Ezra Klein responds to controversy over Brandon Ambrosino hire

The founder and editor-in-chief of Vox.com defends hiring the controversial writer on LGBT issues

Published March 14, 2014 4:20PM (EDT)

Ezra Klein               (MSNBC)
Ezra Klein (MSNBC)

Responding to a wave of criticism, former Washington Post journalist and current founder of news website Vox.com Ezra Klein took to Facebook on Friday to defend his hiring of Brandon Ambrosino as the site's news-writing fellow, despite Ambrosino's record of writing pieces that many in the LGBT community considered homophobic and mindlessly provocative.

"People felt Brandon had made his name writing sloppy pieces that were empathetic towards homophobes but relentlessly critical of the gay community," Klein writes in his Facebook post. "They believe we were sending a signal about Vox’s approach to LGBT issues: Contrarian clickbait at the expense of the struggle and discrimination that LGBT men and women face every day."

Klein insists this was "never our intention" and that Vox.com wouldn't follow such a trolly strategy to get clickbait, opting instead to provide "beautiful data visualizations, not frontal assaults on causes we believe in and people we admire."

Klein goes on to argue that early reports of his not having read Ambrosino's work prior to hiring him were mistaken. He also notes that while the essays that have garnered Ambrosino such notoriety were not a fit for Vox, Ambrosino proved in his application that he had a raw talent for straight journalism. "[H]e showed himself a strong, fast writer who really wanted to learn," Klein writes. "And that training is what the fellowship is there for."

You can read Klein's entire post below:

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

MORE FROM Elias Isquith

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Brandon Ambrosino Ezra Klein Homophobia Lgbt Lgbt Issues Lgbt Rights Vox.com