Subscribe to Racket now and get full access to regular news, features, columns, and creative writing by award-winning reporter and author Matt Taibbi, as well as the America This Week podcast pairing Matt with celebrated novelist Walter Kirn.
In the years since this site first launched as “Reporting by Matt Taibbi,” there have been significant changes in the national media landscape. The corporate press is dying, with once-prestigious TV channels losing audience at breakneck speed. As of this writing, CNN’s top-rated show is AC 360 with Anderson Cooper, and it sits at 23rd in the cable news rankings. As those organizations struggle, the explosive growth of independent podcasts and sites like Substack have re-kindled interest in reporting generally. One of the reasons virtually all the reporters on the #TwitterFiles story came from Substack was due to our indepdent status. While corporate outlets have forgotten how essential the building of trust is in maintaining faithful audiences, independents on sites like Substack have no choice but to pay close attention to the problem, succeeding only through the slow process of building trust with subscribers over periods of years.
It’s been a privilege to be part of that movement here on Substack, where this site has been among the most-read news sources for some time now. I moved here with a vague idea of imitating the lone-wolf model pioneered by celebrated newsletter reporter I.F. Stone, and like him have found that I sleep better and enjoy hearing from readers more after going it alone. Subscriber support has made journalistic risk-taking possible on a scale staff writers in big organizations today can no longer imagine.
Subscribing to Racket, you’ll not only get access to groundbreaking #TwitterFiles reporting, but enjoy work by multiple additional contributors across different media, like videographers Matt Orfalea and Ford Fischer, finance writer Eric Salzman, cartoonist Daniel Medina, and investigative journalism and commentary from a number of other writers of stature. Some of Racket’s bylines will be familiar to audiences of this site, while others might be a pleasant surprise. Subscribers will also get access to already-published Hate Inc.: How, And Why, The Press Makes Us Hate One Another and The Business Secrets of Drug Dealing.
Thanks so much for joining, and welcome to the Racket experience.
For most of the last twenty years I’ve been writing online and in print for Rolling Stone magazine. I’ve also written books for Spiegel and Grau, a Penguin/Random House imprint, including four New York Times bestsellers, as well as OR Books. You may also know me from the Useful Idiots and America This Week podcasts, as well as from the #TwitterFiles reporting, which will be catalogued here and also elaborated upon in follow-up reports as time passes.
My day job now is writing and reporting in this space. Years of writing on this site — previously called TK News — have likely accustomed readers to what they’ll get here, a unique mix of humorous commentary and investigative journalism.
What you will get:
I grew up an admirer of investigative reporters like the great Seymour Hersh, narrative journalists like Rolling Stone’s Hunter Thompson, and independent muckrakers like I.F. Stone (I was fortunate to win the 2020 Izzy Award for independent journalism, named after Stone). I try to take a little from each model, trying to report on complex topics like finance, congressional procedure and military contracting in clear, accessible language. I will also continue the Rolling Stone tradition of presidential campaign reporting (I’ve covered five presidential campaigns), and will also work on various creative projects, including true crime reporting, serialized books, and video explainers.
With the Substack model, I’m trying to emulate the pure independence of Stone, who provided critical information about the American government for decades with just a printing press and a small base of subscribers.
As a subscriber, you will get access to earlier serialized books, The Business Secrets of Drug-Dealing: Adventures of the Unidentified Black Male and Hate Inc.: How, And Why, The Press Makes Us Hate One Another.
Down the road there will be other projects, involving other media, and perhaps also involving me commissioning work from other reporters I admire.
What Critics Say
One of the most important voices in contemporary American journalism.
Matt Taibbi is one of the few journalists in America who speaks truth to power.
Matt Taibbi is the best polemic journalist in America.
Taibbi, a writer of striking intelligence and bold ideas, is as hilarious as he is scathing.
Matt Taibbi is the spiritual heir of legendary presidential campaign scribes Hunter S. Thompson and Tim Crouse.
Santa Barbara Independent
The kind of thing that starts movements.
Cory Doctorow, about The Divide
Become a Subscriber
It costs $5 a month, or $50 annually, to receive (more or less) weekly dispatches.
How can I read a subscriber update?
You can read a subscriber-only update in email, or on the website. If you click through from your email you will be automatically logged in. If you come to the website separately, you can log in through the Home or About page.
Can I forward the emails?
When it comes to the free posts, spread them as far and as wide as you like, on whatever platform you currently prefer. Occasionally forwarding subscribers-only emails is just fine too.