March 4, 2005

Taibbirea: A New Low in New York City Media

ON AND OFF FOR OVER 30 YEARS I lived in New York City and I was always surprised to find that, whenever you thought you'd seen the utter bottom in human degredation performed for the sake of personal advancement or self-aggrandisement, there was still filthier mud waiting down below.

There's something about the media industry in that city best described as "Hell with good restaurants" that calls out for items that showcase a greater and greater degredation of the self in order to advance. God knows I played my part. It's been two years since I've wandered the streets of Gotham where papers giving directions to any flavor of self-abnegation you wish are stacked in every coffee shop and free on every corner, but it was with a feeling of extreme deja vu that I saw The New York Press's new cover and knew that a new bottom had been achieved.


There's something about a whole class of people that get drawn to New York that allows them to drain any drop of decency and humanity from their souls and refill it with filth to wild applause from others of their ilk. We're seeing that vile ritual acted out here at the hands of one "Matt Taibbi." Not content, I imagine, with his previous position in the daisy chain of disgusting souls, he seeks to improve it with the standard anti-Catholic outrage. Hard to do in a town that tolerates in the name of art the placing of dung on the Virgin Mary, but Taibbi proves himself just the insect for job.

Among the many things that this degenerated psyche has come up with that are "funny about the death of the Pope" are:

49.After beating for the last time, Pope's heart sits there like a piece of hamburger.

48.Whole world waiting until the last minute for a sudden improvement of his condition. Long lines of girls in the Philippines kneeling and praying. Catholics everywhere with ears pressed to radios, transfixed. Pope gives one last groan, spits, dies.

47.Upon death, Pope's face frozen in sickening smile, eyes wide open and teeth exposed, like a baboon.

46.Beetles eating Pope's dead brains.

Are you laughing yet? How edgy. How sardonic yet sophomoric. How very, very typical of the publication that bills itself as "New York's Premier Alternative Newspaper." How gutsy. Taking on the Pope is much more gutsy than Mr.Taibbi's next effort which I hope will be "50 Hilarious Things About the Death of the Prophet Mohammad" to which Mr. Taibbi will, I am sure, append his home address.

As the world is aware, the end of the life of one of most noble souls on Earth is approaching. I don't care what you might feel about the Catholic Church or its teachings, if you are possessed of the merest shred of decency, to read and contemplate the life story of John Paul II is to know an extraordinary human being whose like we see little of in this life. By any measure, he is a Great Man.

Do you doubt it? Do you doubt it even a bit? I commend this short biographical article that will give you the broad outlines:

John Paul II - preparing the 21st Century

Amidst the brutalities of a Nazi occupation intended to eradicate Poland from history's map, he works as a quarryman, blaster, and manual laborer, often walking four kilometers to work in the freezing Polish winter, clad in jeans and wooden clogs, his face smeared with Vaseline to prevent his skin from freezing. At risk of his life he helps organize a resistance movement aimed at saving Polish culture through the power of the "living word," proclaimed in an underground theater; at the same time, he takes his first steps in Carmelite spirituality under the tutelage of a quirky lay mystic who forms young men into "Living Rosary" groups after the priests of the local parish have been sent to Dachau.

His father dies and the young man's vocational struggle intensifies: is his life to play itself out on the stage or in the sanctuary? When his decision to seek the priesthood matures, he enters a clandestine seminary run by the heroic archbishop of Krakow, who serves Hans Frank a meal of stale bread and acorn coffee when the haughty Nazi governor insists on being invited to dine at the episcopal manse. The surreptitious seminarian (one of whose classmates suddenly disappears, only to end up in front of a firing squad) studies philosophy and theology in the dim light of the chemical factory where he works the midnight shift; his books are pock-marked by the lime that splashes out of the water-purification machinery he tends....

If, like me, you did not know the finer details of Pope's life, the article above will be a revelation. Reading it will lift your spirit and make you a better person for it.

Not so the filth pumped out by the New York Press and its boy Taibbi. There's really nothing to say that can condemn the paper and the writer more than their own deed. It will stand, for a moment I suppose, as the new reeking example of how deeply low those who play the New York media game can squat. But sooner or later, some insect yet more vile will scuttle along and claim the sewage anew. The name of the game in New York media is "attention," and the only way to get attention from dead souls is to become deader than the rest.

I would like to think that, in time, God will punish Matt Taibbi and all who had a hand in this shameful moment, but it strikes me that, really, He already has.

Matt Taibbi, "humorist"

UPDATE: I see that while I was writing this Taibbi has managed to hit the DrudgeReport. Well, that's certainly the big time and I'm sure it will bring him and the New York Press lots of "attention." Probably the base motivation all along. Lots of celebrating for Taibbi this weekend, you can be sure. Plenty of folks buy Taibbi drinks and dinner and hotel rooms, all saying, "Boy, you certainly showed him. Wanna write a book, come on my talk show, appear on TV? We can book you right behind Wonkette. What a gas."

UPDATE: It would seem, thanks to one of our astute readers, that an email message for Mr. Taibbi can be left at this location.

Posted by Vanderleun at March 4, 2005 1:35 PM
Bookmark and Share



"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Great post, GV. Having lived in NYC for 23 of my 30 years, I'm pretty well sick of this shit, too. Is California any better, though?

Btw, I think that's Christopher Hitchens in your photo. Here's Taibbi.

Posted by: Allah at March 4, 2005 2:13 PM

P.S. It will surprise you, I'm sure, to learn that Wolcott's a big Taibbi fan. See his latest.

Posted by: Allah at March 4, 2005 2:21 PM

Thanks be to Allah for the correction. I am appalled at myself.

And of course Wolcott's a big Taibbi fan. Has been since that summer night in the Hamptons with the full moon, the canoe, the mandolin and the moose.

Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at March 4, 2005 2:27 PM

Ouch! I can almost feel his pain

Posted by: Steel Turman at March 4, 2005 4:09 PM

Separated at Birth

Posted by: chris at March 4, 2005 5:02 PM

Pathetic creature has the look of a practicing homosexual.

Posted by: NC3 at March 4, 2005 6:36 PM

Not sure if this Taibbi is related, at all related to TV journalist Mike Taibbi who is noted on the MSNBC website as having one son named Matthew, if that is the case the elder generation is at least in name, Roman Catholic, and one relatative is Orthodox clergy.

In other words - if they are the same family it would seem no one is talking to Junior.

My guess is it's the same Matt that is writing over at Freezerbox.

Oddly he left an email link over there...

Posted by: Huw Raphael at March 4, 2005 10:08 PM


He has the look of a practicing shaven ape.

Posted by: Steel Turman at March 4, 2005 10:09 PM

10 Funniest Things About Mike Taibbi’s Death

1. As cancer eats his guts out, he says, "I don't deserve this!"

2. His last thought is that he wasted his life.

3. He rolls over, his false teeth fall out and bite his nose off.

4. No one shows up to mourn.

5. New Yorkers open the New York Press, read that Mike Taibbi died, and say, “Who’s Mike Taibbi?”

6. He is packaged in a cheap pine box. The bottom cracks open, he falls out, and lands face down on a pie. Headlines Read. “Comic Corpse Pies Self.”

7. In his last moments he looks up at his family. He says, “Please remember me.” They lean forward and say, “Who?”

8. He couldn’t afford a hearse, so they take him to the cemetery in a garbage truck.

9. The undertaker ran out of short pants, so he decks Taibbi out in a pink thong.

10. He is reincarnated as a cockroach. Pope John Paul III smacks him dead with a rolled up newspaper.

Posted by: Professor Plum at March 4, 2005 10:31 PM

Okay, so, inspired by your recent post about the LAT, who are NYP's biggest advertisers? There are still a lot of Catholics in NYC.

Posted by: DTLV at March 5, 2005 10:47 AM

If the NYP is anything like the "alternative" free weeklies in Philly, the biggest advertisers are call girls.

Posted by: Eric Blair at March 5, 2005 6:43 PM

That paper went to shit when Russ Smith sold it.

This Taibbi character was, I think, hired shortly thereafter. I can't picture Russ Smith putting up with the garbage he writes, and this is far from Taibbi's first offense. A real POS, and not funny.

Posted by: spongeworthy at March 7, 2005 9:47 AM

Only question is, who's worse - the insect that wrote that, or the paper that printed it?

BTW, if I may - are you not that crazy about NYC?...

Posted by: Liz L. at March 8, 2005 4:22 PM

Matt Taibbi has a long history of this type of thing,
e.g. sexually mocking the 911 victims in his "newspaper" the exile
and publishing a "how to manual" on how to commit mass murder in high schools and in the workplace.
This should not be very surprising since he and the paper are closely associated with Russian neo-fascist Eduard Limonov and his National Bolshevik Party.

Posted by: Pete Ekman at November 11, 2005 9:10 AM