It’s reassuring to see the theme of Matt Taibbi’s latest Rolling Stone piece, “Why Isn’t Wall St. In Jail?” generating some late notice to the Scot-free financial crimes that brought the system (almost) down a couple years or so ago. Tabbi, who in his piece “The Great American Bubble Machine,” famously depicted Goldman Sachs as a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money” has consistently dealt with the financial crisis and its aftermath in ways that the mainstream, corporate-owned media doesn’t; clear-eyed, in depth and with plenty of finger-pointing (Taibbi’s tentacled symbolism, not without precedent, has been criticized as well). Nor has he let Obama off the hook for stocking his staff with Wall St. insiders. Why Taibbi isn’t given more shrift among the Beltway insiders for his financial reporting is obvious: he ‘s smart, he digs up information (we used to call it investigative journalism) and he writes well enough to explain the working of the heavily-veiled financial industry in ways even a rabbit can understand. Because they don’t understand it themselves, are loathe to actually work on stories rather than repeat them , or serve as cheerleaders for the industry, Taibbi is the last guy they want to have on their programs. Instead, we get Ben Stein. At least Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher aren’t afraid of him.
The Rolling Stone contributing editor hasn”t escaped criticism for excess and omissions in the Jail story and other of his financial scandel. But even without an understanding of the laws, one comes away from the piece outraged that no one will serve time (think Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide Financial) for obvious theft and lies to authorities and the public. At least Taibbi has Rolling Stone, which in a return to past glories has served the political and financial issues well in the last few years. When we wonder why there isn’t more anger directed at the financial sector, one answer is obvious: there’s not enough gutsy reporters willing to call a money-sucking vampire squid a money-sucking vampire squid.–Cabbage Rabbit