James Taranto: Ezra Klein's Vox Is Just 'Dumbed-Down' Liberal Opinion

In the June American Spectator, James Taranto writes a takedown of Ezra Klein's new Internet venture. It's titled "All You Need to Know..is that Ezra Klein's Vox is nothing special." Taranto argues that "explanatory journalism" has been around for decades -- a category of the Pulitzer Prize since 1985 -- and this is just the latest way liberals have packaged their editorializing. Vox is "a dumbed-down version of a long-extant mode of reporting."

Taranto cited Klein's memorable opinion piece for Vox titled "Kathleen Sebelius Is Resigning Because Obamacare has Won."

In the end, apart from the provocative headline, there was little to distinguish Klein's Obamacare cheerleading from that of legions of other liberal writers. Many of them work for more conventional outlets, including Klein's former employer, The Washington Post.

A few years ago the Associated Press introducted "accountability journalism," which turned out to be a fancy term for opinion masquerading as straight news (see Presswatch, TAS, September 2007). "Fact checking" used to mean reportorial due diligence, butr now refers to opinion pieces with a pretense of objective authority (see Presswatch, TAS, December 2008/January 2009). "Explanatory journalism" looks to be more of the same -- a new package containing the same old liberal product.

PS: You may also want to check out the June issue for a debate between two Team MRC veterans -- former CNSNews reporter Matt Cover and former NewsBusters contributing editor Lachlan Markay. The topic? "Is donor disclosure good for the Right?" Cover argues the affirmative, Markay the negative.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis