As one might expect, the Judiciary hearing on the "weaponization" of federal agencies, featuring Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger as witnesses was full of fireworks, facts, and ad hominem friction.
Out of the gate, Ranking Member Democratic Del. Stacey E. Plaskett labeled the two "so-called journalists" as dangerous and a "threat" to former Twitter employees.
She claimed that Republicans brought "two of Elon Musk's ‘public scribes'" in "to release cherry-picked out-of-context emails and screenshots designed to promote his chosen narrative - Elon Musk’s chosen narrative - that is now being parroted by the Republicans" for political gain.
“I’m not exaggerating when I say you have called two witnesses who pose a direct threat to people who oppose them,” Plaskett said after the video.
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, had a simple response to her accusations:
“It’s crazy what you were just saying.”
“You don’t want people to see what happened,” Jordan continued.
“The full video, transparency. You don’t want that, and you don’t want two journalists who have been named personally by the Biden administration, the FTC in a letter. They say they’re here to help and tell their story, and frankly, I think they’re brave individuals for being willing to come after being named in a letter from the Biden FTC.”
Taibbi snapped back...
Taibbi fires back: "I'm not a so-called journalist. I've won the National Magazine Award, the I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, and I've written 10 books." pic.twitter.com/8KrBqg5S4i— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 9, 2023
As Glenn Greenwald chimed in from Twitter: "To Democrats, "journalist" means: one who mindlessly and loyally endorses DNC talking points. "
Unshaken, Matt Taibbi continued, when he was allowed to respond, laid out what he and Shellenberger had found in their research of The Twitter Files:
“The original promise of the Internet was that it might democratize the exchange of information globally. A free internet would overwhelm all attempts to control information flow, its very existence a threat to anti-democratic forms of government everywhere,” Taibbi said.
“What we found in the Files was a sweeping effort to reverse that promise, and use machine learning and other tools to turn the internet into an instrument of censorship and social control. Unfortunately, our own government appears to be playing a lead role.”
Taibbi pointedly added that “effectively, news media became an arm of a state-sponsored thought-policing system."
“It’s not possible to instantly arrive at truth. It is however becoming technologically possible to instantly define and enforce a political consensus online, which I believe is what we’re looking at.”
Democrats only response to Taibbi and Shellenberger's facts was to get personal...
Dems are really dredging up the bottom of the barrel to attack Taibbi and the #TwitterFiles. Remember when maligning journalists was a free press assault?— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 9, 2023
Remember DWS? She was forced to quit as DNC Chief because WikiLeaks proved she cheated for Hillaryhttps://t.co/VhgCw40ZdF
The full hearing can be viewed below: