Facing backlash, Rolling
Stone writer posts second apology for 'hurtful' book
Send a link to a friend
[November 02, 2017]
By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A
Rolling Stone writer who has come under fire for a
17-year-old book that critics say depicts his own
mistreatment of women at a newspaper office made a
second apology on Wednesday, saying he wrote "hurtful"
things but did not sexually harass anyone.
Matt Taibbi posted the lengthy repentance on
his Facebook page hours after an event intended to promote his
latest book was scrapped in Washington, D.C. without
The furor over Taibbi's early work comes as a string of
accusations against film producer Harvey Weinstein have
galvanized outrage over abuse of women that has been covered up
or ignored. Weinstein has denied engaging in non-consensual sex
"Iíve done a lot of wrong things in my life. As a young man, I
wrote and said some very dumb and hurtful things." Taibbi, 47,
said in the Facebook post. "Iím sorry for all of this."
"But it was never more than that. I know the list of revealed
harassers is growing, but I am not on that list, nor should I
be. I belong to a much bigger group. I was young once, and a
jerk. And I am sorry for that," he said.
The journalist has faced outrage in recent days over the 2000
book "The Exile: Sex, Drugs and Libel in the New Russia," which
chronicles his time as the editor of an English-language
newspaper in Russia.
Critics say the book, co-written by Taibbi and another editor at
the now-defunct paper, Mark Ames, contains passages seemingly
detailing mistreatment, sexual harassment and even assaults on
their female staff and other young women.
[to top of second column]
Taibbi and Ames insist that the book is fiction, intended as a
satire of American expatriates in Russia.
That explanation has done little to mollify critics in the media and
on Twitter who point out that "Exile" contains a note making clear
that it is nonfiction.
Taibbi in his latest Facebook message said the book's publisher,
Grove Press, had put out a statement calling the note incorrect
because it contains "exaggerated, invented satire and nonfiction
"I continue to deny absolutely that I have ever sexually harassed
anyone in any office, here or in Russia," Taibbi said.
"No woman anywhere has ever accused me of anything of the sort, and
I am confident that my former co-workers will report (many already
have) that I have never exhibited anything like that kind of
behavior, at work or elsewhere."
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.