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:
- We were the first to expose the Tea Party movement as an Astroturf campaign organized by Freedomworks, the rightwing Republican machine, and its links to the notorious billionaire Koch family. Our expose forced CNBC’s Rick Santelli to issue a giant apology to President Obama and cancel his appearance on the Daily Show…
- A blog post by editor Mark Ames sparked riots across the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, resulting in nearly 200 arrests, torched businesses and gas stations, and the forced closure of a popular TV news channel in Hyderabad. Ames’ post speculated on links between Larry Summers and the billionaire Ambani brothers, and the mysterious death of a popular Indian politician.
- Editor Yasha Levine’s expose on how a handful of California big-agro oligarchs cornered the market on California’s water, fleecing the state’s taxpayers through Wall Street-like financial schemes
- Our co-editor Mark Ames was the first reporter to expose Georgia as the real aggressor in the Russia-Georgia war in 2008, months before the New York Times admitted that it had got the story wrong when it blamed Russia for starting the war, amid the insane US media hysteria pumping a manufactured “New Cold War” with Russia. Ames also reported from the war zone from the Ossetian/Russian side of the story.
- Levine’s hit scoop exposing Rep. Michelle Bachman’s big-government farm subsidies that she takes from taxpayers, despite her anti-government pose.
- Exiled finance writer “Mr. Walker” blew open the Commercial Real Estate threat in the summer of 2009, months before the mainstream media caught on.
- Ames first exposed the shady story of how Larry Summers sat on the board and owned a stake in Revolution Money, an online predatory lending start-up, which received millions from banks Summers was bailing out, and which was eventually taken over by another bailed-out firm, American Express. Ames also warned that Larry Summers would be a disaster for the country months before he took office.
- Shocking dispatches from a California subprime disaster zone by Yasha Levine, who moved to Victorville, in the High Desert, in March 2009.
- Controversial reports by Ames on several American mass-shootings over the past year in Fort Hood, Texas; Samson, Alabama; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- We were the first to reveal Debra Medina, the anti-government Tea Party Republican candidate for Texas Governor, as a longtime beneficiary of federal and local government handouts.
Also check out the archives of our first notorious incarnation “The eXile” in Moscow, Russia: 11 years of sheer reading Hell:
- The “War Nerd” column by Gary Brecher, the wildest, funniest and most popular regular feature in eXile history, a no-bullshit look at humanity’s favorite pastime: mass murder. Brecher predicted disaster in Iraq 9 months before Dumbfuck’s invasion, and made asymmetrical warfare easy for readers.
- John Dolan’s scoop calling out author James Frey as a literary fraud before the Smoking Gun story broke.
- Mark Ames’ articles predicting Russia’s 1998 financial crisis before any Western journalist, and his 2006 article predicting the global financial.
- Yasha Levine’s immersion-journalism features working as a Moscow taxi driver and as a wheelchair-bound “invalid” in a handicap-unfriendly city
- 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”
- Jake Rudnitsky’s wrenching story about a Siberian orphanage.
- Mark Ames broke the story about how Georgia’s 2003 “Color Revolution” was really an American-run coup engineered to secure Caspian Sea oil.
- Alexander Zaitchik and Yasha Levine’s gruesome story about the mass murders of local prostitutes in a wretched provincial Russian mining town.
- Articles by original eXile columnist Edward Limonov, the controversial Kremlin opposition leader…and our exclusive stories about Limonov’s arrest and jailing from 2001-3, when he was the first political prisoner under Vladimir Putin–including one column that we published while Limonov was still in prison, which he’d passed along secretly to our Moscow office.
- Our biggest and most dangerous pranks, including the “Kiriyenko Letter” prank that caused a pissed-off Republican Congressman to publicly declare that he had petitioned Russia’s government to arrest Mark Ames; our epic punking of Moscow’s notoriously cheesy, uber-VIP nightlife club scene; and the Adam Levine/Maroon 5/Maria Sharapova lawsuit scandal.
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 “Antiwar.com 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.”
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