OK, after a long gap-like chasm and lacuna the size of the Grand Canyon, Washington Babylon, America’s leading news source, has started publishing a bit more the past week. Why, you’re wondering, were we silent for so long? I’ll tell you why.
Let’s ignore for a moment that Andrew Stewart and Melissa “I’m Busy” Eckert-Garriga weren’t carrying their weight. Now is not the time to cast aspersions or lay blame. They’ve promised to redouble their efforts and I’ve tripled their wages. It’s time to move on.
Secondly, 2017 has been a bad year for almost everyone, especially people who died or had their lives ruined by a natural disaster or some other pitfall. My 2017 has been worse. Far worse. I’m the type that suffers in silence so this will come as a surprise but if we’re going to accept responsibility and not blame others for your misfortune, I need to come clean: the universe fucked me, as did Bernie Sanders. But “You Will Not Fuck me, Shithead Universe,” that’s my signature trademark motto. Every day in every way I’m getting better and better. That’s also my signature trademark motto.
Third, Washington Babylon sort of lost its way with the election of Hermann Trūmp. (Disclosure: Andrew Stewart and I discussed this. The following is partly based on him telling me that.) We were expecting Hillary Clinton to win and we had piles of ammo on her and could have written effortlessly about her during her entire Reich. Her loss affected me deeply, possibly more than anyone, including poor, pitiful Hillary herself.
Relatedly, if Hillary would have won we would have had free reign to run amok. The whole press was in the tank for her and still would be. Start wars, rob the poor to funnel money to the rich, keep tossing millions of young African-Americans into prison, promote some bullshit healthcare plan — the media would have given its blessing and encouragement.
But with Herr Trump, the media has become oppositional, which is what its role should be. So reporters have written a ton of anti-Trump stories that we would have been happy to do, and we sort of got orphaned. (Until now that I figured all this shit out.) The problem, or course, is that the media is reflexively hostile to Trump — except when he bombs Afghanistan or Syria, or threatens to invade Venezuela or nuke North Korea into the pre-Stone Age, which of course is “presidential” — and a lot of what has been published is pure garbage, or, to coin a term, “Fake News.”
Trump’s policies are mostly if not entirely awful, his failure to immediately and forcefully condemn his base (i.e., the Charlottesville White Supremacists, Nazis, and assorted stooges who thought it was cool to join them), and his comportment (let’s just say he reads and speaks and Tweets below his grade level) deserve scrutiny and condemnation. But so much of what’s published in the media — from the New Yorker and the New York Times on up — is pure drivel. So we’re fucked because there’s a ton of copy about Trump, some if it really excellent, so it’s hard to find anything fresh or original (and true) to write. But trust me, we’ve got some shit up our sleeve.
Lastly, and this is not exactly why we haven’t been publishing but it’s a contributing factor, we live in a new and deeper Age of Oligarchy than ever before. Sure, the American Revolution replaced the horrible British Crown with a native, corrupt ruling class, and the Gilded Age sucked and so has everything pretty much since 1974, but this is worse.
I was talking to a filmmaker or two about me making a pile of cash by putting together a documentary or film or TV series [note: will be available on Netflix and Amazon] on this topic, namely the outrageous, unprecedented power of our native (and a few foreign) oligarchs, and one of the problems has been a fear of lawsuits. One person told me, “Look, this isn’t just about one oligarch, it’s about a bunch of them, it’s not possible to do this without getting sued.”
I see the point. Because I wanted to write about (for the film and here at Washington Babylon) and expose a lot of powerful oligarchs and their enablers, and any one of these bipartisan cretins (several who I’ve been paid by) could have sued: Peter Thiel, Pierre Omidyar, George Soros, Jeff Bezos, William Browder (renounced his U.S. citizenship, apparently for tax purposes but hasn’t kept him from relentlessly promoting Russiagate, even though he was for Vlad Putin before he was against him), Alexander Mirtchev (an enabler; worked closely with Kazakh dictatorship while accumulating massive wealth in the U.S.), Peter Singer, Leonard “Len” Blavatnik, Denis Katsyv (I’ve never met him or taken money from him but I actually sort of like him because he’s gotten fucked in the Russiagate story), Reed Hastings, Warren Buffett, Carlos Slim, Mark Zuckerberg, the guy who owns Twitter — the list goes on and on.
There’s also the shit bag British tycoon who supported Brexit and Trump, and who secretly funded the unknown and unloved American Media Institute [note to IRS: I worked there for a short period and I can assure you its 990s should be examined; like shooting ducks in a barrel]. The AMI, as no one knows it, is or was run by the journalistic grifter-in-chief Richard Miniter, who was already driving a cherry red convertible vintage Mercedes or BMW before he started overseeing the AMI’s funds. I’ll be writing about him in-depth soon.
Anyway, we’ll be writing about all these folk soon, and a lot more. But I’m not making any promises about frequency. I was thinking of shutting down this esteemed publication if I couldn’t start publishing four or five items a day, like a real blog. But fuck that, that’s an artificially imposed thingy. We’ll publish when we can. We’re also looking for great writers — or good ones — or bad ones — to contribute for free, and for a handout from an Oligarch so we can publish more and pay our writers, and especially me, a living wage.
So that’s it for now. And you know what’s sort of cool? I wrote this in an hour while sitting at an outdoor cafe near my oceanfront apartment in Miami. Fuck Irma and Maria. We’re still standing.