Ezra Klein: From ‘Journolist’ To Liberal Activist

Posted by on Nov 29, 2011 at 8:16 am

In the early days of the Gulf War, pundits marveled at the specter of Iraqi troops surrendering to journalists. Well, now it’s even worse: Journalists are giving the Democratic Party its talking points.

The Washington Post’s 27-year-old star blogger Ezra Klein has been called “whiz kid,” and “brat packer” and a “wunderkind.” Now he’s actually advising Democratic chiefs of staff, briefing them last week about the supercommittee in Congress, according to a report by Fishbowl-DC on MediaBistro.com.

That means the relatively novel idea that bloggers can be placed on an equal footing with reporters in congressional briefings has been one-upped: Bloggers like Klein are now giving the briefings.

That’s because Klein himself sports the imprimatur of one of the most vaunted news organizations in the world, the Washington Post. He’s supposed to have the Post’s high standards. But instead of reporting the news, even at a slant, as bloggers do, Klein takes bias beyond that. Instead of commenting on news, he makes it.

The problem here is not just that he blurs the lines between journalism and activism. It’s that the Post is perfectly content with it, and Klein himself says that such activism is actually part of his media ethos.

Think we are kidding? The Washington Post’s executive editor, Marcus Brauchli told the Washingtonian last year that Klein “is a new paradigm,” for journalism, and “one we would very much like to replicate.”

Amazingly, this is all a matter of the public record.

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