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Hate Inc.: Why Today's Media Makes Us Despise One Another

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  395 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Part tirade, part confessional from the celebrated Rolling Stone journalist, Hate Inc. reveals that what most people think of as "the news" is, in fact, a twisted wing of the entertainment business

In this characteristically turbocharged new book, celebrated Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi provides an insider's guide to the variety of ways today's mainstream media
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by OR Books
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Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
Taibbi claims he is writing an update to Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman's 1988 classic "Manufacturing Consent" and while Taibbi's pieces are good on the state of the current media they are more dispatches from a journalist than theoretical analysis from an academic. Good stuff but it is not Manufacturing Consent (part II). It is just good reporting on how the media drops the ball constantly especially since 2016 and why the public hates them. Still good stuff if you want to know what is going ...more
David Wineberg
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it

Matt Taibbi has discovered that news (his career) is a consumer product. Consumers choose the ones that have the features they want and stick with that brand, no matter how far from the truth it wanders. It is purely a consumer preference and does not pretend to be fair, neutral or comprehensive. That is the essence of Hate, Inc. The bulk of the book is damning journalism and reporters for not checking facts or sources, adding to the credibility crisis and hate in the field. It is an imperfect
Shane Papendorf
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Matt Taibbi's excellent book about why the press stinks, and what you should do about it: just shut it off. Life is better that way.
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Taibbi says that he considers this to be a sequel to Herman and Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent in its analysis of the media and their role in what stories get reported and how. He has shifted the focus from newsprint and magazines to 24 hour news entertainment. Entertainment being key here. According to Taibbi, the news we watch today is designed to create an emotional reaction. Because nothing keeps eyes on a screen like controversy, even if there isn't anything controversial going on. Taibbi ...more
Jonathan Wolff
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A really great look into the failures of the media in our current landscape.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
His jealousy of Rachel Maddow is palpable.
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've always enjoyed Matt Taibbi's writing as he cuts to the heart of any issue, doesn't mince words and always brings a laugh. I think of him as the Jon Stewart of journalism.

This book is a collection of essays relating to the profession of journalism and "the news" as we have come to know it. Taibbi prefaces the work by telling us that he believes he has contributed to the confrontation of enemies format that has been so lucrative to the new organizations. He hopes with Hate Inc. to be less
Jeffrey Fisher
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Required reading for anyone who already knows how manipulative and Manichean today's media landscape has become. Taibbi doesn't just play the blame game but also (refreshingly) highlights his own culpability. Don't blame the media alone as we're all just as complicit in their game.
Jake Duffie
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First 200 pages should be required reading for every American
Randall Wallace
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In this book Matt shows how the Media wants us divided - the more divided, the less power we have, the more we can be controlled and manipulated. Love your team and hate the rest. For Matt, the goal of manufacturing the new fake dissent is to crush real dissent. As long as you keep the American people despising each other, you will never get a revolution, uprising, or any structural change. Give the public binary bullshit, Democrat vs Republican, liberal vs conservative – God forbid you ever ...more
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Agreeably testy, basically focusing on the anxiety-industrial complex aspects of network and cable news, and how their main business model is to keep viewers in a state of high anxiety in order to make a 24-hour news cycle viable. The left comes off no better than the right here—the cover features Sean Hannity side-by-side with Rachel Maddow, which makes perfect sense if you think about it. Smart commentary, a little rambly in places—it's pulled from his online Substack newsletter—but the ...more
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Chomsky meets Hunter? The book I wish Jon Stewart had written? A huge fan of Taibbi...have read most of his works. Matt’s usual in-depth investigative journalism takes down the modern news machine. Critiques both sides while critiquing both sides-ism. In short news is for profit and attn is the new currency. The major outlets no longer serve the citizenry by narrowing allowable narratives.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
This could have been great. This could have been important. It ends up being a nearly worthless collection of blog posts (some of which missed the editing process while being collected for this book). It's written (rightfully) as a strong diatribe against the blurring of american journalism and opinion into a new form of "news" media that encourages hatred of "the other side," driven by corporate greed. Unfortunately, Taibbi renders his argument moot and nearly comical by his endless ranting and ...more
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
In what was probably the most important book I've read all year, Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi sounds the alarm on the ills of modern media. Hate Inc., like many great books, expresses the ideas one might already have but can't fully develop, identifying those ideas with a lucid precision and expanding on them in unforeseen directions that suddenly make perfect sense. Taibbi makes a few things clear off the bat:

1. Today's media landscape is profit-centered. If you don't keep this at the
Luke Jacobs
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book will literally rip reality apart for any upper middle class media loving overtly educated liberal who defaults to watching or reading CNN/MSNBC for “news”

For us populists on the left and/or longtime readers about corporate media deception, this book will overshadow everything we’ve researched as the definitive/updated take on the precise workings of the system.

The media isn’t a top down conspiracy of elites duping the masses... Taibbi reveals how journalists at these corporate
Aug 24, 2019 added it
(I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review)

Though it was originally published as a series of email dispatches, Hate Inc makes for a surprisingly cohesive critique of the news media. You can tell it was serialized because of the of-the-moment intensity and occasional messiness of its writing, but I think this makes the book a more interesting document than it might've been. You can feel Taibbi's anger when he writes about the journalists who made the
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Unlike many of his other titles, Hate, Inc. was more of a grind to get through. Perhaps that's because this was entirely released online, in installments, which I read the same way I read op eds in the paper: between bites of my breakfast. Perhaps because the subject matter is more immediate--since we're currently being confronted with the various and cloying idiocy from Washington and the White House, having the why behind Trump's election overlaid with the what of today's headlines is enough ...more
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
No one escapes unscathed in Taibbi's latest book. His takedown of press coverage from the recent past till the present day will make you rethink you're media consumption.

I received this ARC at Library Journal's "Day of Dialog".
I enjoyed it, but it came across as a series of rants rather than a well-structured book. Maybe he'll polish it up before actual publication. I was also frustrated that I had no control over when I finished it.
Joe Loncarich
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A good look at how the media isn't trying to give people information, they are just trying to foster fear and hate and have created an Us vs. Them mentality when it comes to everything involving politics.
Rachel Brown
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was really good.I can't say it told me much I didn't already inherently know, but I loved the writing style.
John Spiller
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
More like 3.5 stars.
Ava Sylvester
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most challenging book I've read in ages

I have been a fan and avid follower of Matt Taibbi since he joined Rolling Stone, and I've voraciously devoured everything of his I could get my hands on. But this book (and "Strangers in Their Own Land") have brought me to a crisis of conscience of sorts.

Over a lifetime, our society conditions us to think in polar terms such that some of us can't pick up a piece of red or blue candy without the unconscious reflex of thinking "us" or "them" based on
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I am all for protecting the first amendment and freedom of the press. I believe strongly in what Thomas Jefferson said, that our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that the press cannot be limited without our freedoms being lost. I really see red when President Trump cries about the fake news every five minutes on national tv but this book, written by a journalist, gives credibility to Trump's claims and that's sad.

Everyone should really read this book and realize that the media
Nov 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-read
Breaking the cardinal rule about judging a book by its cover in this review. Well, judging the cover anyway. Rachel Maddow does not spew fake news or hate like those on Fox “News” channel. Authors are just as guilty of dividing us. Take some responsibility. Will not be reading this book.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Absolutely fantastic and, in my view, an antidote to the modern hyperanxiousness that masquerades as hyperconnectedness or hyperawareness (to the “news.”)
Crucial takeaways:
The corporate media is selling you a product, and different audiences get different products. Why? Because people like identifying with things; replacing their own beliefs and critical faculties with those prepackaged for them. This becomes tribalist when Your Brand is better than Their Brand.
The breadth of public dialogue is
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"People need to start understanding the news not as “the news,” but as just such an individualized consumer experience—anger just for you. This is not reporting. It’s a marketing process designed to create rhetorical addictions and shut any non-consumerist doors in your mind. This creates more than just pockets of political rancor. It creates masses of media consumers who’ve been trained to see in only one direction, as if they had been pulled through history on a railroad track, with heads ...more
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
[Note: I received a PDF of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for saying I would write a review of it]

To me, Hate Inc. is a book in which there is a good central premise, which is argued for well and in an engaging style. This is the "meat" of the book - the idea that the media is flawed because of an artificial siloing of all ideas into either "Republican" or "Democratic" categories. However, the book has a sort of "underlying" premise to it that really grinds my gears
Jason Burkhardt
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
should be a mandatory read for all students in a civics course
Bryan Winchell
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is probably the most important book of Taibbi's career, and considering the quality of his past books, that's saying something.

As someone who studied journalism because I believe a free press that operates with integrity and a bullish zeal for describing reality as accurately as possible is essential to a functioning, free society, I dropped out of the field in 2000 and have watched in disgust as the media has become more and more sensationalistic and less and less interested in being
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