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Matt Taibbi on Leaving First Look Media: “I am Really Devastated by the Way Everything Turned Out”

Web ExclusiveNovember 07, 2014
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Matt Taibbi talks briefly about First Look Media, the new independent journalism project funded by Pierre Omidyar. Earlier this year, Taibbi was hired to start a web magazine called The Racket, which would focus investigative reporting on Wall Street and the corporate world. Last week, Omidyar announced Taibbi had left the company. It is unclear if The Racket will still launch.

Click here to watch our interview with Taibbi about his latest investigation since returning to Rolling Stone titled, “The $9 Billion Witness: Meet the woman JPMorgan Chase paid one of the largest fines in American history to keep from talking.”

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Matt, it’s great to have you back reporting, to see your piece, but it’s in Rolling Stone, it’s not at First Look. You had left Rolling Stone to be part of this new news organization. You were launching, like The Intercept at First Look, The Racket. You tweeted out that this piece was coming out in The Racket when you launched, The Racket launch, if you will.

MATT TAIBBI: Right, right.

AMY GOODMAN: But it didn’t happen.

MATT TAIBBI: No, it didn’t. You know, I think all I can really say about that is that I’m really devastated by the way everything turned out. It was a really horrible situation all around. I’m very, very sorry for the staff that is still there, the people that I hired who took a leap of faith to come work for me. And in a way, I’m—as happy as I am to be back at Rolling Stone, which I always loved, I’m sad that this piece isn’t out in Racket. I mean, I think it would have been a great piece to launch with, but it just didn’t work out that way, and that’s unfortunate.

AMY GOODMAN: Will Racket launch?

MATT TAIBBI: I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m not at the company anymore, so you’d have to direct that question to them. I think they—you know, they absolutely should. They have a very talented group over there and some great young writers, and there’s no reason that they couldn’t.

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