Celebrated Journalist Matt Taibbi to Move to Omidyar’s First Look Media

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February 19, 2014; First Look Media

Yesterday, NPQ covered the new nonprofit media endeavor being backed by Neil Barsky, which will focus on prisons and the courts. That endeavor has attracted former New York Times editor Bill Keller. And earlier this week, we found out that Rolling Stone’s star journalist, Matt Taibbi, will join First Look Media, the news organization created by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay and a noted philanthropist.

Taibbi will launch First Look’s as-yet-unnamed second digital magazine. First Look Media’s first online publication, The Intercept, led by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill, launched on February 10th. Taibbi’s magazine will focus on “the ongoing financial crisis—and the political machinery that makes it possible.”



Taibbi was a contributing editor at Rolling Stone for ten years, and he has a large following for his reporting on complicated financial scandals and the connections between Wall Street and Washington. Eric Bates, executive editor of First Look Media, says, “Matt is one of the most influential journalists of our time. His incisive explorations of the financial crisis and Wall Street’s undue influence over our political system have played a key role in helping to inform the public and transform the national debate. He is a journalist who can explain what a credit default swap is and why it’s important—and make you bust out laughing while he’s doing it. I look forward to having him on our team and helping him launch a dynamic new site unlike any other.”

“This is an incredible opportunity and a wonderful creative challenge,” said Taibbi. “I’m looking forward to helping build a team that produces hard-hitting coverage of politics and the economy, but delivers it in a way that’s fun, funny, and accessible. It’s a new golden age for reporting and it’s a real privilege to be part of this effort to create something innovative and lasting.”

The fact that these types of well capitalized enterprises are attracting respected journalists with existing followings suggests that a significant watershed has been reached.—Ruth McCambridge

This article has been altered from its original form. It contained a description of Neil Barsky as a “billionaire,” which is not the case. NPQ apologizes to Mr. Barsky for the error.


  • PhilipCohen

    I don’t know what purpose Pierre Omidyar’s new “First Look Media” exercise is ultimately meant to serve but if Omidyar truly had any principles he would instruct eBay Inc. to cease its demonstrable, knowing and calculated facilitation of massive auction fraud on the consumers of the world.

    Shill bidding fraud by professional sellers on eBay nominal-start auctions is demonstrably endemic; bidders who bid early and often on such auctions will most likely be sellers’ shills, and eBay Inc. is demonstrably the greatest knowing and calculated facilitator of such fraud on consumers that the world is ever likely to know and, doubtless, there will be a trickle down effect of like criminal activity to all other eBay operations …

    The ugly reality of eBay Inc.:
    eBay’s crooked auctions marketplace … http://bit.ly/11F2eas
    eBay Motors (UK sampling): Auction Fraud Galore … http://bit.ly/I2gTEU
    eBay Motors XSS Redirect Scam in Action: video … http://bit.ly/1d46NvE
    eBay/Gumtree / Barclays Bank Motors Scam … http://bit.ly/1c9Uwck
    eBay’s clunky, unscrupulous “PreyPal” … http://bit.ly/UVXx53
    The ongoing joke of eBay Inc. … http://bit.ly/YvxFEg
    Fun quotes from the eBay executive suite … http://bit.ly/12xvzyA
    On Facebook … https://www.facebook.com/groups/formerebaysellers/

    Also, sans all the damage that’s already been done to the eBay marketplace by the narcissistic sociopath, Johnny Ho, Omidyar’s current worth of ~4.7 billion dollars may well have been a great deal more; indeed, had he, in August 2007, traded in all his eBay shares for shares in Amazon, he would instead now be worth ~43 billion dollars! Now that, surely, is something for all of eBay’s long-suffering “long” investors to think about …