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Matt Taibbi Not a Real Journalist?

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by Ben Cohen

This came from Lance Mannion in response to Matt Taibbi's analysis of Democratic capitulation over health care:

Taibbi's an insult artist before he's a reporter, and he doesn't let
his reporting, which is minimal, get in the way of a good insult. Read
his book?
It's fun. Lots of great stories. But they're just stories. Stories
about Matt Tiabbi's adventures in whatever Wonderland he's wandered
into. He's got one source. Himself. All his work has one source.
Matt Taibbi. Doesn't mean he's not right, sometimes. Means, though,
he's writing off the top of his head. A lot.

So, frankly, I'm not impressed by anything Matt Taibbi thinks is going on in Washington or anywhere, even when I agree with him.

I don't want to start one of those silly tit for tat fights with Mr Mannion, but really, where on earth did he pull this one out of? I'm guessing his backside, as it's completely unsubstantiated.

Matt Taibbi is certainly an insult artist, perhaps the best around. But he's also a top notch journalist who has done some outstanding work on a number of very serious issues. His epic piece on Goldman Sachs was some of the most well researched and synthesized bits of journalism on the topic to date, full of sources, quotes, analysis and historic context. I'd like to see Mannion produce something a tenth of the quality before he runs his mouth.

Taibbi mostly does 'Gonzo' journalism - a subjective style of writing
that Hunter S. Thompson started, and is no less valid than any other
type of journalism. Taibbi's sources in his books are varied, but he
chooses to present them through personal interaction - a cardinal sin in Mannion's eyes, for reasons best known to himself. I've interviewed Matt before (see here), mostly because I have a great deal of respect for what he is trying to do. He seemed extremely genuine about his role in the media, and understood that it was very difficult to do serious journalism when there wasn't really a market for it. And compared to 99% of the MSM, he's doing a mighty fine job.