Megan doesn’t care for Matt Taibbi’s takedown of Byron York, in which Taibbi makes it sound like York has no idea what he’s talking about with respect to the financial crisis.
Naturally, I have no idea about any of this stuff other than feeling vaguely hostile toward Byron York. Still, I was a little uncomfortable when I first read that exchange: Taibbi’s scolding about credit default swaps came at a time when a lot of other people on the internet were also suddenly speaking knowledgeably about the financial meltdown and the rarified financial instruments to blame for it. That wave of spontaneous expertise seemed to occur suspiciously shortly after the air date of an episode of This American Life that discussed the crisis and CDSes in particular.
Which is not to say that TAL is wrong; I listened to that episode, too, and it seemed excellent! But it’s been both amusing and off-putting to see so many people brazenly parroting the same single News Source White People Like. I have no idea if this criticism actually applies to Taibbi, but the conversation between him and York certainly made it sound like it could.
UPDATE: Since Megan kindly linked back to me, I should probably add that while I can’t be sure that my speculation about Taibbi’s argument is correct, it’s very clear that York’s pathetic line about Freddie and Fannie is a regurgitated conservative talking point — a particularly lame, objectionable and well-debunked one at that. It seems likely that both sides of that conversation were blindly reciting other people’s arguments.