Jan
02
2014

:holding head in hands: …Ezra, why did you think you needed ten million dollars?

More to the point: why did you think that Jeff Bezos was going to give you at least ten million dollars?

Mr. Klein, who quickly ascended into the ranks of the Washington media establishment with a multiplatform blend of policy nuance and number-crunching on Wonkblog, approached Katherine Weymouth, the Post’s publisher, in recent weeks, the people said.

After consultation with the newspaper’s editor, Marty Baron, according to one of the people, he put forward a proposal with detailed revenue projections to build a new website dedicated to explanatory journalism on a wide range of topics beyond political policy. It would have been affiliated with The Post, the person said, but would have been a separate enterprise. The investment he sought, the person said, was in eight figures.

Ms. Weymouth and the paper’s owner, Jeff Bezos, declined to support the project.

Gee, you think? – Now, I will cheerfully note that nobody is ever going to give me at least ten million dollars to put together a website; and if anybody ever tried my first response would be to break out in horrified laughter at the idea.  But I would have loved to hear Bezos’ response to that request.  Because at some point Jeff Bezos would have said something like And how would I be getting that ten million dollars back? – and that there would be where the ‘awkwardness’ that the NYT went on to mention would start.  Enough awkwardness, in fact, that Klein’s apparently looking around for another gig*.

This was all very predictable – OK, that’s a lie: I never would have thought that somebody would have seriously tried to hit up Jeff Bezos for at least ten million dollars for a new website.  But it’s not really surprising, once you get past the first shock.  Funny thing about people as rich as Jeff Bezos, you see: they typically stay that way because they take money seriously.  And they understand ROI.  Apparently more than the pundit class does.

Moe Lane

PS: By the way… it would be in the Right’s best interests to spend ten million dollars on “a new website dedicated to explanatory journalism on a wide range of topics beyond political policy.”  Just as long as it is understood that it will not be a money-making exercise.  The ROI would be in advocacy and policy changes, not cash on the barrel-head; which is, alas, something that the Left’s big donors understand a bit better than the Right’s do.

*Yup, burying the lead there.

2 Comments

  • BigGator5 says:

    Burying the lead? Are you kidding me? The title of your post told me everything I needed to know. I honestly foresaw your entire post before I even read word one!

  • Brian Swisher says:

    Explanatory journalism? Is that what they’re calling propaganda these days?

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