As I was waiting for Edward Snowden to begin his virtual address to SXSW, this tweet rocked though my feeds.
— Ted Irvine (@ted_irvine) March 10, 2014
If that’s a prospective reader’s first blush with Vox, it’s underwhelming. It’s unlikely that anyone asked about the fonts. Most designers would be able to figure it out for themselves just by looking at the page’s source code. Others probably don’t care enough to bother, since Vox’s design doesn’t really look all that innovative. It looks like about a million other things I’ve seen by just aimlessly walking around SXSW.
Get past that and you’ll run into the site’s content, which at this point consists of nine questions that hardly anyone really wanted to ask. It’s condescending from the start, as one might expect from the likes of Ezra Klein and his cohort.
What is Vox?
Vox is a general interest news site for the 21st century. Its mission is simple: Explain the news.
Vox is published by Vox Media, a growing modern publishing house, with six other awesome sites you should already be reading: SB Nation, The Verge, Polygon, Curbed, Eater, and Racked. Each site is a distinct entity under Vox Media. Think: Time Inc. publishing Time, but also People, Sports Illustrated, and In Style.
So, you’re telling me what to read? And next, you’ll tell me what to think?
What do you mean by “explaining the news”?
The media is excellent at reporting the news and pretty good at adding commentary atop the news. What’s lacking is an organization genuinely dedicated to explaining the news. That is to say, 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.
Not to put too fine a point on things, but Klein and the other journolisters who now run Vox have never been good at addressing a single thing that I believe in. Klein is the person who thinks the Constitution is “confusing” because it was written farther back in time than last week. This is someone who is equipped to “explain” the news? Joining him at Vox is Sarah Kliff, the WaPo reporter who became best known for ignoring the Gosnell trial, and then famous again for promoting Wendy Davis. The rest hail either from the Post’s liberal wonk tank, or ThinkProgress or HuffPo. Again, these are people equipped to “explain” the news? Vox’s early hires appear to consist entirely of people who have never done anything but pontificate from Washington from a leftwing point of view.
Vox looks like yet another leftwing thumbsucker outlet built to employ leftwing Democrat activists and hide their advocacy behind important-sounding titles and by-lines. But, prediction: Soon enough, the so-called mainstream media will start having Vox scribes on to “explain” the news as often as possible.