Matt Taibbi
Matt Taibbi
Matthew C. Taibbi (/taɪˈiːbi/; born March 2, 1970) is an American author, journalist, and podcaster. He has reported on finance, media, politics, and sports. He is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, author of several books, co-host of Useful Idiots, and publisher of a newsletter on Substack.Source
New Jersey, United States
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We Need a New Media System

We Need a New Media System

The moment a group of people stormed the Capitol building last Wednesday, news companies began the process of sorting and commoditizing information that long ago became standard in American media. Media firms work backward. They first ask, “How does our target demographic want to understand what’s just unfolded?” Then they pick both the words and the facts they want to emphasize. It’s why Fox News uses the term, “Pro-Trump protesters,” while New York and The Atlantic use “Insurrectionists.” It’s why conservative media today is stressing how Apple, Google, and Amazon shut down the “Free...

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Matt Taibbi
Jan 11
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The YouTube Ban Is Un-American, Wrong, and Will Backfire

The YouTube Ban Is Un-American, Wrong, and Will Backfire

SubscribeStart with the headline: Supporting the 2020 U.S. Election. YouTube in its company blog can’t even say, “Banning Election Conspiracy Theories.” They have to employ the Orwellian language of politicians — Healthy Forests, Clear Skies, “Supported” Elections — because Google and YouTube are now political actors, who can’t speak plainly any more than a drunk can walk in a straight line.The company wrote Wednesday:Yesterday was the safe-harbor deadline for the U.S. Presidential election and enough states have certified their election results to determine a President-elect. Given that,...

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Matt Taibbi
Dec 11
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Trump’s Gone, So What’s Next for the Democrats?

Trump’s Gone, So What’s Next for the Democrats?

Now what? After four years of manias and catastrophizing, with constant warnings about the “existential threat” posed by , the monster is dead. Trump, the democratic Saddam, has lost, and his metaphorical statue will soon be dragged out of the White House, to the cheers of nearly every pundit in the land.From there, the hard part begins. We know who is, but what is the Democratic Party in the post-Trump era? At the national level anyway, a combination of good and bad luck has allowed the party to avoid defining itself for nearly two decades.For the past two presidential election cycles, the...

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Matt Taibbi
Dec 10
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Pandemic Villains: Robinhood

Pandemic Villains: Robinhood

SubscribeAs the world went into lockdown and the global economy into a spiral last spring, one company struck gold. A phone-based trading app called Robinhood began wiping the floor with more celebrated online brokerage rivals like Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and E-Trade. The moment the pandemic began, it seemed, the world started trading stocks on Robinhood. The numbers were staggering. Robinhood’s average daily trading in the first quarter of this year, compared with the last quarter of 2019, and saw a tenfold increase in net deposits as millions were losing their jobs. The New York...

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Matt Taibbi
Dec 9
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How the COVID-19 Bailout Gave Wall Street a No-Lose Casino

How the COVID-19 Bailout Gave Wall Street a No-Lose Casino

While ordinary Americans face record unemployment and loss, the COVID-19 bailout has saved the very richShare ThisThis story appears in the June 2020 print edition of Rolling Stone.In late April Marko Kolanovic, a financial analyst for JPMorgan Chase, wrote to clients with good news. Pandemic aside, investors should expect stock prices in S&P 500 companies to return to record numbers some time early next year!“The S&P 500 should attain previous all-time highs,” Kolanovic wrote, “if the monetary measures are sustained.”The key part of this phrase was the last bit, “if the monetary measures...

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Matt Taibbi
May 13
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Public Defender Tales: Innocent, But Fined

Public Defender Tales: Innocent, But Fined

SubscribeOn August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, a veteran police officer named Darren Wilson shot and killed an 18-year-old Black man named Michael Brown. The resulting furor led to protests across the country, igniting a debate about brutality, use of force, and policing tactics that rages to this day.In the wake of the protests in Ferguson, Barack Obama’s Justice Department opened a federal civil rights investigation of the city’s police department. On page 2 of the resulting report, the DOJ zeroed in on something unexpected: revenue. Ferguson police, the feds said, were under constant...

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Matt Taibbi
Nov 30
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Glenn Greenwald On His Resignation From The Intercept

Glenn Greenwald On His Resignation From The Intercept

Subscribe journalist Glenn Greenwald quit his job this morning. In a bizarre, ironic, and disturbing commentary on trends in modern media, the celebrated reporter was forced to resign after writing a story criticizing both the Biden campaign and intelligence community — only to have it spiked by the editors of The Intercept, the news outlet he co-founded six years ago with the aim of preventing pretty much this exact situation.“The irony,” Greenwald says, “is that a media outlet I co-founded, and which was built on my name and my accomplishments, with the purpose of guaranteeing editorial...

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Matt Taibbi
Oct 30
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The media — and social media — drive to squelch information a menace no matter who wins election

The media — and social media — drive to squelch information a menace no matter who wins election

Thanks for contacting us. We've received your submission.The incredible decision by Twitter and Facebook to about a cache of e-mails reportedly belonging to Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s son Hunter, with Twitter going so far as to lock the 200-year-old newspaper out of its own account for more than a week, continues to be a major underreported scandal.The hypocrisy is mind-boggling. Imagine the reaction if that same set of facts involved The New York Times and any of its multitudinous unverifiable “exposés” from the last half-decade: from the similarly leaked “black ledger” story...

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Matt Taibbi
Oct 28
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With the Hunter Biden Expose, Suppression is a Bigger Scandal Than The Actual Story

With the Hunter Biden Expose, Suppression is a Bigger Scandal Than The Actual Story

SubscribeThe incredible decision by Twitter and Facebook to  about a cache of emails reportedly belonging to Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s son Hunter, with Twitter going so far as to  for over a week, continues to be a major underreported scandal.The hypocrisy is mind-boggling. Imagine the reaction if that same set of facts involved the New York Times and any of its multitudinous unverifiable “exposes” from the last half-decade: from the ” story implicating Paul Manafort, to its  “” story, to its  of  about the far more dubious Steele dossier. Internet platforms for years have balked at...

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Matt Taibbi
Oct 24
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Tape shows: ethically, CNN chief a little shaky

Tape shows: ethically, CNN chief a little shaky

SubscribeAmerica this week is obsessing about conversations between Donald Trump and Washington Post legend Bob Woodward. It’s a scoop, but a crazier story is being buried. Beginning on September 1, tapes were released of conversations between former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and top CNN figures, including Chris Cuomo and president Jeff Zucker. The conversations between Zucker and Cohen especially go a long way toward explaining how Donald Trump became president. We see clearly how Zucker, famed now as a supposed stalwart force of anti-Trumpism, actually encouraged him during the 2016...

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Matt Taibbi
Sep 11
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Big Pharma’s Covid-19 Profiteers

Big Pharma’s Covid-19 Profiteers

On June 29th, 2020, while America remained transfixed by anti-police protests, the chairman and CEO of the pharmaceutical company Gilead issued a much-anticipated announcement. In a breezy open letter, Daniel O’Day explained how much his company planned on charging for a course of remdesivir, one of many possible treatments for . “In the weeks since we learned of remdesivir’s potential against Covid-19, one topic has attracted more speculation than any other: what price we might set for the medicine,” O’Day wrote, before plunging into a masterpiece of corporate doublespeak.The CEO noted a...

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Matt Taibbi
Aug 13
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The Great American Bubble Machine

The Great American Bubble Machine

he first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who’s Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.By now, most of us know the major players. As George Bush’s last Treasury secretary, former Goldman CEO Henry Paulson was the...

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Matt Taibbi
Apr 5
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The Left is Now the Right

The Left is Now the Right

SubscribeIn August, 2005, Rolling Stone sent me to cover a freak show. In a small Pennsylvania town called Dover, residents contrived to insert a sentence about teaching “intelligent design” into the curriculum, and fought for its right to do so in an extravagantly-covered trial in the “big city” capital of Harrisburg. Dover’s school board president, Alan Bonsell, was a fundamentalist who believed God shaped man from dust. It was said Bonsell would stand at his window at night, wondering, as he gazed at the stars, at the intervening hand of God. “If you can’t see that, you’re just not...

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Matt Taibbi
Jul 20
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Year Zero

Year Zero

SubscribeIt’s the Fourth of July, and revolution is in the air. Only in America would it look like this: an elite-sponsored Maoist revolt, couched as a Black liberation movement whose canonical texts are a corporate consultant’s white guilt self-help manual, and a New York Times series rewriting history to explain an election they called wrong. Much of America h…© 2020 Matt Taibbi. See andThis site requires JavaScript to run correctly. Please or unblock scripts

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Matt Taibbi
Jul 4
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The American Press Is Destroying Itself

The American Press Is Destroying Itself

SubscribeSometimes it seems life can’t get any worse in this country. Already in terror of a pandemic, Americans have lately been bombarded with images of grotesque state-sponsored violence, from the murder of George Floyd to countless protesters. Our president, Donald Trump, is a clown who makes a great reality-show villain but is uniquely toolless as the leader of a superpower nation. Watching him try to think through two society-imperiling crises is like waiting for a gerbil to solve Fermat’s theorem. and ad-libbed speculations about Floyd’s “great day” looking down from heaven at...

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Matt Taibbi
Jun 12
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Planet of the Censoring Humans

Planet of the Censoring Humans

SubscribeOn April 21st, 2020, just before the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, Oscar-winning director/producer Michael Moore called Planet of the Humans. Directed by Jeff Gibbs, the film is a searing look at the ostensible failures of the environmentalist movement, to which Moore and Gibbs both belonged. “Jeff and I were at the first Earth Day celebrations,” Moore laughs. “That’s how old we are.”Distributed for free on YouTube, the film’s central argument is that the environmentalist movement, fattened by corporate donations, has become seduced by an industrialist delusion. “The...

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Matt Taibbi
May 29
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Democrats Have Abandoned Civil Liberties

Democrats Have Abandoned Civil Liberties

SubscribeEmmet G. Sullivan, the judge in the case of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, is refusing to let William Barr’s Justice Department drop the charge. He’s even thinking of adding more, appointing a retired judge “whether the Court should issue an Order to Show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury.” Pundits are cheering. A trio of former law enforcement and judicial officials saluted Sullivan in the Washington Post, chirping, “.” Yuppie icon Jeffrey Toobin of CNN and the New Yorker, one of the #Resistance crowd’s favored legal...

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Matt Taibbi
May 15
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How the COVID-19 Bailout Gave Wall Street a No-Lose Casino

How the COVID-19 Bailout Gave Wall Street a No-Lose Casino

This story appears in the June 2020 print edition of Rolling Stone.In late April Marko Kolanovic, a financial analyst for JPMorgan Chase, wrote to clients with good news. Pandemic aside, investors should expect stock prices in S&P 500 companies to return to record numbers some time early next year!“The S&P 500 should attain previous all-time highs,” Kolanovic wrote, “if the monetary measures are sustained.”The key part of this phrase was the last bit, “if the monetary measures are sustained.” In countries that did not have a Federal Reserve Bank shooting a bazooka of cash daily at ,...

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Matt Taibbi
May 13
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The Inevitable Coronavirus Censorship Crisis is Here

The Inevitable Coronavirus Censorship Crisis is Here

SubscribeEarlier this week, Atlantic magazine – fast becoming the favored media outlet for self-styled intellectual elites of the Aspen Institute type – ran an of the problems free speech pose to American society in the coronavirus era. The headline:Internet Speech Will Never Go Back to NormalIn the debate over freedom versus control of the global network, China was largely correct, and the U.S. was wrong.Authored by a pair of law professors from Harvard and the University of Arizona, Jack Goldsmith and Andrew Keane Woods, the piece argued that the American and Chinese approaches to...

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Matt Taibbi
Apr 30
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Bailing Out the Bailout

Bailing Out the Bailout

“I’ve never signed anything with a ‘T’ before,”  at the signing of the $2 trillion CARES Act. He reportedly , as if they were . This might be a fitting metaphor for America’s post-virus economic future.The new bailout bill, which combined with a series of Federal Reserve interventions is more like a , is a massive double-down on the 2008 rescue efforts. This bailout of the last bailout sets the stage for permanent state sponsorship of America’s overheated financial markets.Like 2008, only more so, the new mega-rescue is a bipartisan effort. Lawmakers sold this as a good thing.“This is a...

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Matt Taibbi
Mar 31
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The Trickle-Up Bailout

The Trickle-Up Bailout

SubscribeTake a look at some contrasting sets of headlines. First, from planet earth:Weekly Jobless Claims Hit 5.425 Million, Raising Monthly Loss To 22 Million Due To Coronavirus ()Worst Case Fears Of 20%-Plus U.S. Jobless Rate Are Now Realistic ()Then from Wall Street:Private Equity-Owned Companies Sell New Bonds in Credit Rally ()Fed’s Historic Move Spurs Rally in Junk Bonds: 6 ETF Picks ()As we head into the second month of pandemic lockdown, two parallel narratives are developing about the financial rescue. In one, ordinary people receive aid through programs that are piecemeal,...

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Matt Taibbi
Apr 17
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Resetting the Bomb

Resetting the Bomb

SubscribeNeil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the last bailout, guesses that whoever has his job this time around is going to have a lot of work. “There will be S&L-type frauds, absolutely ostentatious frauds,” he says, spitballing a list of potential problems in the $2 trillion Covid-19 rescue package. “I’d be looking for tens of billions of loss to fraud.”This is unavoidable. If the rescue package  by Donald Trump on March 27 had more regulatory controls — “nothing, nada, zero,” oversight is how another economist explains the existing structure — it might defeat the purpose of...

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Matt Taibbi
Apr 6
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The Pentagon Wants More Control Over the News. What Could Go Wrong?

The Pentagon Wants More Control Over the News. What Could Go Wrong?

If there’s a worse idea than the Pentagon becoming Editor-in-Chief of America, I can’t remember it. But we’re getting there:From over Labor Day weekend:Fake news and social media posts are such a threat to U.S. security that the is launching a project to repel “large-scale, automated disinformation attacks,” as the top Republican in Congress blocks efforts to protect the integrity of elections.One of the Pentagon’s most secretive agencies, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is developing “custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories,...

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Matt Taibbi
Sep 5
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Media Stupidity Is Uniting Left and Right

Media Stupidity Is Uniting Left and Right

Just a few elections ago, the national press policed the boundaries of both Democrat and Republican politics. You couldn’t sniff either party’s nomination without media assent.After more high-profile crackups, including a few over the weekend, the press might be months from being pushed all the way to the outside of a general election campaign. Having declared war on and his voters years ago, news outlets are committing to a similar pile-on of .Maybe this will end as an inspirational unity story, like Independence Day, when an invasion of gross aliens brought America together. At present,...

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Matt Taibbi
Feb 11
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CNN's Debate Performance Was Villainous and Shameful

CNN's Debate Performance Was Villainous and Shameful

CNN debate moderator Abby Phillip asked Bernie Sanders in the Tuesday debate in Des Moines: “CNN reported yesterday — and Senator Sanders, Senator Warren confirmed in a statement — that, in 2018, you told her you did not believe that a woman could win the election. Why did you say that?” Not “did you say that,” but “why did you say that?” Sanders denied it, then listed the many reasons the story makes no sense: He urged Warren herself to run in 2016, campaigned for a female candidate who won the popular vote by 3 million votes, and has been saying the opposite in public for decades....

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Matt Taibbi
Jan 21
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