Saturday, August 16, 2008

on matt taibbi.

Seen below is a copy of the letter that I just sent Rolling Stone magazine:

Seriously, this has got to stop. Taibbi's gone off the deep end. In the last couple elections, people could blame Ralph Nader for taking votes away from the Democratic base. Taibbi (with his last two articles -"Candidates For Sale" and "Without A Prayer" [the most egregious offender where he actually comes off as a John McCain fan based on his zealous hatred of all things religious]) has transformed into that scapegoat. He's failing to see the forest for the trees!

The two articles that I'm referencing can be found on their site, at Without A Prayer's link here for the chronologically-first appearing vitriol-spewing, while the most-recent Candidates For Sale can be found here. I want to be clear that I'm no Democratic Party lock-stepper and I find some of the points Taibbi makes to be good ones (esp. in regard to the atrocity of our country being a two-party system and the winnowing gap between those two parties!) but it has to be said that he's officially gone off the deep end. Taibbi's transformed from an activist to a zealot - he's ranting and raving so hard that he's actually going to end up turning people away from either voting at all or the Democratic party in particular. How can this be a good thing?

Matt Taibbi got his first big break (at least insofar as mainstream attention) with an article ridiculing the upcoming death of Pope John Paul II. When he projected his inner Thompson into the 2004 election, the result was Spanking the Donkey - a book that's largely enjoyable if a bit revelatory insofar as the hatred that he would inevitably sink into.

That work, however, has nothing compared to the stuff he's doing today. While the system marches on, completely uncaring about Matt Taibbi, he is raging against every single facet. If the last two article are any indication, his rage will continue to grow at even the simplest perceived slight: if Barack Obama wins the election and doesn't single-handedly stop global warming, expect an article from Taibbi taking Obama to task for failing to be Superman. If, God forbid, John McCain wins, expect either Taibbi's head to explode (and yes, I mean that literally) with rage, or, in the shocker of the century, Taibbi to finally realize that there's a President who hates religion just as much as him, and to convert to Republicanism in a bid to win a position in McCain's Cabinet.

There's a fine line to walk when one is constantly angry or trying to make a mockery of something or attempting to follow in the footsteps of any giant. Gonzo Journalism in and of itself is a study in contradictions. However, to say that Taibbi is the carrier of that flag, now that Thompson's passed...well...I think Thompson would be disappointed. I think that Taibbi's gone over that line. He's no longer walking it, he's no longer toeing it, he's simply fallen over the edge. And that's a shame.

1 comment:

Brando said...

Did they publish this or what?