How horrible is Ezra Klein?

News & Politics

A while back, Ezra Klein suggested that New Orleans should be depopulated, on account of being a death trap.

TPM Cafe contributor Boyd Blundell took umbrage.

I know of no better way to respond to Ezra's glib ignorance than to say it deserves to be analyzed alongside Jonah [Goldberg]'s anti media screed. Unfortunately, time and space will only permit one at a time, so we'll start with Ezra's.
Now that's harsh.

To which, Ezra replies "How Horrible Am I?":
My whole perspective on this is risk management. If, as Blundell believes, we need something of a port in New Orleans, that's fine. The idea that we should have a bustling city with a concentrated underclass living beneath sea level in a region known for its hurricanes is foolish enough, to restore it after a hurricane displaced them is worse. The weather's only going to get worse and America, for her part, isn't likely to get more serious about the poor. I may well be a dick, but my position is the result of well-founded pessimism, not some misplaced glee at the city's demise.
I think that New Orleans has intrinsic worth that justifies a rebuilding effort of some sort. So, my own view is closer to Blundell's than Ezra's. However, it's not horrible to point out that the rebuilding of New Orleans faces massive hurdles and that if it isn't done right, it's not clear that it's worth doing at all.

Just to put things in perspective, here's a three-hundred-and-sixty degree panorama of a New Orleans block 9 months after Katrina.

[Ezra Klein, TPM Cafe]

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