Monday :: Jun 16, 2014

About Our New Young Media Turks


by paradox

In a fascinating and fervently hoped-for evolution of success three successful internet writers have been bankrolled by new media money to create fresh journalism outlets: Nate Silver at 538, Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept, and Ezra Klein at Vox. They’ve been out of the gate for a while and it’s time to check in with some first impressions.

Success is so earnestly hoped for and the presence of new hotshots given serious money because a huge majority of the country is absolutely disgusted with the vapid, stupid, manipulative, corporate kiss-ass disgrace we have for alleged journalism in the United States.

Just yesterday the putrid Sunday spittle display foamed with yapping warmongers desperate to see more of our people killed for nothing. For years mainstream journalism presented climate change deniers with total legitimacy when in fact they’d been sick delusional liars with no scientific standing at all. Knowing Americans were being spied upon, they still let intellectual punks like Bush and Cheney bully them into shutting up.1

So whatever criticisms that may soon come forth—some will be very tough indeed—my dear young media Turks, please know that still I so hope for your eventual total success with every atom in my body. Successful political and cultural publishing is a very difficult and I was amused with the breezy confidence it was taken on, but I still admire the bravery and the attempt very much. Thank you, keep going, keep learning and changing, our politics and the country need you very much.

[sigh] Mr. Nate Silver of 538, bankrolled by ESPN. [throws up hands] What the fuck is the matter with you? One of the very first things you publicly did with the keys to 538 was to get into a ridiculous prolonged fight with Paul Krugman!

Paul Krugman has been a liberal hero and leading intellectual light for well over a decade, through some of our darkest evil times when no one else was writing the truth. Hello? Paul Krugman has a Nobel Prize in Economics, that’s a little different accomplishment level than being a publisher!

So passionate liberal media addicts were instantly alienated, do you want to make it without us? Heh. I keep reading through the grapevine you’ve hired a climate denier quack, and that there are diversity problems in your hiring. A terrible start.

Do I read or visit 538 regularly? No. I see a smart, passionate numbers geek with zero political or publishing perspective who’s hot at election time and is still looking to apply that formula on a weekly basis. A very good clean functional web design--excellent navigation--with an emphasis on diversity in a very good writer lineup. Content far too much on the fluffy side.

[smiles] Mr. Ezra Klein, Vox. I smile because Klein has by far been the most audacious and daring publisher of all three Turks, good new ideas and formats with strongly factual reporting that I read on a daily basis.

I don’t like the design at Vox, the colors don’t work, yet I don’t dislike it either, and I am reminded that truly new elements always push mental boundaries in ways we often don’t like. Heh, I don’t trust Vox to give me everything I need to know (I’d scale that back a little) or its snobbish self-superior tone of objectivity, but then I filter all sites I visit with their limitations.

By far the most ambitious and successful start of any of the Turks in publishing terms, and although I was very hard on Klein recently for proclaiming doom with climate change I still think well of him and hope for the best.

Ah, the inimitable Mr. Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept. I see a strange snapshot of circumstance currently at The Intercept I’m impatient to see change, currently it’s just a new metamorphosis of the legendary Glenzilla in a new web site, but it was supposed to be a multi-layered journalism site of at least a few writers; Marcy Wheeler signed on and then left.

John Cook is the editor at The Intercept, and all I can say is feed the beast, John, one of the most forceful and accomplished journalists of our times writes at your site, but it isn’t enough to meet expectations of media consumers like myself. I don’t know what the issue is in the least, I just hope more diverse and consistent publishing comes forth soon, I visit the site often but there’s not much new to read.

It’s just a start for all three of them, they’re young and they’ve taken on a lot. Good luck, we’re all hoping for the best, and no mistakes so far will hold you back at all in reaching your hopes and goals.






[1] My current view of US journalism is very dark, yes, but conversely if you’re a good real journalist or blogger I’ll idolize you and help all I can. [shrugs] It’s just the sort of person I am, journalists have no more inherent value to the Republic than engineers or biologists or whatever.

Also, too, it is not my doing but local teevee journalism is broadcast into the living room every evening, these very good humans in the screens know my work. I respect what you do and admire your accomplishments, I understand the limitations placed upon you in this time and place, and I dream of being so consistently professional at your level. This isn’t your fight, please be well.

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