December 12, 2017

WELL, WHEN YOU HAVE A CLIMATE OF MASS HYSTERIA, THIS KIND OF THING WILL HAPPEN: The Destruction of Matt Taibbi. “Matt Taibbi has never been accused by any woman of sexual assault or impropriety. The women he is accused of harassing (those who weren’t fictional) based on satirical passages from a book he co-authored nearly two decades ago, have all denounced the allegations. It’s the same with Ames, who actually wrote the passages. And yet, as soon as the baseless claims went mainstream, people were quick to try to connect them to an unrelated office conflict from Taibbi’s days at First Look. The speed with which this narrative formed and solidified in the national consciousness should give every reader pause.”

But, you know, when you write something that purports to be a nonfiction memoir, you can’t really blame people for assuming that you did what you say you did. And in our world, what seems edgy and funny and over-the-top at one point can become crime think overnight. It would be better if people had more in the way of proportion and humor, and less in the way of rushing to judgment. But social media (antisocial media?) have pretty much eliminated those in public discourse.

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