I was about halfway through this extended NY Magazine Bobo blowjob, as the hesitation marks on my wrists prove, when these gems from Matt Taibbi came in:
Matt Taibbi on True/Slant called Brooks, among other things, a “spineless Beltway geek” on a “pencil-pusher’s eternal quest for macho cred” who “looks like a professional groveler/ass-kisser” and is “the kind of person who even in his spare time would pay a Leona Helmsley look-alike a thousand dollars to take a shit on his back.”
You know, for all I care Matt Taibbi can claim the government risks a 26 quadrillion dollar loss on its TARP investments, as long as long as he keeps writing stuff like that.
IMHO Taibbi is the _Family Guy_ of pundits. People I respect seem to like ’em, but to me the “edgy” shtick wears way thin way fast.
Such as when Brooks talks about torture, war, or murder. Someone needs to tell Chris Beam that the proper adjective for that is not even-keeled; it’s sociopathic.
Hooray for Matt.
Apparently he doesn’t need to worry about getting Weigeled, neither too.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
@FlipYrWhig: Sometimes, this sort of scalding is spot on, other times gratuitous and over amped to fit the crime, just cause he can. That said, I could see Bobo paying a Helmsley look alike, or even a Broder look alike to shit on his back. And with that image, you are all launched into the new week.
Damn, you beat me to it! A sociopath is very unemotional has he does unspeakable thing to his victim. Then, afterwords he masturbates furiously to the memories.
I imagine Brooks dick was pretty raw during the Bush years.
@General Egali Tarian Stuck: He’s a modern muckraker and writes in the gonzo style, of course he’s going to sound that way. I agree with you that it can get tiresome, but 90% of the time I just love the imagery.
@General Egali Tarian Stuck:
I can’t. Instead of “on his back”, I think Taibbi should have used “in his mouth”.
That seems both much more Bobo-like, and explains his speaking style.
Really? I thought the last line of those quotes was kinda beyond the pale.
Amen. The one thing about him is that there is no one, and I mean absolutely no one, who can give a concise, memorable and funny sound bite about things from the liberal perspective.
One of the best things that could happen for liberals is to get him on more TV shows.
His “huffing glue” comment about Michelle Bachmann on Chris Matthews show is a classic example of this.
Sorry, I don’t get turned on by this stuff unless you are talking about palin, glenn, rush, the right wing, tea party, gop congress and anyone on FOX. brooks is not slimy and evil like these other folks.
@Fern: Bobo is pale but so is Tiabbi, and Leona Helmsley, not a problem really.
No, he’s got just enough of a veneer of “reasonable” (c.f. excerpt above about his lack of emotion) that the things he says seem meaningful to the upper middle-class white people who would never take palin, rush, etc seriously. Therefore Brooks can mainstream horrific ideas in a way that the people you listed cannot. For that reason he is arguably much more evil than those you mention.
He’s also very even-keeled when being groped by Senators.
Christopher Beam should have left it there, and given Sasha Issenberg and Matt Taibbi the rest of the column inches he was allotted. Bobo would have committed seppuku by now.
Matt Taibbi was my fantasy-crush long before David Villa took the top spot.
Just sayin’ is all. But with that latest quote round-up, well, it’s making me re-think the entire thing. I bet True/Slant hates to give him back to Rolling Stone, but hope that doesn’t make people stop clicking on T/S, which remains a pretty terrific site.
@FlipYrWhig: Yeah, this. Taibbi gets tired after about a paragraph of his “Whoa! Look at me! I don’t just speak Truth to Power, I talk Smack to Power, bitchez! I’m a fuckin’ ICONOCLAST!” act. He’s a tiresome narcissist.
Agreed wholeheartedly. He may be a less brilliant and a pale imitation, but he’s the closest thing we have today to Hunter S. Thompson and people who have a megaphone who can tell it in the perfect scatalogical and brutal way are essential to me. I would never made it through the Nixon years without slitting my wrists without the good Dr. Gonzo. Taibbi is just as essential to me today. I can’t think of a better description of Bobo than his. I lurve Taibbi and the fact that even liberals are offended by him makes me love him even more.
Make that “liberals” in that last sentence. For some reason, the edit function isn’t working for me today.
Bill E Pilgrim
Check this out for some background on the moderate centrist David Brooks.
If you knew all of this about him but still really think his moderate pose is convincing, then I’m going to just say I disagree.
@Toast: Hmmm. What about that part where he actually does talk a little smack to power, and gets published and read, though? I can appreciate those who think he postures a bit, but I think the guy is a treasure in today’s media landscape.
@geg6: Makes me feel a little better to hear similar Taibbi kudos from someone who got through the Nixon years by reading Hunter S. More about that, please!!
Taibbi is great. We need more people that just get up in these punk-ass motherfuckers faces and tell them exactly what time it is!
We need at least someone who can write like Taibbi to get that imagery of how bad the right wing apologists really are. Just because some can string together an actual sentence does not mean what they say is worth a crap. Sure it can get over the top once in a while but there are not many pushing back effectively. Taibbi’s writing lets anyone see how bad the subject is.
Bill E Pilgrim
@geg6: If Taibbi never wrote anything but those takedowns of Friedman he’d be one of my favorite writers. Part of me suspects that those who think that Taibbi can’t write are the same people who think that Friedman can.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
So do I. Though I couldn’t match his flare, I do sometimes try. I guess it’s about agreeing with the target sometimes. Which is not a diss on the style.
Sgt. Jrod and his Howling Commandos
Our country would be in much better shape if we had another dozen Taibbis writing at another dozen magazines.
Leftists who somehow think Taibbi is actually bad for the left because he’s a bit over the top in his rhetoric and “OMG he used an estimate for the gov’t’s TARP obligation that was too high” are the same idiots who still wonder why the right keeps winning when these charts and graphs clearly show how bad conservative policy is for anyone with less than $500 million. I mean charts and graphs and dry thousand-page economic reports ought to be enough for everybody.
It’d be silly to think people would instead agree with the guy who screams and cries about commies, so obviously that wouldn’t be a concern. Having someone on the left who gets emotional would just be pandering and stooping to their level, and going down to defeat squeaky clean is always preferable to bringing more of the public around to our positions. /fuckyou
@Sgt. Jrod and his Howling Commandos: See Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman
@Bill E Pilgrim:
Oooga ooga. This. Yes. Woot woot woot. Yes.
I’m with oliver’s Neck on this: Brooks is just about as evil and very dangerous. His goal is to get non-crazy people to vote for the bad guys.
thisety thisety This. He’s the banality of evil in affable, reasonable clothing.
Few people can pull off a Hunter Thompson impersonation like Taibbi.
I feel like I’ve seen you trash Taibbi more than once for quoting Barofsky’s worst case scenario of 23 trillion dollar exposure (he later downgraded to Nomi Prins’ worst-case scenario of 14 trillion), but I’m not sure I understand why. Taibbi lays out the evidence, warns that the number represents a worst-case scenario, so why are you hitting him for it? What do you know that he doesn’t?
I agree with a lot of what Taibbi says and writes, but why does he have to be so confrontational and opinionated? And use bad words? /wringing hands
Nope. He’s respectable and evil, which in many ways is worse. People with brains are a lot more liable to fall for his schtick than they are for the foaming at the mouth crazies.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
Brooks evil? naw, He’s too nervous and wishy washy to be evil. You need the cold steady sociopathic sneer of Dick Cheney for evil.
I take a look at Brooks and have one thought: Pederast.
I don’t think Taibbi is “bad for the left.” I think he’s a preening douchebag. Like Dane Cook. Only instead of _Maxim_ he reads _Mother Jones_. Meh.
That’s a low bar.
My high-school-junior-to-be kid has better research and analytical skills than Taibbi. He’s 98 percent shtick, and the other two percent couldn’t be published in this country if we had the UK’s libel laws.
the only thing that seemed off was the leona helmsley ref…maybe a sally quinn..
the pooping on the back seems perfect, its the least committed place you can be pooped on, the wussy’s choice in getting pooped on.
Matt Taibbi wrote the most prolific line of this generation of forgettable and borderline offensive journalism.
Whatever the flaws or criticisms of his writings, he earned mad street cred for taking on Goldman. Hell, I always though Goldman would whack him and Blackwater would do the same to Jeremy Scahill.
It’s depressing to look at Taibbi’s reporting in God damned Russia, where single-car accidents can take place in one’s closed garage, and compare it to what he’s done since he came home. It’s like, X + (Pissy x (a handful of sources on The Hill)) = Souvenir Labelled “Hunter Thompson.”
Taibbi was totally suicidal and painfully accurate in Russia, and in DC and NY he’s scatterbrained and over-cautious. Considering his favorite consipracy theory, the Thunderbolt of Doom on any Russian journalist who publishes anything interesting, it’s odd to watch him 1) be such a touchy wuss here at home and 2) hurl tiny thunderbolts at anyone he considers conspiracy theorists (the deaths of dozens of Russian journalists for cause are FACT, not subject to discussion).
Seeing Bono perform in Israel is the closest thing to reading Taibbi’s explanation of the non-conspriracy conspiracy of 19 box-cutter-wielding FBI watch-list Bad Guys getting on commercial planes under their own names… without puking up your soul. Maybe Matt’s puked up his own soul already. That would simplify things.
A lapse of journalistic ethics
Well, you know in your heart that the Leona Helmsley/coprophilia thing about Brooks is spot-on accurate. To hear it said is to acknowledge its truthiness, if not truth. But, here’s the thing, you also know that Taibbi only got it via off the record conversations, and therefore he must be condemned to outer darkness for this gross violation of journalistic ethics.
It always baffles me when people say things like this as if the UK’s draconian and stifling libel laws are something to be emulated. It’s far too easy to sue because someone said something mean and hurt your fee-fees in public.
There’s a lot of things the US does that the UK does better, but free speech ain’t one of them.
Wile E. Quixote
Yeah, if your kid is so great why doesn’t he have a column? Oh, and by the way, the UK’s libel laws fucking suck. Thank the fuck Christ that we don’t have that kind of shit in the USA.
ya give me a cranky when you use crap like that even if it helps out the arc of the post. TARP is a small part of what occurred and AFAIK the repayment essentially occurred via UST-sourced dollars to prop up C et al so they could buy their way out. c’mon dude–a world-breaker snarker like you can do better. or just avoid reading New York as you don’t live in Manhattan so no need to know this week’s masturbatory/train wreck/envy story.
a little curative courtesy of Mr Ritholtz from a couple of months ago:
There is a bizarre article in this morning’s WSJ. It declares that the bailouts will cost less than initially feared. It is notable not for what it includes, but what it managed to completely ignore.
The 2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Fund passed by Congress was over $700 billion dollars — not $250B.
There is no mention of the trillions of dollars on the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet. The ongoing costs of the Federal rescue of Fannie and Freddie — indeed, the complete takeover of $5 trillion in mortgages by Uncle Sam — is glossed over. The journal also seems to have forgotten about the cost of bailing out Chrysler and GM (they mention GM possibly going public, but just barely).
Foreclosure trends are increasing; second liens are defaulting in greater numbers. Banks now have over $30 billion in bad home equity loans. Somehow, these are not mentioned in determining the health of rescued banks.
Depleted FDIC reserves? Not mentioned. Bad loans on bank balance sheets? Ignored. FASB 157 authorizing fantasy bank accounting? Never mind.
@Boney Baloney: “your ideas are intriguing and i would like to subscribe to your newsletter”.
or perhaps (please?) a bit of explanation/linky, as that was a tad insiderish for stick-dwelling moi….