Seldom do I find myself seeing anything that leaves me so disgusted and at a loss of word at the same time.
But never mind all that. I warned you a few weeks ago that you shouldn’t underestimate the reach of a site that’s targeting people who would need an “explainer” as simple as this one. Lemme quote, er, myself:
My sense of it after watching the [introductory] vid is that it’s basically going to be Wonkblog but with more background in each piece and probably lots more charts and graphics… It’ll be as reliably liberal as ever but it’ll be presented as straightforward exposition; as lefties love to tell themselves, it’s reality that has a liberal bias, not them. (Actual quote from the site: “Our end goal isn’t telling you what just happened, or how we feel about what just happened, it’s making sure you understand what just happened.” Uh huh.)…
Someone who enjoys a BuzzFeed post with 37 GIFs in it might not sit still for a long Nate Silver data-crunch but they might be willing to devote three minutes to Ezra patiently leading them through an easily digestible Q&A annotated with simple graphs. If you want to bring people around to your side politically, you should aim for the low-information readers; they’re the natural target for “explanatory journalism.”
That’s almost exactly what this is, no? The only thing that’s different is that it’s Matt who’s narrating, not Ezra, and they’re not using “lots” of graphics, they’re using nothing but graphics. This is aimed squarely at the low-information voter with a short attention span, whose views on the debt are sufficiently primitive that they might theoretically be affected by a two-minute cartoon. It won’t change your mind, but so what? Your vote isn’t the one that decides elections. Between the “shiny object” appeal and Klein’s brand as a capital-w Wonk, there are surely many casually political readers who’ll come to the site and trust it. Maybe not enough to justify a multimillion-dollar investment, but if you’re a filthy rich liberal looking to buy influence online, I can imagine worse ways to spend your money.
Please click the link, as there is an embedded video that I can’t get to work here. Watch the video, it contains what is either the most amazing display of pure epic stupidity, or pure malevolent evil I think I have ever seen in a political propaganda piece in my entire life.