Several of you called “Inside Baseball” regarding my post a little bit ago that included Ezra Klein’s tweet that the Lieberman office is calling around asking about him, but failing to call him directly. That made me state “With Wittmann sniffing around Ezra, you have to wonder how long is before Hiatt has Klein working alongside Froomkin at the HuffPo.”
I really didn’t think this was that inside baseball, because I am sure most of you know what happened to Froomkin. Having said that, I guess many of you don’t realize what a perilous position a young guy like Ezra is currently in. Let me run it down (at least as I see it):
A few things about Lieberman’s office calling around asking about Ezra:
1.) Wittmann is a former Trotskyite, just like half the rest of the current neocon establishment. You know all that shit the wingnuts state about Saul Alinsky and the Obama WH following rules for radicals– it is nonsense, of course- but for the neocons, it isn’t. They follow those rules. See anyone who opposed the Iraq War, see anyone who stands up to the AIPAC lobby, etc. These guys would think nothing of exerting a little pressure, snuffing Ezra’s job, which would both silence a critic and send a message.
2.) Ezra is young and has, compared to his enemies, very few ties to the DC establishment. Sure, he has the TAPPED crowd and Podesta at ThinkProgress, but that is about it, and he is railing against some entrenched interests. Not only entrenched big money like the insurance and pharm and health industry, but the whole establishment. Wittmann has ties to the Christian Coalition, worked for John McCain, the DLC, Lieberman has deep ties, etc. The entire premise of his blog was to mock the “nutroots,” and our paths crossed politically as I was moving to the left and he was moving to the right.
3.) Ezra has already made enemies with folks that Lieberman and Wittman are tied to in one way or another. The goon squads at the Weekly Standard and Commentary hate him because Ezra has made remarks regarding Israel that fall out of line with what they want, Marty Peretz refers to Ezra as the “juice box mafia” and would not think twice about destroying him, Micky Kaus hates him because he wasn’t invited to the Journolist and even has a tag for the juicebox mafia, and I wouldn’t be shocked to hear them step up the rhetoric in the next couple of weeks, calling him a self-hating Jew, etc.
4.) He has no left flank to defend him. The idiot purists in the progressive wing have been savaging him daily on their blogs. Hell, we’ve all read the “progressive” blogs call him the “”>village scribe” or accused him of going native on a daily basis, and others have been launching similar attacks at him for months.
When you put it all together, what Ezra is doing takes balls. You may not agree with him all the time, but he has shown more nuts in a few months than 99% of the people who occupy positions in our media. I’ll quite frankly be shocked to see him there for more than a few more months. He is making all the right enemies, yet the folks who should be his friends are too stupid to support him. His dust up with Charlie Lane today was another example of the kind of thing we should all be standing up and cheering. That took balls.
You can count me pretty solidly in the pro-Ezra Klein camp.