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Matt Taibbi quits Rolling Stone, joins Glenn Greenwald

By John Byrne
Thursday, February 20, 2014 8:38 EDT
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First Look, the news company created by former PayPal employee Pierre Omidyar, announced Wednesday that they had added irreverent journalist Matt Taibbi to their stable of prominent reporters.

Taibbi will lead a second newsmagazine for First Look. The First, Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept, launched earlier this month.

Greenwald is known for his reporting on the NSA wiretapping scandal, having received a trove of documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden; Taibbi is known for his reporting on Wall Street.

“Taibbi will  bring his trademark combination of reporting, analysis, humor and outrage to the ongoing financial crisis – and to the political machinery that makes it possible” to a new First Look publication, according to a company release. The magazine will launch later this year.

Prior to the jump, Taibbi served at  Rolling Stone as contributing editor for ten years, where he was known for his scathing reporting on Wall Street and, in particular, Goldman Sachs.

His most famous quote is his probably his comparison of Goldman Sachs to a vampire squid in a column published in 2009.

“The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere,” he said. “The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who’s Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.”

First Look’s release adds:

While at Rolling Stone, Taibbi won a National Magazine Award for his reporting on the 2008 presidential election, and was a finalist for his coverage of Occupy Wall Street. The author of two New York Times bestsellers, he earlier worked as reporter for the Moscow Times, an English-language expatriate newspaper, and co-founded The eXile, a bi-weekly newspaper based in Moscow. The paper became infamous for its satirical wit, as well as for hard-nosed reporting of corruption in both the Russian government and the American aid community. The paper was the only publication to correctly predict the 1998 Russian financial crisis…

Taibbi will be based in New York City. The name and launch date of his digital magazine will be announced in the coming months. First Look Media’s first online publication, The Intercept, led by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill, launched on February 10.

In a blog post at Rolling Stone today, Taibbi wrote:

I was at the Michael Jackson trial, so close to the defendant I could see the outlines of his original nose. I met past and future presidents. I shared Udon noodles with Dennis Kucinich in a van on a highway in Maine. And I paddled down the streets of Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, so deep into the disaster zone that a soldier in a rescue copter above mistook me for a victim and threw a Meal Ready to Eat off my head. I still have that MRE, it has some kind of pop tart in it – I’m going to give it to my son someday.

To be able to say you work for Rolling Stone, it’s a feeling any journalist in his right mind should want to experience. The magazine’s very name is like a magic word. I noticed it from the very first assignment. Even people who know they probably shouldn’t talk to you, do, once they hear you’re from the magazine Dr. Hook sang about. And if they actually see the business card, forget it. People will do anything to get into the magazine, to have some of that iconic cool rub off on them…

No journalist has ever been luckier than me. Thank you, Rolling Stone.

Read more at Rolling Stone.

 
 
 
 
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