Fans of Matt Taibbi, frequent Bill Maher guest, 2008 NMA winner and Tom Friedman's worst nightmare on steroids, have long wondered why Taibbi blogs for True/Slant and not Rolling Stone. It's time for some answers!
Back in April Jeff Bercovici of the now defunct Portfolio speculated that Taibbi's absence from the Rolling Stone website was the direct result of publisher Jann Wenner's famously clueless web strategy.
You might wonder why Wenner, the magazine's owner and editor in chief, would allow a marquee writer to peddle his talents elsewhere rather than on Rollingstone.com. I wondered that myself — until I remembered hearing from a source that Tabbi had offered, during last summer's presidential campaign, to blog for the site, for free, only to be turned down by Wenner, who worried that it would detract from his work on the column.
As of this writing the last post on Rolling Stone's Taibbi Unbound blog is dated March 2nd of this year and implores readers to check out their National Affairs blog, where they can check out their "favorite Taibbi broadsides," but when readers follow the link there is nothing written by Taibbi on the National Affairs blog. Everything is written by Tim Dickinson, save for a single post written by Sean Woods.
I contacted Bercovici over the weekend to see if he'd picked up any additional information on the matter after his Portfolio post ran.
"Nope, didn't really find out anything beyond what I put in that item. Jann Wenner was too stupid and/or cheap to see the value of Matt Taibbi as a blogger, so he went to a place that will let him write whatever he wants and promote him. He's True/Slant's biggest traffic getter so far, by a comfortable margin, I think."
Yes, Taibbi is blogging up a storm over at True/Slant. He recently posted another vicious spanking of the pornstached Friedman, expressed bewilderment at the peasant mentality so pervasive in America today, and explained why Yankees' general manager Brian Cashman is an utter failure at what should be the world's easiest job.
So what gives here?
Yesterday I received a short message from Taibbi saying that his True/Slant material will soon be posting to Rolling Stone's website, and that much of Bercovici's Portfolio post was incorrect.
"I have a blog at True/Slant and the same material is going to be on the RS site very shortly, once my page there is redesigned. Portfolio got a number of things wrong in that story."
By all accounts Taibbi seems to be a good guy and we're willing to take him at his word. However, there certainly appears to be so much more to this story. If you work at Rolling Stone and have some insight you'd care to share anonymously, please, by all means, feel free to indulge us.