American Prospect, the left-leaning political magazine, doesn’t like Matt Taibbi’s latest Rolling Stone piece slamming the Obama administration’s economic sell-out, calling it a “nightmare of a story:”Tim Fernholz: The piece is a factual mess, a conspiracy theorist’s dream, doesn’t even indict Obama for his real failures…and of course invokes the cold hands of Bob Rubin like a bogeyman at every turn.
This is pernicious for a lot of journalistic reasons, but politically it’s bad for progressives because conspiracy theories stand in the way of good policy analysis and good activism, replacing them with apathy and fear.
Fernholz then lists 15 points he says are errors in the article.
What worries him is that all serious critiques of Obama’s policies will be lumped with “Taibbi’s meandering conspiracy:”
Is it disconcerting that employees of the financial industry make a ton of money? Yes. Is it the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street problematic? Yes. Does the Administration take it too easy on the banks? Absolutely. Are White House advisers too centrist for progressive tastes? Sure. But when you try and tell that story with a lot of lies and innuendo, and misunderstand the basic policies that these people are producing, you don’t hurt them. Now anyone who criticises the Administration will just be lumped in with Taibbi’s meandering conspiracy.
Taibbi will likely hit back. At least that’s what he did after Charlie Gasparino wrote a take-down of his controversial piece on Goldman Sachs this summer.
Some commenters on the American Prospect site are siding with Taibbi, calling Fernholz an Obama apologist.
“How does it feel to be a second rate Ari Fleischer? Apologia is all the so-called progress media has left,” wrote “soullite.” Or this from “Paul B:” “Really, these countless apologies for Obama are getting tired.”
You can bet there will be a round two.