Keeping Up with the Cool Kids

Reader J sent some links to help keep up with the cool kids. First, Nate Silver: ESPN is combining Grantland, 538 and ESPN films into one unit called “Exit 31”. The new 538 will launch next Monday, Dios mediante.

Then, Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias and the rest of that bunch: Ezra’s new gig will be called Vox, and here’s the teaser site.

Finally, to verify that the Times is going to smother any kind of effort to make a new 538-like site that challenges all the little Bill Kellers, we have “The Upshot”:

“The Upshot.” That’s the name the New York Times is giving to its new data-driven venture, focused on politics, policy and economic analysis and designed to fill the void left by Nate Silver, the one-man traffic machine whose statistical approach to political reporting was a massive success.

David Leonhardt, the Times’ former Washington bureau chief, who is in charge of The Upshot, told Quartz that the new venture will have a dedicated staff of 15, including three full-time graphic journalists, and is on track for a launch this spring. […]

Putting the DC bureau chief in charge is a clear message that Daddy’s home and you kids better watch out.

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129 replies
  1. 1
    BGinCHI says:

    I have not read a physical newspaper in about 2 years. I am showing no signs of withdrawal.

    Used to be a big fan of newspapers and was sure their demise would signal the end of civilization. I was dead wrong. They are dinosaurs in need of a well-aimed asteroid.

  2. 2
    MikeJ says:

    Am I the only person who finds it bizarre that basing reporting on facts is considered a new, specific sub-genre of reporting?

  3. 3
    c u n d gulag says:

    The Times doesn’t get that what mad 538 great, was Nate Silver himself.

    And they stupidly let him get away.

    And now they put David Leonhardt in charge?

    How cool is that?
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. 4
    Cervantes says:

    Putting the DC bureau chief in charge is a clear message that Daddy’s home and you kids better watch out.

    Leonhardt is a kid.

  5. 5
    MikeJ says:

    Did you note that Ezra’s wife will be occasionally writing for them?

    Leonhardt expects some of the Times’ high-profile reporters such as Binyamin Appelbaum and Annie Lowrey to frequently contribute to The Upshot, which will also have a dedicated presence in the Times’ print editions each week.

  6. 6
    Brian R. says:

    Leonhardt is great. Why the complaints?

  7. 7
    Brian R. says:

    @Cervantes:

    Yeah, he’s 40. Not exactly talking about John McCain here.

  8. 8
    Cervantes says:

    @MikeJ: You may be. Their allergy to data was acquired long ago.

  9. 9
    SP says:

    Maybe they’ll do statistical analyses of how many of the gang of 500 are following which stories and whether they’re a significant spread between narrative A and B, according to senior anonymous administration sources. Winning the day, outside the MOE!

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    Didn’t Massachusetts just within the last week pass a bill to make upshots illegal?

  11. 11
    Fake Irishman says:

    We’ll see — Leonhardt used to run the Times’ Economix blog before he went to DC. He’s quite numerically literate and very comfortable with data-driven journalism. I also know the Times has been advertising heavily among recent social science PhDs for this venture as well.

  12. 12
    Violet says:

    Leonhardt, from the link:

    “The idea behind the name is, we are trying to help readers get to the essence of issues and understand them in a contextual and conversational way,” Leonhardt says. “Obviously, we will be using data a lot to do that, not because data is some secret code, but because it’s a particularly effective way, when used in moderate doses, of explaining reality to people.”

    Why bother readers’ pretty little heads with that difficult data stuff? Just cherry pick the facts that fit whatever story you’re writing and use those!

    Plus, isn’t helping readers understand issues in a contextual way what used to pass for reporting?

  13. 13
    Tommy says:

    @BGinCHI: LOL. I used to have three newspapers on my desk everyday. NYT. Washington Post. WSJ. I will admit I miss my hands getting dirty reading them. I used to get maybe 15 magazines a month. I have not gotten a single print media outlet in maybe 10 years.

    Heck, I have maybe 1,000 books in my house. Said I’d NEVER read a book on a tablet. Now I read books on a tablet.

    The times are ….. well they have changed.

  14. 14
    BGinCHI says:

    @Tommy: Exactly. Same here except for books. I don’t mind the tablet or reading on my laptop, but I still prefer physical books. Can’t shake that….

  15. 15
    Butch says:

    I have to admit that my opinion of both Klein and Yglesias has been plummeting for some time now; judging by the review of the Vox over at Wonkette I don’t think I’m completely alone.

  16. 16
    scav says:

    graphic journalists? oh how sweet, although I don’t know which aspect to laugh at more. I am fascinated by the graphic display of information (maps plus graphics origin) but still. waving it about so early and hard makes me think USAtoday infographic vapor rather than Guardian Datastore. Data and method first, then the means of communication / wrapping paper .

  17. 17
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @BGinCHI: I agree wrt books. One can really browse through a book or remember that the passage one wants find is about 2/3s of the way through near the bottom of the left hand page. And shit like that.

  18. 18
    Tommy says:

    @BGinCHI: My father who owns a house just for his books wants to disown me for reading a book on a tablet. For me it happened when I got Dan Brown’s latest book (yes I do like the guy).

    I don’t know many technical words about art so that I could look them up in a book, well that was cool. Then when I saw I could, when a piece of art was referenced, I could see it within the book (or a browser really) via Google Maps, I was floored.

    Brought a new level of reading to me …..

    I have to admit I am not totally there yet. I mean $11.99 for most e-Books but only $19.99 at Barnes, don’t get why the savings isn’t more. Plus, well I am a used bookstore kind of guy. I often don’t even pay $2 for many books. Plus, I can’t give the book to my father or anybody else.

  19. 19
    Anoniminous says:

    The Business Model: have “graphic journalists” make pretty pictures out of cherry picked data to publish in a newspaper few read and fewer pay for.

    Give it two years.

  20. 20
    hugely says:

    @Brian R.: agreed he is one of the bylines i seem to trust not sure why maybe use of data

  21. 21
    catclub says:

    @Violet: I think deciding on the quality of the new section, based on a snippet of an interview, is kind of like not looking at the data, or the actual product.

    Maybe Upskirt was taken. ‘Upskirt: Drawing back the kimono to show the details.’
    Total win.

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    I can’t believe wannabe redditor cool kid Greenwald humper muckymux hasn’t been wackin it to this all morning:
    Feinstein: CIA searched Intelligence Committee computers

  23. 23
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Tommy:

    … I got Dan Brown’s latest book (yes I do like the guy).

    As long as you don’t admire that wretched prose style of his.

  24. 24
    Cervantes says:

    @Fake Irishman:

    We’ll see — Leonhardt used to run the Times’ Economix blog before he went to DC. He’s quite numerically literate and very comfortable with data-driven journalism. I also know the Times has been advertising heavily among recent social science PhDs for this venture as well.

    Leonhardt tries much harder than most journalists these days. Like all of us, he has made his mistakes. Re this new venture I’m willing to reserve judgment.

    Hiring “recent social science PhDs” is neither here nor there. The Times has always hired good thinkers and mediocre thinkers and non-thinkers. The question has always been how much latitude the good thinkers will be given; or rather, how much latitude they sense they have.

  25. 25
    Joel says:

    Leonhardt is good, though.

  26. 26
    evolved beyond the fist mistermix says:

    WRT Leonhardt: he was good as an economics columnist, but being the head of the Times’ DC bureau, which cranks out some of the most milquetoast, data-phobic, view-from-nowhere, running-away-from-liberals “analysis” I’ve ever seen, is no recommendation for the 538 replacement. And the difference between him and Klein or Silver is that both of those guys sought new jobs in order to focus on the kind of writing they want to do. Leonhardt is more of a company man and what made 538 and Wonkblog good is that they were separate from the company and were willing to walk away to preserve their independence.

  27. 27
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Tommy: @BGinCHI: I find tablets only work with what I call airplane reading– the paperbacks I used to read once and give away. Anything where I want to flip back through a few pages, or that has foot/endnotes or an index, I can’t adapt to the tablet with those. That may be because I’m old, or my first generation iPad is old (one of the rare times I was an early adapter, an impulse purchase at the Apple store). Tablets are also good for longer magazine articles. No subscription cards

  28. 28
    Mike E says:

    @scav: I think I still have my copy of National Lampoon’s parody of The USA Today somewhere. “Millions of little boxes.” Heh.

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I have all the Louis L’Amour books on my tablet but I still prefer to skim through the physical books. I don’t actually “read” them anymore, as I know them by heart. But there are still segments in many I enjoy focusing on, every now and then.

  30. 30
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: So you have outed yourself as Derf at long last.

  31. 31
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    I love how the Times seems to have convinced itself that their problem with Silver was that he was too numbersy, and not that his data stomped all over their conventional wisdom.

  32. 32
    Violet says:

    @catclub: And sometimes a snippet of an interview can be extremely telling. It’s hard to say what this section will be like until it debuts and gets a few weeks under its belt, but this interview doesn’t make it sound promising.

    I’m eager to check out what Nate Silver’s doing, though. And this is funny:

    As with all plans, this one could go awry. We’re still completing final testing on the new website, and tweaking the final elements of the site’s design. But we estimate the probability of a March 17 launch at 90.617854%.

  33. 33
    Slugger says:

    This morning there were no articles about Ukraine on Google News, the electronic front page of my hometown newspaper, and Ukraine was a very small item on sites like Politico/Talking Points. Is it any wonder that we are uninformed and confused?
    I will go back to reading about the Kardashians now.

  34. 34
    JeffH says:

    Leonhardt actually has a somewhat similar background to Silver, coming out of the baseball analytics community. Plus I have no problem with his comment about putting things in context. What Silver does so well is the analysis of the data and explaining what it means. That’s not easy to do, but it’s important to good writing. I actually think that this project is really promising.

  35. 35
    JeffH says:

    Leonhardt actually has a somewhat similar background to Silver, coming out of the baseball analytics community. Plus I have no problem with his comment about putting things in context. What Silver does so well is the analysis of the data and explaining what it means. That’s not easy to do, but it’s important to good writing. I actually think that this project is really promising.

  36. 36
    JeffH says:

    Leonhardt actually has a somewhat similar background to Silver, coming out of the baseball analytics community. Plus I have no problem with his comment about putting things in context. What Silver does so well is the analysis of the data and explaining what it means. That’s not easy to do, but it’s important to good writing. I actually think that this project is really promising.

  37. 37
    Belafon says:

    @Tommy:

    don’t get why the savings isn’t more.

    Because you still have to pay the publisher for not publishing anything. Also, they were cheaper, until Apple got involved and negotiated the prices upwards.

  38. 38
    Fake Irishman says:

    @Cervantes:

    Why seek to hire a whole bunch of people who do empirical analysis and stat work if you’re not going to use them?

  39. 39
    Marc says:

    @Brian R.: Me either. I’m filing it away with yesterday’s complaint about Hillary Clinton hiring the successful political director of Terry McAuliffe’s successful gubernatorial bid in a pivotal swing state.

    Gripers gotta gripe?

  40. 40
    Corner Stone says:

    Those pearls Bridget Kelly is wearing are just awful! And a pink jacket with that blouse!?

  41. 41
    Corner Stone says:

    Saw this linked by Billmon yesterday and thought it was a fascinating Q&A between Adolph Reed and Thomas Frank:
    We are all right-wingers now: How Fox News, ineffective liberals, corporate Dems and GOP money captured everything
    I don’t agree en toto but some really great reminders about how we got here, in part.

  42. 42
    BGinCHI says:

    In response to the book part of this thread: tactile, paper books are never going away. My kid loves the iPad, but books are a separate thing. I think we will always read in two ways: to consume and to savor. Although there are many different types of readers, so some will be fine with “airport reading” or “beach reading” while others will want to get their hands on the physical object.

    But then again, technology might find a way to offer something amazing we haven’t even thought of yet.

  43. 43
    Cervantes says:

    @Fake Irishman:

    Why seek to hire a whole bunch of people who do empirical analysis and stat work if you’re not going to use them?

    Did not mean to suggest that these people weren’t going to be used.

    Quite the contrary.

  44. 44
    evolved beyond the fist mistermix says:

    @Marc: I explained my reasoning on Leonhardt above.

    As for McAuliffe, anything that strengthens the McAuliffe/Clinton connection is danger for Hilary, as far as I’m concerned. He’s a walking FEC violation and he’ll be caught one of these days.

  45. 45
    Tommy says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: My big issues with eBooks is I can’t share them. I got a good sized house (five bedrooms) and outside the bathrooms, there must be at least 100+ books in each room. If you were over at my house and showed even a little interest in a book, I’d throw it at you. Tell you to take it and read it. I can’t do that with a book on a tablet.

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @evolved beyond the fist mistermix:

    He’s a walking FEC violation and he’ll be caught one of these days.

    ????

  47. 47
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @BGinCHI: A few years back, when I was out of work for a while, my wife said that “we” needed a good set of bookshelves in the living room. I built a very nice full-wall bookcase, about 12 1/2 feet wide and a bit over 8 feet in height. At then end of the project there ended up no room in the bookcase for any of my books. When two such people share one house, it’s a problem.

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @BGinCHI:

    But then again, technology might find a way to offer something amazing we haven’t even thought of yet.

    The next step is pretty obvious. Tech will simply implant the memory of the book straight into your brain. That way you can enjoy the book over and over, without ever having to take the time to read it in the first place!
    For added value they will also implant memories of that “vacation” you took where you “read” the book on the beach, or on the plane.
    Much more efficient and that way you never have to leave your cube, Citizen!

  49. 49
    bemused says:

    We still like to flip the pages of actual paper newspapers with our morning coffee subscribing to MN Star Trib, a local very well-balanced weekly paper using excellent journalism and another local run by a rightwinger for local ads and info. A fairly new free paper with reader contributions of local history and people features is terrific. We get a varied roundup of Minnesota news and views. The rightwing paper has a cesspool of weekly anonymous commenters which is entertaining and horrifying at the same time. After that, I’m off to the blogs and other news sites.

  50. 50
    Cervantes says:

    @evolved beyond the fist mistermix:

    As for McAuliffe, anything that strengthens the McAuliffe/Clinton connection is danger for Hilary, as far as I’m concerned.

    That political director worked for HRC (and Obama, and OfA) before McAuliffe hired her. If she’s effective, are you surprised that HRC would hire her again? Does the decision to re-hire her need to be defended?

  51. 51
    BGinCHI says:

    @Gin & Tonic: We got rid of almost all the regular bookshelves and built high shelves in our second bedroom (so we could get back some floor space). Now all our books are up where we can get them but not in our way. Also, you can’t see any dust.

    We also each have an office at work full of books.

    Some day we’ll get a bigger place and do some built-ins.

  52. 52
    BGinCHI says:

    @Corner Stone: Then I can finally learn a dozen languages and how to fly a helicopter.

  53. 53
    Tommy says:

    @BGinCHI: And I don’t disagree. About this time last year I got my four year old niece a large format book on elephants with these huge water color illustrations. A DVD on elephants. And a huge stuffed, well elephant. I mean what kid (heck adult) doesn’t like elephants?

    She got so many video games. DVDs. Outside of cloths and a few dolls, I gave her the only “physical” things she got. She couldn’t put the book down.

    I recall looking to my father, who I will say again bought a house just to put his books in, and said “yeah she has our genes!”

  54. 54
    Tommy says:

    @Gin & Tonic: You say that like it is a bad thing :).

  55. 55
    BGinCHI says:

    Anyone else see that Joe McGinnis died yesterday? Complications from prostate cancer.

    He was the guy that lived next to Palin in order to write that book on her…

    He was 71.

    ETA: http://www.newyorker.com/onlin.....-2014.html

  56. 56
    srv says:

    I think this blog needs a designated Nate Silver and Krugman hater, or there will just be too much echo chamber for 2014 & 2016.

    The People’s Front of Krugman have been kinda rudderless since Stuck’s departure. Perhaps Doug can create a nick and put some instructions out on the forum.

  57. 57
    MattF says:

    I’m in the ‘Leonhardt is actually pretty good’ camp. He adds experience with economics reporting to the mix and he’s a good, clear writer. Silver’s weakness is in policy and in interpreting policy in wonky terms. If the NYT goes and gets some good people (like, f’rinstance… hiring Felix Salmon away from Reuters), the venture would be a very interesting one.

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @srv:

    The People’s Front of Krugman have been kinda rudderless since Stuck’s departure.

    No one’s ever really gone, as long as you still love them. Unless mistermix nukes the database. Either way.

  59. 59
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Tommy: I like the fail-proof nature of books. I know it would be more convenient to take a tablet on a long flight, but I’d lose my mind if it ran out of batteries. It’s bad enough worrying about finishing the book before I arrive.

  60. 60
    Tommy says:

    @BGinCHI: Nope. Didn’t see that. His book The Selling of the President 1968 was one of the first books I read and what got me interested in politics to start with. The second was Huey Long by T. Harry Williams. One of the best opening pages in a book.

    He talks about how as a kid he’d take a horse and buggy at 8 AM to take his Catholic grandparents to church. Then do the same at 10 AM for his Protestant grandparents (to appeal to both folks in the north and south of Louisiana).

    His campaign aid said I didn’t know you had Protestant grandparents. Huey said, heck we didn’t even have a horse!

    He said it better then I just said it …..

  61. 61
    Ernest Pikeman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    wannabe redditor cool kid Greenwald humper muckymux

    Thanks for outing your troll name, muricafukyeah.

  62. 62
    doug r says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Why can’t we hover over a footnote number and actually read the footnote in context instead of flipping around and losing our train of thought and the flow of the narrative?

  63. 63
    Belafon says:

    @Tommy:
    Loan on a kindle.

    Loan on a nook.

    But guess who controls whether it works: The publisher.

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    We really need to get that orbital mass driver aimed at the Village, and put it on autofire.

  65. 65
    SatanicPanic says:

    @srv:

    I think this blog needs a designated Nate Silver and Krugman hater, or there will just be too much echo chamber for 2014 & 2016.

    I’ll do it for the low cost of a BJ calender and/or t-shirt, but I demand to be allowed to do it hipster style. No ALL CAPS because I don’t want to look like a crank. For a BJ coffee mug I’ll hate on Rachel Maddow and/or DougJ as well.

  66. 66
    Tommy says:

    @SatanicPanic: Again I am with you. A year or so ago if you would have told me that nine of the last ten books I bought I bought as eBooks I would have laughed at you. Mocked you. But alas the truth.

    I’d have argued, and I still do, that the format of a book was a pretty cool idea. Not really improved upon for thousands of years. Heck I think you could argue it was a “tablet” computer before, well tablets.

    I mean in 2014 the format of a printed book does kind of stand the test of time doesn’t it?

  67. 67
    MikeJ says:

    @Belafon: It’s not too hard to remove DRM from an epub, At that point you can do what you like with it.

  68. 68
    doug r says:

    @Tommy: Our Amazon account lets us download on our main computer AND another device.

  69. 69
    doug r says:

    @SatanicPanic: Solar powered charger?

  70. 70
    Tommy says:

    @Belafon: Not on an Android device unless I am missing something.

  71. 71

    I don’t think there ever was a time when MY was considered cool.

  72. 72
    srv says:

    @SatanicPanic: Is there BJ Gold, or can we gift stuff from the swag site?

    Stuck never used caps, he just hated Krugman in David Brooks style. There used to be a group of anti-Keynesian ‘Stuckians’ but they must have just been sockpuppets.

  73. 73
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Tommy: Oh yeah, books are great. I have a tablet too, I just mostly use it around the house for long internet reads and the occasional e-book. The two formats have a different applications but they’re both useful.

  74. 74
    Belafon says:

    @SatanicPanic: I downloaded Doyle’s entire writings on Sherlock Holmes for my kindle, and they fit in the same space as the compiler book and pdf files I’m reading. The Kindle DX I have holds its charge for about a week.

    I like both kinds, but there are some advantages to an ebook reader (I personally see less of an advantage in a Kindle Fire).

  75. 75
    Tommy says:

    @doug r: IMHO two different issues. I download a book I can read it on my laptop, desktop, tablet, and phone. Best I can tell unlimited downloads.I just can’t send you that book, if I don’t also send you my login info.

  76. 76
    Cervantes says:

    @Tommy:

    His book The Selling of the President 1968 was one of the first books I read

    Precocious writer, precocious reader.

  77. 77
    El Cid says:

    @MikeJ:

    Am I the only person who finds it bizarre that basing reporting on facts is considered a new, specific sub-genre of reporting?

    It’s like when fast food places brag that some new items contains actual food. (‘Strawberry shake blasts with REAL strawberries!) We’re supposed to be grateful, amazed.

  78. 78
    MikeJ says:

    @Tommy: You can use NFC on some of them.

  79. 79
    Cervantes says:

    @El Cid: Sickening, isn’t it?

  80. 80
    hilts says:

    @BGinCHI:

    RIP to Joe McGinnis and fuck that criminal waste of protoplasm called Sarah Palin

  81. 81
    BGinCHI says:

    @hilts: Too bad he couldn’t take her with him Viking style.

  82. 82

    How long until one of these outfits turns Gladwellian and devotes their time to showing you how the stats “actually” prove the converse of what they stand for?

  83. 83
    Belafon says:

    @ranchandsyrup: What will be funny is if Nate has to write a post explaining why he does not include the NYT’s analysis in his aggregate.

  84. 84
    Seanly says:

    Wasn’t Grantland kind of cynical about sports? So now that the sycophantic toadies over at ESPN have taken it over, I guess it will be just as full as the regular ESPN of those hard-hitting articles about how the billionaire owners are hard working jerb creators who deserve to get government largess in addition to not paying any taxes?

  85. 85

    @Belafon: Heh. That’d be enough to make me start smoking cigs again to properly enjoy the moment.

  86. 86
    Jerry says:

    Dear Vox,
    A) Your copy font is terrible. It’s OK to have the dot over the “i” extend above the x height. Stop making a line of copy look like a bar graph.

    2) The media is actually quite awful at reporting the news and there is already an excess of commentary from the Beltway cocktail circuit. We don’t need anymore, thank you very much.

    Lurve,

    Me

  87. 87
    Jerry says:

    Dear Vox,
    A) Your copy font is terrible. It’s OK to have the dot over the “i” extend above the x height. Stop making a line of copy look like a bar graph.

    2) The media is actually quite awful at reporting the news and there is already an excess of commentary from the Beltway cocktail circuit. We don’t need anymore, thank you very much.

    Lurve,

    Me

  88. 88

    @Tommy:
    Small presses charge around 5 bucks. The large publishers do not like ebooks, and want to slow down or crush the medium. They had the game rigged so that between the six of them the Legacy Publishers had absolute control of the print book market, and it was impractical to impossible for anyone else to break in. Small presses have very low start-up costs and are flourishing in the ebook market, so the Big Six want to inhibit the ebook market any way they can. This is pretty normal corporate thinking, honestly.

  89. 89
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jerry:

    The media is actually quite awful at reporting the news and there is already an excess of commentary from the Beltway cocktail circuit. We don’t need anymore, thank you very much.

    This, this, a million times this.

    The meteor cannot come a nanosecond too soon for the vermin of the Village.

  90. 90
    Violet says:

    @Jerry:
    At least you can read the font. It’s Flash, so I can’t read it at all. Why did they use Flash? Stupid.

  91. 91
    jayackroyd says:

    It’ll make for interesting foodie dinner conversations for Ezra and Annie Lowrey.

  92. 92
    another Holocene human says:

    Allergic to rotting pulp, paper dust, and soy based newspaper ink. Hate reading backlit screens and sitting in desk chair.

    What to do…

    I used to buy/sell books. Still occasionally pick up nice non acid paper book as a treat. Afraid spending ridic amount on novel like early iTunes: hd crashed? Too fucking bad.

    Also, can still find old books and fanfic online for free. The cheaper ebooks are like paying for shitty fanfic to tv shows I don’t watch.

    Meh.

  93. 93
    johnny aquitard says:

    So they had to hire 15 people to replace Nate. Hope it gives Nate some satisfaction.

    The NYT is run by chuckleheads. They let one guy leave and now have to shell out 15 salaries to replace him.

    But of course it wasn’t all about money.

    It’ll be a lot easier now for them to skew the polls, as it were. Nate’s work pissed off people inside the Times because he made it easy to spot the shills and propagandists. Its going to be a lot easier for Bobo Brooks and friends to find someone among that 15 who’ll be more amenable to their version of ‘facts’.

  94. 94
    Violet says:

    @Violet: Okay, I just went to a different browser to check out the site. The video auto-launched–that’s annoying. What if I’m at work and don’t need that crap all of a sudden starting up?

    Ezra’s sitting in some half empty room that looks like a cross between the break room (bottles of some kind on the counter behind him) and a storage room. There’s some old computer–what is that an IBM 386 from 1992? It looks like it has a floppy drive. How fucking pretentious is that? No one’s really using that computer and since this is a new venture, it’s not like it’s been sitting in a recently unearthed storage closet since 1995. They staged that background and they chose an old computer as part of the backdrop. Hipster drivel.

  95. 95
    D58826 says:

    Totally off topic but for those following the missing airliner, there is a ‘new’ clue. ATC has the plane headed NE toward Vietnam at the 1oclock position. The military claims the plane made a sharp left turn at the 10 o’clock position (NW) just as they approached the coast. The plane would have traveled over land before flying over the Malacca Strait The direction of travel is so far apart that they both can’t be even remotely correct. Which leads to the question do these people know what they are doing?

  96. 96
    Violet says:

    @another Holocene human: Have you tried the Kindles with the “paperwhite” background? The ads make them look like they work like books. I haven’t looked at one but have seen other people using them in airports, etc. Might be a good option.

  97. 97
    MikeJ says:

    @Jerry:

    Your copy font is terrible. It’s OK to have the dot over the “i” extend above the x height. Stop making a line of copy look like a bar graph.

    Looks like it’s Alright Sans, or Verdana, or generic sans-serif. Both Alright and Verdanna have the i dot above the x height.

    @Violet: I have javascript turned off (which also kills their loading of flash) and the site (what there is of it) works fine with no flash. Have you scrolled down to read the text?

  98. 98
    burnspbesq says:

    Putting the DC bureau chief in charge is a clear message that Daddy’s home and you kids better watch out.

    Crock. Of. Shit.

    Putting a responsible adult in charge will hopefully ensure that they don’t hire the brain-dead (like, for example, you).

  99. 99
    currants says:

    @NotMax: Hah. Hope so. Last I heard, legis was frantically considering it after the SJC said “yeah, we think that would be a good idea too, but that’s not what this bill says”

  100. 100
    MikeJ says:

    @Violet: That was an Apple II in the background.

  101. 101
    Violet says:

    @MikeJ: Same era, so my point still stands. Who’s using that in this venture? If that’s what they’re using to create or power Vox, there are bigger problems than they’re letting on. It’s staging for hipster-ness. Blech.

  102. 102
    Console says:

    For pure coverage, swing state project rivals fivethirtyeight. They are my goto to supplement Nate Silver. We’ll see if the Times can compete.

  103. 103
    Soprano2 says:

    I’ll be interested to see what Ezra Klein will do with this platform, he’s come a long way from Pandagon.

  104. 104
    MikeJ says:

    @Violet: The Apple II way predates the 386. Close to ten years. Calling them the same era is like saying a Model T and a 57 Chevy are the same.

    I’m sorry that not everybody lives up to your standards for lack of ornamentation. They have this defect that causes them to enjoy decorating things. I’m sure that is a great disappointment to you.

  105. 105
    Cervantes says:

    @Violet:

    Same era, so my point still stands. Who’s using that in this venture? If that’s what they’re using to create or power Vox, there are bigger problems than they’re letting on. It’s staging for hipster-ness. Blech.

    Not the same era, but that’s a minor point. Who’s using it in this venture? No one, I’m sure. It’s just an iconic computer: think of it as an antique on display. If that is “staging for hipster-ness” and it offends you, so be it, but it does not bother me. What I’ll judge them by is what they eventually write.

  106. 106
    rikyrah says:

    My Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish, and Cheap

    After veteran reporter Joseph Williams lost his job, he could only find employment in a sporting-goods store. In a personal essay, he recalls his struggles with challenges millions of Americans return to day after day.

    Joseph Williams
    Mar 11 2014, 11:50 AM ET

    My plunge into poverty happened in an instant. I never saw it coming.

    Then again, there was no reason to feel particularly vulnerable. Two years ago, I was a political reporter at Politico, and I spent my days covering the back-and-forth of presidential politics. I had access to the White House because of my reporting beat, and I was a regular commentator on MSNBC. My career had been on an upward trajectory for 30 years, and at age 50 I still anticipated a long career.

    On June 21, 2012, I was invited to discuss race, Republican candidate Mitt Romney, and the 2012 presidential election on MSNBC. I said this:

    “Romney is very, very comfortable, it seems, with people who are like him. That’s one of the reasons why he seems so stiff and awkward in town hall settings … But when he comes on ‘Fox and Friends,’ they’re like him. They’re white folks who are very much relaxed in their own company.”

    The political Internet exploded. Because I’m an African American, enraged conservative bloggers branded me an anti-white racist. Others on the right, like Andrew Breitbart’s Big Media, mined my personal Twitter account and unearthed a crude Romney joke I’d carelessly retweeted a month before. The Romney campaign cried foul. In less than two weeks I was out of a job.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/bus.....ap/284332/

  107. 107
    Violet says:

    @MikeJ: @Cervantes: I’m not an aficionado of old computers, so apologies for getting it wrong and not knowing the exact era it came from. It’s old.

    They’re selling their product via this video right now because it starts immediately upon loading the page. They’re telling everyone what they’re doing. All the nifty graphics and quick cuts and the set behind Ezra are part of their package–it’s part of what they’re selling. They want to grab people so they’ll return once there’s content. And return again and again.

    From the bit I saw, I was turned off. I am less likely to visit it now than before I saw the video because the vibe it gave off was knowing, insider-y hipsterness. Kind of Village for the younger set. I didn’t like it all that much and the old computer in the set was the symbol of that to me.

    I’m sorry that not everybody lives up to your standards for lack of ornamentation. They have this defect that causes them to enjoy decorating things. I’m sure that is a great disappointment to you.

    No idea what you’re talking about here. Decorating is a skill and some people are good at it. I have no issues with anyone decorating anything. What gave you that idea?

    For videos like this one, they probably–or should have–hired someone who knows how to create an image. I think they did hire that person and the set is projecting a certain image and I don’t like the image they’re projecting. I think it’s pretentious and kind of stupid.

  108. 108
    Cervantes says:

    @Violet:

    From the bit I saw, I was turned off. I am less likely to visit it now than before I saw the video

    Same here — less likely — but not unlikely: I will probably still give it a look.

  109. 109
    max says:

    @Violet: I’m not an aficionado of old computers, so apologies for getting it wrong and not knowing the exact era it came from. It’s old.

    It’s an Apple //e first introduced in 1983. My guess is that it’s either Matty’s or Ezra first computer they had when they were kids, kept around for sentimental reasons. (MikeJ is unfortunately wrong about the 386 – first commercial chips were shipping in 1989, but he is right that 386’s weren’t common until 1992 or 1993.)

    I think they did hire that person and the set is projecting a certain image and I don’t like the image they’re projecting.

    Doubtful. I expect they are too busy working on content and the site proper to worry too much about image, so they cranked out a video as a placeholder to make some money from GE. (Also called maintaining project momentum.)

    That said, Matty’s suit was fucking hilarious.

    max
    [‘HE’S PRACTICING FOR THE WEARABLE FUTURE!’]

  110. 110
    Cervantes says:

    @max:

    It’s an Apple //e

    Yes, with original DuoDisk.

  111. 111
    Someguy says:

    Thank God. All the young left liberal writing talent under a single corporate master… Walt Disney ABC in this case. Excellent.

  112. 112
    Corner Stone says:

    @max: That is really a most unfortunate suit.
    We know how to measure some things, like heat or radiation levels. What’s an appropriate way to measure hipsterism?
    Because that intro video screams hipsterdouche.

  113. 113
    Corner Stone says:

    @Someguy: But they’re sponsored by GE! So…balance?

  114. 114
    Violet says:

    @Cervantes: I’ll probably give it a look if someone links to it. We’ll see how they go. I haven’t been a fan of the direction Ezra and Matt Y have gone in recent years, so I’m not terribly optimistic. I fear it’ll be whatever the new version of the Village is–now with more hipster accoutrements!

    @max: Ezra certainly has worked in enough television to have picked up a little knowledge about sets. If he didn’t plan that, then that’s a mistake.

    The “vegetables of journalism” line cracks me up, though.

    Just listened again. The tell that it’s Village 2.0: Ezra says, ” I remember the feeling of anxiety around opening a new article and knowing that I was about to feel stupid. I was about to feel like I was outside the club.” Outside the club? What club? Who feels like that? I don’t read articles and feel like I’m outside some club. I learn things from them. Has Ezra always been desperate to belong to a club? The Village club?

  115. 115
    Joel says:

    @MattF: Silver’s political analysis had also hit a wall — he added too many variables in the 2012 election and his results were slightly worse than those produced by far simpler models (Wang’s especially). Sports has a lot more nuance and uncertainty and is probably a much more interesting arena to work in.

  116. 116
    Corner Stone says:

    Ezra seems like he may have a slight leftish bent, but at Wonkblog he did his absolute best to mask it or play onesey-twosies.
    Matt Y has been a glibertarian douche for the entire time I have been aware of him.

  117. 117
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    The New York Times’ own public editor admitted that Silver, a onetime baseball stats geek, never really fit into the paper’s culture, and that “a number of traditional and well-respected Times journalists disliked his work.”

    Translation: Bill Keller and his chock full o’ nuts editorialists found Silver’s use of facts and his accurate predictions unforgivable. What tore it for them was the fact that Silver was driving more traffic to the NYT site by himself than they were collectively.

  118. 118
    Cervantes says:

    @Joel:

    he added too many variables in the 2012 election and his results were slightly worse than those produced by far simpler models (Wang’s especially)

    Drew Linzer’s Votamatic performed even better (by a bit).

  119. 119
    Violet says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    What tore it for them was the fact that Silver was driving more traffic to the NYT site by himself than they were collectively.

    Yep. They couldn’t allow that to stand. I’ll be interesting to see what, if any, influence The Upshot has on political discussions the next go-round. I expect 538 will still be a strong player.

  120. 120

    @Violet: Baby Villagers are building a new play-pen how exciting is that. Not.

  121. 121
    Keith G says:

    I can’t wait for VOX and the other noted sites to get up and running and past their “shake down” period. More information is better than less; more voices are better than fewer (Even if one of them is the bad penny known as Matt Yglesias).

    I tend to be optimistic and I like for an enterprise to actually be in operation for a while before I judge the worth of it’s efforts.

  122. 122
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G:

    I tend to be optimistic and I like for an enterprise to actually be in operation for a while before I judge the worth of it’s efforts.

    That’s the restauranteur in you. Give the kitchen a chance to shake out the glitches?

  123. 123
    Violet says:

    @max:

    Matty’s suit was fucking hilarious.

    It really is. It’s worth watching the Vox video just to see that hot mess. Lavender glasses frames to match. Whee!

  124. 124
    Keith G says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Give the kitchen a chance to shake out the glitches?

    We have killed fewer people than the President has, so our glitches haven’t amounted to much.

    Went to Rodeo last night. Too much time in the wine garden. One carnival ride too many (it was called the Turbo). REO Speed Wagon need to give it up and go back home and stay there.

  125. 125
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G:

    We have killed fewer people than the President has, so our glitches haven’t amounted to much.

    Oooo…ouch.

    I’ve been to plenty of rodeos, but not for a bit. They have made it so difficult to get in and out that it’s not worth it. Plus, in years past I had connections to people who had booths or exhibits and that was always fun. For years running I had a good friend who was on the drinks/alcohol committee. That was fun. Or at least, I think it was since I can’t really remember any of it.

  126. 126
    Booger says:

    @Tommy: Live long enough and we’ll be taking books in the form of a tablet.

  127. 127
    Keith G says:

    @Corner Stone: Metro Light Rail. As tired, wine-soaked, and carney-ride dizzy as we were, the rail station was right off the midway and this was our easiest egress ever. Of course, it helped that we left halfway through REO’s set.

    We parked at a $3.00 lot neat the Museum station. We were home within a few minutes.

  128. 128
    JoyfulA says:

    @doug r: Hmm, that’s what I get on the Word manuscripts I edit. Hover on the note number, and up pops the note! Otherwise, making sure the note relates to the text would be annoying and really time-consuming.

    I’d think the technology would be easy, given that MicroSoft had that ability at least since Word95.

    Thanks for the information. I think I’ll put off any e-reader purchase for another year or two.

  129. 129
    Console says:

    @Seanly:

    ESPN has actually always owned Grantland (although Disney is the parent company of ESPN). It still isn’t on par with Deadspin as far as the stories they’ll touch but you get the feeling that ESPN is somewhat hands off. One of the funniest slogans that some of the Grantland sports guys will say during podcasts is “don’t get fired.” So they definitely self-police, but Grantland doesn’t feel like packaged corporate nonsense. Hell, Charles Pierce contributes to Grantland. I read it all the time for the commentary, and the Jalen Rose Report is my favorite sports podcast. But if you want a real no holds barred look at sports, then Deadspin is still the place to go.

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