Command line JSON interpretation can be confusing. Python's json library (2.6+) provides a simple prettifier:

        $ echo '{"json":"obj"}' | python -mjson.tool
        {
            "json": "obj"
        }
        

Or facetiously (from the obligatory Internet Chuck Norris Database):

        $ curl -s "http://api.icndb.com/jokes/random?firstName=Andrew&lastName=Martin" | python -mjson.tool
        {
            "type": "success",
            "value": {
                "categories": [
                    "nerdy",
                    "chuck norris"
                ],
                "id": 528,
                "joke": "Andrew Martin doesn't use GUI, he prefers COMMAND line."
            }
        }
        

This can be wrapped in a handy shell function:

        $ function parse_url_json() 
        {
            curl -s "$@" | python -mjson.tool
        }
        
        $ parse_url_json 'http://api.icndb.com/jokes/random?firstName=Andrew&lastName=Martin'
        

2.5 users can install the simplejson library.