Vanity Fair profiles The eXile: "Gutsy...visceral...serious journalism...abusive, defamatory...poignant...paranoid...and right!"
MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
Gloats / February 24, 2010

Vanity Fair

Read the sensational Vanity Fair profile on The eXile, and founding editors Mark Ames and Matt Taibbi:

The demise of The Exile began, as so many demises have in Russia, with an official letter. Faxed to the offices of the newspaper late on a Friday afternoon the spring before last from somewhere within the bowels of Rossvyazokhrankultura, the Russian Federal Service for Mass Media, Telecommunications, and Cultural Heritage Protection, it announced the imminent “conducting of an unscheduled action to check the observance of the legislation of the Russian Federation on mass media.” The Exile, a Moscow-based, English-language biweekly, stood accused of violating Article Four of that legislation by encouraging extremism, spreading pornography, or promoting drug use. The letter scheduled the unscheduled action to take place between May 13 and June 11. This being Russia, it wasn’t faxed until May 22…[Read more]

From “The eXile” to “The eXiled Online”: In the summer of 2008, Kremlin officials chased The eXile editors out of Russia and back to America, where we regrouped as “The eXiled Online” bringing together founding eXile editor Mark Ames, eXile editors Yasha Levine and John Dolan, eXile film critic Eileen Jones, and cult-hero defense analyst Gary “The War Nerd” Brecher.

We’ve put together a little eXile Cheat Sheet of a few of our most sensational scoops and our most controversial scandals, over past decade-plus:

The eXiled Online’s Most Sensational Stories Since Getting Thrown Out of Russia in 2008:

  • Exiled finance writer “Mr. Walker” blew open the Commercial Real Estate threat in the summer of 2009, months before the mainstream media caught on.

Also check out the archives of our first notorious incarnation “The eXile” in Moscow, Russia: 11 years of sheer reading Hell:

  • The notorious “horse sperm pie” story when editors Matt Taibbi, Mark Ames and “Krazy” Kevin McElwee threw a pie filled with horse sperm at the New York Times’ bureau chief, after he was named “Russia’s worst foreign correspondent”

About us:

Mark Ames is the founding editor of The eXile and co-editor of The eXiled. His articles have appeared in The Nation, Playboy, Daily Beast, Alternet, Radar, The New York Press, and elsewhere. He is the author of “Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyond” which became the basis of the critically-acclaimed 90-minute BBC documentary film, “Going Postal”; and Ames is co-author with Matt Taibbi of the book “The eXile: Sex, Drugs and Libel in the New Russia.” Ames has made several guest appearances on MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show, along with radio appearances on Dylan Ratigan’s ABC radio program; radio spots on Chuck Mertz’s “This Is Hell” show, Scott Horton’s “ Radio” show, Michelangelo Signorile’s radio show, KFPK radio, Air America and elsewhere. He is currently at work on a new book for Wiley.

Yasha Levine is the former editor of The eXile and founding editor of The eXiled. Levine’s articles have appeared in Wired, Slate, Penthouse, Time magazine and elsewhere. Levine currently lives in a trailer home in Victorville, California, with his two guns, and is currently working on a book.

Gary Brecher writes the “War Nerd” column. Brecher has been published in The American Conservative and Alternet, and is the author of the book “The War Nerd.” Brecher has been cited on FoxNews, and was once accused by neocon historian Victor Davis Hanson—guru to Dick Cheney and “Scooter” Libby—of setting fire to Hanson’s vineyards. Brecher has been interviewed on Wisconsin Public Radio and on Chuck Mertz’s “This Is Hell” radio show. He lives in Fresno, California.

Eileen Jones is the world’s greatest movie reviewer. She teaches film theory at UC Berkeley.

John Dolan, who taught The eXile editors how to write, is the author of Pleasant Hell, along with several books of poetry and a book about the ruthless Darwinian struggle for fame among 18th century England’s poets, “Poetic Occasion from Milton to Wordsworth.”

Media inquiries:

For media inquiries call The eXiled Hotline at (260) 6-EXILED. Or email us at press[at]

Go here for more contact information

Read more:, , Gloats

Got something to say to us? Then send us a letter.

Want us to stick around? Donate to The eXiled.

Twitter twerps can follow us at


Add your own

  • 1. mydick  |  February 24th, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Eileen Jones writes the way I wish I could, maybe that’s why I’m a lonely troll here…Thing is, you’re not supposed to write well if you also have academic credentials. Oh well. I’ll just sign this “mydick” because I’m a fucking idiot.

  • 2. mydick  |  February 24th, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Jesus christ, you guys made it into Vanity Fair? I think I’ll up my trolling activities, it’s my way of communicating with my heroes.

  • 3. mydick  |  February 24th, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Me again. Miss me?

  • 4. Shitter Island  |  February 25th, 2010 at 2:25 am

    I have spent years reading both Ames and Taibbi. Sometimes I wonder why no one spent years reading my stuff. At least I can look in the mirror and say, “Hey, I’m not one of those obnoxious moralizers who offer no theory, just finger pointing.” I can say, “Hey, I like myself, and you know what? That’s okay.” Because I’m at peace with who I am.

  • 5. BlottoBonVismarck  |  February 25th, 2010 at 2:31 am


    “The Exiled – a low class rag of extreme cynicism and gallows humour – so you’ll probably fit right in. It also sees _entirely_ through the US Reality Distortion Field – tm Steve Jobs of Apple. Marketing genius but truth? HA! — as only those who have travelled or lived abroad can do.” – written _before_ this major plug in Vanity Fair.

    It’s great to have one’s utter contempt for all things Neocon vindicated. It was feeling distinctly chilly as late as two years ago. Much less so today. Chilly that is, before discovering the like-minded nutters, in-no-way-loyal-opposition muckrakers and invective-spewing, not-goosestepping-in-formation-into-oblivion reprobates at the Exiled.

    All in a good way.


    Tea-Partiers of the USA salute their leader – Comrade Cheney – For it is he! –

    Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Fuhrer – The inspiration for Our Dear Leader, Comrade Cheney. –

    Illegitimi non carborundum – The Neocons’s Princess Erika (Prince) of Bathwater as ‘Mr. Bimmler’ – After the War – Monty Python –

  • 6. T. Hallman  |  February 25th, 2010 at 2:41 am

    Just another weirdo who wants to throw a shout out to you, don’t mind my blathering.

  • 7. Iok Sotot, Eater of Souls  |  February 25th, 2010 at 5:36 am

    I’ve just started my first full time journalism job (amazing in these times, I know) and look up to the Exiles for inspiration. You guys have testicles the size of footballs.

    Total Respect.

  • 8. George  |  February 25th, 2010 at 6:10 am

    man, do i miss the exile. after work, a cold beer and the latest issue of the exiled. guaranteed quality time. those were the days.
    exiledonline is not a bad substitution though but could offer a bit more of action journalism like the cream pie

  • 9. Scott  |  February 25th, 2010 at 6:28 am

    What’s the point of this self abuse excercise? It reads almost like an obituary. Is it finally over?

  • 10. Nicolai Cesky  |  February 25th, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Who knew that Taibbi was such a spoiled little girl? I laughed at his temper tantrum.

    Otherwise, interesting recount of Ames in Moscow. Didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know, but it was funny to see mainstream journalists– who Ames costantly whipped for being douchebags– kissing his ass so that they could look cool in Vanity Fair. Fraudulent, spineless, suck ups to the last.

    What’s your next great project, Ames? Your angst ridden 20’s and 30’s may have lapsed but that incisiveness still exists. We want more and we need more. Who else is going to expose these sellout phonies and dangerous monsters at the top?

  • 11. Doom  |  February 25th, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Who’s surprised Ames is “married”?

  • 12. aleke  |  February 25th, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Sorry you guys aint friends no more or whatever

  • 13. jonny.m  |  February 25th, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Been reading you guys online for years now, and I’m actually sorry you guys are getting mainstream attention. It’s more fun to think of you as a kind of “dirty little secret” of modern journalism. But hey, maybe you guys will start seeing real money now. I’m surprised this profile-raising didn’t happen sooner; it should’ve started after your appearance in Vice.

  • 14. matt  |  February 25th, 2010 at 10:07 am

    That was a good read, but more importantly, where the fuck is Dolan? This site needs more Dolan!

  • 15. Mike  |  February 25th, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Interesting article, glad you guys aren’t reflexively slagging the writer to maintain
    your cred. Would have been too predictable.

    I hope an Exiled film is made. Taibbi is right that some watered down version of what happened is a bad idea and boring, but I disagree that a film couldn’t be made that captured the essence of what went on then if
    it wasn’t the typical hollywood fare.

    Maybe a young director who was the same age as Ames and Taibbi were back in the day and share their passion for cutting through BS. No heroes, just a fascinating story.

    bla bla bla bla redemption bla bla

  • 16. tam  |  February 25th, 2010 at 11:15 am

    ‘it was funny to see mainstream journalists– who Ames costantly whipped for being douchebags– kissing his ass’

    Actually, credit where it’s due, I thought that was an extremely gracious comment from that Economist Moscow hack considering how rude you were about him. I note that there were no quotes by the Guardian’s Luke Harding though, so I guess he hasn’t yet buried the hatchet. (like you’d care…)

  • 17. afrop  |  February 25th, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I’m amused that out of everyone involved in the article, it seemed to me like Colin McMahon came out looking the best.

  • 18. Erik Bramsen  |  February 25th, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Our co-editor Mark Ames was the first reporter to expose Georgia as the real aggressor in the Russia-Georgia war in 2008…

    Bollocks! The MSM – here in Europe, anyway – reported this correctly for the first two or three days before they apparently had a mass epiphany and did a 180 turnabout. Oh wait–I just realized Ames’ report was on the first day of the war, and he never did a 180–so that means I’m wrong. Sorry, it’s my Old Europe brain malfunctioning again.

  • 19. Mike  |  February 25th, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Guess my comment is treated like pollution. Wow, who’d’ve thought?

  • 20. Diet Coke  |  February 25th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Haha come on we all know Matt Taibbi is Dolan.

  • 21. zerez  |  February 25th, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    10 years later…
    sure you’re still great, but look at what I’ve become. Anonymous commenter. Which is what I was 10 years ago. So you’re big in Russia and you’re now huge in America with a massive Vanity Fair article. I’d like to write something that would hurt you, but since I’m at your mercy, I’ll just lie down and beg for a quick end.

  • 22. Jim Waddell  |  April 3rd, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    You cretins will go down

  • 23. EJK  |  May 7th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Speaking of Dolan, holy shit — has anyone taken a look at this new “creative” site?:

    A collection of the most precious, self-regarding shitheads on the planet. And man! those comments.

    John, where are you??

  • 24. clarence swinney  |  May 8th, 2010 at 8:24 am

    1945 to 1980–Great Middle Class Years
    Each percentile gained almost evenly in Wealth-Income

    1980-2009 Great years top 10% –Middle Class Stagnated

    1980–top 1% owned 20% Total Financial Wealth

    80%–7% (120,000,000 workers)

    Policies of Reagan + Bush.

    clarence swinney

  • 25. my help comes from the Lord Jesus  |  May 16th, 2010 at 1:49 am

    yall are sadly beyond freaks! why are you so angry? at the God of the universe who gave you your very breath and the “right” to post your filth and oh so erudite opinions..your “right” will very soon be taken away by the American government controlled by the forces of satan..but ultimitately by the Lord Jesus…”good luck with that” as you believe in luck and all that nonsense….

  • 26. Michael Roach  |  June 7th, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    “Hello, I would like to introduce myself, I am Michael Roach.

    I am the Economy editor for Before It’s News, a people powered news web site that currently receives more than 600,000 unique visitors a month (and growing). Before It’s News specializes in publishing the news that the mainstream media ignores.

    I am writing to you to request permission to republish your blog RSS feed in our economy and other media sections.

    With as many as 35,000 readers per day, is a fantastic place to get the word out and obtain new readers of your own. We do not alter your feed or stories in any way, and you are free to put as many links back to your site(s) as you like. Our only requirement is that your feed contain full stories (not snippets).

    I believe our audience is particularly suited to your message, and that you will be rewarded with new visitors and subscribers.

    I appreciate your time and consideration, and I hope to hear back from you soon.”
    I have been receiving your email’s for sometime now and would appreciate and oppurtunity to promote all your articles and your website.
    My email is Sincerely Michael Roach

  • 27. Michael  |  July 7th, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I just read the Vanity Fair article. I’d like very much to write for you. Here’s my writing sample, taken from a recent post:

    “Maybe we all should just start referring to the inside-the-beltway press corps and the demagogues enabled by them as Romanovs: Karl Romanov, Cokie Romanov, George F. Romanov, Glenn Romanov, Rush Romanov, Sean Romanov, Candy Romanov, Wolf Romanov, Bill O’Romanov, and so on. It certainly befits the historical cycle they’re currently riding into the ground with their incomes, investments and retirement savings intact. They’re done. They’re of no use except to make a bad situation even worse in a more obviously diminishing return.”

  • 28. Ryan  |  September 2nd, 2010 at 8:17 am

    @27 – keep your day job, unless it’s mixing long-dead metaphors and missing the more apt Baron Karl Harkonnen analogy.

    Comrade Beck’s invective demagoguery is infinitely more subtle and effective.

  • 29. Gozer  |  September 22nd, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Dear eXiled,

    Please. PLEASE. Please change the A-List format to that of “What you should know”

    I don’t mind you sending me to a news feed supplied by Mark and Yasha but DAMMIT it’s annoying to get redirected TWICE from the headlines sidebar..

    I am a new and fiercely loyal reader. I LOVE exiledonline but this new re-redirect is really fucking with me.

    With All My Dead Heart,


  • 30. woundedduck  |  October 22nd, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I post links to your articles on Big Government–trolling is my most favorite drunken hobby! (Except for, you know, the OTHER best drunken activity).

  • 31. John Caliber  |  November 17th, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Do you have any current information on Los Zetos?

  • 32. Leland Mellott  |  November 25th, 2010 at 10:25 am

    The British Petroleum catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico took place on April 20, Adolf Hitler’s birthday. Nazi Revival?

    Leland Mellott
    Mount Vernon,

  • 33. David  |  February 1st, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Fuck this website. I found it accidentally by a Google search, I liked it, so I have spent the last 20 minutes looking for a way to subscribe. Or to join them on Facebook. Or finally just to write them a letter, but even for that I must first sign up with Hotmail. Sheesh. Guess these writers do no want fans.

  • 34. Amy  |  March 18th, 2011 at 6:19 am

    How refreshing! A Binx Bolling-like movie-goer who can actually think and write so well about her thoughts, rather than one who summarizes all with such profundity as, “I like to watch.” Pauline Kael, pass the crown.

  • 35. Toni  |  March 24th, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    do you have a e-mail news letter I can
    subscribe to ????
    I enjoy what I have read here .. Toni

  • 36. Joyce Holmes  |  March 25th, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Wish you’d write a short, blunt version of your article about the Koch brothers and what they’re doing. I have some Republican friends that I think would be interested in knowing this stuff but would still procrastinate if I send them your entire (informative but long!) article.
    Thanks for doing this for us!

  • 37. witherspoon  |  March 28th, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I am writing to express my views, along with millions upon millions of Americans, on recent political events in the United States.

    As you may know, President George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney used subversive ideology to force the United States Congress into funding and supporting two bogus Bush governments in Iraq and Afghanistan. The wars escalate. The natives are restless.

    American government institutions pertaining to Ethics, Finance, Oversight, Intelligence, and Judiciary are failing US society. The revolving door of corruption between US industry and US government is marginalizing the American people while the US infrastructure rots. Until war criminals and financial fraud crimes are addressed in the US Justice Department Americans will continue to be marginalized. The natives are restless.

    A criminal US Defense Department and US Attorney General detain and torture an innocent man in Quantico, Virginia. These actions only reflect the criminal administration that has institutionalized the Bush Wars. The Bush Administration is not some long ago museum of recollection, they are the last criminals to leave the scene of the crime. The crimes are ongoing. The natives are restless.

    The people of the United States must dismantle the wedding of the United States energy industry with the US Department of Defense. War criminals and financial fraud criminals have not been brought to justice. The crimes are ongoing.

    Corporate tax evasion and the massive amounts of American manufacturing capital moved to third world nations unfamiliar with workers rights, civil rights, and women’s rights justifies the realization of a war waged against the American people and the American society. The crimes are ongoing. The natives are restless.

    Gary Witherspoon
    California Congressional Fourth District

    CC: Senator Feinstein/Senator Boxer/civic groups/media

  • 38. Keith E. Cooper  |  April 10th, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Why haven’t I found this site before today? My IQ just went up several points! Keep up the good work!


    Keith E. Cooper
    Tampa, FL

  • 39. Mike Tango  |  April 19th, 2011 at 4:51 am

    Jeezus – will you stop being so fucking famous that it drives me mad?!

  • 40. James D Sanders  |  May 5th, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Mark Ames was excellent on today’s Dylan Ratigan show’s THE RANT. Normally I turn Ratigan’s program off just prior to THE RANT because it has become a showcase for extremely foolish radical-left verbiage. I so long for the balance that would be provided by radical right-wing rants.
    Mark Ames is a nice change–the first non wing-nut on The Rant.
    All today’s Ground Zero political posturing needed was George II and his MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner.

  • 41. TitsMahoney  |  June 6th, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Uh..why would i get so blown away by how fucking awesome you guys are and then envious of your awesomeness that i’d go here and post something pretending that i’m not upset or bothered at all.

    Oh, and I’m one of those middlebrow morons who hears currently popular expressions like “FAIL!” and uses them because I like to go with the herd. That’s because I’m, yes, FAIL COMMENTER>

  • 42. TitsMahoney  |  June 6th, 2011 at 11:26 am

    “Your comment is infected with retardation.”

    Hey – maybe i should change the name of my awesome bedroom to :


    Oh, and thank you for improving my comments moderator. I would die of shame, even being anonymous, if anyone read the pre-improved version of this.

    Oh and by the way, you should hear me cry and wail and kick the floor over my First Amendment Rights. Yup, I’m one of those Randroid whiner types all right! “I am Randroid/Hear me whine!”

  • 43. Wrong name  |  June 23rd, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Balkan Armies? It must be Baltic!

  • 44. Nick Meisher  |  August 16th, 2011 at 10:10 am


    Good article. One thing I don’t understand. You got thrown out of Russia for digging up dirt the government didn’t want to be published. So you went to America and started digging up the dirt on Americans? What makes you so brave? Why am I not like you?

    Will you please instruct me in your ways, O Great Master Ames!

  • 45. remy  |  September 11th, 2011 at 8:22 am

    seriously, are you dudes still doing this? say hey to all from another former UCB rhetoric person whose career has been more like a ford pinto explosion than anything useful, let alone successful. now back to my regularly scheduled programming: producing celebrity swill to keep the masses drunk.

  • 46. C  |  October 17th, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    You guys have lots of envious commenters, especially those who spend their lives sucking from the Koch teat. Don’t listen to those worthless tools. Keep doing what you’re doing. Thank you for improving my retarded comment by the way.

  • 47. Walter  |  December 4th, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    The picture on the front of the website Nov 4 2011 is 5.8 megabytes. Is it really necessary to waste that much bandwidth on every computer that visits, for a picture that does not even feature a naked lady?

  • 48. Mary Treusch  |  January 14th, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I love the way your correspondents write and I really appreciate the important information that is expressed here.

    I’m a big fan of exiledonline.


  • 49. k. baylout  |  February 14th, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Good Guardian oped on Greece, its views on AUSTERITY could have been written by Exile directors… sample quote:

    “When we casually use a term like “bailout”, it is important to remember that it is not people who are being bailed out, or at least not the Greek people. The bailout will not save a single Greek life. The opposite is the case. What is being “bailed out” is the global financial system, including the banks, hedge funds and pension funds of the other EU member states, and it is the Greek people who are being ordered to pay – in money, time, physical pain, hopelessness and missed educational opportunities. The relatively neutral, even stoic, term “austerity”, is a gross insult to the Greek people. This is not austerity; at best it is callousness.”

  • 50. Lick Vosic  |  May 24th, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Are trolls trying to use the comments section here to promote their own work for free? The answer, sadly, is yes, and I am one of them. I apologize.

    Lick Vosic.

  • 51. Natalia  |  June 1st, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Hi, I´m Spanish. We need a Spanish Exile. In my country I find inspiration every where.
    How can I do?

  • 52. Philomena Muinzer  |  August 3rd, 2012 at 4:41 am

    Please forward this Press Release to all writers on EXILE:

    Please erase this attempt at getting free advertising.

  • 53. Boris  |  September 13th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Going to meet Josh Foust next week at a networking reception thing. Give me a good zinger that I can use on him. I’m not as witty as you but think your written take down of him was 100% justified.

  • 54. genio  |  October 22nd, 2012 at 5:28 am

    Pussy Riot & pussycats …

    Sending a short video …

    The female power is needed in our male-dominating world …

    London – UK

  • 55. Steve Aldrin  |  November 11th, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Please give my email address to Mark Ames and ask him to contact me. He is on to something – I have additional inside information about the scam at Johnson for President. Thank you.

  • 56. Binoy Kampmark  |  April 13th, 2013 at 1:06 am

    Dear Exiled Online,

    Eager to write for you at stages, and don’t even expect payment. Am a regular on CounterPunch, Dissident Voice and a host of other publications.


  • 57. Eric Zuesse  |  October 7th, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I praise you here:

  • 58. erik dufresne  |  July 30th, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I am trying to contact mr. ames to obtain information as to how I can go about helping to promote peace between Russia, and the United States of America.

  • 59. Lara Brennan  |  December 20th, 2016 at 8:30 am


    My name is Lara and I am a freelancer who works in Media Top – online media agency.

    I’ve reviewed your website and I would like to offer you a fixed payment for writing and posting an article on the site of
    The article will be written in the spirit of your website and relevant to its content.

    If you are interested, please let me know and I’ll provide you with more details. Also, if you own other sites please send me their URLs, so I can review them for posting an article.

    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Best regards,
    Lara Brennan

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