Ezra Klein's left-ish, "serious" political thing, Vox.com, and Matt Barber's hyper-right wing Christian Barbwire.com. I absolutely adore the latter, while the former is boring and vexing and I'll quickly forget it ever existed. Surprised? You shouldn't be.
Right off the bat, Vox annoyed me. It's dry, it's sterile-looking. Worst of all, it has this story banner right at the top:
Ring a bell? That's because I recently wrote about how much I hate the whole "What you need to know about ______" trope, and how it has become so crazily overused that even Buzzfeed, I suspect, is embarrassed by it now.
Otherwise, I suppose Vox is OK. It's irritatingly insidery, which I expected (it's basically JournoList: the website), and populated by supposedly high-profile journalists who I'm not really crazy about. For instance, when they hired Matt Yglesias, I couldn't help but wonder if they were also going to hire a full-time editor to clean up his monstrous, frequent grammatical and spelling errors. Look, he seems like a really nice guy, and everybody obviously loves him, and he knows, I guess, what's he's talking about, but everybody seems to charitably overlook the fact that the guy cannot write! I'm not talking about occasional typos and homophone errors; I'm talking about a profound inability to use the English language in either an elegant or logical manner, and an approach to style and grammar which suggests "vague familiarity" at the best of times. As writers, Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein et al were made for TV.
Let's turn to the infinitely more fun Barbwire.com. Are you familiar with Matt Barber? He literally makes his living denouncing the hairdressers, and this is his new website devoted mostly to doing just that. It is amazing. You will think it is a brilliant satire. Almost every article is about the homo menace, and while some "conservative" sites have learned to cool it with the Nazi comparisons, Barbwire embraces them with such frequency and enthusiasm that it's almost like a verbal tic. Enjoy the comment threads while you can, because they're totally dominated by liberal trolls (including me; I know it's lame but I couldn't resist!) and a few Christian commenters who are bizarrely, pathologically invested in combating the frightening gay demons in their midst. I expect they'll scrap the comment fields soon. The whole thing is so strident and bonkers that it makes One News Now look like hippies in comparison. You will LOVE it. Barbwire should be preserved in the Library of Congress so that future generations can marvel at it.
UPDATE: According to Talking Points Memo, conservatives hate Vox, but I'm a liberal and I hate... well, no, I don't hate it. But I don't like it, either. I love Barbwire!