by WARNER TODD HUSTON
14 Mar 2014
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One of the new hires for Ezra Klein's startup Vox news website turns out to be a gay, Christian who is sometimes politically moderate. Naturally, left-wing extremists, like Media Matters, are outraged that Klein would hire such a person and he is being attacked mercilessly for the hire. For his part, Klein has pronounced himself "mystified" over the criticism.
Ezra Klein is hiring a myriad of bloggers and writers for his new Vox media effort. On Wednesday, Klein, Yglesias, and their Vox compatriots happily announced the hiring of Brandon Ambrosino. The new Voxer noted on the Facebook announcement that he is an "accidental journalist" and characterized much of his work as focusing on "finding ways to reconcile LGBT and religious communities."
Klein and company were immediately attacked by members of the gay mafia, Media Matters for America, Slate, and others for hiring Ambrosino because the blogger thinks that religion and homosexuality aren't mutually exclusive.
Media Matters attacked Klein for hiring the "anti-LGBT" Ambrosino and bellowed that, "anti-gay conservatives have a gay writer they can hide behind to shield themselves from accusations of bigotry." Media Matters also accused Ambrosino of indulging in "ugly hate speech."
For Slate, Mark Joseph Stern called Vox's move an "unbelievably terrible hire."
Stern went on to excoriate Ambrosino for "crass opportunism and toxic narcissism" as well as "homophobia."
"On first read," Stern harshly says, "his pieces aren’t infuriating so much as they are baffling: Ambrosino ignores the basic principles of journalism and simply spews free-form argle-bargle, as though he’s swinging a bat at a piñata that’s hanging from a different tree."
The Facebook announcement is also filled with much disapprobation.
The comment by one Thomas Falconer is a typical, if loquacious, example: "As a fan of yours, I am stunned by this choice. Allowing a misinformed spreader of diatribes lacking any semblance of facts, who claims to have chosen to be gay, who gives voice to the hateful ignorant rants of the extreme right and to homophobes everywhere, is beyond disappointing. I was looking forward to your publication and now I will not read Vox, and will spread the news of this ridiculous hire as far and wide as I can."
Ezra Klein said that he hired Ambrosino to give Vox some "ideological diversity." But, like Mr. Falconer above, many of Klein's detractors are saying they will never read Vox because of the hire. Amusing that liberals are so against diversity of opinion that one hire of someone with whom they disagree will prevent them from ever giving a new website a chance despite that said site hasn't really even started its work to have built a track record of transgressions.
Speaking to The American Prospect Klein claimed he was "mystified by the blowback" he was experiencing because of hiring Ambrosino. He also said that when he vetted the blogger he never saw any proof in Ambrosino’s writing that he "holds an iota of homophobia."