A Conversation With Political Blogger Ezra Klein of Pandagon
LAist talked with Ezra Klein of the political blog pandagon.net this weekend. Ezra’s been engaged and blogging this election for over a year and a half. His site, which he co-blogs along with Jesse Taylor, boasts around 25,000 hits a day. Needless to say, his voice gets heard (or his words get read). He recently transferred to UCLA from UC Santa Cruz and has much to say about politics, Los Angeles and everything in between. This guy is only 20 and had been published in the Washington Monthly and our very own LA Weekly. So listen up!
Election day is today... you've been active on the political scene for a while now... and this is your first presidential election... tell us your thoughts on this occasion. Are you relieved? What's next for you?
It's time to drink. Heavily. And it seems the rest of the onlinepolitical sphere feels similarly. It's been fascinating to watch thedrop-off as we've approached election day. Between bin-Laden, AlQaQaa, polling, barnstorming and voter fraud, there's been plenty to write about, but no one has much to say. Those who believe Bush'sbody is a mixture of sunshine and saintly intentions have exhausted all their synonyms for "magnificent". Those of us who find the president less competent than a post-keg-stand coed have stopped articulating and begun pointing. There's bin-Laden, still on the loose, on your left are missing weapons, on your right a nation lacking health insurance. The battle lines aren't just drawn, they're engraved, and with no one left to convince, there's little left to say.
Has your recent move to LA changed your approach to blogging / politics / life?
I love Los Angeles' politics. None of this pesky issue content, it's pure ethnic tribalism. Somehow, there's less artifice in that approach.
More seriously, I love Los Angeles. My Bay Area buddies couldn't comprehend why I'd leave Santa Cruz's redwood's for LA's pollutants, but that's just it. The Bay Area has a sort of liberal consensus and quality of life that leads to a towering complacency. The battles are fought with an eye towards symbolism because the stakes, insofar as San Francisco governs liberal and doesn't much affect national elections, just aren't that high. LA, conversely, has a vibrancy to it, there's a real struggle going on here. That's partially the product of our ethnic mix, partly our size, and partly our culture. In any case, it keeps me sharper, keeps me aware that the fight isn't for a good sentence or plaudits from your friends, but for real change.
What are some of your favorite LA blogs?
LAist, first and foremost. I love the concept of the blog as community space, and I'm endlessly thankful for your work in boiling down the day's cultural offerings into a post or two. The Elegant Variation is great. If I can name political blogs with writers based in LA, Digby's Hullabaloo and The Talent Show are terrific. Josh Bearman's blog for the LA Weekly is a top stop. LA.com can be entertaining, but I feel like a bad person reading it. The Advice Goddess is terrific, though I think she's in France right now. LAObserved is crucial. A Fly On The Wall is fun. I hear this blog Pandagon is pretty good...
Continue reading the special Election Interview after the jump!