Thursday, April 24, 2008

Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone

I was reading the new Rolling Stone today, and I think my dislike for this guy reached new heights.

For those who don't know, Taibbi is a political writer for Rolling Stone. His columns are distinctive in just how mean-spirited and nasty they are. He tears apart everyone and everything, with his barbs seemingly being 1/4 critique and 3/4 simple ad hominem making fun. But what makes the pieces at least borderline tolerable is he usually targets people in the public eye that deserve the criticism if not the invective.

Well the piece I read today wasn't about those sorts of people. It was apparently an excerpt from a book he has written, and the excerpt talked about him joining a megachurch so he could report on what went on there. But he clearly didn't enter to observe; he came in to ridicule and little else. The article has him making fun of the people in the megachurch for dressing badly, for losing their hair, for being lonely, for being inarticulate, for being overweight. If he recognized these people were having trouble and were looking for something, one would think he would be sympathetic. But instead he heaped on the insults with the same smug arrogance that he heaps on the insults towards Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Barack Obama and just about every politician on Earth.

I think it's really a sad commentary that he has become successful pandering to the worst in human beings, but it seems to me a growing trend in a digital age where you can say anything over the internet about anyone with no consequence or accountability. But while I understand the cathartic power people get out of being nasty in a one-way forum, I don't understand why people enjoy reading those sorts of rantings. And both groups are pretty sad in my book.

Here's to Taibbi one day getting the comeuppance for his nastiness.


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