Ezra Klein Wishes He Had More Creative Epiphanies in the Shower

The veteran journalist discusses the slow, hard work of writing about politics.

User's Guide to Energy Special Report bug
A series of interviews with leaders in media, tech, and the arts
See more

“It sounds like you wake up, you take a shower… and all of a sudden, you get this great idea. I’ve not found that it ends up working all that well,” Ezra Klein says in the video above, from Atlantic Video’s Creative Breakthroughs series.

Klein, the writer behind Washington Post’s Wonkblog, a columnist at Bloomberg View, and a contributor at MSNBC, has won widespread recognition for his journalism. But there’s no such thing as easy insight in political writing, he says; “It’s much more ‘slow boring of hard boards.’ You’re learning a little bit at a time.” 

His casual reference to the famous phrase from Max Weber’s essay, “Politics as a Vocation,” seems appropriate after a decade of writing about the political world. 

This interview was filmed at the 2013 Aspen Ideas Festival.

Emma Green is the assistant managing editor of TheAtlantic.com, where she also writes about religion and culture.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Video

Just In