Matt Taibbi: Don't Trust The News

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vampire squid” fame) returns to Peak Prosperity to break down for us how the news media industry became corrupted by the profit motive and now intentionally produces content to “entertain” rather than “inform”.

The five media behemoths who own more than 90% of all US media outlets (Comcast, Viacom, Disney, Time Warner, Newscorp) have discovered that it’s much more profitable to focus on discrete audience segments and give them the information they want to hear.

Which is why the time-honored approach of “just the facts” reporting to a general audience has practically disappeared. There’s less money in it, so it’s just not pursued anymore.

So we’re now served a steady diet of intentionally-biased outrage and pablum, with opinions replacing facts, and any intellectually “triggering” content quickly gunned down by today’s trigger-happy censors.

It’s no wonder that a recent Gallup poll revealed that the majority of Americans no longer trust the US media to report accurately or fairly.

This is a huge social challenge. In such a world, where can one turn for objective information? And what are the consequences of creating such a poorly-informed populace?

While there are no easy solutions, Taibbi shares how he and other respected investigative journalists are ejecting from the system and self-publishing their work, freeing them of the control and biases of corporate overlords.

To understand just how broken our news media is and to learn how to navigate your way to the few reporters and channels remaining dedicate to sourced, factual journalism, play this interview with Matt Taibbi:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

What an great topic and guest for an interview. Very honored for the privilege to hear this.
I started counting the number of “unexpected” questions that kept me on the edge of my seat to hear the answer - and I’ve heard Taibbi before - and gave up at over 10. Thank you.


Thanks Adam. You are doing some excellent interviews here. Much appreciate it. Aloha, Steve

For those who claim there is such a thing, first define liberal. Then explain how this left-leaning, biased media ignored or slandered Bernie Sanders, and almost never addresses true left issues such as reducing the military budget, ending trickle down economics, tackling climate chaos, wealth inequality, and so on.
My point is there is no liberal media, it’s all corporate media that represents the 1% and oppresses the working class.

I heard from Fauchi that 75% of the population must be immunized to reach “Herd” immunity. Is this science or calculated spin? I want to know more ..... Would like to see a thorough investigation and vetting of the vaccine process from objective sources like was done on the Hunter Biden allegations; the Clinton Emails; and the Dominion servers. Maybe we have to go to Germany and listen to Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi to get outside the sphere of the CNN manufactured reality. (Thank you James O’Keiff for your courage). And Thankyou Laura Ingraham for raising good questions.

The corporate media is only liberal in the sense of “neoliberal” which, in my opinion, is really utopian libertarian stuff. The NYT has supported every war in my memory (that goes back to Vietnam.) I have only lived through the last four years - media wise - because of Matt T.

Also, Chris, I want to tell you how much I appreciated the panel discussion you led with Gail Tverberg, Art Berman and Richard Heinburg. It is posted on her Our Finite World blog site. I assume it is linked to this site somehow but I would not have found it.

Man that is a loaded term isn’t it? And it’s definition has certainly underwent change in the past decade or two. After so many years of seeing things play out on this front I think we can draw some concrete conclusions though.
The first is that there are elements of what was once considered the mainstream (economically) on both the left and right of the current political spectrum.
Second, these elements are not popular or accepted by either political party or their lapdogs in the media.
Third, that hoping that the Democratic Party will somehow come to its senses and retake the mantel of the working person’s party is a fool’s errand.
Thomas Frank has done a great job of documenting the devolution of the party but hasn’t gone nearly far enough. It is not that the people running that outfit can’t see the harm their policies have done and continue to do. It is not even that they don’t care about this harm. It is that they consider it just and equitable that the system does harm to ‘those people’. It is the way things should be… according to them.
Taibbi has done a great job exposing this and I salute him.

Any chance of a transcript?

Yes, Carl, a transcript of this interview is on the way. We’ll post it as soon as it comes in.
This was such a good discussion, we wanted to get it out to folks while it was still fresh from the oven :slight_smile:

And, of course, this has been moved along by the very fake news media that Adam is discussing. Anti-war? These are the people who were beating burning and looting across the country for months. Not exactly the koom-bah-yah pacifists of yester-year.
Wealth inequality? They support trillion dollar companies so long as they adopt the “orange man bad” mantra. They oppose tariffs and secure borders which were the hallmarks of the democrat party for decades.
The new “liberal” is a communist. A violent pawn of the corporate elite, brainwashed attack dogs who are let loose against anyone who threatens their oligarchic power.
All Soros has to do is point his attack dog at any political rival and say the special word “racist”, and they charge, mouth foaming, to do his bidding. Facts be damned because the fake media will gin up all sorts of excuses, support, and justifications for anything they do, while ignoring any information that goes against the narrative.
Thats what’s left of the “liberal” in America. He’s been turned out by the elite global pimps. It wasnt that hard to do because his weakness was always that he put emotion before logic, feelings before facts, and impression above truth. At best, the “liberal” was ever the well intentioned fool of the political world. It was always his fate to be turned into Marx’ “useful idiot”.

A country cannot have a real democracy unless they have a trustworthy media.
And we don’t have a trustworthy media.
But as Adam notes, the lack of a trustworthy media creates a second problem. How do you make decisions about things that are important to you when most of the media (along with the government) cannot be trusted?
In a short period of time, the government may make vaccines either mandatory or too burdensome to avoid. “Too burdensome to avoid,” means “no flying, no riding on trains or busses, no staying at hotels, no going to sporting events, no attending graduations, no attending concerts, no going to restaurants, etc.,” without a vaccine passport.
I am gearing up to study if any of the vaccines are actually useful and / or safe. If none of them are safe, I have to decide whether or not to become an ex-pat and where I can go.
That is a lot of research but what choice do I have at this point?
Edit: About 10 minutes after posting this comment, I saw this article.
The Department of Defense is printing and will be supplying “Immunity Cards” to all Americans.

Isn’t it interesting that those who mandate mask wearing the loudest are not ones who have to wear them 8 to 10 hours a day or while doing physical activity.
Isn’t it interesting that after 10 months we are still being routinely lectured to “wash our hands, social distance snd wear a mask” as if hearing that message the first 500 times wasn’t enough. We must need that on a recorded loop to play continuously. Group conformity dammit!
Isn’t it interesting that the rules regarding the virus apply to “regular” people but not the privileged elites.
Isn’t it interesting how people plug into the news to get their daily dose of “fear”!
Isn’t it interesting that we are afraid of other peoples fear.
Freedom is taken it is NOT given. How long are you willing to wait to be GIVEN the right to not wear a mask? Given the right to work to put food on your table? Will it be - masks from cradle to grave? Freedom is not free. Just sayin.

One of the many articles on ZeroHedge that I feel guilty about not giving enough time to made the case that historically pandemics end in one of two ways:

  1. Medicine comes up with treatments
  2. People just say “fuck it, Im going back to life”.
    Historically its usually door #2 that ends up being taken as medicine wasn’t fast enough to offer a solution before people got fed up.
    The technology for official messaging wasn’t as strong back then nor were the insights into human psychology as great as those now wielded by power interests.
    At this point people could take to the streets by the millions and you’d never hear about it through “reputable” news sources so Im not sure how this works as a political movement.
    Maybe a million individuals committing ticketable offences at 100x the rate of the authorities ability to issue tickets? It would end up a bit like marijuana being illegal and then becoming legal. We would all know someone who got into trouble for breaking the rules, but we would also all know many more people breaking them and not hurting anybody so that after a while there would be a realization that no one actually believes this shit and its time for legalization.
I am gearing up to study if any of the vaccines are actually useful and / or safe. If none of them are safe, I have to decide whether or not to become an ex-pat and where I can go. That is a lot of research but what choice do I have at this point?
“Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.”

Like Matt Taibbi, journalist Tim Pool also leans on decentralized market forces such as profit motive to explain biases in the media. Some media personalities have made a name for themselves as conspiracy theorists, and we wince. Most of us would prefer to build on sanity instead of hysteria, to get along well with our colleagues rather than gamble with potentially false accusations. So how far can you get without invoking conspiracy?
You can push a decentralized origin hypothesis pretty far, actually. We know there are only a handful of large media corporations and only a handful of editors, who could easily see themselves as conscientious activists, and that might support a conspiratorial perspective, but is there reason to think they are following far more than creating divisions in society? Jonathan Haidt and Jordan B Peterson have noted the large hereditary components of personality, which align with differently-ordered societies. Add some trauma to create anxiety (especially in typically-more-neurotic women) and unfairness to create revolt (especially in typically-more-angered men), with most everyone trying to hold together the prosperous society that was, and you might even convince yourself that those activists editors are valiantly holding society together, or at least creating some stability for the big corporations who pay the bills.
I’m not really impressed with the hereditary hypothesis. Together with trauma and provocation it might account for the way someone leans politically when the facts are so doubtful they become a Rorschach test, or the style of an adjustment reaction when far-away rumors come close to home, but give any person a strong enough narrative and they will probably, eventually, adjust to it. No one is born a communist who can’t be persuaded to reconsider when they are faced with the gulags, or a personal-responsibility-is-everything conservative when someone they care for is not able to succeed in a competitive society, unless they are narcissists who guard their public personas at all costs.
I’m also not really impressed with the profit motive hypothesis. At the level of transnational corporations and think-tanks there is far more gravitas in their decision-making. “Stakeholder” corporations are cooperating with some kind of master plan in order to carve out slices of future earnings, functioning more as a coalition than competitors. There can’t be many people upstream casting the vision for this fascism, and this seems confirmed when Western leaders adopt the same talking points at the same time.
Several days ago I visited Scientific American after many years away. I know I’ve changed over the years, becoming more confident in identifying bad science, but I’m pretty sure they have changed even more. There was an ethics opinion piece that mirrored Thomas Aquinas’ universal destination of goods and an analysis of Wigner’s Friend experiments which favored the interpretation that there is no objective reality, undermining the cornerstone of science without adequate cause. I think the effect is to further confuse and disorient, preparing the way for a big, positive, feel-good narrative to come save us all. Which, of course, is not based in objective reality, because what’s that? Nobody is allowed to know.

Because Matt you are one of my trusted sources of information and I presume you are for many other people too.
He is for me. And this interview was one of the most "hopeful" videos I've seen in the last year. I feel like real change is happening. Adam, one tiny criticism: I would push back at the "unbiased" claim for Peak Prosperity, MT, or anyone at all. And it's not the bias that bothers me, it's the utter conformity of opinion in the MSM that crushes "unapproved" opinions and creates an information lockdown. The real reason I come to MT or PP is not for the "lack of bias". Both are plenty biased, and I generally disagree with both most of the time. But what makes both a breath of fresh air? They are speaking with their own voice, having dissenting opinions that make me think. It's clear both MT & PP are seeking the truth as best they can with their bias. And that makes for very interesting reading and fresh ideas to kick around. That's real media, God bless you both.

Remember , years ago, when Mitch stated that his job was to make Barack Obama a one-term president? In carrying out that promise the Republicans have tried to foil every liberal interest and policy. They still are in denying stimulus money to Cities, i.e., Democratic cities. When President Trump was elected, he had lots of chances to move to the center to do some deals with Democrats. He never did. He stayed amazingly loyal to the Tea Party.
Democrats and liberals, progressives, you name it, had no option but to resist. Sorry.
The country is divided and angry and the politicians and media folks play on that. If the people don’t move to the center, than the system won’t.
When I read comments and articles on PP, I get the idea that we are trying to create a separate reality that works for us. I think that is the way to go.
I think that the pandemic shows that the US healthcare system stinks, and social media shows the tremendous divisiveness and anger.
I actually think it is kind of hopeless. Time for an old fashioned!

I don’t buy the profit explanation. I’m sure it’s a factor, but it doesn’t explain it. Even Fox News wouldn’t give Obama’s misuse of the intelligence agencies to attack Trump the attention it deserved. I’m not a Trump fan but Obama made Nixon abuses look tame. Real investigation of the weapons of mass destruction claims was never done before we invaded Iraq. Just ask Phil Donahue. His audience wasn’t Bush supporters but he got axed immediately after asking some basic questions on air.
The real reason the media is what we have today is a concerted effort by the CIA to place operatives in positions of power in the media. Operation Mockingbird wasn’t just a one-shot thing under Dulles, it has continued and expanded. The mechanisms Matt described are real, but they are the tools used by the Deep State operatives to control reporters (and ultimately the populace), not the reason the control exists.
The techniques Philip Agee described the CIA using in other countries decades ago are now being used here for the same purposes.