SocraticGadfly: Matt Taibbi shows the good, the bad, and the ugly of the allegedly outside-the-box steno journalists

June 15, 2020

Matt Taibbi shows the good, the bad, and the ugly
of the allegedly outside-the-box steno journalists

Matt Taibbi is more than half (missed that originally) right on one thing (I think) in this screed, and that's that Lee Fang isn't racist and that attacks on him are similar to Maoist re-education. That said, even there, per following his links, I don't think he's totally right.

And that, as with his fellow outside-the-box stenos, such as Aaron Maté (mentioned by name), Mark Ames, Yasha Levine, and others, is about the ONLY thing he's right on, or even more than half right.

I gave him a Twitter blast as soon as I saw this trend on Mediagazer.

Time to drop the set of tweets with explanatory background.
Explanation of "your take on The Nation" comes in next Tweet. (Tulsi's coming after that.)
I am well, well versed on this. WELL versed.
And, that's all covered in my link, too.

Now, on to/back to Ms. Tulsi and Matty boy's bromance with her.
I have repeatedly, for months, called Taibbi out on this.

He's full of hypocritical diarrhea shit for his piece calling out journalistic ethics, IMO, given this. And, that and more that I mentioned is ALL true. Click the Tulsi label.

Maybe part of the problem is ... Matt Taibbi! Including his complaints about the media.

I'm first going to embed somebody else's Tweet on that:

And now, the fifth in my thread:
I wouldn't. Basically, places like this are an attempt to work around editorial processes, while playing off fame, like Mr. King tweeted.

So, on to No. 6, which is back to Tulsi:
Yes, there was bullshit over Trump-Putin collusion. But, from defending Howie Hawkins on this and many other things, I know the difference between Trump-Putin collusion and general Russian election meddling. Taibbi, and especially his Russian-years cohorts Ames and Levine, apparently would deliberately shovel anything that looks even close to sparking a revival of the Cold War under the rug. (And ditto on China.) On Putin, I've repeatedly said he was too smart to collude with Trump.

Meanwhile, Taibbi seems to be willfully perverse on the Tom Cotton op-ed that got James Bennet thrown out the door at the NYT (and for more than the column itself).

Here's Matt: 
Cotton did not call for “military force against protesters in American cities.” He spoke of a “show of force,” to rectify a situation a significant portion of the country saw as spiraling out of control. It’s an important distinction. Cotton was presenting one side of the most important question on the most important issue of a critically important day in American history.

Other than agreeing with Tom Cotton and Fox on trying to find a non-Jesuitical distinction that doesn't exist, he's just wrong.
Sounds pretty clear that, per NYT Twitter, that's calling for military against protestors. "Show of force" is NOT the same as "show a horse" at a county fair. It's "show in action." Period. That's how you show force.

Meanwhile, if you want to blame anyone or anything else, Matt? If you really wrote from a class-based angle, to riff on Poynter, you'd tackle owner and publisher Pinch Sulzberger.

Now, I had originally said "right" on the Fang apology, but, changed that to half right based on two things. One was actually reading it, hence this Tweet:
He ate some crow, and crow's nest, too. No doubt about that. Maybe some of it was undeserved.

But, he wasn't asked to walk back everything he said and Tweeted, and he was given plenty of explanatory latitude.

The other thing? I clicked Matt's link to all the tweets about this.

Just maybe, Matt, where there's smoke, there's at least a few embers of fire?

I will credit Taibbi for being half right on some of the PC things he mentions. But, no more than that.

Hell, Ben Smith just trumped him with a piece about class divisions in the media.

Update: Nieman notes that "framing" of protest newspaper language has finally started to change. Too bad a Taibbi didn't pick up on this. Rightly or somewhat wrongly, Fang got caught up in that change.

Update 2: Nathan J. Robinson does an even bigger callout on Taibbi's bullshit. He notes that even Greenwald himself called bullshit on much of Taibbi's framing of what went down with Fang.

Matt has now started blathering on Twitter with comments about the Harper's letter. Behind that blather is his latest Substack piece. It's about 20 percent real concerns about SJW issues, about 30 percent overblown concerns and about 50 percent total bullshit.

Related? Taibbi has also started stanning for Sully, including claiming he's not a racist. Pretty much no Overton Window that Matt won't go slouching toward now, eh? As I said on Twitter:
The man is losing credibility by the column.

Let's look more at his new idiocy.

First, to the degree the 20 percent is real, not all of it comes close to Dover creationism. Matt starts the piece off with a hoot.

Second, some of his complaints are recycled from the Fang piece!

Third, he mentions de-platforming without even mentioning the anti-BDS deplatformers.

Fourth, the fact that college hoops coaches who call out the ACT and SAT are hypocrites doesn't mean that there's not real problems with the tests.

He is right that there's a lot of grifting involved.

And? I've known that for four or five years, via the likes of Black Agenda Report, which Taibbi doesn't reference. Of course, Taibbi remains inside the duopoly political box, as do other allegedly outside the box left-liberal stenos.

Fifth, I'm not clicking through all his links as, per Nathan Robinson, he's taken stuff out of context before.

Finally, maybe Taibbi should look at his own class-based privilege. Concord Academy for high school? Bard College? Family money to study abroad at Leningrad Polytechnic? Family money to loaf around playing hoops in the Mongolian Basketball Association?

Update, Sept. 4: Sadly, Massimo Pigliucci thinks Taibbi is spot on. He probably, as I told him back in discussion, probably thinks the Harper's letter is spot on as well. 

No comments: