Matthew C. Taibbi (/taɪˈiːbi/; born March 2, 1970) is an American author and journalist. Taibbi has reported on politics, media, finance, and sports, and has authored several books, including Insane Clown President (2017), The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap (2014), Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America (2010) and The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion (2009).
Taibbi in 2008
Matthew C. Taibbi
March 2, 1970
|Alma mater||Bard College (BA)|
|Occupation||Journalist, political writer, columnist|
|Relatives||Mike Taibbi (father)|
Taibbi was born in 1970 to Mike Taibbi, an NBC television reporter, and his wife. According to Matt, his surname Taibbi is a Sicilian name of Lebanese/Arabic origin, but his father, who is partly of Filipino-Hawaiian descent, was adopted as a child by a Sicilian-American couple who possessed the surname. He grew up in the Boston, Massachusetts suburbs. He attended Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1992 from Bard College located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. He spent a year abroad studying at Saint Petersburg Polytechnical University in Russia. Taibbi is atheist/agnostic.
Taibbi moved to Mongolia for a time in the mid-1990s, where he played professional basketball in the Mongolian Basketball Association (MBA), which, he says, is the only basketball league outside the US that uses the same rules as the NBA. Taibbi became known as "The Mongolian Rodman", was paid $100/month to play, and says he also hosted a radio show while there.
Taibbi lived and worked in Russia and the former USSR for more than six years. He joined Mark Ames in 1997 to co-edit the English-language Moscow-based, bi-weekly free newspaper, The eXile, which was written primarily for the city's expatriate community. The eXile's tone and content were highly controversial. To some, its commentary was brutally honest and gleefully tasteless; others considered it juvenile, misogynistic, and even cruel. In the U.S. media, Playboy magazine published pieces on Russia both by Taibbi and by Taibbi and Ames together during this time. In 2000, Taibbi published his first book, The Exile: Sex, Drugs, and Libel in the New Russia, co-authored with Ames. He later stated that he was addicted to heroin while he did this early writing.
In 2017, Taibbi came under fire for excerpts from a chapter in the book written by Ames that described sexual harassment of employees at The eXile. In a 2017 Facebook post responding to the controversy, Taibbi apologized for the "cruel and misogynistic language" used in the book, but said the work was conceived as a satire of the "reprehensible" behavior of American expatriates in Russia and that the description of events in the chapter was "fictional and not true". Although the book includes a note saying that it is a work of non-fiction, the publisher, Grove Press, has since said that the "statement on the copyright page is incorrect. This book combines exaggerated, invented satire and nonfiction reporting and was categorized as nonfiction because there is no category for a book that is both." Women portrayed in the book have gone on record to defend Taibbi, stating that none of the sexual harassment portrayed in the book "ever happened."
Journalist Kathy Lally wrote in the Washington Post in December 2017 that she and other female journalists were subjected to misogynistic attacks by Taibbi and Ames while she was a correspondent in Moscow in the 1990s. Lally contacted Taibbi in 2017, and he told her, "I certainly would not go about things now the way I did back then," and "I apologize for the physical descriptions. That was gratuitous and uncalled for."
In 2002, he returned to the U.S. to start the satirical bi-weekly The Beast in Buffalo, New York. He left that publication, saying 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).
In March 2005, Taibbi's satirical essay, "The 52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of the Pope", published in the New York Press, was denounced by Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, Matt Drudge, Abe Foxman, and Anthony Weiner. He left the paper in August 2005, shortly after his editor Jeff Koyen was forced out over the article. Taibbi defended the piece as "off-the-cuff burlesque of truly tasteless jokes," written to give his readers a break from a long run of his "fulminating political essays". Taibbi also said he was surprised at the vehement reactions to what he wrote "in the waning hours of a Vicodin haze".
Taibbi became a Contributing Editor at Rolling Stone, writing feature-length articles on domestic and international affairs. He also wrote a weekly political online column, titled "The Low Post", for the magazine's website.
Taibbi covered the 2008 presidential campaign for Real Time with Bill Maher. He was invited as a guest on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show and other MSNBC programs. He has also appeared on Democracy Now! and Chapo Trap House, and served as a contributor on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Taibbi is an occasional guest on the Thom Hartmann radio and TV shows. He was a regular contributor/guest on the Imus in the Morning Show' on the Fox Business network.
Journalist James Verini said that while interviewing Taibbi in a Manhattan restaurant for Vanity Fair, Taibbi cursed and threw a coffee at him, then accosted him as he tried to get away, all in response to Verini's volunteered opinion that Taibbi's book, The Exile: Sex, Drugs, and Libel in the New Russia, was "redundant and discursive". The interview took place in 2010, and Taibbi later described the incident as "an aberration from how I've behaved in the last six or seven years".
After the death of conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart, in March 2012, Taibbi wrote an obituary in Rolling Stone, titled "Andrew Breitbart: Death of a Douche". Many conservatives were angered by the obituary, where Taibbi wrote, "Good! Fuck him. I couldn’t be happier that he’s dead.", though Taibbi claimed that it was "at least half an homage", claiming respect for aspects of Breitbart's style but also alluding to Breitbart's own derisive obituary of Ted Kennedy.
In 2018, Taibbi began publishing a novel, "The Business Secrets of Drug Dealing: Adventures of the Unidentified Black Male," as a serialized subscription via email and a website with an anonymous partner. The novel is fictional with true-crime elements. He is writing since September 2018 a new book, "The Fairway, or Thirty Years After Manufacturing Consent, How Mass Media Still Keeps Thought Inbounds," also in a serialized form with a preface with Noam Chomsky, in reference to Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent published in 1988.
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". In financial and political media the expression "Vampire Squids" has come to represent the perception of the financial and investment sector as entities that "sabotage production" and "sink the economy as they suck the life out of it in the form of rent".
Tackling the assistance to banks given in foreclosure courts, Taibbi traveled to Jacksonville, Florida to observe the "rocket docket." He concluded that it processed foreclosures without regard to the legality of the financial instruments being ruled upon, and sped up the process to enable quick resale of the properties, while obscuring the fraudulent and predatory nature of the loans.
Financial scandals were frequently headlines in 2012, and Taibbi's analyses of their machinations brought him invitations as an expert to discuss events on nationally broadcast television programs. In a discussion of the Libor revelations, Taibbi's coverage  was singled out by Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, Inc., as most important on the topic and required reading.
In February 2014, Taibbi joined First Look Media to head a financial and political corruption-focused publication called Racket. However, after management disputes with First Look's leadership delayed its launch and led to its cancellation, Taibbi returned to Rolling Stone the following October.
Taibbi also wrote a column called "The Sports Blotter" for the free weekly newspaper, The Boston Phoenix, until September 2010. He covered arrests, civil suits, and criminal trials involving professional, college and at times, high school athletes.
In 2008, Taibbi was awarded the National Magazine Award in the category "Columns and Commentary" for his Rolling Stone columns. He won a Sidney Award in 2009 for his article "The Great American Bubble Machine".
The Adbusters Media Foundation is a Canadian-based not-for-profit, pro-environment organization founded in 1989 by Kalle Lasn and Bill Schmalz in Vancouver, British Columbia. Adbusters describes itself as "a global network of artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age."Characterized by some as anti-capitalist or opposed to capitalism, it publishes the reader-supported, advertising-free Adbusters, an activist magazine with an international circulation of 120,000 by the late 2000s devoted to challenging consumerism. Past and present contributors to the magazine include Jonathan Barnbrook, Morris Berman, Brendan Connell, Simon Critchley, David Graeber, Michael Hardt, Chris Hedges, Bill McKibben, Jim Munroe, David Orrell, Douglas Rushkoff, Matt Taibbi, Slavoj Žižek, and others.
Adbusters has launched numerous international campaigns, including Buy Nothing Day, TV Turnoff Week and Occupy Wall Street, and is known for their "subvertisements" that spoof popular advertisements. In English, Adbusters has bi-monthly American, Canadian, Australian, UK and International editions of each issue. Adbusters's sister organizations include Résistance à l'Aggression Publicitaire and Casseurs de Pub in France, Adbusters Norge in Norway, Adbusters Sverige in Sweden and Culture Jammers in Japan.First Look Media
First Look Media is an American media organization founded by Pierre Omidyar in October 2013 as a venue for "original, independent journalism".Goldman roll
The Goldman roll is the monthly sale and purchase of commodities for the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (S&P-GSCI).
While a stock market index is a purely mathematical construct, a commodity index requires entering a long position or ownership of a physical product through a futures exchange. These contracts must be released and renewed, typically monthly. This roll yield both creates and requires arbitrage opportunities which are statististically significant, measuring a Sharpe ratio as high as 4.4 between 2000 and 2010.As the S&P-GSCI was the first commodity index and remains popular, the rollover of its futures was analyzed and described as the Goldman roll.
Yiqun Mou's analysis of the Goldman roll indicates up to $26 billion was made through arbitrage of the Goldman roll between 2000 and 2009. Matt Taibbi, describing the Goldman roll, said "there are lots of folks who believe that knowing when and how it works gives investors an unfair advantage (particularly Goldman)—but in the interest of not having the reader’s head explode, we’ll skip that topic for now."Griftopia
Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America is a 2010 book by the political journalist Matt Taibbi about the events that led to the financial crisis of 2008.
It argues that the crisis was not an accident of the free market but the result of a complex and ongoing politico-financial process taking place in the United States whereby wealth and power are transferred to a super-rich "grifter class" that holds a grip on the political process. The book has been described as a "necessary ... corrective" of the assertion that bubbles are inevitable in the market system, and contests the notion that the greed of the American consumer was a primary cause of the problem.Taibbi maintains that "all of us, conservatives and progressives, are being bled dry by a tiny oligarchy of extremely clever criminals and their castrato henchmen in government."Hugh McColl
Hugh L. McColl Jr. (born 18 June 1935) is a fourth-generation banker and the former Chairman and CEO of Bank of America. Active in banking since around 1960, McColl was a driving force behind consolidating a series of progressively larger, mostly Southern banks, thrifts and financial institutions into a super-regional banking force, "the first ocean-to-ocean bank in the nation's history."Tony Plath, director of banking studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, described this transformation in 2005 as "the most significant banking story of the late 20th century." In 2012, journalist Matt Taibbi described the transition as "a cartoonish arms race of bank acquisitions that would ultimately turn the American business world upside down."As a young man, McColl along with a colleague had envisioned creating the first truly national bank with branches from coast to coast.Insane Clown President
Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus is a non-fiction book by Matt Taibbi about Donald Trump and the 2016 United States presidential election. The book contains illustrations by Rolling Stone artist Victor Juhasz. Taibbi's choice of title for the book was motivated by Trump's marketing style. His work was inspired by Hunter S. Thompson, who had previously published Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.Taibbi begins the work by quoting from his 2008 book The Great Derangement, asserting he predicted the onslaught of fake news and the beginnings of the alt-right in society. He argues such societal factors helped set the tone for a climate in which Trump could ascend to the presidency. Taibbi writes that Trump's prior experiences in reality television gave him the tools to triumph in an era of post-truth politics. He criticizes the media for its coverage of Trump, describing how the candidate's inflammatory campaign rhetoric led to increased publicity. The book documents a chronology of the author's thoughts over time as he begins to realize Trump's increasing chances of success. Taibbi reflects back on the events after the election, concluding Trump won because he was able to harness the power of television.The book was a commercial success, debuting in hardcover nonfiction at number 15 on The New York Times Best Seller list. The New York Times also listed it as a best seller in its separate category of combined print and ebooks. It debuted at number six in the Los Angeles Times best seller list, remaining on that list for two months. It was also a best seller in New Zealand.Insane Clown President was positively reviewed by Publishers Weekly, which called it "equal parts entertaining and enlightening". Kirkus Reviews pointed out the author's lack of pretense for objectivity, and concluded, "[a] lively set of dispatches that shows how even the harshest skeptic in the pundit class can be blindsided." San Francisco Chronicle called it "a rich trove of sharply written essays from the campaign". The New York Times criticized the work for its lack of moderation. The Daily Beast characterized it as "raucous, trenchant, knee-slapping". Adelaide Review said it was, "one of the finest exponents of polemic journalism". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette criticized the book for not delving deeply into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. Santa Barbara Independent concluded, "Insane Clown President is a valuable work about one of the most bizarre electoral outcomes in American history."Joseph Cassano
Joseph J. "Joe" Cassano (born 12 March 1955) is an American insurance executive who was an officer at AIG Financial Products from the division's founding in 1987 until his resignation in February 2008. Cassano is considered a key figure in the late-2000s financial crisis. Political writer Matt Taibbi nicknamed him "Patient Zero of the global economic meltdown."Mark Ames
Mark Ames (born October 3, 1965) is a Brooklyn-based American journalist. He was the editor of the biweekly the eXile in Moscow, from its founding in 1997 until its closing in 2008. Ames has also written for the New York Press, PandoDaily, The Nation, Playboy, The San Jose Mercury News, Alternet, Птюч Connection, GQ (Russian edition), and is the author of three books. He currently co-hosts the podcast Radio War Nerd along with John Dolan.New York Press
New York Press was a free alternative weekly in New York City, which was published from 1988 to 2011.The Press strove to create a rivalry with the Village Voice. Press editors claimed to have tried to hire away writer Nat Hentoff from the Voice. Liz Trotta of The Washington Post compared the rivalry to a similar sniping between certain publications in the eighteenth-century British press, such as the Analytical Review and its self-styled nemesis, the Anti-Jacobin Review. The founder, Russ Smith, was a conservative who wrote a long column called "Mugger" in every issue, but did not promote just a right-wing viewpoint in the publication.The paper's weekly circulation in 2006 topped 100,000, compared to about 250,000 for the Village Voice, but this total fell to 20,000 by the end of the paper's run. The Press touted a Manhattan-focused, controlled distribution system while a good portion of the Village Voice's circulation is outside the NYC metro area.The print edition of New York Press was discontinued on September 1, 2011; its online edition was an aggregate of Manhattan Media's other publications. The print edition of Our Town Downtown was resumed in its place, after merging with New York Press. NYPress.com is currently owned by Straus News.P.W. Long
Preston Wright Long III (aka Preston Cleveland) is an American musician, journalist and documentary filmmaker.
He is best known as lead singer and guitar player for the groups Wig, Mule and P.W. Long's Reelfoot; most of his recorded work has been released and/or distributed by Touch and Go Records. Long has released four solo albums; slice-of-life narratives typically delivered as hard rock with country music flourishes. Critic Zac Johnson favorably compares Long's music to iconic Johnny Cash, writing, "both share the same kind of working-class, tough-guy, busted-knuckle, rattlesnake-eyed persona."Real Time with Bill Maher (season 6)
This is a list of episodes from the sixth season of Real Time with Bill Maher.Richard H. Walker
Richard H. Walker (b. 1950) is an American lawyer. He is former general counsel of corporate and investment banking at Deutsche Bank and former director of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Division of Enforcement, where he worked for ten years. Before working at the SEC, Walker was a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.Steve Brodner
Steve Brodner (born October 19, 1954 in Brooklyn, New York) is a satirical illustrator and caricaturist working for publications in the US since the 1970s. He is accepted in the fields of journalism and the graphic arts as a master of the editorial idiom. Currently a regular contributor to GQ, The Nation, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, Brodner's art journalism has appeared in most major magazines and newspapers in the United States, such as Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Esquire, Time, Playboy, Mother Jones, Harper's, and The Atlantic. His work, first widely seen exposing and attacking Reagan-era scandals, is credited with helping spearhead the 1980s revival of pointed and entertaining graphic commentary in the US. He is currently working on a book about the presidents of the United States.
Brodner attended Cooper Union, in New York City and graduated in 1976 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Brodner went on to work briefly for the Hudson Dispatch in Hudson County, NJ after leaving college. Between 1979 and 1982 he self-published the New York Illustrated News, which featured his work as well as those of colleagues. In 1977, he began his freelance career with The New York Times Book Review, working with Steven Heller, art director. Soon he was working with Lewis Lapham and Sheila Wolfe at Harper's on a monthly page of commentary entitled Ars Politica.
In the following year he became a regular contributor to magazines across the US, eventually becoming house artist as well as writer and artist of monthly back pages for Esquire under the editorships of Lee Eisenberg (author), David Hirshey and the designer, Rip Georges. During and after Esquire it was on to Spy Magazine and then to The New Yorker, under Tina Brown and then David Remnick, Chris Curry, Caroline Maihot and Françoise Mouly, art directors. At Rolling Stone, under Jann Wenner and Amid Capesi, art director, Brodner was the film review artist, working with Peter Travers, and later a series for National Affairs page with Matt Taibbi and others.Taibbi
Taibbi is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Matt Taibbi (born 1970), American author and journalist; son of Mike Taibbi
Mike Taibbi, American television journalist; father of Matt TaibbiThe Beast (newspaper)
The Beast was a Buffalo, New York alternative biweekly newspaper from 2002 until 2009 and then published exclusively online until about 2013.
The Beast was founded by Matt Taibbi, Kevin McElwee, and Paul Fallon in 2002. (Taibbi and McElwee had previously collaborated on The eXile.) It was originally a free biweekly newspaper but in 2007 began to charge for issues as a national monthly publication that also offered international subscriptions. In late 2009, The Beast stopped producing print editions but maintained an online presence with the tagline: "The World's Only Website." The Beast's longest-serving editor was Allan Uthman.An annual feature of The Beast was "The 50 Most Loathsome Americans" - a list of infamous celebrities, authors, athletes, pundits, politicians, and others selected for their dubious distinction, with reasons and examples given for each entry's inclusion.On February 23, 2011, editor Ian Murphy placed a prank telephone call to Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin during the 2011 Wisconsin budget protests.The Beast website was closed in 2013.The eXile
The eXile was a Moscow-based English-language biweekly free tabloid newspaper, aimed at the city's expatriate community, which combined outrageous, sometimes satirical, content with investigative reporting. In October 2006, co-editor Jake Rudnitsky summarized The eXile's editorial policy to The Independent: "We shit on everybody equally." The eXile is now published in an online-only format.Rolling Stone magazine said in 1998 that then-coeditors "Mark Ames and Matt Taibbi take the raw material of this decadent new Moscow and convert it into 25,000 instantly snapped-up issues of The eXile, consisting of misogynist rants, dumb pranks, insulting club listings and photos of blood-soaked corpses, all redeemed by political reporting that's read seriously not only in Moscow but also in Washington." A CNN documentary in 1999 focusing on The eXile agreed, saying, "Brazen, irreverent, immodest, and rude, the eXile struggles with the harsh truth of the new century in Russia...Since 1997, Ames and Taibbi have lampooned and investigated greed, corruption, cowardice and complacency." The Moscow Times writes that "The eXile, which publishes Gonzo-style journalism on topics such as drugs, prostitution and Moscow nightlife side-by-side with political analysis, has often pushed the limits of decency -- not to mention libel law." Newsweek correspondent Owen Matthews called The eXile "brilliant and outrageous." The eXile's history saw several practical jokes, including reportedly getting Mikhail Gorbachev to enter negotiations to secure a position as "perestroika coordinator" for the New York Jets. Jonathan Shainin of Salon.com also wrote in 2005 that The eXile "ran serious press criticism salted with vicious personal attacks on reporters."
On June 10, 2008, columnist Gary Brecher ("The War Nerd") published a letter on the website asking for donations from readers, saying "it takes money and we have none, zero, aren't even getting paid any more". On June 19, 2008, The Daily Telegraph reported that following a government audit, the paper would cease to be printed and would, from then on, appear only on the Internet. A month after shutting down, the newspaper launched a web site called eXiled Online. According to Mark Ames, the new site is to "focus more on the United States," though the Saint Petersburg Times reported that co-editor Yasha Levine will remain in Russia "as long as [he] can hold out."