Monday, August 19, 2013
Matt Taibbi on the Republican National Convention (2004)
Matt Taibbi joined Mark Ames in 1997 to co-edit the controversial English-language Moscow-based, bi-weekly free newspaper, The eXile. Of Exile, Taibbi said, "We were out of the reach of American libel law, and we had a situation where we weren't really accountable to our advertisers. We had total freedom." In the U.S. media, Playboy magazine published pieces on Russia both by Taibbi and by Taibbi and Ames together during this time.
In 2002, he returned to the U.S. to start the satirical bi-weekly The Beast in Buffalo, New York, which he eventually left declaring that "Running a business and writing is too much." Taibbi continued as a freelancer for The Nation, Playboy, New York Press (where he wrote a regular political column for more than two years), Rolling Stone, and New York Sports Express (as Editor at Large). Taibbi said being a journalist was a "career failure. I wanted to be a novelist," he announced at an NYU lecture.
Taibbi left the New York Press in August 2005, shortly after his editor Jeff Koyen was forced to quit over issues raised by Taibbi's column "The 52 Funniest Things About The Upcoming Death of The Pope". "I have since learned that there would not have been an opportunity for me to stay anyway," Taibbi later wrote.
Taibbi became a Contributing Editor at Rolling Stone, penning feature-length articles on domestic and international affairs, along with a weekly political online column titled "The Low Post" for the magazine's website. Taibbi writes for the print edition of Rolling Stone, and contributes to their website in his current blog, "Taibblog". A later online column titled "Year of the Rat" was meant to document the 2008 election season, but it ended after only a few postings.
Taibbi covered the 2008 presidential campaign for Real Time with Bill Maher, and he has made several guest appearances on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show and other MSNBC programs. He also has appeared on Democracy Now! and served as a contributor on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Taibbi is an occasional guest on the Thom Hartmann radio and TV shows.
His July 2009 Rolling Stone article "The Great American Bubble Machine" described Goldman Sachs as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money".
Tackling the assistance to banks given in foreclosure courts, Taibbi traveled to Jacksonville, Florida to observe the "rocket docket" to process foreclosures without regard to the legality of the financial instruments being ruled upon, speeding-up the process to enable quick resale of the properties while obscuring the fraudulent and predatory nature of the loans, and a reluctance to allow public observance of the court proceedings. "Invasion of the Home Snatchers" was published in the November 25, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone.
As financial scandals continued to rock the world during 2012, Taibbi's analyses of the machinations garnered him invitations to nationally broadcast television programs as an expert who could explain the events as they unfolded and their importance to viewers and moderators alike. In a discussion of the Libor revelations, Taibbi's coverage in Rolling Stone was singled out by Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, Inc., as most important on the topic, that had become required reading to remain informed.