Monday, January 26, 2009

Interview With the Vampire Idiot.

OK, a couple of confessions. If I had a cushy gig at a liberal rag like my alter ego Mike Flannigan, I'd be writing full-length cover pieces like this instead of writing largely ignored blog posts for 1% of 1% of 1% of the adult population. Instead, I have to restrict it to 1000 words or less in deference to people who would make a goldfish look like a mnemonic megalodon.

Secondly, I've always considered Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone as kind of my political/writing soulmate. I have very few favorites whom I admit are my betters. People like the late Molly Ivins and Hunter S. Thompson and Truthout's William Rivers Pitt, and sometimes Frank Rich. But Taibbi is the only guy living who writes like me and isn't afraid to throw an "F" bomb once in a while while making some splendidly outrageous and outraged comment, especially on the (in)human condition of George W. Bush.

What follows is a sample of Taibbi's cover story in the latest Rolling Stone, entitled, "Bush Apologizes: The Farewell Interview We Wish He'd Give." Granted it's hard to believe that Bush would ever sit for an interview with anyone who works for RS, much less Taibbi, who has faithfully skewered the Bush administration for many years. But once you get past that implausibility, the interview takes off and Taibbi shows why, even moreso than yours truly, he captures the essence of Bush's voice and... thought patterns... for want of a better word. Below is a sample:
Anyway, it was right around then that they brought me my PDB [Presidential Daily Briefing], and it said something about bin Laden. I mean, we get these warnings about foreign terrorists all the time. How was I supposed to know he was going to attack in the United States?

Well, the memo was titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S."
It was?

Yes, sir.
Well, nobody told me that.

But they wrote it to you.
But nobody told me that they wrote it to me.

Who's "they"?
I don't know. Whoever is in the room. Vice President Cheney. Don Rumsfeld. Rove. Sometimes there's some other guys. It kind of rotates.

Do you decide who "they" is?
No, they usually decide who they is. Or at least one of they does. Usually Cheney.

Interesting. What did they tell you they wrote to you about why America needed to invade Iraq?
Sometime in the fall of 2001, pretty soon after 9/11, Rumsfeld and Cheney handed me a piece of paper. I asked them what was in it. Rumsfeld says, "Mr. President, we've just written you a memo explaining that we need to invade Iraq." And I said, "OK. Why?" And Dick says to me, "Because of 9/11, Mr. President." [Silence]

Is that the whole story?
Yeah. Why?

Now, check out the top comment by jreb. Methinks he actually thinks this is a real interview. How dare we have liberally-biased media outlets?!

Unfortunately, you have to read the rest by buying a copy at the newsstand (I have a subscription and, no, I'm not violating copyright by painstakingly transcribing the rest of Taibbi's piece.). But this "interview" by itself is well worth the $4.50 cover price. And, no, I won't read it to you even if you call me.


At January 26, 2009 at 11:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Taibbi write like YOU, or is it vice versa? Not to be insulting, but who gets paid to do it, and who does it as a labor of... not "love." In fact, I'd say you do it as a labor of hate. Not that the hatred is undeserved, of course.

At January 27, 2009 at 7:43 AM, Anonymous Comrade Rutherford said...

I lived in the NYC market where Matt's father Mike worked on the local TV stations. I get the feeling that Mike is so proud that his son didn't get locked into the censored news like he did.

Mike would do reports and you could tell that there was a lot more to the story and you got the feeling that Mike was itching to tell more and that his spirit was being crushed by the producers...

At January 27, 2009 at 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

from one of the 1% of the 1% of the 1%. JP, we live and die by your words of wisdom.

At January 27, 2009 at 4:22 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

You know, when you anonymous commenters say that on occasion, I'd sure love to know who you guys are.

At January 27, 2009 at 7:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't you pick up our ID based on IP addresses and locations, JP? I'm nowhere near as good as you at this Internet thingy, so I don't know what tricks are available.

As for this anonymous, I'm a long-timer who's still P.O.ed at you for the abrupt termination of the last blog, and you weren't exactly nice to Susan (who unfortunately was not as good a writer as you.) So I'm on a "name strike" like journalists sometimes have byline strikes. Plus, I thought too many comments under my handle seemed creepy and stalkerish.

At January 27, 2009 at 8:42 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Last Anon:

Yeah, I can pick up IP addresses and general locations. It's real easy with the IP Address locator (on my sidebar). You don't need to be a whiz (which I am not. I can't even tell you what an Apache server is). Why?

Suze... I thought I was nicer to her than she deserved. In fact, when Annie would come around and ag on her for being jobless and using me, I'd privately email her and tell her to lay off. Turns out Annie was right. It was obvious that she latched on to Pottersville (Yeah, I could kick myself for not leaving that place up, too) just so she could hang both her own shingle plus a Paypal account. Pottersville turned out to be a cash cow (or calf) to her, nothing more (and sometimes she could be very demanding after I'd made the mistake of promising to send her money). And no matter how many times I told her not to post 5000 word articles, she'd do it, anyway. She abused her posting privileges and deleting Pottersville was one way of getting her out of my life. I mean, all that time and she never once found a job.

Then, after I deleted it, she never wrote to me to ask what was going on and simply started up her own blog... called Welcome to Pottersville 2. She couldn't even be original.

And, no, if you left a bunch of comments, I wouldn't consider it creepy and stalkerish, especially if you stayed on topic and were a cute chick. Hell, I leave sometimes a half dozen or more messages on a single thread at the A list blogs. It's part of the culture. Comments are a poor and rough indication of how much thought and traffic my posts generate but the absence of them leaves me to think more often than not that I'm farting in the wind. I never know what'll hit it big and what'll get ignored.

My last ACOTW got linked on two small group blogs, nothing more. And I sweated on that thing for a week and a half. Yet at the same time, Buzzflash linked to a half-assed aritcle I wrote on Russ Tice on which I'd worked for half an hour.

Go figger. But a dearth of comments always drives me fucking batty. The whole rationale for having a blog, to me, is to get people thinking and talking again, one heart and mind at a time.

At January 28, 2009 at 3:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Suze was a sad case, and I say that as someone who once kicked something her way. I don't know what it is about some people that they can't take direction, such as "Write your own stuff, don't just cut-n-paste the encyclopedia." I hit her new blog twice, but who has all day to read economics? But that's why she's where she is, and you're where you are (i.e. with a job and a family; not living in some SRO motel.)

As for blogging, for most people it's like hanging out at the bar talking bullshit. Most people will only have a small crowd around them. At least you're the center of attention for your crowd, and you don't have to see how fat and ugly we all are.

Except for Minstrel Boy. I thought he'd be taller and have longer hair, like my cousin's husband the Navajo. Hey MB -- your peeps might be able to kick the Navajos' asses, but their men have got you beat in the looks department. On the down side, that means that crazy white chicks like my cuz wind up marrying them. Maybe MB got the better end of the deal after all.

At January 29, 2009 at 11:34 PM, Anonymous Safety_Net said...


From another one of the 1% of the 1% of the 1%. You got my response by mentioning the late Molly Ivins, who I read religiously. I like your original postings and have recently re-found your site. Keep up the blog and I'll keep stopping by to leave comments.

At January 29, 2009 at 11:39 PM, Anonymous Kootenay said...

Damn JP, you're making me feel bad...I love your shit, I just never comment cause I don't actually feel like I have anything substantive to offer. Like this time, what am I supposed to do, gush about how much I love Matt Taibbi? (I do) There's prob'ly scads of cute chicks like me out there drooling over your words, and feeling tongue-tied (er, finger-tied?) because your eloquence is overwhelming. Give us lurkers a break!

At January 30, 2009 at 7:28 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...


Please don't stop commenting. A guy can never have too many cute chicks in his life.

At January 31, 2009 at 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Damn JP, you're making me feel bad...I love your shit"

Man,it's not often in life that one can/will find a cute chick that will love your shit!!!THAT'S LOVE!!!

I'm sorry....It was there...I went with it!!


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