Matt Taibbi’s “Hate Inc.: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another” has been optioned by Vespucci, a media company that has made a practice of teaming up with journalists on movies, shows and podcasts.
Vespucci partnered with Charles Dorfman’s production company Samuel Marshall Films to option the rights to the non-fiction book. The plan is to develop “Hate Inc.” into a feature documentary. The company is still looking to attach a director.
“Hate Inc.” is a trenchant look at the changing media landscape, examining the ways that cable news and other platforms have turned reporting into entertainment and deepened the political divide. It also explores the mistakes that certain members of the media made while reporting on everything from WMD in Iraq to the Mueller Report. The book was partly inspired by Noam Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent,” which looked at the ways that market forces and self-censorship skew media coverage.
“As a company that works closely with journalists from around the world, we remain conscious of the evolution of media and audio-visual news,” said Vespucci co-founders Johnny Galvin and Daniel Turcan. “‘Hate Inc.’ expertly dissects the current state of the media landscape, and through the lens of Noam Chomsky’s ‘Manufacturing Consent,’ Matt asks of us, viewers, to hold accountable our news providers. The timing of the book couldn’t be more critical and a documentary as an extension of Matt’s commentary feels only fitting.”
The book was first published on Substack in serial form. In a positive review, Kirkus praised “Hate Inc.,” calling it “an invigorating polemic against tactics the news media use to manipulate and divide their audiences.”
Taibbi, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, is one of the best-known journalists covering the political scene today — his work has covered multiple U.S. presidential elections, and has seen him filing reports from Uzbekistan, Russia and Mongolia. He has also authored several books including “The Great Derangement,” “Griftopia,” “The Divide,” “Insane Clown President” and “I Can’t Breathe.”
In a statement, Taibbi said he was excited to partner with Vespucci, citing the company’s past work with reporters.
“’Hate Inc.’ is a book about the way the news media business has commoditized anger and division, eschewing traditional fact-based reporting and objectivity in favor of a new strategy based on telling audiences what they want to hear,” Taibbi said. “Because much of this transformation took place in visual and auditory media, the subject easily lends itself to a documentary – in fact, even as I was writing the book, I was aware it may be a story more easily told on screen.”