bad and dumb and needless and not matt taibbi’s fault
October 30, 2014 12:29 PM   Subscribe

Matt Taibbi has left Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media before Taibbi's digital magazine, Racket, ever debuted. First Look is still publishing The Intercept, and that magazine's Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Jeremy Scahill, and John Cook have chosen to tell the inside story on Taibbi's leaving.

tl;dr is in Cook's tweet: "what has happened is bad and dumb and needless and not matt taibbi’s fault"
posted by graymouser (79 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sounds kind of like his fault partially at least, if it is true his combative style carried over to his management and he was abusive towards a woman working for him, as the article describes.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:40 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


I can't argue with that, Drinky Die. I just found Cook's tweet to be the best pull quote to start from.
posted by graymouser at 12:47 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


A few months later, over the summer, Omidyar told employees that he was “re-tooling” the company’s focus and building a laboratory environment to foster the development of new technologies for delivering and consuming news—the idea, he said at the time, was to orient the company more toward “products,” as opposed to “content.”
Startups call this radical shift in focus "doing a pivoturd".
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:47 PM on October 30, 2014 [14 favorites]


Beyond Taibbi's behavior, whatever it might have been, it really sounds like Omidyar has no idea what he wants to do with the company. That really bodes ill for The Intercept.
posted by selfnoise at 12:48 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


A few months later, over the summer, Omidyar told employees that he was “re-tooling” the company’s focus and building a laboratory environment to foster the development of new technologies for delivering and consuming news—the idea, he said at the time, was to orient the company more toward “products,” as opposed to “content.”
The Kiss of Death.

And very probably Omidyar's ultimate ambition in the first place, and indicates that the flashy hires were credibility in a can, and never meant to be more than window dressing.
posted by jamjam at 12:49 PM on October 30, 2014 [27 favorites]


I can't decide if it sounds like someone desperately trying, and failing, to be evenhanded, or a bunch of people trying to get their stories straight.
posted by Ham Snadwich at 12:52 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


I found this account to remarkably even-handed, considering the lack of obligation to objectivity due to the source. Better than many companies would do.
posted by softlord at 12:53 PM on October 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


Omidyar told employees that he was “re-tooling” the company’s focus

When I see "re-tooling" in the context of management the pejorative connotation of "tool" is the first that comes to mind.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:00 PM on October 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


No no no it's not WHAT you read but HOW you read it. You see, I happened upon this book by some guy Marshall McLusomething and it was to<--- this is the point where the choking to death on tongue begins.
posted by basicchannel at 1:08 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


His vision was a hard-hitting, satirical magazine in the style of the old Spy that would employ Taibbi’s facility for merciless ridicule, humor, and parody to attack Wall Street and the corporate world.

It's too bad, because I would read the fuck out of that magazine, regardless of what "delivery product technology" embodied it.
posted by The Bellman at 1:15 PM on October 30, 2014 [26 favorites]


I found this account to remarkably even-handed, considering the lack of obligation to objectivity due to the source. Better than many companies would do.

The Intercept is not supposed to be the voice of First Look Media and it's owners, though. First Look Media has its own separate corporate blog. It's an odd venue for this piece - by placing it in The Intercept it implies that we should read this as the work of independent journalism.
posted by muddgirl at 1:16 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think First Look Media is a vanity project, not a bait and switch over content vs. product. The Intercept's story makes it sound to me like what happens when an investor says "hey, wait a minute, I actually do expect to make a return here" which is probably what one of the minority partners has started saying.
posted by feloniousmonk at 1:18 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh boy, the folks over at Pando are gonna eat this up with a spoon...
posted by overeducated_alligator at 1:20 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


I guess my question is what I have to do to get NSFWCorp back.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:23 PM on October 30, 2014


ACTUALLY it was about ethics in re-tooling journalism.
posted by Behemoth at 1:24 PM on October 30, 2014 [33 favorites]


Paul Carr is already crowing all over twitter. Ugh.
posted by GuyZero at 1:25 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh boy, the folks over at Pando are gonna eat this up with a spoon...

My Twitter feed, which is full of a particular kind of Left journalism obsessive, is already blowing up like you wouldn't believe over this story.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:26 PM on October 30, 2014


satirical magazine in the style of the old Spy

Which in turn was consciously modeled on the UK's Private Eye.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:32 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


That story has such a weird tone; it's part press release, part editorial, but it claims to be an "inside story"; an act of journalism. This paragraph doesn't belong at all:

When First Look was launched last October, it was grounded in two principles: one journalistic, the other organizational. First, journalists would enjoy absolute editorial freedom and journalistic independence. Second, the newsroom would avoid rigid top-down hierarchies and instead would be driven by the journalists and their stories.
posted by spaltavian at 1:32 PM on October 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


I'm at a loss to figure out what Omidyar actually wanted to accomplish here. You can't have a hard-hitting, mercilessly ridiculing, satirical magazine about the corporate world - and have that run within a completely stifling hierarchical corporate overlord sort of environment. Either you let them do what they need to do and mostly keep your hands off, or there's an inherent problem.
posted by naju at 1:35 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


This paragraph doesn't belong at all:

What? Of course it does. That's pretty important to understanding Taibbi's initial expectations.
posted by IAmUnaware at 1:45 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


You can't have a hard-hitting, mercilessly ridiculing, satirical magazine about the corporate world - and have that run within a completely stifling hierarchical corporate overlord sort of environment

To me the environment described in the article didn't sound very corporate at all. It sounded like a startup or small business with a fickle owner who micromanages everything to death. In a big corporate environment the CEO doesn't generally have time to get into petty arguments with rank-and-file employees about seating assignments and expense reports for office supplies.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:48 PM on October 30, 2014 [16 favorites]


Managed impartiality. The "limited hangout" of journalism.
posted by Bas at 1:49 PM on October 30, 2014


It sounds to me like Omidyar's main focus is just on getting investors to invest by whatever means necessary (seems to often be the case for startups these days), and it also sounds to me like Taibbi wants to be running his own magazine with zero interference from anyone else and nobody above him in the chain of command. Not a good match, clearly; hopefully Taibbi can find someone else willing to pay him to start his own magazine, but even if it's only his investors he has to answer to, I'm afraid he's just going to have to get used to the reality of this world, that ultimately everybody answers to somebody.
posted by mstokes650 at 1:52 PM on October 30, 2014


I would kick in hard to a Taibbi kickstarter to build what he thought he was going to have here.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:54 PM on October 30, 2014 [14 favorites]


You can't have a hard-hitting, mercilessly ridiculing, satirical magazine about the corporate world - and have that run within a completely stifling hierarchical corporate overlord sort of environment

You also probably can't have a hard-hitting, mercilessly ridiculing, satirical writer managing other people.

The whole reinventing-the-newsroom idea is an important part of the story, and First Look does, indeed, sound like a clusterfuck. On the one hand, I love the idea of cutting people loose from constraints to tell important stories in innovative ways! On the other hand, expecting every journalist to be all things to all people is a terrible (if very cost efficient!) idea.

A great editor-in-chief isn't necessarily a great managing editor or interviewer or polemicist or proofreader or blogger or video editor or maker of infographics, and yet, increasingly, we're expecting journalists to wear all of those hats at the same time. It's nuts. It may be non-hierarchical, but requiring all that from one person is pretty much the opposite of freeing someone from constraints.

Taibbi's is a fantastic writer, speaker, and interviewer, and I imagine he's a damn decent editor-in-chief. That doesn't mean he's a great manager, or that he's always incredibly easy to work with (which I know, because I have worked with him). At Rolling Stone, and elsewhere, he's relied on an entire team of people to help him with deadlines and research and fact checking and layout and calming other people down and all the tiny little things that need to be sorted out before something can get into print.

And maybe having such a system in place, where a writer can focus on their strengths and on telling their story, isn't such a terrible or corporate thing after all.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 1:57 PM on October 30, 2014 [35 favorites]


My sense from reading the Intercept piece earlier is that Omidyar wanted First Look to be more like what Ezra Klein's Vox.com has become with their "card stacks" and their flashy chartoon-heavy presentation style, whereas Taibbi basically just wants to hit the pavement and do some reporting.

Now, I'm actually a big fan of innovative web presentation stuff -- Vox did great things with the SBNation platform before bringing Klein on, and Gawker's Kinja platform has a lot of neat features as well. Still, Taibbi always struck me as the kind of guy who just wanted to report and write his ass off and not bother with content management platform gimmicks, so it's weird that the First Look brass would be surprised that he wasn't on the same page.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:01 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Omidyar told employees that he was “re-tooling” the company’s focus.

I'm left wondering whether Omidyar realized the complexities and expense of building a news organization and lost interest, or if someone powerful didn't scare the shit out of him over the summer and tell him to back off.

Either way, I'm guessing The Intercept doesn't have long to live.
posted by ryanshepard at 2:03 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


I guess my question is what I have to do to get NSFWCorp back.

Probably get a time machine and subscribe to these things while they exist instead of think about it
posted by C.A.S. at 2:09 PM on October 30, 2014


selfnoise: "Beyond Taibbi's behavior, whatever it might have been, it really sounds like Omidyar has no idea what he wants to do with the company. That really bodes ill for The Intercept."

Actually, it's about ethics in journalism!
posted by symbioid at 2:10 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Damnit, beaten by behemoth.
posted by symbioid at 2:11 PM on October 30, 2014


It's kind of disappointing to see what its participants hailed as a new way of doing journalism essentially turn into a couple blogs + internal squabbling. That said, I didn't really buy into the promises of some transformative vision to begin with. Seems like First Look is indeed turning out to be just another Huffington Post (albeit maybe with less garish presentation).

Also, and I hope this doesn't come off as threadshitting, but I always find it off-putting when media outlets have this story-behind-the-story who-did-what-when chronicle of fights within the newsroom. Mundane office politics doesn't come off as compelling or consequential reading. Just put up the news / opinion, guys, that's what your readers are interested in, not journo-celebrity gossip.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 2:13 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Alex Pareene, one of my favorite writers (who I would have delighted to see working with Taibbi), has added a statement to the Intercept article sticking up forcefully for Taibbi. Go check it out.
posted by billjings at 2:16 PM on October 30, 2014


While he was running the exile Tabbi published dozens of columns (allegedly pseudonymously written by him) boasting about getting STD's off child prostitutes and giving tips on what bars are best to successfully date rape in - among many other similarly tasteful subjects. Sounds like he has toned down a lot if he is now only allegedly verbally abusing women.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 2:21 PM on October 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


From Pareene's statement: "I also categorically reject the allegation that there was a gendered component to his managerial issues."

Different time and different place, but suffice to say that I was not super surprised when I read that gender and anger had something to do with all this.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 2:23 PM on October 30, 2014


Sounds kind of like his fault partially at least, if it is true his combative style carried over to his management and he was abusive towards a woman working for him, as the article describes.

He is combative per someone I know that knows him well. No idea on the facts.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:24 PM on October 30, 2014


Probably get a time machine and subscribe to these things while they exist instead of think about it

I was a print subscriber.


Paul Carr is already crowing all over twitter. Ugh.

That's what you're entitled to do when you're right.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:27 PM on October 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


Combative and sexist are two different things.

(Not that I think that you were implying the opposite, Ironmouth, but I think it's worth pointing out.)
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 2:28 PM on October 30, 2014


I'd pay for Mark Ames to write about anything not-Greenwald related, as he turns from "Angry badger who is pointed at worthy targets" to "Angry shithead giving us all orders on how this here leftist circular firing squad is going to work," anytime Greenwald comes up.

I would never pay for anything with Paul Carr's name attached to it ever again, as I've never actually seen him contribute anything but bile and self regard to the conversation.

I'd pay for the War Nerd just to hang out and be chill.
posted by turntraitor at 2:55 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


That's what you're entitled to do when you're right.

Maybe an "I told you so" would be fair, but the level of weird vitriol that Ames, Carr, and Levine are unleashing over this on Twitter nonetheless seems far out of proportion to the actual mess. Crowing about how "USS Greenwald is sinking," referring to the mild corrective of Pareene's update as if it demonstrated Greenwald et al were "smearing" Taibbi and "throwing him under the bus," et cetera et bilious cetera. Even as someone who generally enjoys their flavor of bile when it's deployed in the service of muckraking, I'm not sure what purpose the resentment-filled pile-on serves here besides gratifying their already ridiculous egos. As far as I can see the ex-Exiled crew are not adding much analysis to this situation at all, beyond making it seem ever more like the central concern is choosing sides in a playground game rather than sticking up for good independent journalism whoever funds it. A reasonable response to the death of a seemingly once-promising journalistic project would be thoughtful disappointment, not celebration.
posted by RogerB at 3:11 PM on October 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


"He repeatedly told First Look that he would resign if it did not reverse the decision to reduce his managerial duties, and was insistent that he would accept no changes that could be construed as an acceptance on his part of the validity of the employee complaint.

Update: Racket executive editor Alex Pareene offered a statement to The Intercept saying, “Having worked closely with Matt since he hired me, I witnessed no behavior on his part that I would characterize as ‘abusive,’ and his hostility was reserved for his superiors, not his subordinates [and] I also categorically reject the allegation that there was a gendered component to his managerial issues.” Pareene’s full statement is at the bottom of this post.

None of us witnessed any of the alleged behavior on Taibbi’s part that sparked the investigation, and the complaining employee did not want to be identified in this article or speak on the record."


So, the "complaining employee" gets to make what appear to be unsubstantiated claims about Taibbi's gender-based discrimination, yet that employee didn't want to be identified or speak on the record? What a crock! Whoever that person is, s/he deserves to be investigated by First Look, and if the allegations don't have merit, fired from First Look.

Gender discrimination should never be tolerated, but neither should anyone using false allegations of gender discrimination be tolerated, because their behavior makes it more difficult for our culture to take legitimate seriously.
posted by Vibrissae at 3:12 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Gender discrimination should never be tolerated, but neither should anyone using false allegations of gender discrimination be tolerated

This
complained to senior management that Taibbi had been verbally abusive and unprofessionally hostile, and that she felt the conduct may have been motivated, at least in part, by her gender
is not a false allegation of gender discrimination, and it's certainly not and should not be a fireable offense. What a strangely exaggerated reaction to someone's opinion about their boss.
posted by muddgirl at 3:23 PM on October 30, 2014 [20 favorites]


Framing this as "The Inside Story" was shameless. Being a good righteous ethical anti-authoritarian iconoclast doesn't magically make you immune to conflicts of interest, and the article is an obvious attempt by the authors to build a narrative around this mess that will leave their budget and credibility intact. Good for Alex Pareene for refusing to go along with it. I wonder why these great investigative journalists failed to get a comment from him before they published though.
posted by otio at 3:34 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the "WE did everything right and are chugging along merrily!" bits are a bit tone-deaf.
posted by muddgirl at 3:35 PM on October 30, 2014


Combative and sexist are two different things.

Sometimes. But they can be very close cousins. Not that I have any knowledge of the particular facts here.
posted by The Bellman at 3:36 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm hardly metafilter's prime feminist but even I can see the problem with your standard Vibrissae - there was an internal investigation - and the conclusion was there was not enough evidence to risk legal action - not that there was no evidence of wrongdoing or that the allegation was false. If you want to go to court, you need to be confident a judge will find in your favour. If you want to print defamatory statements likewise. But most gender based discrimination occurs in a gray area because people don't think about collecting evidence for the subsequent court battle when they are having private conversations.

In this situation - reporting that the allegation had been made internally and the conclusions of that investigation was entirely the appropriate way for a journalist to deal with the allegations. Without the very proper constraints of a court of law people can draw their own conclusions with the knowledge that everyone seems to agree Tabbi is a total arsehole to work with and (as i mentioned above) has a history of endorsing and (allegedly) taking part in disgusting misogyny as to whether the claims are plausible or not.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 3:37 PM on October 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


I don't care where Taibbi writes, but he's got to write. He's been silent already for way too long.
posted by Trochanter at 3:39 PM on October 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


Running shit: it ain't all gravy.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:58 PM on October 30, 2014



This paragraph doesn't belong at all:

What? Of course it does. That's pretty important to understanding Taibbi's initial expectations.


That reads like a press release: "we're independent and talented and fearless" is an statement from management, it shouldn't be in something that purports to be a reported story of what happened. Taibbi's expectations and how they weren't meant should be sourced, not declared.

This would be fine as a corporate statement from First Look, or on a blog, but instead it's an article in The Intercept.
posted by spaltavian at 4:02 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


is not a false allegation of gender discrimination, and it's certainly not and should not be a fireable (sic) offense. What a strangely exaggerated reaction to someone's opinion about their boss

So is it acceptable to make a false allegation about gender discrimination, using said allegation as a weapon? Given the resounding comments of others (peers) to the contrary, and the plitical tensions inside the organization, the accusation has at the very least the taint of using a false gender discrimination complaint as a revenge tool.

I have never been the victim of that kind of scam, but I know two people who were so victimized - and, as a result caused them to have to defocus from their work (to defend themselves) and survive the taint of the accusation among their senior superiors. In both cases there was no merit found to the charges, but the complainant walked away, unscathed. In one case (I don't know them both, equally, it was clear that the accusation was fabricated and based on personal animus between the parties).

What I find strangely exaggerated is the assumption that using gender discrimination accusations can never be used as a revenge tool, instead of merely "someone's opinion about their boss". It's the same way that "child abuse" accusations are used by people who want to taint their spouse, to gain advantage and/or revenge.
posted by Vibrissae at 4:06 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


So is it acceptable to make a false allegation about gender discrimination, using said alegation as a weapon?

Why are you assuming the allegation is false? Because Pareene said so? Is it not at all possible that it did happen, and that an investigation did take place, and that as a dude, Pareene may not have experienced Taibbi's issues with women?

Look, I worked with Taibbi. I am a woman. I have had multiple, commiserating conversations with other women about what it is like to work with the guy, who is particularly abrasive and dismissive where female coworkers are concerned. He was no small part of why I quit a job, even though I had nothing else lined up no savings.

I'm sorry for your friends, but you need to stop dismissing all women's complaints out of hand.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 4:16 PM on October 30, 2014 [42 favorites]


So is it acceptable to make a false allegation about gender discrimination, using said allegation as a weapon?

Literally nobody here said that.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:24 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Whatever the truth is, I for one wouldn't dismiss such an accusation based solely on the say-so of the accused, the say-so of a male colleague of his, and the anonymity of the accuser. I have no reason to believe that Taibbi toned down his abrasiveness around women when the vast majority of men tone theirs up around them.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:27 PM on October 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


I guess we'll just keep having this same conversation every week, RE: "triffling womenz making shit up."
posted by Dark Messiah at 4:39 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


So, the "complaining employee" gets to make what appear to be unsubstantiated claims about Taibbi's gender-based discrimination, yet that employee didn't want to be identified or speak on the record? What a crock! Whoever that person is, s/he deserves to be investigated by First Look, and if the allegations don't have merit, fired from First Look.

Either you have misunderstood the story, or I have. Your comment suggests that an employee made an off-the-record complaint to the journalists who were writing a story about Taibbi's departaure from Racket.

As I read The Intercept piece, they are reporting that an employee that Taibbi supervised made a very much on-the-record complaint about his behavior to senior management. Unless you think that employees who complain of gender discrimination should be required to discuss their experience with any journalist who asks about it, I don't know what point you are making.
posted by layceepee at 5:11 PM on October 30, 2014 [10 favorites]


So is it acceptable to make a false allegation about gender discrimination, using said allegation as a weapon?

What I said is that, from what is written in the Interceptor article, the employee did not seem to make a false allegation.

False allegation of gender discrimination: "Matt Taibbi told me that I would never be a good reporter because I was a woman" when that did not happen.
False allegation: "Matt Taibbi yelled at me. I think he did that because I'm a woman." when Matt Taibbi did not yell at her.
Opinion: "Matt Taibbi yelled at me. I think he did that because I'm a woman." If Matt Taibbi DID yell at her, then the employee's opinion of why that occurred is just that - an opinion. The company investigated and found no actionable behavior. That does not mean that the original opinion was a "false allegation." It means their opinion was not apparently backed up by evidence.
posted by muddgirl at 5:22 PM on October 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


I'm simplifying quite a bit, because it appears that the complaint was about a pattern of behavior and not a single incident, but I'm attempting to be illustrative of the difference between a "false allegation" and just a regular complaint.
posted by muddgirl at 5:24 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Are we forgetting about the sexual harrassment Ames and Taibbi admitted to 'The Exile: Sex Drugs and Libel in the New Russia'? It's not like this is coming from left field - at one point he did have a huge problem with treating women he worked with like strippers at a frat party.
posted by Selena777 at 5:44 PM on October 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


Appears Omidyar is correct that Taibbi should be a celebrity writer, not a manager, fair enough.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:06 PM on October 30, 2014


I also categorically reject the allegation that there was a gendered component to his managerial issues.
I really wonder where Pareene (whose work I respect much more than Taibbi's) thinks he's coming from with this, especially given some of Taibbi's own admissions of behavior (plus the testimony of people in this thread). Did he trail around behind Taibbi constantly during their time together?

Also, I'm not as nostalgic for Spy as other people seem to be. They sometimes made a show of speaking truth (or at least plausible accusations) to power, but quite a lot of their shtick was the sort of college-newspaper-grade snark that no longer sold copies after the Internet made it possible to get that for free. The jump from obsessing over celebrity misbehavior to obsessing over celebrities in general (and occasionally doing an article about their misbehavior) in Vanity Fair was a very short one for Graydon Carter.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:59 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Pareene: I also categorically reject the allegation that there was a gendered component to his managerial issues.

I really wonder where Pareene (whose work I respect much more than Taibbi's) thinks he's coming from with this, especially given some of Taibbi's own admissions of behavior (plus the testimony of people in this thread). Did he trail around behind Taibbi constantly during their time together?


Well, the statement does imply that there were managerial issues. I suspect this may overlaid over 'He's not sexist - he's an asshole to everyone, man or woman'.

Even if that's the case (and I think it is a charitable reading), it would strike me as grasping at straws.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:19 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


muddgirl, it doesn't even mean that.

The actual quote is "none of the alleged conduct rose to the level of legal liability." That doesn't necessarily mean First Look disagrees with her about what happened or how serious it was. It just means that whatever happened, First Look felt it didn't rise to the level of sexual harassment or assault or anything actually illegal.
posted by Susan PG at 1:10 AM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


I have never been the victim of that kind of scam, but I know two people who were so victimized
Funnily enough I also know of two people who felt they were victimised by a false allegation of sexual discrimination. Both were misogynistic pricks who wouldn't have been able to understand why their behaviour was wrong if you explained it to them using very small words.
posted by fullerine at 2:49 AM on October 31, 2014 [7 favorites]




Here's a Taibbi-sympathetic reading of the situation from Yves Smith.

But in any event it seems that there will be a New York Magazine piece with more details shortly (that the quick release of this "Inside Story" post was presumably intended to preempt).
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 12:19 PM on October 31, 2014


Looks like Taibbi is going back to the Stone. I'm fine with that. Pretty bully pulpit.

HT to Noisy. Found out about this in the comments at Naked Capitalism.
posted by Trochanter at 5:33 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Another thing I found out by reading the NC comments: it appears that Taibbi is not FLM's first high-profile departure. Marcy Wheeler left several months ago.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:57 PM on October 31, 2014





I guess we'll just keep having this same conversation every week, RE: "triffling womenz making shit up."

ya know, its not like this shit is solved.

people can be fallible, malicious, mistaken, correct - and many other things besides *always beyond doubt*.

posted by j_curiouser at 12:18 AM on November 1, 2014


"Shortly after the Intercept piece ran, Gawker ran a post by J.K. Trotter titled, Matt Taibbi Left First Look Media After Female Staffer’s Complaint. The piece is tightly focused on the headline issue. Now you could say that is just Gawker being Gawker. But John Cook, one of the authors of the Intercept story, was recently the editor-in-chief of Gawker, and he hired J.K. Trotter as a gossip reporter. "

"A deep pockets organization, which is normally a plum litigation target, didn’t even bother hiring an outside law firm"

From the link from Noisy Pink Bubbles
posted by C.A.S. at 5:42 AM on November 1, 2014


NYT: At First Look Media, Personalities Prove Tough to Manage

In which we learn:
- Jay Rosen also left FLM a while back
- That longer NYM piece definitely will be run
- The NYT makes interesting errors/corrections
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 8:43 AM on November 1, 2014


people can be fallible, malicious, mistaken, correct

The fact that a woman lied about rape in 1984 doesn't mean that we should dismiss all women's complaints (even about things that have absolutely nothing to do with rape) out of hand, forever.

That's like saying that we should be immediately skeptical or dismissive of anything Taibbi says because journalists have been known to lie in the past.

This story isn't about one woman's employee complaint, but an entire chain of management decisions made by one particular company, most of which are related to other issues entirely.

posted by evidenceofabsence at 10:35 AM on November 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ok, so here is the long awaited NYMag piece.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 7:50 PM on November 2, 2014


... which, I'm sad to report, doesn't really tell us anything we didn't know already. Mostly just dwells on PO's background and motivations.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 8:47 PM on November 2, 2014


I just hope the big Taibbi article that's getting talked about is the Holder thing because, I don't know about you guys but I'm seeing a lot of puff pieces on him as he's exiting the AG post and I think it's bunk.

When it comes to the bankers he was like the manager in Brazil, hiding in his office.

Come baaaack Maaaaatt!!!
posted by Trochanter at 1:46 PM on November 3, 2014


And he is back. The $9 Billion Witness

It IS about Holder, though through the story of Alayne Fleischmann.
A few weeks later, in early 2007, she sent a long letter to another managing director, William Buell. In the letter, she warned Buell of the consequences of reselling these bad loans as securities and gave detailed descriptions of breakdowns in Chase's diligence process.

Fleischmann assumed this letter, which Chase lawyers would later jokingly nickname "The Howler" after the screaming missive from the Harry Potter books, would be enough to force the bank to stop selling the bad loans. "It used to be if you wrote a memo, they had to stop, because now there's proof that they knew what they were doing," she says. "But when the Justice Department doesn't do anything, that stops being a deterrent. I just didn't know that at the time."
posted by Trochanter at 9:14 AM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]




New thread about the Rolling Stone article.
posted by homunculus at 10:17 AM on November 7, 2014


Now the Intercept's EIC is leaving to return to Gawker... possibly related
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 12:44 AM on November 14, 2014


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