Matt Taibbi: Worst Thing I Wrote in 2014 Was Twitter Exchange With Colorado Libertarian

Matt Taibbi. Crazy Twitter exchange below.
Matt Taibbi. Crazy Twitter exchange below.

A Newsweek article asks twelve writers a provocative question: What's the worst thing you wrote in 2014? The answer provided by Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi: "my half of a series of tweets with some angry libertarian from Colorado about the Eric Garner case."

We've got the entire exchange below, and it's a perfect example of how an online conversation can devolve into an agonizingly frustrating time suck.

See also: Tim Tebow: Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi Reluctantly Predicts Big Things for "Kid Jesus," published September 9, 2010

The spur to the December 13-14 exchange began innocently enough, with Taibbi sharing a goofy Santa Claus photo, accompanied by the hashtag #crushsantacon:

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To this post, another Twitter user responded like so....

Taibbi countered in good-humored fashion....

...before adding this:

The protests in question concerned the chokehold death of New York's Eric Garner, which was caught on video and spurred demonstrations in Denver and other communities across the country. And before long, a certain 1murman1, who describes himself on his Twitter profile page as "a deficient, delusional, discombobulated, dirtbag, dimwitt; a dull thudded, dilapidated, doofus, Dilbert dipstick, dolt, degenerate neanderthal," moved the chat in a decidedly Garner-related direction with this message:

Shortly thereafter, Taibbi took the bait. His next tweet reads:

Well, maybe not coincidentally, but 1murman1 had a thesis about Garner's size and was determined to expound upon it -- and Taibbi kept answering back throughout the rest of that day and into the next.

Eric Garner.
Eric Garner.
Protest Against Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision Facebook page

Here's the rest of the exchange:

Finally, Taibbi muted himself -- and in retrospect, he clearly regrets chasing 1murman1 down the Twitter rabbit hole.

"I spent like nine hours trying to convince the guy it didn't matter that Garner had a weight problem," he told Newsweek. "People from all over were telling me I was making a fool of myself but I couldn't let it go. I was getting all Jack McCoy on the guy, it was absurd.

"Social media is really dangerous," he added. "You know how they have those breathalyzer machines that they hook up to cars, where you have to prove you're sober before the ignition turns over? They should have something like that for Twitter, where you have to watch a rap video in between each tweet or something, to prove that you've actually thought about what you're about to say."

Good idea -- but if you want to avoid getting worked up over Garner's death, maybe you should steer clear of this one....

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.


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