Monday, July 15, 2024

Democrats Smear Twitter Files Journalists, Pressure them to Reveal Sources

'Plaskett later denied that she pressured journalists to reveal their sources, but the Weaponization Subcommittee released the footage of her doing just that...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA“Elon Musk’s public scribes,” “so-called journalists,” and “a direct threat” were a few of the slurs Democrats lobbed at two journalists who testified Thursday at the House Weaponization Subcommittee hearing on the Twitter Files.

The journalists at the brunt of these attacks were Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger, both self-described liberals. Shellenberger said he voted Biden in the 2020 election, and Taibbi voted for Clinton in 2016 while declining to cast a ballot in 2020.

The two reporters have put aside their political affiliations to break numerous accurate stories about the Twitter Files—a trove of internal documents released by new company CEO Elon Musk, showing internal censorship decisions on the social media platform.

They both said during Thursday’s hearing that their investigations aren’t aimed at exposing an anti-conservative bias at Twitter or within government. Rather, they’re showing how government agencies are violating the First Amendment by pressuring social media platforms to censor protected speech.

Despite this, Democrats on the Weaponization Subcommittee—which was ostensibly formed to investigate the weaponization of federal government—viciously attacked Taibbi and Shellenberger.

“Chairman Jordan called before us two witnesses who pose a direct threat to anyone who opposes them,” said ranking committee member Stacey Plaskett, D-Virgin Islands, referring to the witnesses as “so-called journalists.”

Taibbi clapped back at this remark, citing his numerous accolades and accomplishments over his 30-year career.

“Ranking Member Plaskett I’m not a ‘so-called journalist.’ I’ve won the national magazine award, the IF Stone Award for Independent Journalism, and I’ve written 10 books,” he said.

But the attacks continued. Plaskett later asked Taibbi who gave him the Twitter Files—a question the journalist refused to answer on the grounds that it would reveal sources and methods.

Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, again attempted to coax Taibbi and Shellenberger to reveal sources, asking them, “When did Musk first approach you about writing Twitter Files?”

“I can’t give you a date because this is a question of sourcing,” Taibbi responded.

Shellenberger also declined to provide sources, though he said he was first offered a chance to report on the Twitter Files by his friend and fellow journalist Bari Weiss.

Plaskett later denied that she pressured journalists to reveal their sources, but the Weaponization Subcommittee released the footage of her doing just that.

The Democrats’ attacks on journalists comes on the heels of them releasing a report that smeared FBI whistleblowers who have brought information to the Weaponization Subcommittee.

Thursday’s hearing was the third Weaponization Subcommittee meeting.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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