Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Birthday Fundraiser Day Five: The Day Matt Taibbi's Rare "First Look" Employee ID

Became the most collectible of all the early 21st Century Journalism trading cards.

Gem Mint condition.

Never swiped.

Only dropped once.

From the New York Times:
Matt Taibbi Is on Leave Only Months After Joining First Look Media


Matt Taibbi, who rose to fame at Rolling Stone magazine as a fierce critic of Wall Street before joining First Look Media to start his own publication, is on a leave of absence from the company after clashing with his bosses, according to people familiar with the matter.

The news of Mr. Taibbi’s leave was first reported by New York magazine, which said that it was prompted by “disagreements with higher-ups.”

Mr. Taibbi declined to answer questions on the matter, and messages for representatives of First Look Media, the company financed by the multibillionaire founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar, went unreturned Tuesday. The people who confirmed the news were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
First, I hate to see a good writer lose a paying gig.  Hope you land on the balls of your feet, Matt, hauling ass towards fame and fortune.

Second, having produced nothing for months but breathless press releases about all its awesome tomorrows, it is obvious that something at First Look to stinks on ice.  I'm curious to see how the organization founded by the world's leading proponent of radical transparency and leaking organization secrets will handle this mess in his own house.

I'm guessing deflectors will be set to full, shiny objects will be waved, indignation will be marshaled, enough corporate double-speak and repetition will be deployed hard to make Mike Coffman wince --

-- and irony will pack up the RV and relocate to sunnier climes for the winter.

Meanwhile, whoever is in charge of First Look's front page needs to understand the hilarious power unintended juxtaposition has to make it look like your organization has no idea what it's doing:


JerryB said...

Blue Collar Avenger.

Almost bring a tear to my eye.

Kathleen said...

Based on what I've read of the marketing blurbs and hirings for Omidyar's venture, I am not surprised, particularly when I read that Omidyar had a retreat with Poynter personnel to help him determine what site should be after he announced the launch. What does strike me as odd is that a successful businessman did not seem to follow Business 101 practices prior to launch.

Anonymous said...

brings a tear to my eye also, however, as Bobby D one put it:

"The geometry of innocent flesh on the bone
causes Galileo's math book to get thrown
at Delilah who sits worthlessly alone

Horace Boothroyd III said...

Do I sense a trend? Why yes, yes I do, I do sense a trend.

Perhaps this journamalism jawn is more difficult than one might naively expect. God knows that when I set out to change the world with the blogging thing in 1996 mis companheros y yo had the highest of hopes for the new broad based communications technology and we have squat all to show for our efforts.

But at least a quarter billion dollars of tech billionaire support buys a mountain of hookers and blow.

Anonymous said...

First Look Media and Greenwald have always been about two things.

Selling encryption software, and scaring people enough they demand the government out of the internet it created. Because then only corporations will have the skills, ability, and money to run something that massive. And we will see a real libertarian world in action.

The fact that fools like Digby and Pierce keep falling for this has proven to me the left is worthless, and is not fit to lead until some hardcore hippy punchy truly starts to happen.

I'm not going to side with the idiot sheep being lead to slaughter. If this is what the progressive left wants, fuck it. Count me out. My side is not fit for anything for a padded room.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

@Anon Being myself a dirty fucking hippie of long standing I can't say that I am exactly looking forward to an extended campaign of hardcore hippy punching, but I do find your general point to be on topic. In fact I split with the hysterical ninnies of the Daily Kos over this question, I holding that NSA surveillance was troubling and we really should do something about - perhaps a task force to concentrate on this issue while another handles immigration and so forth - both government and corporate privacy issues (about which I have concerned myself since 1997 and the CyberSabre project) only to discover that NSA SPYING IS THE WORST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED is the one true and only allowable opinion on the matter. Anyone even hinting at any other position (like the idea the two distinct facts might be true at the same time) was denounced as an obvious paid government infiltrating disruptor troll (believe me, from a distance the literal witch hunt and attending hysteria was a fascinating exercise in human irrationality, and the imaginary stress component just made it all the more entertaining) and hounded from the site with exteme prejudice.

Of course, after the NSA thing blew over (having accomplished nothing of any substance, to my everlasting anger) the gangs took to knifing each other in the back to sate the remaining bloodlust and we got to see a fair number of horrible thugs get the boot. Of course, like Pol Pot and Josef Stalin, the worst of the worst managed to survive even the new regime.

So the liberal/left coalition has been shattered along a pre-existing fault line that we had not previously noticed, which is going to cost us greatly although I don't see anyone showing an eagerness to discuss that aspect of the kerfluffle

You mention Diby who is a particular disappointment. I kind of wish that I could travel back to 2004 and take back my vote for the Kaufax Award. And I have to ask, when did she start to change? I don't remember her being a stupid little whiner back in the early stages of the Bush war, but maybe she always was but I did not want to notice.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

PS ARVN rifles, amirite?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for pointing out unintended juxtaposition. I had never taken it into account. You're real smart.

Here's another unintended juxtaposition: Bush 43 followed by Obama 44. Ouch!

Kathleen said...

Anonymous @5:18 Of course! I forgot about the encryption grifttware. I also didn't think about wanting private industry to take over internet. Thank you for providing that context.

Pinkamena said...

Anon @1:37, that was an utterly meaningless statement. Care to clarify?