Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Akron Library Cancels Matt Taibbi Event Due to Graphic Moscow Writings

Posted By on Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 11:02 AM

click to enlarge WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
An event featuring Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi scheduled for this evening at the Akron-Summit County Public Library has been canceled.

Taibbi was scheduled to appear as part of a publicity tour for his new book, I Can't Breathe, about the 2014 police killing of Eric Garner.

In a statement, the library said it was made aware of certain controversial writings from Taibbi's time in Moscow, during which he edited a satirical tabloid newspaper. Those writings, found in a book chronicling his experiences with co-editor Mark Ames, contained "graphic misogynistic imagery involving the sexual exploitation of women."

"Mr. Taibbi has posted an apology for this work on Facebook, and an explanation for what he says was fictional satire rather than an account of real events. Unfortunately, the Library cannot ignore the misogynistic content of Mr. Taibbi’s previous work, and has decided to cancel the program," the library said.

The library specified that the decision was unrelated to the subject of Taibbi's new book and that I Can't Breathe would be available for borrowing.

The graphic content in Taibbi's Moscow writings first came up in an interview with NPR's Robin Young at a book event October 25th. Taibbi apologized for the content, characterizing the behavior described as "reprehensible" but also "fictional and not true." (This was complicated in the ensuing media furor by a note at the beginning of the book classifying it as a work of nonfiction.) Taibbi said he has never made "advances or sexually suggestive comments" to any co-worker ever. 

Still, an author appearance in Washinton D.C. was canceled last week. And Taibbi himself, citing "scheduling demands," canceled an appearance at a Chicago Humanities Festival on Oct. 28. 

Taibbi's full Facebook statement below.

click to enlarge taibbi_apology.jpg

Tags: , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.