Comments: Matt Taibbi EXPOSED

For anyone who'd like some premium laughter at Ayn Rand's expense I highly recommend Matt Ruff's Sewer, Gas & Electric.

Posted by John Caruso at January 2, 2012 04:07 PM

Hah, that's nothing. Check out Geoff Pullam's massive take-down of Taibbi over at Language Log recently.

I don't see how anyone can take anything he says seriously, ever again, for any reason whatsoever.

Posted by HP at January 2, 2012 04:12 PM

Live for yourself...there's no one else
More worth living for
Begging hands and bleeding hearts will only cry out for more

Posted by godoggo at January 2, 2012 04:17 PM

(for John, of course)

Posted by godoggo at January 2, 2012 04:18 PM

Well, I always thought the takedown of Rand by Mr Taibbi's former colleague Mr Ames was the winner.

Posted by weaver at January 2, 2012 10:04 PM

HP: always cracks me up when self-professed language "experts" berate the vulgum pecus for grammatical missteps, since invariably they'll display their own ignorance along the way.

For the sin of calling a passive clause a passive tense, Taibbi is being told:

So just lay off the syntax. It seems like you're trying to make yourself look more highly educated, and enhance your readers' level of respect for you, by making them believe falsely that you know grammatical analysis when in fact you don't.

Fine, Pullam. Now let's check your prose: "but inflation of a currency means a general rise in the average cost of goods and services."

No, it does not. Inflation is about prices, not costs. If you don't know the difference, let me suggest, Mr Pullam, that you just lay off the syntax. It seems like you're trying to make yourself look more highly educated, and enhance your readers' level of respect for you, by making them believe falsely that you know economic analysis when in fact you don't.

Posted by bobs at January 2, 2012 11:18 PM

Ooh, burn.

Posted by John Caruso at January 2, 2012 11:46 PM

"She...regarded anyone with a beard or a mustache as inherently immoral,"

This is why Rand championed Truman over Dewey.

Posted by Paul Avery at January 3, 2012 07:48 AM

Can you please explain What is wrong with Weisberg's review ?

What he says about Susskind rings true. I have long thought Susskind fabricated that famous quote by a Bush goon about reality based community.

The Bush goon is (1) not saying anything embarrassing against Bush and his team's agenda (2) not gossiping against any of his team mates.

Susskind himself has burned his bridges with Bush whitehouse with that book. So another reason to publicly identify that source with delicious quote.

Then why does Susskind provide this source anonymity ?

Posted by Kubis at January 3, 2012 10:37 AM

Can you please explain What is wrong with Weisberg's review ?

I'm imitating this part:

...his work is strewn with small but telling errors. Here are a few: The Federal Reserve is a board, not a bureau (Page 7); Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was previously president, not "chairman," of the New York Fed (Page 56); he was, however, an undersecretary of the treasury, which Suskind makes a point out of saying he wasn't (Page 172); Horatio Alger was an author, not a character (Page 54); Gene Sperling didn't play tennis for the University of Michigan, because he went to the University of Minnesota (Page 215); the gothic spires of Yale Law School, built in 1931, are not "centuries old" (Page 250); Franklin D. Roosevelt did not say of his opponents, "I welcome their hate" (Page 235). What FDR said at Madison Square Garden in 1936, was "I welcome their hatred."

My god, that TOTALLY discredits Suskind! I think the most damning part is how he didn't know where Gene Sperling went to college.

Regarding the "reality-based community" quote specifically, all you need to know is that no one from the Bush White House disputed it, which they surely would have if he'd just made it up. (I'm surprised they didn't anyway.) Whoever said it knew they said it, and probably that he had it on tape.

In terms of giving the speaker anonymity, you can't just revoke it after you've set the ground rules for your interview, especially if you do the kind of writing Suskind does. No one would ever speak to you again. The only grounds for revoking it would be if you find out the interviewee was lying to you, and you told them at the start that that would be grounds for naming them.

Posted by Jon Schwarz at January 3, 2012 03:46 PM

Geez, there's no more reason to believe Suskind fabricated the "reality-based community" quote than to believe that almost any anonymous quote is made up. And if Karl Rove didn't say that particular quote, he sure as hell might as well have said it.

Posted by N E at January 3, 2012 04:00 PM

"And if Karl Rove didn't say that particular quote, he sure as hell might as well have said it."

For as long as I've thought about who said it, I've just sort of assumed it was Turd Blossom.

Posted by Austin Loomis at January 4, 2012 10:45 AM

I've seen a few attributions of that quote to Turd Blossom, and I think even the statement that the quote was "widely attributed" to Turd Blossom too, though I don't remember where and that doesn't matter either.

Turd Blossom was a punk student of his craft during the Nixon "times of illusion" era, so it's not like he thought up how to be so morally decrepit and sneaky with his vast imagination.

Posted by N E at January 4, 2012 07:34 PM

Poor Taibbi, left to enjoy all that success while other shine-on in their own illusions.

Posted by Ronbo at January 4, 2012 08:42 PM

Mimi Smartypants had something to say about CH:

I just read a Christopher Hitchens quote where he said that the four most overrated things are champagne, lobster, anal sex, and picnics. Although I am not a huge fan of the Hitch, I liked that sentiment very much. I would like to organize a picnic where everyone eats lobster and drinks champagne and butt-fucks the other guests and yawns mightily with the utter dreariness of it all. More champagne, my dear? More backdoor action? Oh dahling I couldn't possibly. This whole scene is so last year.

http://mimismartypants.com/2006/10/24/mysterious-business-trip-to-singapore/

Posted by Nathan Myers at January 10, 2012 12:59 AM