Like me, you’re watching the most stomach-turning election campaign in our history unfold and wondering what to do about it other than start drinking the minute you get out of bed and swallow a fistful of illegal painkillers. Sure, we all know Hillary Clinton heads one of the most corrupt political families in American history but what are you going to do? Vote for Donald Trump, a narcissistic lunatic who is stirring up genuinely frightened working and middle class people but along with a terrifying Brownshirt element as well?
Meanwhile, the state of journalism has never been worse. There are a few scattered reporters doing great work, but the vast majority are in the tank for one party or the other and employed by plodding, dishonest media conglomerates controlled by the very same Wall Street and tech billionaires who effectively run our political system. Even journalists who want to take on the biggest, fattest targets often can’t do so because they work for them or their friends or relatives.
Like me, you’re also tired of reading political drivel and propaganda that makes Pravda under Stalin look honest in comparison. Would you prefer something written to high reporting standards but that treats politicians, the media and the entire political class with total contempt? How fun would it be to have a vicious online tabloid that mixes highbrow political investigations with the sleaziest (but truest) Washington political gossip?
That’s where WashingtonBabylon.com, my soon-to-launch political and gossip website, comes in. I’m going to cover DC politicians and journalists like Hollywood celebrities -- not the way they are worshiped by our current media masters, but the way they were mocked and exposed by the great Hollywood tabloid Confidential and by Kenneth Anger in his wonderful, lurid book Hollywood Babylon.
I’m a long-time investigative journalist who has been fired repeatedly due to clashes with management and editors. I’m currently an incredibly underpaid contributing writer for VICE and columnist for the New York Observer. I’m based in Washington — the very best place to dredge up bullshit because it’s the city’s chief manufactured product.
You want stories about Bill Clinton shacking up with two blondes at a luxury DC hotel? Coming right up. You want to know how deeply Hillary Clinton has been penetrated by Wall Street? I’m on it. You’re wondering if Donald Trump has his brain up his ass or if he doesn’t have one at all? I can answer that question. A Democrat with a coke problem? A Republican family values man whoring around town? Trust me, these things are happening right now and I will have the details.
And sure, I love this sort of high brow gossip as much as anyone but I’m also a serious writer with a long track record of success. My stories have landed people in prison, launched U.S. congressional investigations, led to FBI raids, and brought down one of the most “prestigious” banks in Washington — Riggs, which was laundering money for various foreign dictators and members of the Washington elite.
I’ve been writing these sort of tales non-stop since 1993, when I founded the muckraking newsletter CounterPunch (Motto: “Tells the facts and names the names”) and the following year was joined by the legendary writer Alexander Cockburn. In 1812, his great-grandfather, the British rear admiral George Cockburn, burned Washington to the ground. And that’s my chief goal now with WashingtonBabylon.com.
I left CounterPunch in 1999 and since then I’ve written for countless magazines and newspapers. I’ve worked on staff as an investigative reporter with the Los Angeles Times' Washington office and as the DC correspondent for Harper’s magazine. I’ve also written a number of books, including The Radioactive Boy Scout and The Secret World of Oil.
During my career I've written more than 1,000 stories. I uncovered a right-wing German arms dealer who supplied the CIA with weapons for its covert operations for 40 years; I exposed the son of the dictator of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, who spent hundreds of millions of dollars in looted money in the United States; and I’ve repeatedly revealed how intelligence agencies have used “honeypots” to recruit assets. I’m working on a number of big stories for WashingtonBabylon.com, most of them about this godawful presidential campaign but also a new tale of sex and espionage and an inside account of two especially shitty “journalism” outfits.
As a journalist I am loyal to no one but my readers, which is why I attack all sides, right, center and left. But I'm a writer, not an activist. I pursue great stories even if they're about a person or a cause I admire, though it’s always more fun to go after the world’s dirtiest politicians and mobsters.
As you can imagine, REAL journalistic independence comes at a cost in this country. I’ve made a lot of enemies and burned a lot of bridges. Last year I resigned from a cushy job at The Intercept and wrote about that disaster in an article titled “Where Journalism Goes to Die.” I could have improved my financial situation recently by taking $12,500 from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to help him cover up his cousin’s murder of a 15-year-old girl, but instead I told him to fuck himself and wrote a column about it in the New York Observer.
WashingtonBabylon.com launches in a few weeks so I need money now to get the site ready and ramp up reporting. Thanks in advance. You’ll be hearing from me shortly.