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Matt Taibbi Testifies in Front of Congress

Matt Taibbi’s Congressional Testimony on the Twitter Files 


In Dec. 2022 Matt Taibbi released the first edition of the Twitter Files. This covered a wide range of intelligence abuses by members of Congress and several intelligence agencies. 


On March 9, 2023, he testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee on his revelations. Taibbi appeared in a hearing on the “Weaponization of the Federal Government on the Twitter Files.” The hearing is just the next set in what could be a long line of hearings over intelligence abuses hearings which could usher in change like that of which followed the Church Commission in the 1970s. Roughly one month ago, senior Twitter executives testified to Congress about their role in covering up the Hunter Biden story. 


Taibbi was the subject of some politically charged barbs from some of the Congressmen and women on the committee. Representative for the US Virgin Islands, Stacey Plaskett referred to Taibbi as a “so-called journalist,” and a statement Taibbi derided by listing his experience in the field over his 15+ years involved. For example, Taibbi is a very experienced journalist; he was previously a Rolling Stone's lead investigative reporter and has also appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List several times.


More questions were directed at Taibbi’s use of anonymous sources to gather and disseminate information on Twitter under the guise of Elon Musk’s supervision. Representative Sylvia Garcia made several attempts to gain information on Taibbi’s sources and was even accused of badgering Taibbi to reveal his sources. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of criticism recently over the use of anonymous sources, especially after Seymour Hersh’s bombshell article on the bombing of the Nord Stream Pipeline being based around one anonymous source. Ironically, the New York Times then released an article about the Pipeline being destroyed by pro-Ukrainian groups and asserted the necessity of using anonymous sources in their reporting.


The New York Post argued that Taibbi’s testimony was an evisceration of Twitter and other mainstream news outlets who have not covered the story properly. As the Post reports, Taibbi accused intelligence agencies of “digital McCarthyism” and in his opening statement alleged that the intelligence community was guilty of creating “a state-sponsored thought-policing system.” Taibbi followed up with a mention of his colleague on the Twitter Files, Michael Shellenberger, who argued that the Twitter Files highlighted the creation of the “Censorship-Industrial Complex”. A revolving door of censorship sponsored by a combination of “perhaps 20 quasi-private entities” who were intent on filing “moderation requests” on behalf of every dark corner of government. 


For anyone following the Twitter Files, Taibbi’s testimony is a very good jumping off point for the efforts of all journalists involved. It covers the vast majority of the work they have committed themselves to publishing and highlights the deep partisan divides that censorship like this has facilitated. Aside from the petty political barbs and in-fighting throughout the testimony, Taibbi’s testimony is important and will be for the safety of social media sites like Twitter, Reddit and Facebook. 


For any further information please look at the initial threat by Matt Taibbi on the Twitter Files and further work on it can be found on the Substack of The Free Press.

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Tags: #Congress #Michael #Shellenberger #Testimony #MattTaibbi #TwitterFiles


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