Posts Tagged ‘Matt Taibbi’
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Facebook’s Latest Acquisition? That’s WhatsApp! (AllFacebook)
After its unsuccessful bid for photo-messaging application Snapchat last November, reportedly valued at more than $3 billion, Facebook opened up the vaults and announced its acquisition of cross-platform mobile messaging company WhatsApp for $4 billion in cash and some $12 billion in Facebook shares, also announcing that WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum will join Facebook’s board of directors. CNNMoney Buying WhatsApp will only bolster Facebook’s already strong position in the crowded messaging world. Messenger, Facebook’s standalone messaging app for mobile devices, is second only to WhatsApp in its share of the smartphone market. The Verge In a press release announcing the monumental buyout, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable.” He also shared news of the deal on his personal Facebook page, saying, “WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community.” Over 450 million people use WhatsApp each month, according to statistics in the press release, with 70 percent of those users active on a given day. GigaOM Facebook is going to end up competing with apps like Line and WeChat in many markets for the consumer’s mobile minutes and WhatsApp gives the Menlo Park-based company a strong competitive weapon. While potential monetization remains a bit of a head scratcher, there are more options for the company to think about, like new native advertisements in the near future. Forbes Koum picked a meaningful spot to sign the $19 billion deal to sell his company WhatsApp to Facebook Wednesday. Koum, co-founder Brian Acton and venture capitalist Jim Goetz of Sequoia drove a few blocks from WhatsApp’s discreet headquarters in Mountain View to a disused white building across the railroad tracks, the former North County Social Services office where Koum, 37, once stood in line to collect food stamps.
The most recent Rolling Stone item by Matt Taibbi is headlined “The Vampire Squid Strikes Again.” That colorful expression is also sticking to the talented investigative reporter tonight as news breaks that he is leaving the Jann Wenner publication for First Look Media.
On Twitter, New York Times reporter John Schwartz quickly surmised that vanguard journalism funder Pierre Omidyar “likes vampire squid,” while colleague Ravi Somaiya closes out his brief exclusive item with the lineage of this Taibbi allegory:
Mr. Taibbi is noted for capturing the spirit of the aftermath of the financial crisis with a series of articles in Rolling Stone that examined the misbehavior of Wall Street executives and the risky lending practices that led to a near collapse of the global economy. He used vivid writing and colorful language to describe the root causes of the crisis, including the now-famous metaphor he used to describe Goldman Sachs, calling the bank “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”
It was just last month that we were writing about the strategic alliance between Wenner Media’s Fitness and Men’s Journal. And how that deal quickly came together through the efforts of respective publishers Eric Schwarzkopf and Chris McLoughlin.
This week, McLoughlin is on to bigger and better Wenner things. A year and a half after being appointed publisher of Men’s Journal, the magazine industry vet is moving over to Rolling Stone in the same capacity. From this afternoon’s announcement:
“We’re thrilled to see Chris apply the strategic thinking he displayed at Men’s Journal as he assumes his new role at Rolling Stone,” said Jann Wenner, chairman of Wenner Media. “Chris’s sales and marketing expertise will further redefine and expand the Rolling Stone brand as we increasingly engage and grow our audiences in both the print and digital space.”
From the outset of the Rush Limbaugh controversy, more than a few members of the public have tweeted about what they perceive to be an egregious double standard. While the conservative talk show host is going down in flames, equally culpable folks perched at the other end of the TV-radio spectrum like Bill Maher get less overall flack. (Maher appears to have learned a thing or two from his Politically Incorrect ABC days by moving to a network with no advertisers.)
Did you know there is a war on women?
Yes, it’s true. Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Bill Maher, Matt Taibbi and Ed Schultz have been waging it for years with their misogynist outbursts. There have been boycotts by people on the left who are outraged that these guys still have jobs. Oh, wait. Sorry, that never happened.
Matt Taibbi was on with Keith Olbermann recently to discuss the “Occupy Wall Street” protests, that, as of this weekend, have now officially spread to LA City Hall. Taibbi covered the Tea Party extensively during its early formative protests and says the media attention to this movement pales in comparison to what he saw back in 2008. He also notes, however, that some Tea Party members have been joining the Wall Street protests in solidarity.
According to Poynter, Matt Taibbi‘s just-posted Rolling Stone piece on Michele Bachmann “borrowed liberally” from a 2006 City Pages cover story written by G.R. Anderson. City Pages writes that Abe Sauer at the Awl called Rolling Stone out in a “point-by-point comparison and got Rolling Stone executive editor Eric Bates to admit he had deleted several ‘according to City Pages’ references. Bates promised to add link backs into the electronic version of the story, which he did.”
But Anderson, the original author of the story, wants an apology. “I would never want to get anybody fired,” Anderson told City Pages. “But I do want credit where credit is due.” Anderson is currently a journalism professor at the University of Minnesota J-School, and he did say that while he “would not consider what the Rolling Stone contained in it to be plagiarism. That is for other people to decide… [but] I do know that if a student handed in a story with that particular lack of sourcing, not only would I give it an ‘F,’ I would probably put that student on academic fraud.”
Hollywood Reporter senior writer Marisa Guthrie landed a big exclusive interview with Keith Olbermann for this week’s cover story
(subscription required). Until now, Olbermann hadn’t spoken in depth to the press about his contentious exit from MSNBC and his move to Current TV. Among other tidbits we learn that Olbermann is making $10 mil a year at Current– a $3 million pay bump from his MSNBC days. He also has an equity stake in the company which could earn him $100 mil.
We also learn that Olbermann has brought in his former MSNBC colleague David Shuster–who was suspended from the network for taping a pilot for CNN–to serve as his substitute anchor. FishbowlLA favorite Matt Taibbi will apparently have a role on the show as well as a paid contributor, as will Michael Moore and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas.
This is too good not to post. Rolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi and his Randoid nemesis from The Atlantic Megan McArdle were both on “CNN Your Money” together over the weekend, discussing whether Goldman Sachs officials should be prosecuted for their role in the implosion of the global economy–and the collapse of the Southern California real estate market.
Two of our favorite journos got together today as Rolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi went on Pacifica Radio‘s “Democracy Now” to speak with Amy Goodman about his most recent piece, “Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?” Good stuff. Taibbi calls the SEC a “subsidiary of Wall Street,” which is tame by his “vampire squid” standards, but still worth listening to.
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