The Twitter Files hearing has begun, and Democrats are now entirely on the defense. Democrats have long concluded that the greatest defense is a strong offensive, and the more personal the assault, the closer it is to the truth.
Rep. Stacey Plaskett, a Democrat from the Virgin Islands, does little to conceal her contempt for Twitter CEO Elon Musk and the reporters to whom he gave all of this information. There have been two reporters who have been regularly releasing Twitter files that have damaged Democrats’ and the federal government’s reputations by confirming their conspiracy to silence Americans that disagree with them were put on the hot seat before Plaskett, Matt Taibbi, and Michael Shellenberger.
Plaskett began by calling into doubt the reputation and qualifications of both journalists by referring to them as “so-called journalists.”
This was an impolite and unwarranted smack in the face of Taibbi and Shellenberger. The goal is simple: get them both upset and convey that impression to the public, who will unavoidably see this discussion, that the pair are not upright or honest. The remarks by Plaskett reek of false narrative drive, but there also appears to be something personal there.
Fortunately, when Taibbi answered, he threw Plaskett’s “so-called journalist” story in the trash and lit it on fire. He established his credentials by explaining who he is, what he has accomplished, and how he has been acknowledged. Plaskett’s lesson, in reality, was nothing short of humiliating, as she now appears stupid and immature.
Taibbi started by stating, “Ranking member Plaskett, I’m not a so-called journalist.” Taibbi went on to add that he was the recipient of the National Magazine Award, the I.F. Stone Prize for Independent Journalism, and the author of twelve books, including four New York Times bestsellers.
Even worse for Plaskett, Taibbi delivered every comment with a smirk.
While Taibbi talked, Plaskett ignored all but ignored him by conversing with her assistants, further indicating disdain. Nonetheless, the incredibly calm and professional clap-back impacted Plaskett’s narrative like a ton of bricks.
Plaskett’s assault made one thing apparent about this hearing. They have no interest in playing fairly or revealing the truth. They’ve weaponized the hearing to trash both these individuals and Musk in hopes that it would save their reputations.
Plaskett wasn’t the only one; Debbie Wasserman Schultz, another democrat from Florida, said he “cherry-picked” material from Elon Musk and profited from the Twitter Files.
Wasserman Schultz accused Taibbi of being Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s “handpicked journalist” in the Twitter Files, which exposed former Twitter executives’ political biases and the FBI’s communication with the business leading up to the 2020 presidential election.
Taibbi told podcast star Joe Rogan in December 2021 that a source handing a journalist information “have you at that point.” Still, a reporter is accountable for breaking away from being in the grasp of one source.
Wasserman Schultz said Taibbi crossed the line with the Twitter files. She wanted to know if he still continued to believe what he said to Mr. Rogan. She demanded a Yes or no answer. Taibbi’s reply was no.
Wasserman Schultz claimed that Elon Musk spoon-fed Taibbi his cherry-picked facts, which Taibbi must have understood, supported a prejudiced viewpoint or, at the absolute least, produced a right-wing conspiracy theory. She told Taibbi that he broke his own norm and seemed to gain from it. Before the emails were revealed last August, “you had 661,000 Twitter followers.” As a result of the Twitter Files, you have tripled your following compared to last August. She went on to say that she supposed that his substack audience, which is a subscription, expanded substantially due to the job you did for Elon Musk.
While pointing out the perceived bias in Taibbi’s writing, she clearly forgot that fellow Florida Democrat Maxwell Frost also traveled down this road asking if Trump had ever made any request from Twitter personnel. The answer was illuminating; instead of having the FBI take care of it, the White House Staff called and asked for it to be removed because it violated a known Twitter policy.
These attacks are too little, too late, and make Democrats appear even more desperate. Democrats need to acknowledge that the cat is out of the bag.
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