“A Cautionary Tale for Everyone”: The Media Mob Turns on Taibbi

Twitter LogoThere was a time when the disclosure of a back channel for politically motivated censorship would have generated widespread acclaim and called for awards. This is not that time. Just ask Matt Taibbi.

No one is suggesting that the New York Post should receive a Pulitzer Prize for its long fight to prove the truth about the Hunter Biden laptop. Despite an alliance of most of the media and political establishment arrayed against it, the New York Post fought censorship and unrelenting attacks to bring this massive influence peddling operation to light.  (Of course, the New York Times and Washington Post can keep Pulitzer Prizes for reporting on debunked Russian collusion claims created and pushed by the Clinton campaign).

In the case of journalist Matt Taibbi, his analysis of thousands of documents has met with the standard scorched earth campaign from liberal reporters and pundits.

As discussed in today’s Hill column, the document dump confirmed what had long been suspected: Biden and Democratic party officials succeeded in getting Twitter to block the New York Post story and suspend those who even tried to retweet or link to the story before the election.

I will not repeat the content of those emails on how Twitter “handled” demands from the Biden campaign and the DNC for censorship. Musk gave the material to Taibbi to synthesize the voluminous record.  That is when the familiar media flash mob formed.

NBC Reporter Ben Collins attacked Taibbi on Twitter and said “Imagine throwing it all away to do PR work for the richest person in the world. Humiliating s***.”

New York Times contributor Wajahat Ali also attacked Taibbi:

“Matt Taibbi…what sad, disgraceful downfall. I swear, kids, he did good work back in the day. Should be a cautionary tale for everyone. Selling your soul for the richest white nationalist on Earth. Well, he’ll eat well for the rest of his life I guess. But is it worth it?”

So Taibbi’s reported downfall as a writer is due to his role in disclosing a massive censorship system operated at the direction or behest of one political party and one political family. He is “disgraceful” because he is suggesting that the media and social media companies should not have censored a story on a multimillion dollar influence peddling scheme run by the Biden family.

Taibbi is not alone in such disgrace, according to Ali. He has also attacked former New York Times writer Bari Weiss, including for her statement that she was tired of the pandemic as being somehow racist. (“It reflects America’s cruelty, right?…we have also had cruelty, White supremacy, misogyny. America says go ahead and die, but just don’t die on my lawn.”)

Of course, Ali may be right on what it takes today to be accepted as a journalist. Taibbi is now persona non grata as opposed to Ali, who is routinely invited to write for publications like the New York Times and the Daily Beast despite a litany of controversies.

In one column, Ali suggested white Republican voters would prefer to burn down their own homes then rent to a minority member and compared them to the Al Qaeda terrorists on Flight 93 . He then wrote off most of them as “lost. It’s going to be a long, ugly, violent death rattle of a death cult.”

In today’s world, the New York Times bans Sen. Tom Cotton for his view on the use of the military to quell violent protests, but publishes Ali who told people not to “waste your time reaching out to Trump voters as I did.”

“Reaching out” apparently means calling them virulent racists storming an airplane cockpit. That is the model of real journalism and commentary, not some journalist detailing a politically driven censorship system on social media.

Most critics like MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan attacked Musk or Taibbi while omitting any discussion of the details in these documents. Hasan simply declared that the full transparency ordered by Musk is just one of those “nakedly and cynically right-wing narratives . . . But sure, the laptop! The laptop! The laptop!”

As for Taibbi, it remains (as Ali said) “a cautionary tale for everyone.” The message is clear: see the elephant at your own peril.
A different version of this column also appeared on Fox.com

225 thoughts on ““A Cautionary Tale for Everyone”: The Media Mob Turns on Taibbi”

  1. Be not fooled. There are those on this blog who are telling you that both parties made suggestions to Twitter. This is true. What they leave out is the part about which parties requests were honored by Twitter. In fairness they should be pointing out an instance where Twitter imposed censorship requested by the Republican Party. Oh no. Instead they continue with an obvious false equivalence. Getting a request from one party or the other does not address what requests were acted upon. It is obvious that only the requests of the Democrats were considered by Twitter. This form of equivalence is either misinformed or malicious. I am mistaken. It is both misinformed and malicious.
    .

    1. Matt Taibbi: “10.Both parties had access to these tools. For instance, in 2020, requests from both the Trump White House and the Biden campaign were received and honored.”

      Keep lying that “only the requests of the Democrats were considered by Twitter.” It reveals who you are.

      1. Anonymous, let’s just say you are correct that both requests were honored. The question remains. Which requests were more predominantly honored by Twitter? We have the evidence of the Democrats requests for censorship being honored in writing by Twitter employees but you refuse to acknowledge the existence of the emails. You want to try to move our focus from the actual written proof that Twitter censored the laptop story. It’s fine if you want to pull the wool over your own eyes but you shouldn’t be surprised when we will not allow you to pull the wool over our eyes. One would think that you would be outraged that Twitter kept the story from the eyes of the American people but you are not. The proper conclusion of who you are should follow.

        1. “‘you refuse to acknowledge the existence of the emails”

          You’re such a blatant liar. Do you find it hard to talk with so many lies in your mouth?

          “actual written proof that Twitter censored the laptop story”

          Duh. We’ve know that since day 1 in 2020. What an imbecile you are.

          1. Anonymous, you can’t run from the fact that you agreed with those who said that the laptop was Russian disinformation. You say that we have known that Twitter censored the laptop since day one in 2020. If this is true than why haven’t you ever condemned Twitter for its censorship after having known for so long. You try to make it look like old news but we have never seen the proof in writing until now. Now you just hope that the elephant would just disappear.

            1. Are you blind? Do you have Alzheimers? Of course we knew that Twitter was censoring the tweets about the NY Post article from day 1. Turley was writing about it from day 1 too. An example: https://jonathanturley.org/2020/10/22/biden-laptop-was-subpoenaed-by-the-fbi-in-2019-as-part-of-a-money-laundering-investigation/

              Like any private entity, Twitter can legally censor anything that’s inconsistent with its TOS. It’s part of their own 1st Amendment rights.

              We still don’t know how much of the laptop contents is authentic: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/03/30/hunter-biden-laptop-data-examined/
              You can’t bring yourself to admit that though.

              1. Yes we know twitter censored the story,
                What we have now. Evidence the Federal govt ordered the censorship. That, as every 10 year old knows, violates the Constitution.

                1. The federal government in 2020 was the Trump Admin.

                  You think the Trump Admin “ordered the censorship”?

                  Taibbi did say that “in 2020, requests from both the Trump White House and the Biden campaign were received and honored,” but I don’t have the impression that he was saying that the Trump WH requested that the story be censored. Or are you in a time warp where Biden was in office in 2020??

                  Taibbi also said “there’s no evidence – that I’ve seen – of any government involvement in the laptop story.” So just what “Evidence the Federal govt ordered the censorship” are you referring to?

                    1. No kidding. It was a rhetorical question.

                      Apparently you, too, disagree with iowan’s claim.

                  1. “The federal government in 2020 was the Trump Admin.”

                    Congress, Washington bureaucrats, and agents at the FBI are *not* part of the federal government?!

                    When any of them demand that a private company suppress opinions or speech, that is a violation of 1A. And more broadly, it’s textbook fascism.

                    1. If you have evidence that “Congress, Washington bureaucrats, and agents at the FBI” made demands about the laptop story, present it.

                      Taibbi wrote “22. Although several sources recalled hearing about a “general” warning from federal law enforcement that summer about possible foreign hacks, there’s no evidence – that I’ve seen – of any government involvement in the laptop story.”
                      https://twitter.com/mtaibbi/status/1598833927405215744

                    2. “If you have evidence that . . . present it.”

                      To you, and the rest of the Left, “evidence” is that which satisfies a desire. And conversely, if actual evidence does not satisfy a desire, then it’s not “evidence.”

                      I have no desire to descend into that Heraclitean hell, and that psychotic world of “narratives.”

                    3. I feel sorry for your former students that they had a teacher who regularly invokes fallacies.

  2. Talk about shooting the messenger. Any true journalist would give their right arm to break this story, but, of course, we know there are precious few true journalists left among the Left. How far will they go to deflect attention from this story? Will they be able to bury it even after Republicans start investigations into the Biden crime family (and the Republicans had better not back down on this). That such corruption could be going on right under their noses, and they not only ignore it but actively cover it up and trash the few journalists who are trying to expose it, speaks more to the end of this country than any economic bad news.

  3. Not Exactly. Here is the Taibbi post that follows: “However: 11. This system wasn’t balanced. It was based on contacts. Because Twitter was and is overwhelmingly staffed by people of one political orientation, there were more channels, more ways to complain, open to the left (well, Democrats) than the right. opensecrets.org/orgs/twitter/s…

  4. Twitter 2020 — a wholly owned subsidiary of the DNC.

    Still believe that the 2020 election was not rigged? If so, you are an apologist for fascism.

    1. Matt Taibbi: “10.Both parties had access to these tools. For instance, in 2020, requests from both the Trump White House and the Biden campaign were received and honored.”
      Notice that only one of those was a government entity, the Trump WH.

      1. Yup, noticed.
        You also noticed that the large majority of the accounts suspended were republican?
        You also noticed that the laptop story was true?
        What do you think about that?
        You think it did not matter that Twitter censored the story but allowing false stories about Trump thus intervering with the election?

      2. “Notice that only one of those was a government entity . . .”

        I hate to disturb your deflection, but congress, the FBI, beaucracies, et al. are government entities. And the DNC is the spokesman for its government entitities, democratic politicians.

        1. I see that you have difficulty understanding the referent of “those.” Strange for someone who claims to have taught college to have such basic problems with English.

  5. So the circus tent comes tumbling down and they blame it on the watch dog. They built the tent with poles not capable of holding it up and now they won’t accept the fact that it lays ruffling on the ground. They will not accept the responsibility for all the people that were hurt when their circus tent came crashing down upon their heads so a scapegoat must be employed. Are these good ringmasters? They are ringmasters who use their whips with great acumen. If their overzealous us of the whip would be used on a dog it would be considered animal cruelty.

  6. The crazy part of this story. WSJ NY Post now have a serious case of TDS. They would now phone the FBI to come and get the laptop and tell them to arrest Rudy for handing it over to NY Post. Then fired Moranda Devine. Murdoch has now turned into Jeff Zucker and as ug”. TGP hs now reported on the 4th reason for Joe winning the election. Just for Warnock. Thousands of donations for 10’s of millions from all over USA from folks with very little money. Then another report on Zip Codes being altered for voter rolls. Along with the ballot mules. I seen a clip of Barr being interviewed and he was asked about 2000 mules. He giggled and said. Folks driving by a ballot box 5 times is no big deal. To qualify as a mule you had to have visited a ballot box 10 times. You had to go from DNC office to ballot box and back again. Then before election no where near and after election no where near. Goe tracking is how they rounded upm the jan 6th crowd so easy and thousands of cases brought against serious crime uding Geo tracking. Seems Mr Turley not interested in rolling up his sleeves on this. However for a Limousine Liberal he is doing good work and I appreciate it. Mr Tiaibi is getting the JT treatment.

  7. Meanwhile, Turley is silent about Musk/Taibbi having doxxed people in the thread, including posting Rep. Ro Khanna’s (D-CA) and former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s personal email addresses.

    John Scott-Railto: “If Musk is committed to transparency over influence at #Twitter he should release *his* communications with political operatives & politicians, foreign & domestic. Like representatives from the Chinese & Saudi governments.”
    https://twitter.com/jsrailton/status/1599087304827875328

    1. Anonymous is ablaze with the hate of doxing but she was nowhere to be found when information about Supreme Court Justices children was made public. Oh such outrage she now exhales. Bad breath.

      1. But Taibbi did include personal email addresses of people like Rep. Ro Khanna and Jack Dorsey. He could have blacked them out, but he didn’t.

        1. Now do Washington Compost / Taylor Lorenz doxxing Jewish female, Chaya Raichik, in her management of the Libs of TikTok

          We will wait

          1. Wait away. Lorenz named Raichik. Lorenz did not publish Raichik’s personal email or phone or address.

    2. Meanwhile, Turley is silent about Musk/Taibbi having doxxed people in the thread,

      Yea, when the dems sling shit like that, no surprise, it splatters back on them.

    3. How is providing public information doxxing ?

      Absolutely – Musk should make public any requests from anyone to suppress the speech of anyone else, regardless of the source.
      I think that is an excellent new policy.
      The entire Please ban this system should be public from end to end.

      But no all of Musk’s emails with everyone should not be made public. It is none of your business, Musks efforts with the Chinese to keep his Shanghai giga factory open.

      It is however all of our business to see any requests from any source to ban or censor anyone.

  8. Obsessed with Hunter Biden. Apparently Ivanka and Jared will get a pass even though they got big $$ benefits from Saudi Arabia and China while working for the White House! Hunter Biden’s lap top.

    Where are the investigations of Jared’s money from Saudi Arabia? I know Hunter Biden’s Lap top.

    1. Justice Holmes: Please send all the evidence you have on Jared and Ivanka over to the FBI so we can get that show on the road. After all, I’m sure Garland will be thrilled to finally have something on a Trump.

      1. It would be a first for them to actually act on evidence.

        The FBI/DOJ is so corrupt they are wholly incapable of defining justice, much less delivering it.

        Exhibit A: Sam Bankman-Fried and his freewheeling “Whoops Tour.”

    2. “Where are the investigations of Jared’s money from Saudi Arabia? “

      Jarad was investigated, and Sotomayor is a woman not a man. Errors galore Justice Holmes. Perhaps you should change your name.

  9. “massive censorship system operated at the direction or behest of one political party and one political family.”

    That’s not what Taibbi said, he said Twitter provided the service to powerful folks of all stripes and levels. You’re integrity slides a bit each year Turley

    1. Not exactly. Read the next part of Taibbi’s post: “However: 11. This system wasn’t balanced. It was based on contacts. Because Twitter was and is overwhelmingly staffed by people of one political orientation, there were more channels, more ways to complain, open to the left (well, Democrats) than the right. opensecrets.org/orgs/twitter/s…”

    2. Keep distorting what was said. Add up the censorship tallies noting who was censored, and you will start calling yourself a liar.

  10. “So Taibbi’s reported downfall as a writer is due to his role in disclosing a massive censorship system operated at the direction or behest of one political party and one political family. ”

    Actually, Taibbi pointed out that the censorship was operated at the direction/behest of BOTH parties:
    Matt Taibbi: “10.Both parties had access to these tools. For instance, in 2020, requests from both the Trump White House and the Biden campaign were received and honored.”
    Notice that only one of those was a government entity, the Trump WH.

    “I will not repeat the content of those emails on how Twitter “handled” demands from the Biden campaign and the DNC for censorship.”

    You mean that you’re not going to point out that they were HB dick pics, revenge porn, which are contrary to Twitter’s terms? Yep, you’d rather ignore that.

  11. Miranda Devine has an article in today’s NY Post highlighting that Musk/Taibbi appear to have left out FBI efforts to suppress the story. She refers to Yoel Roth’s testimony under oath that at one of Twitter’s weekly meetings with FBI officials they alerted Twitter to a hack and leak operation involving Hunter Biden. Does anyone know if that testimony is publicly available?

    1. Matt Taibbi: “22. Although several sources recalled hearing about a “general” warning from federal law enforcement that summer about possible foreign hacks, there’s no evidence – that I’ve seen – of any government involvement in the laptop story. In fact, that might have been the problem…”

      1. “That I’ve seen.” Miranda Devine claims to have seen a sworn declaration of Yoel Roth’s that the FBI alerted Twitter at one of its weekly meetings to look out for a hack and leak operation involving Hunter Biden.

        1. Roth’s declaration was made public almost 2 years ago. Odd that she doesn’t link to it. He said “During these weekly meetings, the federal law enforcement agencies communicated that they expected “hack-and-leak operations” by state actors might occur in the period shortly before the 2020 presidential election, likely in October. … I also learned in these meetings that there were rumors that a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden.”

          How do you get from that to “FBI efforts to suppress the story”?? Just what did the FBI do to suppress the story?

          1. According to Eric Schmitt, FBI agent Elvis Chan also stated in his recent deposition that he warned of Russian hack and leak operations in the weekly meetings ahead of the election. Schmitt does not say whether Chan referred to Hunter Biden.

            It is suppression because the FBI planted the seed and let Twitter act on it. They knew the laptop and its contents were genuine and that there was no hack.

            1. We do NOT know “the laptop and its contents were genuine.” The only analysis I’ve seen of the public copy notes that the contents were modified after the laptop was given to the FBI: https://web.archive.org/web/20220413073629/https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/03/30/hunter-biden-laptop-data-examined/
              There are some genuine emails mixed in with lots of other content that has not been verified. Only someone not paying attention to details would confuse the small verified subset with the entirety of the laptop contents.

              And no, telling Twitter that there are rumors of a HB hack-and-leak operation is not “suppression.”

              Maybe you should read Roth’s declaration, where he notes things like “The materials in the New York Post articles also contained personal email addresses and telephone numbers, and so sharing them on Twitter violated the Private Information Policy.” Why are you arguing that they should have gone against their standard policy about that?

              1. Even the earlier laptop deniers now say that it and its contents are genuine. At the time, the NDI said it was not Russian disinformation and the FBI did not disagree. You must be the last person alive holding on to this view.

                1. I don’t know what “laptop deniers” you’re referring to, nor do you quote what they said. I already gave you evidence that the version provided by the store owner to Giuliani had been tampered with. And given that I referred you to a report by computer security experts, I clearly am not the only person saying what I’ve said. Why not deal truthfully with that report?

              2. To date nothing has been shown not to be original from the laptop and that is based on the FBI, pictures, emails, no denials by Hunter or Joe, etc. Why don’t you start telling the truth.

              3. We do NOT know “the laptop and its contents were genuine.”

                We know none have been deemed fake.
                We all know what Hunter was upto. We all know he generated more then 120 suspicious Activity Reports. More than any entity ever.

              4. Anonymous: “We do NOT know “the laptop and its contents were genuine.” The only analysis I’ve seen of the public copy notes that the contents were modified after the laptop was given to the FBI.”

                You really are a piece of work.

                It was entirely possible that felonious acts by Hunter Biden could be on that laptop, and we now know for a fact that was the case. The ACTING government officials never claimed that laptop was a Russian plant, and Joe never claimed the laptop wasn’t Hunter’s. The fact that at least some of the laptop’s evidence might be genuine makes censoring the story unjustifiable, and I would add that nothing on the laptop has been proven a forgery. Quite the contrary. Your media goons are finally admitting it really is his laptop and at least some (very likely all) of those files are genuine.

                I would also add that Twitter rarely hesitated to publish claims against Trump and other Republicans, even though there was even less evidence to support those claims, and many of those claims were later proven either false or unverifiable.

                Finally, Twitter didn’t ban the story because they believed it was false. This is a red herring on your part. They banned it claiming it was “hacked.” It was never hacked, and many Twitter execs at the time challenged the hacking rationalization. The apparatchiks even hid these decisions from Jack Dorsey because (and I’m speculating just a bit) they knew he was not a fan of censorship.

                You go on, “The materials in the New York Post articles also contained personal email addresses and telephone numbers, and so sharing them on Twitter violated the Private Information Policy.” Ok, but did all the censored tweets about the laptop contain personal information? No. But they were suppressed anyway. Your argument is a canard, as was Twitter’s.

                1. From your own link: “But both Green and Williams agreed on the authenticity of the emails that carried cryptographic signatures, though there was variation in which emails Green and Williams were able to verify using their forensic tools… which alone accounted for more than 16,000 of the verified emails.”

                  At least 16,000 of the files are genuine and nobody has proven that any of the unverified files were hacked. There was no justification for censoring the story. If authorities could have proven at the time even one file was a deliberate hack, that MIGHT justify what Twitter did, but authorities have done absolutely nothing. Twitter censored for political reasons and made up their excuses as they went along, and the government is burying the investigation.

                  1. More from your link: “On Dec. 9, 2019, FBI agents from the Wilmington field office served a subpoena on Mac Isaac for the laptop, the hard drive and all related paperwork.”

                    The FBI had the laptop for almost a year before the story went public. If ACTING officials couldn’t declare even one file was hacked, only an idiot or a scoundrel would conclude that hacking was a justifiable claim.

                    This makes the claim by retired officials that the laptop had “earmarks” of Russian disinformation laughable even at the time the claim was made. They were lying and they knew it.

                2. Acting government officials do not comment on ongoing investigations unless/until they bring charges. Your desire to interpret their silence as confirmation is misplaced.

                  1. On the other hand, if it is a Republican ATS believes they can be charged without evidence, ongoing investigation or not. That is what ATS is known for. Hypocrisy. One can’t trust anything he says.

                    1. Anonymous the Stupid or ATS is hurting. He wants to get rid of his well deserved title and today is trying to pin it on Meyer. Everyone knows Meyer created the name to label that repugnant anonymous leftist and another abbreviated it.

                      Stop lying ATS. We know you are a liar even when your post is deleted. Whenever you get frustrated you lash out and use an address you know will be deleted.

                    2. ATS is spreading misinformation, again. He claims at 9:43 PM that active officials don’t comment on investigations. They comment all the time. They comment in court. They hold press conferences. They leak! ATS is making stuff up, now.

                    3. ATS makes things up all the time. He never provides information. He is a continuous propaganda mill and will use the same facts to draw the opposite conclusions.

                      Truth is not in his vocabulary.

                  2. Nope, Anon. Comey explained why he didn’t charge Hillary and did so quickly. The FBI has had the laptop for three years. THREE YEARS. Very strange that they won’t comment on why they won’t bring charges.

                  3. “Acting government officials do not comment on ongoing investigations . . .”

                    Except via their mouthpeices at the NYT, WaPO, et al.

                    Apologists have a fantastic ability to evade.

  12. “There is a simple reason for this evasion and enmity. The media is too invested in the suppression of this story to now acknowledge that this was a scandal…”
    ~+~
    Yellow-bellied Journalism

  13. “We live in a time where intelligent people are being silenced so that stupid people won’t be offended.” Source unknown.
    “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle.” Carl Sagan The TDS has bamboozled liberals minds.

  14. Not quite sure if it is worth devoting time to what these two commentators (Ali and Hasan) have to say. The effort simply serves to elevate them rather than relegating them into insignificance. The pair can now brag that they caught the attention of the eminent scholar, Jonathan Turley. That is a lot a street creds!

    1. I think JT would have been better off leaving the Hill column speak for itself and leave the other narrative in this post for another day.

  15. Great summary of the current situation re #twittergate. The elephant is on full display but the media can only see the side shows because they are culpable in all that has transpired to get the elephant to the circus.

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