Tag Archives | Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi Talks New Digital Magazine; ‘Toothlessness’ of Modern Media

PIC: Tony (CC)

PIC: Tony (CC)

In my opinion, Matt Taibbi has been one of the most compelling and informative journalists on the politics and culture beat for the better part of a decade. Taibbi sat down with The New Yorker magazine to talk about his new digital magazine, putting the personal touch in reporting and the public’s lack of confidence in mainstream media. It’s a rather short piece, but if you’re a Taibbi fan like me then you’ll probably enjoy it. Here’s a snippet.

Via The New Yorker:

…none of Taibbi’s anger at the “toothlessness” of the media has dissipated. “I think it’s a lost art in this country—developing that narrative voice where readers connect with you as a human being,” he says, harpooning a stray piece of scrambled egg. “They want to see how you react individually to things. And if you think something is outrageous, and you write about it in a tone without outrage, then that’s just deception, you know?”

Taibbi says his decision to leave Rolling Stone was predicated in part on the need to make a change and “keep from falling into a pattern,” and partly by his desire to “be on Glenn’s side.” Glenn being Glenn Greenwald, who, along with Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill, is currently editing another First Look property, the national-security-centric The Intercept, which has been live since February.

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At Least We’re Not Measles: Rationalizing Drone Attacks Hits New Low

Thales Watchkeeper WK450 UAV

The inimitable Matt Taibbi takes on the drones issue for Rolling Stone:

Read an absolutely amazing article today. Entitled “Droning on about Drones,” it was published in the online version of Dawn, Pakistan’s oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper, and written by one Michael Kugelman, identified as the Senior Program Associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

In this piece, the author’s thesis is that all this fuss about America’s drone policy is overdone and perhaps a little hysterical. Yes, he admits, there are some figures that suggest that as many as 900 civilians have been killed in drone strikes between 2004 and 2013. But, he notes, that only averages out to about 100 civilians a year. Apparently, we need to put that number in perspective:

Now let’s consider some very different types of statistics.

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Matt Taibbi Explains The LIBOR Bankster Scam

Disgraced former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer just might have a future as a talk show host if he keeps booking amazing guests like Matt Taibbi for Current TV:

…Barclays CEO Bob Diamond recently resigned after the bank was fined $453 million for its part in the scandal, which involved manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), a key global benchmark for interest rates, by essentially “faking their credit scores,” according to Taibbi. And as Taibbi explains, Barclays couldn’t have acted alone.

“It can’t just be Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland. In fact, it can’t even be four banks or even five banks,” he says. “Really, in the end it’s probably going to come out that it’s going to be all of them … involved in this. And that’s what’s critical for people to understand: that this is a cartel-style corruption.”…

[continues at Current TV]

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Matt Taibbi: Bank of America is a “Raging Hurricane of Theft and Fraud”

HurricaneVia F The Banks:

Matt Taibbi speaking at an Occupy Wall Street day of action, February 29th, 2012. He wrote this article for OWS, and passed it out to the crowd.  It’s an informative and urgent call to action for Americans from all walks of life.  We are happy to be the first to publish it.

There are two things every American needs to know about Bank of America.

The first is that it’s corrupt. This bank has systematically defrauded almost everyone with whom it has a significant business relationship, cheating investors, insurers, homeowners, shareholders, depositors, and the state. It is a giant, raging hurricane of theft and fraud, spinning its way through America and leaving a massive trail of wiped-out retirees and foreclosed-upon families in its wake.

The second is that all of us, as taxpayers, are keeping that hurricane raging. Bank of America is not just a private company that systematically steals from American citizens: it’s a de facto ward of the state that depends heavily upon public support to stay in business.

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The GOP And The End Times

GOPMaybe there will be a silver lining to the increasingly apparent 2012 End TimesRolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi suggests that apocalyptic madness might well sink the Republican candidates:

I’m submitting a memo to my bosses at Rolling Stone this morning, asking for permission to skip all coverage of the Republican primary season from this point forward. Why? Because Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann have just summed up the entire Republican storyline with perfect precision, through their respective responses to Hurricane Irene. There’s really not much left for any pundit to add, after this weekend’s quips.

Michele Bachmann says Hurricane Irene is God’s way of telling Washington that it is spending too much.

For his part, Ron Paul says hurricane relief isn’t the responsibility of the state and we should stop using tax dollars to rescue people. Apparently we should go back to our year-1900 disaster policies, which included watching 6,000 people die in a hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas.

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Wrangling The Giant Vampire Squid

VampireSquidMatt Taibbi has been waiting to watch Goldman Sachs executives go to jail for a while–at least since 2009 when he called Goldman the “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

Released today, the latest installment of Taibbi’s manifesto against all things Goldman sets up a pretty simple proposition based on the recently released 650-page report from Senator Carl Levin’s Subcommittee on Investigations, detailing the collapse of the American financial system. Taibbi wastes no time with whodunnit paragraphs, instead setting the smoking gun on the doorstep of the Department of Justice. Like a rewriting of the Senate investigator’s above quote, Taibbi declares, “Everything’s fucked up, and it’s time for Goldman Sachs to go to jail. You don’t even have to investigate because the Senate did it for you. Just issue those subpoenas.” (The Atlantic Wire)

Apparently the vampire squid also has an appetite for metal.… Read the rest

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The Real Housewives Of Wall Street

404px-Morgan_Stanley_on_Times_SquareMatt Taibbi asks “Why is the Federal Reserve forking over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs?”, as ever in Rolling Stone:

America has two national budgets, one official, one unofficial. The official budget is public record and hotly debated: Money comes in as taxes and goes out as jet fighters, DEA agents, wheat subsidies and Medicare, plus pensions and bennies for that great untamed socialist menace called a unionized public-sector workforce that Republicans are always complaining about. According to popular legend, we’re broke and in so much debt that 40 years from now our granddaughters will still be hooking on weekends to pay the medical bills of this year’s retirees from the IRS, the SEC and the Department of Energy.

Most Americans know about that budget. What they don’t know is that there is another budget of roughly equal heft, traditionally maintained in complete secrecy.

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How The Banksters Got Away With The Biggest Rip-Off Ever

Plunder: The Crime of Our TimeHats off to Matt Taibbi for staying on the Wall Street crime beat, asking in his most recent report in Rolling Stone: “Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?”

“Financial crooks,” he argues, “brought down the world’s economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them.”

True enough, but that’s only part of the story. The Daily Kos called his investigation a “depressing read” perhaps because it suggests that the Obama Administration is not doing what it should to reign in financial crime. Many of the lawyers he calls on to act come from big corporate law firms and buy into their worldview.

Kos should be more depressed by the failure of the progressive community to focus on these issues, and not pressing the government to do the right thing.

There is much more to this story. It’s also more about institutions than individuals, more about a captured system that enables and covers up crime and, then, deflects attention away from the deeper problem.… Read the rest

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Matt Taibbi: Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?

White CollarI have been a fan of Matt Taibbi’s work for quite some time, looks like he is asking the really “big” question in his most recent article (one that Danny Schechter, who Disinformation has worked with, has focused his work upon). I encourage you to read this article in Rolling Stone. Matt Taibbi writes:

Over drinks at a bar on a dreary, snowy night in Washington this past month, a former Senate investigator laughed as he polished off his beer.

“Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail,” he said. “That’s your whole story right there. Hell, you don’t even have to write the rest of it. Just write that.”

I put down my notebook. “Just that?”

“That’s right,” he said, signaling to the waitress for the check. “Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail. You can end the piece right there.”

Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth — and nobody went to jail.

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