Writer Matt Taibbi: ‘American left has lost its mind,’ journalism a victim

Liberal journalist and author Matt Taibbi penned a scathing column declaring that “the American left has lost its mind” and the journalism industry is suffering as a result, turning the press into a “cowardly mob of upper-class social media addicts.”

Taibbi’s piece “The American Press Is Destroying Itself” details a “flurry of newsroom revolts” that he says have “transformed” the American press. Taibbi wrote that life doesn’t seem like it can get any worse in the United States as the nation battles the coronavirus pandemic, a "clown" president and “countless scenes” of police brutality, such as the death of George Floyd.

But Taibbi said that these are only part of the ongoing disaster occurring in the country – and blames fellow liberals for the other issues.

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“On the other side of the political aisle, among self-described liberals, we’re watching an intellectual revolution. It feels liberating to say after years of tiptoeing around the fact, but the American left has lost its mind,” Taibbi wrote. “It’s become a cowardly mob of upper-class social media addicts, Twitter Robespierres who move from discipline to discipline torching reputations and jobs with breathtaking casualness.”

Matt Taibbi penned a scathing column declaring that “the American left has lost its mind” and the journalism industry is suffering as a result. (Rochlin/FilmMagic)

Matt Taibbi penned a scathing column declaring that “the American left has lost its mind” and the journalism industry is suffering as a result. (Rochlin/FilmMagic)

Taibbi – who is also a contributing editor for Rolling Stone – believes the leaders of the left’s new movement “are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats and intimidation.”

“They’ve conned organization after organization into empowering panels to search out thought crime, and it’s established now that anything can be an offense,” Taibbi wrote.

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"Press activism is limited to denouncing and shaming colleagues for insufficient fealty to the cheap knockoff of bullying campus Marxism that passes for leftist thought these days."

— Matt Taibbi

Taibbi feels that the “madness” is now coming for journalism, noting The New York Times, the Intercept, Vox, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Variety and other publications have recently made changes to management largely because staffers demanded heads roll when they found specific things “problematic.”

Taibbi noted that James Bennet resigned from his job as the editorial page editor of The New York Times after staffers revolted against an editorial written by Sen. Tom Cotton and the Philadelphia Inquirer lost an editor after it published the headline, “Buildings matter, too.”

However, he says other mistakes by the mainstream media – such as “the deification of Robert Mueller” and the way Brett Kavanaugh was treated during his conformation process – don’t get handled the same way.

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“It’s been learned in these episodes we may freely misreport reality, so long as the political goal is righteous. It was OK to publish the now-discredited Steele dossier, because Trump is scum,” he wrote. “MSNBC could put Michael Avenatti on live TV to air a gang rape allegation without vetting, because who cared about Brett Kavanaugh – except press airing of that wild story ended up being a crucial factor in convincing key swing voter Maine Sen. Susan Collins the anti-Kavanaugh campaign was a political hit job.”

Despite the examples of hypocrisy, Taibbi doesn’t expect the liberal media to change its ways anytime soon.

“There were no press calls for self-audits after those episodes, just as there won’t be a few weeks from now if COVID-19 cases spike, or a few months from now if Donald Trump wins reelection successfully painting the Democrats as supporters of violent protest who want to abolish police,” Taibbi continued. “No: press activism is limited to denouncing and shaming colleagues for insufficient fealty to the cheap knockoff of bullying campus Marxism that passes for leftist thought these days.”

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