The Big Picture: Jill Lepore and Matt Taibbi

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

For the final installment of our election series The Big Picture, contributing editor for Rolling Stone Matt Taibbi and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore discuss the results of Election Day—what happened at the polls, who won and who lost, and the state of the country. Taibbi’s new book Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America, unravels the story of financial crisis. Lepore’s new book The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution and the Battle over American History looks at American history according to the far right.


Jill Lepore and Matt Taibbi

Comments [23]


a true intellectual doesn't use a teleprompter

Nov. 03 2010 08:24 PM
Paul from Basking Ridge

Good capstone for the series! Your guests must be lauded for speaking the truth about the Tea Party. What I'd like to hear is more discussion about WHY the TPers act the way they do. It's more than just a "football game victory" sponsored by the Kochs. Author Michael Wolraich suggests that there is an underlying political persecution fantasy that enables the "cognitive dissonance" of the TP. Would you consider having Wolraich on at some point in the future?

Nov. 03 2010 02:00 PM
The Truth from Becky

The tea party and the republican party are one and the same.

Nov. 03 2010 12:53 PM
geTaylor from Bklyn., NY

Conflicting narratives are not conflicting realities; but it seems that from Limbaugh to Lopate that is what's on the menu.
The "Tea Party" and the newly elected reformers will be de-legitimized only if they authorize another government bailout of a "politically" powerful industry (financial, health insurance, housing, automobile, etc. . .)

Nov. 03 2010 12:48 PM
The Truth from Becky

Funny how the repubs think they will change the world now...and to say that maybe now the Democrats will come around??? Puhleese I have seen this before, all you guys are going to do is start voting in the affirmative on issues that you previously denied to try and look like heroes, manipulators all of you.

Nov. 03 2010 12:47 PM

What two condescending snobs you have as guest. yeah, that was a great objective analysis you had there of the tea party.

Nov. 03 2010 12:46 PM

Bottom line: if unemployment continues or gets worse, the Dems and progressives will be gutted in 2012 elections -- aka Year Zero. And then we will see those fresh new ideas from the GOP put into action. Yeesh.

Nov. 03 2010 12:44 PM
Bob from Avon-by-the-Sea, NJ

The problem with the Demcrats was distilled down quite nicely in last weekend's "This American Life" segment "Mr Hitt Goes to Washington."

The conservatives are all in lockstep while the democrats insist on nuanced thinking.

Nov. 03 2010 12:38 PM
Phyllis Lasky from N.J

I know a few members of the tea party and it has become quite clear to me that they and their friends are very disturbed by the presence of an African American in the white house. Additionally taxes that may be used for poor people in any way, medically, foodstamps or housing, are an anathema to them. The country they want back never existed. I think we have lost empathy and compassion and that for some of us race is of overriding importance

Nov. 03 2010 12:37 PM

Why don't we face it - there are two types of people that Americans don't like - blacks and intellectuals. When these two qualifications are in the same person, they go bananas.
I was so happy to hear Gary Wills say it straight out on the Colbert Report recently.
We are a country of poorly educated, ignorant and gullible people and the future looks bleak if something isn't done about it.

Nov. 03 2010 12:34 PM
To Ken from Little Neck from Long Island

*All* history is revisionist history. The narratives we create to motivate people today are far more powerful than the patchy record of what happened in the past.

Nov. 03 2010 12:30 PM
Mike from Tribeca

Speaking of liberals, weren't most of the Dems who lost their House seats yesterday Blue Dogs?

Nov. 03 2010 12:28 PM
steve from manhattan

One of the things that the tea party movement actively ignores is the fact that the boston tea party was a protest against the British corporations that had monopolies over the tea, rum etc trades. The current crowd forgets about the corporation component that was part of the american revolution. The framers of the constitution were leery of giving any corporation rights.

Nov. 03 2010 12:27 PM
Alicia from Hicksville

I don't hear any tendancy toward compromise in Boehner's press conference. All he said was "we hope the Democrats will come around to our side now" on small government and the federal deficit.

Nov. 03 2010 12:26 PM
Ken from Little Neck

I'm not sure I quite agree about the how tea party supporters think about history. I tend to think that instead of deriving most of their ideas from a misunderstanding of history, they rewrote their version of history to agree with their current ideology. It's a very scary prospect that people are willing to completely ignore facts in an attempt to make the world agree with them.

Nov. 03 2010 12:25 PM
Timothy from Queens

Let's just say it honestly--all the attacks were about BOTH race and gender. The TeaParty/Republicans targets were OBAMA and PELOSI--and the survivors are overwhelmingly white males, aren't they. [Thanksfully, those superrich white women whom the TeaParty/Repubs recruited all went down in blazing defeat.]

Nov. 03 2010 12:24 PM
Mike from Tribeca

Strange it took so long for someone on wnyc this morning to get around to mentioning that four letter word, Money.

Nov. 03 2010 12:18 PM
Feeling Guilty from Midtown

Actually, things are better for my family than they have ever been. I feel a bit guilty, and I credit Obama for saving the capital markets and stopping the job hemorrhage in New York City.

Nov. 03 2010 12:13 PM
Steve from Manhattan

Before you start writing Obama's obituary, keep in mind that he is more popular at this point in his presidency than both Reagan and Clinton. The results last night was midterm election turnover. That's quite standard historically.

Nov. 03 2010 12:13 PM
Melissa from Hoboken

Matt, dude, give the prez some credit for steering the economy away from the cliff, for getting some health care protection passed and for steering an effective middle path in a country that's more & more polarized. His only failing is not communicating as effectively as the great propagandizers, Reagan & Bush Jr.

Nov. 03 2010 12:12 PM
Mike from Tribeca

"Most Americans," Leonard? Most Americans don't even bother to vote.

Nov. 03 2010 12:09 PM

More proof that this country is full of idiots. I truely believe that 20% of the population believes they are in the top 2% of earners. Canada is looking more and more attractive

Nov. 03 2010 12:07 PM

Matt -- congrats on the new book!

Nov. 03 2010 12:02 PM

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