Matt Taibbi

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Matthew C. Taibbi (born March, 1970) is a political writer. He currently works at Rolling Stone where he authors a column called "Road Rage" for the print version, and an additional weekly online-only column called "The Low Post". He is best known for his coverage of the 2004 US presidential election, and for his former editorial positions at newspapers the eXile, the New York Press, and the Beast. In 2008 Taibbi was a regular contributor to Real Time with Bill Maher. In March 2009 he joined True/Slant as a blogger.


[edit] Early years

Taibbi spent his childhood in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, attended Concord Academy, and attended Bard College at Annandale on Hudson, New York, spending a year abroad at Leningrad State Technical University. His father is Mike Taibbi, an NBC television reporter.

[edit] Career

In 1992 Taibbi moved to Uzbekistan, but was forced to leave six months later after writing articles critical of the country's president, Islom Karimov. Afterwards, Taibbi worked for The Moscow Times as a sports editor, before moving on to work in Russia and Mongolia as a professional athlete and as a correspondent for Montsame, the Mongolian National News Agency.

While playing professional basketball in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, Taibbi contracted a serious case of pneumonia and returned to Boston for treatment. After recovering with his family, he returned to Russia and became editor of the expat paper Living Here. He then joined Mark Ames in 1997 to co-edit the controversial English-language Moscow-based, bi-weekly free newspaper, The eXile. Taibbi said about that experience, "We were out of the reach of American libel law, and we had a situation where we weren’t really accountable to our advertisers. We had total freedom."[1]

In 2002, he returned to the U.S. to start the satirical bi-weekly The Beast in Buffalo, New York. Ultimately, however, he left the paper, which continued without him: "Running a business and writing is too much," Taibbi later declared. He continued as a freelancer, writing for The Nation, Playboy, New York Press (where he wrote a regular political column for over two years), Rolling Stone, New York Sports Express (where he was Editor at Large), and other publications, but with reservations. "For me, it’s a career failure. I wanted to be a novelist," he announced at an NYU lecture.[1]

Taibbi left the New York Press in August 2005, shortly after his editor Jeff Koyen was forced to quit over issues raised by Taibbi's column "The 52 Funniest Things About The Upcoming Death of The Pope." [2][3][4] "I have since learned that there would not have been an opportunity for me to stay anyway," Taibbi later wrote. [5]

Taibbi went on to serve as a Contributing Editor at Rolling Stone, penning feature-length articles on both domestic and international affairs and a weekly political column titled "The Low Post" for the magazine's Web site. Taibbi continues to write for the print edition of Rolling Stone, but has stopped contributing to his online column. A later online column titled "Year of the Rat" was meant to document the 2008 election season, but it too seems to have been abandoned, as Taibbi only filed two entries for the blog upon its creation, and has filed none since.[6]

Taibbi served as a special correspondent for Real Time with Bill Maher offering political coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign,[7] and he has made several guest appearances on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show[8] to discuss the 2009 economic crisis.

In 2008, Taibbi was awarded the National Magazine Award in the category "Columns and Commentary" for his Rolling Stone columns[9].

[edit] Sports journalism

Taibbi also writes a column called the "The Sports Blotter" for the free weekly newspaper the Boston Phoenix. The column provides a rundown of the arrests, civil suits, and criminal trials involving professional athletes.

[edit] Controversy

In March 2005, Taibbi wrote a column for NY Press, entitled "The 52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of the Pope."[10] The column was denounced by Senator Hillary Clinton, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Matt Drudge, and Abe Foxman, among others, including Congressman Anthony Weiner who suggested that New Yorkers take copies of that issue out of their news boxes and destroy them.[11] In a subsequent column entitled "Keep Pope Alive," Taibbi defended the controversial piece as "an off-the-cuff burlesque of Truly Tasteless Jokes," which he said was designed to give readers a break from a long run of "fulminating political essays" in his column space. Taibbi claimed his piece had been a protest against "the agonizing marathon of mechanized media grief and adulation we so inevitably go through after the passing of each and every hallowed leader or celebrity." In the same piece Taibbi suggested that the column was "written in the waning hours of a Vicodin haze."[12]

[edit] Bibliography

  • The Exile: Sex, Drugs, and Libel in the New Russia (ISBN 0-8021-3652-4). Co-authored with Mark Ames, and published in 2000 with a foreword by Edward Limonov. A movie based on the book is under development by producers Ted Hope and James Schamus of Good Machine. [1]
  • Smells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches from a Rotting Empire, (ISBN 0-8021-7041-2). Published by Grove Press, Black Cat in 2007.
  • The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics & Religion at the Twilight of the American Empire , (ISBN 0-385-52034-4). Published by Spiegel & Grau in 2008.

[edit] References

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Selected articles by Taibbi

[edit] Articles about Taibbi

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