The Akron-Summit County Public Library announced on Tuesday it had canceled a program by author, journalist and frequent Rolling Stone contributing writer Matt Taibbi.
The Nov. 9 program was on Taibbi’s new book, “I Can’t Breathe,” about 43-year-old Eric Garner, a black man who died in 2014 after being placed in a chokehold by members of the New York City Police Department.
The Akron Main Library’s cancellation, however, was in response to content published in 2000, in a book titled “The Exile: Sex, Drugs and Libel in the New Russia.” Taibbi co-wrote the book with another Rolling Stone contributor, Mark Ames. “The Exile” is about their time living as ex-patriots, editing an English-language newspaper in Russia.
“The Exile,” which was billed as a non-fiction book, includes misogynistic — and occasionally sexually charged — passages in which Taibbi and Ames demean women and brag about behavior that could be described as sexual assault.
Taibbi now says the book was actually satire and a work of fiction, and has issued a nearly 3,000-word apology on Facebook. He denied assaulting or harassing women, but admitted that the newspaper and his book featured “gratuitous viciousness” and ” often demeaning and misogynistic” content.