matt is, however, a bit leery:

After all, one thing all decent progressive blogs do is point out semi-regularly that the Washington Post opinion section is a pretty rotten operation. You have liars like Charles Krauthammer and George Will penning regular columns, alongside less-egregious but still pretty pernicious stuff like David Ignatius’ apologia for war crimes and so forth. […] People don’t go after their bosses with hatchets. So while hiring Ezra makes the Post less hatchet-worthy, it also means that we’re down a hatchet-wielder. That’s the dark lining in my silver cloud.

The Washington Post is a newspaper, not an ideological journal like TAP.  Ignatius is a highly respected moderate-left commentator who, in this instance, has written something that many on the Left (and a few of us on the Right) disagree with. So?

As to Will and Krauthammer, the criticism is largely overblown.  Will has repeated some dubious assertions about global warming and written some silly things about denim; he’s nonetheless a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and still pens more excellent pieces than bad ones.  Krauthammer has written some truly brilliant pieces over the years along with some junk.  Again, so?

Will Ezra be doing a lot of anti-WaPo blogging while on WaPo’s dime?  Likely not.  But WaPo’s editors aren’t likely to log into his account and write embarrassing disclaimers, either.  Life is trade-offs and the Post gives Ezra a much bigger megaphone to write about health care and other issues he cares about.  If that means we’re denied the incredibly rare Ezra Klein anti-WaPo rant, the world will go on.

Photo by Flickr user electoralmath, used under Creative Commons license.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Congratulations to Mr. Klein.

    On another matter, why are so many self-proclaimed progressives like Young Mr. Yglesias such buttheads? Of course, everyone really agrees with him, so if you write something to the contrary you must be a liar?

  2. A Squirrel says:

    Ignatius is a highly respected moderate-left commentator who, in this instance, has written something that many on the Left (and a few of us on the Right) disagree with.

    Highly respected by whom? And could you please point me to a “brilliant”(!?!?!) Krauthammer piece?

    I take your point, more or less, but isn’t that a bit much? Most major op-eds are rubbish.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Highly respected by whom?

    The same sorts of people who respect, say, David Broder or Daniel Stern.

    And could you please point me to a “brilliant”(!?!?!) Krauthammer piece?

    Krauthammer has written some incredibly important pieces, going back at least to his 1990 “Unipolar Moment” essay in Foreign Policy.

  4. A Squirrel says:

    Fair enough. Perhaps I can find that piece somewhere online. (Can’t get it at FA) However, that’s a long time ago…

  5. Steve Verdon says:

    Yglesias calling people liars…hmmm…

    This is guy who has written on taxing more people, increasing taxes, and items to be taxed. And here he is asking for help in cheating on his taxes. Liar? How about massively inconsistent.