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The State of Journalism Legacy Scumbag Media Today

EXCERPTS FROM Matt Taibbi’s Look Behind The Curtain: Discussion with Author Walter Kirn

It’s basically an arms race that’s going on now, in which people attempt to agree more intensely than they agreed before. I do credit social media, at least that’s the place where we see these takes. We don’t tend to hear them by CB radio or over the phone necessarily, but there’s something about this third particle accelerator of opinion that we call Twitter which seems to inflate the craziness.

Now, as to whether the liberals have changed? Yes, they’ve changed! They used to be gentle, interesting, controversial, humorous people. Now they’re strident ideologues who love every institution which they professed to detest and suspect in the old days…
And that’s what Catch-22 is. I just re-watched the 1970 Mike Nichols version last night to prepare for this. Just a few outtakes: you’ve got these guys living on a bomber base in the Mediterranean and they’re dying one by one, their planes are getting shot down and they want to get out of it. But the Colonel in charge keeps raising the number of missions you have to fly in order to retire from the bombing. And that reminds me of the vaccines. You’ll need six! No, you’ll need seven!
We will agree to destroy our society for you, China… Our greatest product at the moment, this vaccine, our most expensive and profitable export, is the result of our suffering. And it isn’t seeming to cure it either, frankly, from my perspective, since every single person I know who’s gotten the booster in LA is now asking me for recommendations on zinc and other vitamins to take. There’s the famous saying, that the capitalist will sell the revolutionary the rope he will use to hang himself. Well, that’s kind of the situation I see us in. It’s as though there’s only one corporation in charge right now, and that is one Pharma/gov/tech conglomerate. Maybe it’s called BlackRock, or Vanguard.

I was at the hospital yesterday in Montana, which I read constantly in the New York Times is almost on its knees from Covid-19. The place was empty. I could barely find anyone to give me directions to the radiology department, where I presumed millions would be having their lungs examined. What am I to say? Is the doctor standing next to me the reality, or is the report that he’s on the plane, i.e. the empty hospital, the reality? I read that here in Trump country, we’re just staggering under the weight of the vaccinated, rude Covid-19 victims.

Yet we’re being described as though we’re on the precipice of savagery. I saw that with the Oklahoma thing. I was in South Dakota last year when I heard an NPR report that the hospital in Rapid City, which I was one mile from, was about to collapse. And I drove over. I had a thousand parking spots to choose from. Then when I rechecked the text of the NPR story, I saw that it was a speculative story, which interviewed a doctor about what might happen if things got so much worse. So, I’ve had that experience over and over of being reported on as a resident of the great frontier and then checking outside my door to see whether or not it was accurate and finding it wasn’t.

If the left could solve the problem of two Americas that RFK so eloquently spoke of, it’s now decided that the America that is left behind, that it used to profess great care for and ambitions for, should just be annihilated with ridicule and a sort of mockery that dehumanizes them and renders them irrelevant.

That’s a sign of real failure. To be serious, that’s a kind of real failure on the left when it starts making fun of poverty, basically, in order to advance its cosmopolitan agenda. Another joke was it comes with a “Barbie dream ventilator,” which suggests these people are dying, and we could have a laugh over it. I mean, I don’t wanna laugh over anyone on a ventilator in my lifetime if I can help it, but we’re already there on network television.

Taibbi: In my father’s generation, all journalists were on the phone all the time, and now they’re not. Do you talk about that with colleagues — this astonishment at how much the idea of talking to people has disappeared from the job, replaced by looking for links?

Walter Kirn: Matt, this profession, especially in its mainstream liberal form, now distrusts people — they have a one out of two chance of being an insurrectionist or a racist, a bad wrong-thinking person. What journalism now specializes in is waiting in line to talk to the same expert, the former intelligence agency chief, the John Hopkins professor, the Nate Silverish statistician. Sometimes I think that these 50 or 100 experts who are generating about a third of the news now must almost be like professional witnesses in trials. They’re so in demand that must be getting paid because they’re apparently spending their whole day talking to a circle of journalists. And that is no exaggeration.

Walter Kirn: To start, I would say you could not have a more slanted situation than the largest advertiser and corporate sponsor for the media, the pharmaceutical industry being basically the subject of inquiry. In other words, you’re less likely to get honest inquiry and diversity of opinions and adversarial reporting in a press that is owned by big Pharma than you were. Jake Tapper is literally brought to you by Pfizer; his segments on CNN are introduced as such. You are in a snake-eating-its-tail situation, when the subject of journalism is the greatest advertiser.

Walter Kirn: This is going to offend everyone — I can just hear people clicking off out there — but we live in a country where our chief health official for governmental and media purposes, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is at least mentioned in every single account of the origins of the virus, either as a manipulated virus or one that was captured wild. Now we used to call that conflict of interest. We used to say that if you made money from something, or if you knew someone involved in the story, or if you made money from some aspect of the story, you couldn’t comment on it.

The thing that infuriated me and almost radicalized me against this corporate regime, and journalism, was the Russiagate story. I’ll tell you why, and it’s not because it was adversarial for Donald Trump. It’s because the Russiagate story, which was, I’m just here to tell you — it was bullshit. It had bullshit sources. It stemmed from high influence peddlers and campaign officials and places like the Brooking Institute and so on. It posed as Watergate. It posed as an outsider exposure of the ways of power, when in fact it was just the opposite. It posed as muckraking when in fact it was icing the cake of power. Pulitzer Prizes were awarded, and star reporters were crowned in this supposedly anti-authoritarian mega-story, which was being reported despite the anger and fury of power.

In fact, it was just the opposite. It was a completely phony caricature of a Watergate-style investigation. When I saw the press willing to pose as crusaders and outsiders on behalf of the most established political, intelligence, and even corporate entities in America, I was just like, this is the biggest travesty.

We now have a professional priesthood because, throughout Trump, what we heard about journalists was that they were the most persecuted they’d ever been. They were one minute from being thrown into camps by Trump, and how dare we insult their profession. They exalted themselves into something resembling medieval priests. We read Latin, please. You don’t want to look at the Bible — we’ll tell you what’s in it.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ghostsniper January 16, 2022, 7:25 PM

    Ever heard that saying, “No news is good news?”
    Well there is no news.
    So that’s good news.
    Now, there’s a lot of people trying to make news and a lot more people believing made up bullshit is news.
    I got news for those people.
    I still got the blues for you.

    • Mike Austin January 17, 2022, 8:22 AM

      Gary Moore. Les Paul Gold Top. Straight ahead Blues. Yep.

    • Jack January 17, 2022, 8:30 AM

      That stellar performance by G. Moore brings back tons of painful memories that I learned to live with. Thanks for that post, Ghost.

  • gwbnyc January 16, 2022, 9:04 PM

    Catch 22~

    Read it as required in an intermittent pass through of local community college. A friend I made there then was home from three years in Vietnam, Marines. We both ate it up, saw the film etc, talked about it occasionally for decades.

    Then about three years ago it came to me why the character “Orr” was named “Orr”, so I excitedly emailed my friend with the news along with my amazement of having never thought of it, he replied, “I never did either.”

    I gather news from aggregators, rightwing blogs, and a few links such as this one-


    and AM news stations sans editorializing.

    • Rob De Witt January 17, 2022, 7:28 AM

      Okay, I give up.

      Why was Orr named “Orr?”

      • gwbnyc January 17, 2022, 11:45 AM

        his name could have been “Rowe” to the same effect.

      • gwbnyc January 17, 2022, 12:09 PM

        aside, Heller’s daughter wrote a bare knuckle account of him, “Yossarian Slept Here”. If read, it needs to be read to the last page, and no peeking.

  • Sid V January 17, 2022, 5:18 AM

    “Legacy Scumbag Media”. That’s a keeper!

    • Vanderleun January 17, 2022, 11:23 AM

      Thanks. We’ll be here all week.

  • John Venlet January 17, 2022, 6:13 AM

    I was at the hospital yesterday in Montana, which I read constantly in the New York Times is almost on its knees from Covid-19. The place was empty.

    I was at the hospital myself, yesterday, here in Grand Rapids, MI, visiting a friend who recently underwent a vascular surgery in an attempt to save his left leg. It too, was empty. You could have shot a cannon down most of the hallways and not hit a thing. There was no line, or crowd, milling around the emergency room, either, nor did they have an outdoors triage tent for the dreaded Gain of Function Flu (manmade). On my return home, I drove by the other two hospitals here in Grand Rapids just for a looksee, eyeballing the emergency room driveups, as the “news” assures me that the Omicron is running rampant here in Michigan. No lines, no crowds, and few cars in the parking lot of the emergency room parking areas. Do not trust the propagandists in the media, trust your own eyes, look around you and SEE the truth.

    • billrla January 17, 2022, 8:29 AM

      John Venlet: The “hospitals are overwhelmed” nonsense supports the “desperate calls” to bring in FEMA, which opens the floodgates on a whole new river of cash from Uncle Joe. Plus, bringing in FEMA federalizes hospitals, which, of course, is the ultimate goal.

    • Casey Klahn January 17, 2022, 10:02 AM

      Dr. Ben Carson provided some insight on some video last week, in which he said that hospitals are always on the verge of staffing shortages, which makes perfect sense from a financial standpoint. Duh. One new patient at the wrong time could “overwhelm” the hospital, and yet the Left uses this condition to gaslight us about the Coof.

      John, your HUMINT means more than a hundred news stories sewn together.

  • Tom Hyland January 17, 2022, 7:49 AM

    The true poll of the people, of your neighbors, your town, is by reading your local NextDoor threads. I was banned from NextDoor in October 2020 and cannot log on, for repeatably telling the truth, but a friend pasted and sent a recent thread to me regarding the occasional unmasked customer at the grocery store. Former CIA director William Casey was quoted as saying, “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” What my neighbors are saying is flat-out wrong. “The hospital is filled to overflowing with the unvaccinated.” “The vaccines and masks will be our only way back to freedom… once everyone is vaccinated.” I’m about half-way through reading “The Real Anthony Fauci” and this book in the hands of a capable prosecutor would land Fauci, Gates, Schwab, and governors of many states in jail permanently. From what I know, for the truth, most of my neighbors will be dead this year or shortly after.

    • billrla January 17, 2022, 8:30 AM

      Tom Hyland: NextDoor is nothing more than a local snitch network. My advice is to dump it.

      • Tom Hyland January 17, 2022, 9:52 AM

        Hello Bill. If you revisit what I wrote… NextDoor dumped me… over 15 months ago. True, the site is fraught with snitches and their goal is to achieve perfect echo-chamber status so never is heard a discouraging word from outside their propaganda.

    • Terry January 17, 2022, 8:36 AM

      “From what I know, for the truth, most of my neighbors will be dead this year or shortly after.”

      Some serious backup to your the above quote. See Prof. Dr. Michael Palmer, PhD linked below.

      Watch the whole ten minutes and pay particular attention to the last two minutes. Re-play last part if you do not hear exactly what Dr. Palmer states.


      • Tom Hyland January 17, 2022, 10:13 AM

        NICE, Terry. Thanks for placing that link and I recommend everyone here today watch Dr. Palmer’s brief video and his dire warning of what this poison is designed to do. I’m excited that Santa Fe will return in the near future to what it once was… a village of redneck mountain men, cowboys, Indians and Mexicans scraping out a living, fearless and daring amidst the adventure of life.

    • TrangBang68 January 17, 2022, 10:30 AM

      Next door in my crime ridden Midwestern city consists of a bunch of hipster Karens bemoaning that the hoodrats are stealing their stuff depite their “Black Lives Matter” yard signs and their de-nutted male cohorts crying along with them

  • Aggie January 17, 2022, 8:18 AM

    Gerard, sorry – there are two repeated paragraphs there: #7,8 and #9,10.

    Our hospitals are full here and my doctor and nurse friends are working flat out, understaffed – but not with COVID cases. It would appear our population base in Texas is rapidly expanding, as backed-up by all the out-of-state and temporary tags I’m seeing on older vehicles – as well as my new neighbors.

    • Vanderleun January 17, 2022, 11:28 AM

      Thanks. Fixed.

  • Mike Austin January 17, 2022, 8:36 AM

    To believe the media, you must therefore disbelieve what your eyes tell you. The dissociation is remarkable:

    “Dissociation is a disconnection between a person’s sensory experience, thoughts, sense of self, or personal history. People may feel a sense of unreality and lose their connection to time, place, and identity.”

    This of course is also the goal of that little creepy fellow Zuckerberg, and his “Meta”. Reality becomes only one of several options. A man, no matter his real world accomplishments and sense of self, can become the Walter Mitty of his dreams. Reality and fantasy meld, coalesce, then separate again to come together later as an entirely new corporeality. The man has entered the world of Jorge Luis Borges, never to return.

    He has become the perfect citizen of the Brave New World.

    • anonymous January 17, 2022, 9:41 AM

      Yes, but Zuckerberg is in a protected class.

      • Mike Austin January 17, 2022, 2:00 PM

        Every protected class in History was protected until it wasn’t: Bourbons, Romanovs, Julio-Claudians. True enough, Zuck is in such a class. Every pig has its day, and Zuck will have his.

    • Bruceph January 17, 2022, 2:55 PM

      I’ve never been much of a reader, let’s start with that. But I have read a little of Borges, thinking he was really, really good. But apparently, I missed or forgot the ‘world’ you’re discussing here. A thumbnail if you are able, please.
      And though it sounds like a contradiction, I am wrapping up ‘A Woman of No Importance’ by Sonia Purnell. I can hardly put it down. It’s Deja vu all over again.

      • Mike Austin January 17, 2022, 3:23 PM

        Borges specialized in writing about fantastic worlds he himself created. For example his short story “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius”. A 40 volume encyclopedia is found about an imaginary world called Tlön. The real world gradually becomes Tlön.


        All of his short stories are…well, a bit odd. His fictional universes are ones you would not want to live in.

  • Jack January 17, 2022, 8:48 AM

    Tom, I agree with you. No matter the intention of the creator of Next Door, it is simply a place where unhappy and bitchy women can congregate and whip the life out of any business, restaurant or service that happened to not kiss and coddle their butts or make otherwise stupid comments about matters that don’t affect them at all.

  • Dirk January 17, 2022, 12:41 PM

    “ Meta” ?


    • Mike Austin January 17, 2022, 1:57 PM

      “Meta” is Zuck’s latest iteration of Facebook:

      “Announcing Meta — the Facebook company’s new name. Meta is helping to build the metaverse, a place where we’ll play and connect in 3D. Welcome to the next chapter of social connection.”

      It sounds weird as Hell because it is weird as Hell.

      • Dirk January 19, 2022, 8:13 PM

        Ahh, thanks Mike, only been on face book once, when Lavoy Finnicum was Murdered the OREGON State Police.

        After a week I had a no shit thousand friends, oddly enough all girls, reminding me we went to grade school secondary school, or college, just look at their pic and I’d remember them.

        Like the gentleman I am, I did just that,,,,,,,looked at every single one of em. Dammed if every one was necked, doing something nasty to themselves.

        After every one of the pics, I didn’t recognize a one of those girls,,,,,

        I swear it!