October 31, 2014

Matt Taibbi May Have Thought Pierre Omidyar Was Running a Loosie Goosie Company or Something Like that

Taibbi thought working at First Look Media would be free of the corporate bullshit he loves to hate

Yesterday First Look Media's The Intercept published a looong play by play of what went down with the now ousted Matt Taibbi. It sounds like Mr. Taibbi thought joining First Look would've meant no higher ups to answer to. No checks and balances and a place where he could say and do what he wanted to staffers of his now shelved Racket website. According to the lengthy account, Mr. Taibbi was always at odds with his overlords, including the man who signed his checks Pierre Omidyar who originally pledged a $250 million investment in the operation. That number has since been reduced by $200 million. In his very short time at the company, Mr. Taibbi established a reputation as a hostile verbal abuser (allegedly) who wouldn't bow to First Look's brass which lead to him walking away. Whats next for Matt Taibbi? Well our money is on Vox Media where he will develop the original concept for Racket under a new name of course.
These simmering problems came to a head this month when a Racket staffer complained to senior management that Taibbi had been verbally abusive and unprofessionally hostile, and that she felt the conduct may have been motivated, at least in part, by her gender. Temple conducted an investigation, and First Look determined that while none of the alleged conduct rose to the level of legal liability, the grievance bolstered their case that Taibbi should not be the manager of Racket. Among their concerns were the staffer’s claims that Taibbi had been privately criticizing First Look managers, particularly Ching, that Taibbi’s abrasive demeanor was alienating some on his staff, and that Taibbi instructed Racket staff to resolve any grievances directly with him rather than going to upper management.
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