Spanking the Donkey is a campaign-trail diary that operates from the opposite viewpoint. In following the race for the Democratic mination in 2004, Matt Taibbi travels in and out of two different worlds - the contrived world of the election process, and the real United States, where life is t the antiseptic exercise in faint patriotic optimism the media describes it as being. By living in halfway houses and slums as he covers the day-to-day electoral grind, and by following the man on the street back to his actual house, Taibbi paints a Dorian Grey-esque portrait of two Americas: the one that poses as the national self-image, and the never seen warts-and-all reality.
Matt Taibbi is a reporter and columnist for the New York Press and a longtime media critic. He has recently returned from Russia, where he edited the satirical magazine The eXile and played professional basketball in Mongolia.