August 6, 2009
CJR's Got Your Back
Now this is what meta-media is for: Dean Starkman provides a smart, sweeping analysis of Matt Taibbi’s feisty muckraking. His verdict is nuanced and not easily blockquotable, but the bottom line is: Taibbi can’t be dismissed.
Starkman doesn’t let him off easy, though. This is by no means central to his analysis, but it’s a fun line (and also good advice):
The weakness of the piece is where others might find strength, its polemical nature and its hyperbole. When you call Goldman a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money,” you’re in a sense offering a big fat disclaimer—this piece is not to be taken literally and perhaps not even seriously.
I actually didn’t know about CJR’s The Audit feature—of which this is a part—and I’m a new fan. This is really valuable work.