Voice Contestant Used Stipend To Fund ISIS Investigation

Back when Cee-Lo Green was a coach on The Voice, one of the singers he selected for his team during season 3 was a young Princeton student named Ben Taub. Taub was eliminated in the Battle Rounds, but he walked away with a nice little stipend, which he promptly used to buy a plane ticket to the Syrian border and report on a father trying to rescue his son from ISIS. Taub’s investigation went on to become this week’s cover story in The New Yorker — not bad for a guy who admits he first got interested in Middle Eastern politics after he “chased a girlfriend to Cairo during the Egyptian revolution” in 2011. Grants from Princeton and Columbia plus financial support from The New Yorker later helped fund the story, but that Voice stipend provided the initial jolt. As NY Mag points out, Taub — who just graduated from Columbia Journalism School and is only 24 — went on Morning Joe this morning to tell his story. Watch the segment below.

And here’s some evidence that journalism is Taub’s true calling: