Jonathan Stray of the Nieman Journalism Lab finds that of 121 stories on Google hackers being traced to schools in China, just thirteen contained original reporting and only seven were “primarily based on original reporting.” All but one were from legacy outlets.
Stray’s reasonable conclusion:
When I think of how much human effort when into re-writing those hundred other unique stories that contained no original reporting, I cringe. That’s a huge amount of journalistic effort that could have gone into reporting other deserving stories.
— Matt Taibbi has some anger-management issues, according to Vanity Fair, which has a feature on his old Russian newspaper he used to help run. Here’s how he responded to James Verini after Verini slagged a book Taibbi wrote:
“Fuck you,” he snarled, and then picked up his mug from the table, threw his coffee at me, and stormed out.
The restaurant was packed with customers, and they all turned to watch as I sat there, stunned, coffee dripping from my face. The waiter arrived with the milkshake Taibbi had ordered. After wiping myself off a bit, I went outside, where Taibbi was putting on his coat, and asked him to calm down and come back into the restaurant. He walked up to me, glaring, beside himself with rage.
“Fuck you!” he yelled. “Did you bring me here to insult me? Who are you? What have you ever written? Fuck you!”
I tried to talk to him, but gave up when he walked away. I went back inside, paid the bill, left, and began walking up Sixth Avenue. Halfway up the block, I turned around, and Taibbi was behind me.
“Are you following me?,” I asked. He walked toward me, raising his arms as though preparing to throttle me or take a swing.
“I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do with you!” he said.
(h/t David Carr)
— Peter Boone and Simon Johnson bring up an interesting point in The New Republic in a piece on the Obama administration’s failure to really confront the financial industry:
While the U.S. financial system has a long tradition of functioning well with a relatively large number of banks and other intermediaries, in recent years, it has been transformed into a highly concentrated system for key products. The big four have half of the market for mortgages and two-thirds of the market for credit cards. Five banks have over 95 percent of the market for over-the-counter derivatives. Three U.S. banks have over 40 percent of the global market for stock underwriting. This degree of market power brings with it not just antitrust concerns, which this administration has declined to act on, and a huge amount of economic risk—but great political influence as well.
The antitrust angle might just be ripe for exploration.