This afternoon, by way of an entirely unpredictable “second look” from First Look Media, we have an internal item bylined to Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Jeremy Scahill and John Cook. It’s all about what led to the shocking exit of Matt Taibbi and while some elements of the narrative are in dispute, the overall picture painted is one of – primarily – a talented rogue journalist having a hard time adapting to the broader intricacies of a managerial position.
According to the item, the tipping point occurred earlier this month. While Taibbi insists the following accusations led him to be told he would be stripped of all managerial responsibilities pending investigation, First Look says that’s not the case:
These simmering problems came to a head this month when a Racket staffer complained to senior management that Taibbi had been verbally abusive and unprofessionally hostile, and that she felt the conduct may have been motivated, at least in part, by her gender. [First Look president John] Temple conducted an investigation, and First Look determined that while none of the alleged conduct rose to the level of legal liability, the grievance bolstered their case that Taibbi should not be the manager of Racket.
Among their concerns were the staffer’s claims that Taibbi had been privately criticizing First Look managers, particularly [COO Randy] Ching, that Taibbi’s abrasive demeanor was alienating some on his staff, and that Taibbi instructed Racket staff to resolve any grievances directly with him rather than going to upper management.
Taibbi allegedly maintained that the staffer’s complaint had no merit and refused to accept a demotion. In the subsequent weeks, all sorts of additional drama occurred at First Look, including a suggestion by Pierre Omidyar that Taibbi become an independent contractor. What a mess.
[Image via: @mtaibbi]