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Journalist market bubble already showing signs of bursting?

I have been skeptical of the trading value of journalists, whose prices have been bid up, “Journalists” are the new no-money-down mortgages:

A whole lot of money is chasing the new cool kids, the newly name-branded “journalists” like Ezra Klein and Glenn Greenwald, who bring their friends along with them to the bottomless internet money pits….

I suppose the founder of First Look Media, who also was the founder of eBay, doesn’t much care if he loses tens of millions of dollar to buy ego-journalists, but what about the others. How will traditional media deal with the raising of everyone’s boat from the combination of ego-journalism and superlative-mania?

The bidding up of mostly mediocre journalism has to end badly.

Bubble always do end badly. And no one expects it.

Ezra Klein’s is off to a rocky start, with a fair amount of mockery all around.  It remains to be seen if people read Ezra Klein because he was at WaPo, or read WaPo because Ezra Klein was there.  I’m betting on the former.

The Intercept, starring Glenn Greewald, is off to a less than spectacular start.  After a handful of posts, which did not impress me and mostly regurgitated what we already knew, it has gone silent, leading to this explanation from former Gawker editor and now Intercept editor John Cook:

Hello. My name is John Cook, and as of three weeks ago I became the editor-in-chief of The Intercept. Since then, we haven’t published much material on the site, and that’s been on purpose. I’d like to take a moment to catch interested readers up on where we are and what you can expect from us over the coming weeks and months….

Those things still have not been worked out, and over the past three weeks I have begun the process of resolving them in collaboration with the remarkably talented team that has already been assembled here. Until we have completed the work of getting staffed up and conceptually prepared for the launch of a full-bore news operation that will be producing a steady stream of shit-kicking stories, The Intercept will be narrowly focusing on one thing and one thing only: Reporting out stories from the NSA archive as quickly and responsibly as is practicable. We will do so at a tempo that suits the material. When we are prepared to publish those stories, we will publish them. When we are not, we will be silent for a time, unless Glenn Greenwald has some blogging he wants to do, because no one can stop Glenn Greenwald from blogging.

In other words, The Intercept was not ready but was launched anyway.  And the only thing it has going for it now are more Snowden leaks.

There is so much money behing The Intercept, that I’m not betting against it. But once the Snowden leaks dry up and/or grow tiresome to readers (if they haven’t already), what then?

Looks like a bubble in the early stages of bursting.


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LukeHandCool | April 15, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Tip toe through the tulips, but don’t buy them.

All I’m hearing is .. “I’m special and I want you to know it”

    Musson in reply to Neo. | April 16, 2014 at 8:27 am

    “I know you are special. But, I have ten other guys who will do you job for free.”

Henry Hawkins | April 15, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Sometimes preachers get a big head and open their own churches only to learn too late that the choir hasn’t any reason to change churches. No choir, no audience.

I’m amazed at the low quality of Vox material and the absolute ease others have had in rebutting the nonsense therein.

It’s really an amazing thing to know, that people tend to gravitate towards the truth. Just as the movie Noah flopped after it’s 1st week bait-and-switch, the media outlets which don’t focus on providing information timely and objectively, and letting readers debate/comment on the stories, will find themselves bereft of an audience.

gee….what a tragedy…I am heartbroken they are failing. no really. I mean it. really.
HA 🙂

Somehow this whole thing reminds me of Ezra’s approach to the (non)success of Obamacare — his text stating Sebelius’ departure was because of her success — pretending there’s something positive there when there’s really not. It’ll be fun to watch these guys go down in flames.

    murkyv in reply to Helen. | April 15, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    “The issue of the Constitution is that the text is confusing because it was written more than 100 years ago…”

    Ezra Klein in 2010

BannedbytheGuardian | April 15, 2014 at 7:00 pm

I find I don’t read articles or opinion pieces anymore , but go straight to the comments.

Why do I have an urge to hear Don Ho sing Tiny Bubbles?

Sometime about junior high a group of cute teeny bopper girls laughed at Ezra Klein and publicly made fun of him. They turned him into a nerdy monster who needs a lifetime pass to an psychologist’s couch more than he needs to be telling real, honest, well adapted and normal people what to think and how to think.

The boy needs to overcome his wedgie roots and face up to the fact that he is never going to get the cheerleader.

fulldroolcup | April 16, 2014 at 1:33 am

“It remains to be seen if people read Ezra Klein because he was at WaPo, or read WaPo because Ezra Klein was there.

I’m betting on the former.


How about, “read WaPo because Ezra Klein is no longer there.”

Klein, Yglesias, and Greenwald have always been first rate self-promoters. None is a particularly gifted writer.

Greenwald is a proven liar and deceiver who is of the far left and hates America with passion. You may recall one of the telltale signs of his sock puppets was how they inevitably regressed into reciting his resume and praising him in extravagant terms.

Klein constructed this “wonk” persona out of whole cloth. He is not actually well versed in policy details, he is only familiar enough with the arguments in favor of state-provided health care and the jargon used to bluff his way with the less-educated reader. Wow, he has charts and graphs, he must know something!

The truth is both he and Yglesias have been wrong in their every economic prediction, and especially about the effects of ObamaCare. These boys aren’t experts on anything, they are remarkably like their hero Obama: without any substance, but glib enough to fool those who don’t look too closely.

    Elliott in reply to Estragon. | April 16, 2014 at 6:54 am

    Their statistical analysis of anything is embarrassing to read. Neither of these guys has even a basic understanding of statistics. Now they are going to not understand how to run a business. They will last as long as their investors are prepared to loose money for the sake of propaganda.

Ezra Klein and Glenn Greenwald, the Bitcoins of ego journalism, are of no value if no one accepts them.

“the trading value of journalists”

Unless you have their rookie card, it’s just an expensive hobby.

G. de La Hoya | April 16, 2014 at 10:31 am

Professor Jacobson was able to fill a niche with LI. I have never read Klein, Greenwald, or Yglesias. One cannot fill a niche when they are useful idiots.

Henry Hawkins | April 16, 2014 at 10:31 am

What follows is the preamble to the code of ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists. Try not to gag:


Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.

Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility. Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society’s principles and standards of practice.


Having read that, name as many ethical journalists as you can.

In other words, The Intercept was not ready but was launched anyway.

Ahh, someone adopted the Obamacare Exchange software development model….