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NOW on the News
11.8.06

NOW on the News with Maria Hinojosa

Matt Taibbi Decries Negative Campaigns


This week, Maria Hinojosa talks to Matt Taibbi, a contributing editor to Rolling Stone, about what he witnessed on the campaign trail and why he's not impressed by the results.

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Interview Highlights:

Journalist Matt Taibbi
Journalist Matt Taibbi
"This has got to have been one of the most negative campaigns in history...The problem is negative campaign works."

"I think neither party as a coherent positive agenda to campaign on."

"The reason I didn't see this as that much of a victory was the tone that was brought to this election."

"There were so many Democrats who went pro-gun and pro-life this time around and a lot of Republicans who got embroiled in scandals, like Mark Foley."

"Politics is about a lot more than winning and losing. I think politics at its best is about compromise, shades of grey and about issues."

"I think the way that they [the media] cover politics in this country is bad and creepy."

"There's so much money involved in the fundraising process now that even the Democrats can't say how their own members are going to respond once the lobbyists start coming by and saying 'hey if you do this for me I will remember you in a couple of years.'"

About Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine and author of "Spanking the Donkey," a collection of writings about the 2004 presidential campaign.

Working as a columnist for the New York Press, his column on George Bush's prewar press conference, "Cleaning the Pool," was included in the Best Political Writing 2003 anthology, and a year later he was named one of the 35 most influential New Yorkers under 35 by the New York Observer.

Taibbi worked as a freelance reporter in the former Soviet Union, including a stint in Uzbekistan, which chose to deport him in 1992 after he wrote an article for the Associated Press that was critical of President Islam Karimov. At the time of his deportation, Taibbi was also the starting left fielder for the Uzbek National baseball team.

He also played pro baseball for two Russian clubs, Spartak, and the Red Army, in 1995. Subsequently he moved to Mongolia and in 1996-97 played professional basketball in the Mongolian Basketball Association, where he was the nation's leading re-bounder, and was known as the "Mongolian Rodman."

While living in Moscow, he co-founded an English-language satire newspaper called the eXile. Taibbi also worked for a time as an investigator in a Boston-based private detective agency and founded the Buffalo-based newspaper, The Beast.

He now lives in New York City.

Related Links:

Rolling Stone: The Low Post: The Worst Show on Television An Election Night Diary

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