Matt Taibbi explains what’s wrong with American punditry:
Bai is one of those guys — there are hundreds of them in this business — who poses as a wonky, Democrat-leaning “centrist” pundit and then makes a career out of drubbing “unrealistic” liberals and progressives with cartoonish Jane Fonda and Hugo Chavez caricatures. This career path is so well-worn in our business, it’s like a Great Silk Road of pseudoleft punditry. First step: graduate Harvard or Columbia, buy some clothes at Urban Outfitters, shore up your socially liberal cred by marching in a gay rights rally or something, then get a job at some place like the American Prospect. Then once you’re in, spend a few years writing wonky editorials gently chiding Jane Fonda liberals for failing to grasp the obvious wisdom of the WTC or whatever Bob Rubin/Pete Peterson Foundation deficit-reduction horseshit the Democratic Party chiefs happen to be pimping at the time. Once you’ve got that down, you just sit tight and wait for the New York Times or the Washington Post to call. It won’t be long.
I appreciate what Taibbi is getting at in the piece overall, but not only is this a terrible description of The American Prospect, but as Adam Serwer points out Matt Bai’s actual resumé includes a stint at Rolling Stone and zero stints at TAP. Meanwhile, though I think it’s safe to say that Taibbi is somewhat to the left of the TAP alumni of the world it seems to me that a hypothetical universe in which Bob Kuttner, Harold Meyerson, Josh Marshall, Jons Cohn & Chait, Ezra Klein, Dana Goldstein, and myself dominated the public debate would be one that’s considerably more congenial to Taibbi’s policy preferences than is the actual world.
Anyways, I hesitate to say any more about this because I’m still eagerly awaiting my own call from The New York Times.