A lot of people were shocked when Matt Taibbi left First Look a few weeks back, but on my way to calculating how much the world’s 126th richest person had spent on The Racket before Alex Pareene gave Greenwald’s nutsack its 1,897,456th public tongue bath (salaries + rent I’m guessing $500k at least), I found this August announcement of new hire, Laura Dawn, written by Taibbi which, in retrospect, looks unmistakably like a warning and a cry for help
to prospective new employers.
“As the former Creative & Cultural Director of MoveOn.org from 2003 – 2011,” Taibbi wrote forebodingly, “and current Founder and Chief Creative Director for the creative agency & production group ART NOT WAR,” he continued, with barely concealed alarm, “Laura has spent the last decade making high-impact media —securing and shooting interviews with politicians such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Edwards, and creating social change media with celebrities like Matt Damon, Oliver Stone, Whoopi Goldberg, John Cusack, Olivia Wilde, and many others.”
With a tone more like that of a hostage on the verge of screaming than a fearless muckraker, Taibbi added: “Her work has been called ‘radical,’ ‘vile,’ ‘brilliant,’ ‘savage,’ ‘foul-mouthed,’ ‘eccentric,’ and ‘hard hitting and highly effective’ by Fox News and other major media outlets.”
Two months later, he was out the door. How could we have missed the signs?