Taibbi: Mocking People is Easy; TV is Hard

Today on the Huffington Post, Ben Cohen interviews National Magazine Award-winning Rolling Stone columnist Matt Taibbi.

Back in April, Mr. Taibbi got into a spat with another HuffPo writer, novelist Erica Jong, that hinged mostly on his description of Hillary Clinton’s “flabby arms.” In the interview with Mr. Cohen, Mr. Taibbi explains why he chooses to write about his subjects’ physical flaws:

Um … it’s funny? (Laughs) That’s one thing. … You know, I make these caricatures of people, and a lot of it sure is gratuitous, and on some level I am trying to be funny, but I’m also trying to make it an easier read for some of the people who maybe aren’t so interested in politics. I’m not going to stand up and say that it is ideologically defensible, or there isn’t something that is immature about it, but it’s what I do and I think on some level it makes my article a little bit more interesting, and it’s also not the only thing that I do. I mean, I do do research and reporting as well.

Mr. Taibbi, who’s the son of NBC News correspondent Mike Taibbi, also puts to rest any suggestion that he’d ever follow in father’s footsteps: “I had a little bit of experience in TV this year on the Bill Maher show, and I enjoyed that, and it’s fun, but I can see how unbelievably difficult TV is as a career. I would never, I mean I can’t even believe people would do this every day for a living. It’s so hard, and so stressful.”