Elon Musk slams liberal media for 'deceiving the American public'
Elon Musk slams liberal media for ‘deceiving the American public’ and ‘not being truthful’ by ignoring the Hunter Biden laptop story as they set about smearing Matt Taibbi for his Twitter Files expose of censorship
- Elon Musk has slammed journalists who are criticizing Matt Taibbi for releasing documents about Twitter’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story
- He said reporters who are smearing Taibbi should ‘look in the mirror’ and confront their own deceitfulness to ‘the American people’
- Taibbi, 52, has faced backlash from woke journalists — mainly from MSNBC — trashing his ethics and standards since his expose on Friday
- Many claim he was doing public relations for the world’s richest man and did not understand the limitations of the First Amendment
- But Musk said he had not read much of the documents before handing them to Taibbi and journalist Bari Weiss
- He said during a Twitter Spaces call that he asked them to make public anything they thought was important for the American people to know
Elon Musk has slammed journalists who are criticizing Matt Taibbi for releasing documents about Twitter’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story.
In a Twitter Spaces call on Saturday, the 51-year-old billionaire said reporters who are smearing Taibbi for revealing how the social media giant took down tweets about Biden’s laptop should ‘look in the mirror’ and confront their own deceitfulness to ‘the American people,’ saying they were ‘not being truthful’ about the story.
Taibbi, 52, has faced backlash from journalists — primarily from MSNBC — trashing his ethics and standards since his exposé revealing how Twitter executives were urged by Biden staff to delete tweets relating to the damaging contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Many of the tweets disparaging the American author repeated the same themes, claiming he was just doing public relations for the world’s richest man and did not understand limitations to the First Amendment, Mediaite reports.
But in his Twitter Spaces call on Saturday, Musk said he has ‘read hardly any of the Twitter files’ as he is focused on ‘just getting Twitter healthy.’
Instead, Musk said, he left it up to Taibbi and journalist Bari Weiss to reveal what they thought the American public should know, according to Mediaite reports, indicating he told the journalists to expose whatever they thought was of public interest.
Elon Musk has slammed journalists criticizing Matt Taibbi’s ethics, saying they should ‘look in the mirror’ after failing to report on the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop
Musk handed off the documents to Taibbi and fellow journalist Bari Weiss, telling them to make public anything they thought was important
Then on Friday, Taibbi detailed how Twitter staff discussed censoring a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop, even alluding to requests from Biden’s team to do so.
‘Twitter took extraordinary steps to suppress the story, removing links and posting warnings that it may be ‘unsafe,’ Taibbi wrote. ‘They even blocked its transmission via direct message, a tool hitherto reserved for extreme cases, e.g. child pornography.’
Notably, in one exchange a Twitter executive emailed another a list of tweets with the instruction, ‘More to review from the Biden team.’
The other executive responded: ‘handled these’.
But many woke journalists slammed Taibbi, a former Rolling Stone politics correspondent, for releasing the documents, saying he did not understand journalistic ethics — while others said he was simply doing public relations for the world’s richest man.
‘Imagine volunteering to do online PR work for the world’s richest man on a Friday night, in service of nakedly and cynically right-wing narratives, and then pretending you’re speaking truth to power,’ MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan wrote.
‘Watching some of the most famous, most powerful and richest men red-pill themselves into disaster. Pretty wild!’ his colleague Chris Hayes added.
When asked about this backlash by podcaster Clayton Morris during the Twitter Spaces call on Saturday, Musk said he thought journalists disparaging Taibbi should do some self-refection.
‘Are you surprised at all about the blowback against Matt Taibbi over the past 24 hours?’ Morris asked.
‘A number of liberal news organizations, a lot of liberal news reporters came out and really slammed Matt Taibbi, which was really shocking,’ he noted. ‘What was your response to that?’
‘Well, I think those people should be looking in the mirror and wondering why they were deceptive. Why did they deceive the American public?’ Musk replied.
‘And instead of trying to redirect blame to Matt Taibbi, accepting some responsibility themselves to not being truthful to the American public.’
MSNBC hosts Mehdi Hasan and Chris Hayes were among the reporters accusing Taibbi, a former Rolling Stones political correspondent, for releasing the documents
Musk’s response came the same day he attacked the New York Times for not covering the story, saying it is an ‘unregistered lobbying firm for far-left politicians.’
Other left-leaning outlets including CBS News, ABC and The Washington Post are also yet to cover the ‘Twitter Files’, despite their contents causing a sensation among American conservatives and free-speech advocates.
Publications that have covered the story include POLITICO, NBC and CNN, though the latter dampened the news by suggesting the leaked emails ‘corroborated what was already known about the incident’.
The Daily Beast echoed that sentiment but discussed the Twitter Files in a story headlined: ”Deeply Underwhelmed’: Right-Wingers on Musk’s Overhyped ‘Twitter Files.”
Musk also took aim at The New York Times on Saturday for failing to cover the emails
He said he believed The New York Times was a ‘lobbying firm for far-left politicians’
But the files actually proved that Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign instructed Twitter to delete pictures showing Hunter Biden naked and smoking crack.
It showed that in one email, sent ten days after The New York Post first broke the laptop story on October 14 of that year, Twitter staffers were asked to ‘review’ five tweets deemed problematic by ‘the Biden team.’
‘More to review from the Biden team,’ that staffer’s redacted correspondence read – garnering a reply hours later from another Twitter employee – one that assured the worker the task had been ‘handled.’
That same day, another email reveals that there was an additional complaint from the DNC and two more tweets were deleted.
It is not clear from the leaked emails what the deleted tweets were about, however Washington Free Beacon investigative reporter Andrew Kerr said he had discovered the contents of several of the tweets.
He said three of the tweets the Biden camp demanded be deleted contained ‘Hunter Biden porn’ and photos of Biden’s genitalia, from the laptop.
He claims one of the tweets requested to be deleted by the DNC was from actor James Woods and was about Hunter smoking crack and a committing a sex act.
And he says the second tweet was a link to Hunter Biden weighing and using drugs, and another link to a Hunter Biden sex tape.
Images of Hunter Biden naked, smoking crack appear to be in the tweets that staffers from Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign instructed Twitter to delete, it has been revealed
One of the tweets requested to be deleted by the DNC was about Hunter smoking crack and a committing a sex act. A second tweet was a link to Hunter Biden weighing and using drugs, and another link to a Hunter Biden sex tape
‘More to review from the Biden team,’ one staffer wrote on October 24, days ahead of the presidential election, listing five tweets. ‘Handled,’ another replied hours later. Three of the tweets the Biden camp demanded be deleted contained ‘Hunter Biden porn’ and photos of Biden’s genitalia, from the abandoned laptop, it has been claimed
The president is now facing mounting political pressure to address why his campaign ordered Twitter staffers to pull tweets they seemingly deemed problematic – when they had only appeared to discuss the contents of the laptop.
‘I’ve pulled web archives of 3 of these tweets,’ Kerr, who has held bylines for both The Washington Examiner and The Daily Caller, wrote in the first of two replies to the slew of posts on Musk’s profile, which were reshared by the mogul after being posted in succession by independent journalist Matt Taibbi.
‘All three are homemade Hunter Biden porn and Hunter Biden dick pics pulled from his laptop,’ Kerr said of the three of the five posts confirmed to be sent from the Biden campaign on October 24, 2020.
‘These tweets don’t contain any info on Hunter’s business dealings. Just porn,’ Kerr continued. ‘Can’t immediately find archives of the other 2 tweets.’
He went on to add of the second string of unconfirmed posts -one of which was shared by since suspended user @stephen_liuhuan, and the other Woods – ‘The Stephen_liuhuan tweet was a link to Hunter Biden weighing and using drugs, and another link to a Hunter Biden sex tape.’
‘The James Wood tweet,’ he revealed, ‘is Hunter Biden smoking crack and getting a foot job.’
Former President Donald Trump has now suggested that these documents give new credence to his claims that the Democratic Party conspired against him during the 2020 election to ensure his rival Biden took the oval office.
‘So, with the revelation of massive and widespread fraud and deception in working closely with Big Tech Companies, the DNC, and the Democrat Party, do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 out and declare the rightful winner, or do you have a new election?’ Trump asked his 4.68million followers on TruthSocial.
‘A massive fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.’
Trump, who recently announced a renewed bid for the White House, then proclaimed: ‘Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, false and fraudulent elections!’
Amid the outflow of damning posts, Musk shared a similar sentiment, adding that the several executives actions – some of whom were identified and some left anonymous – should constitute a violation of the Constitution’s First Amendment, if the Biden campaign played a part in Twitter’s scrubbing of the posts.
The South African mogul at one point declared: ‘If this isn’t a violation of the Constitution’s First Amendment, what is?’
The full set of tweets shared by journalist Matt Taibbi exposing Twitter’s censorship of explosive Hunter Biden laptop story
What you’re about to read is the first installment in a series, based upon thousands of internal documents obtained by sources at Twitter.
The ‘Twitter Files’ tell an incredible story from inside one of the world’s largest and most influential social media platforms. It is a Frankensteinian tale of a human-built mechanism grown out the control of its designer.
Twitter in its conception was a brilliant tool for enabling instant mass communication, making a true real-time global conversation possible for the first time.
In an early conception, Twitter more than lived up to its mission statement, giving people ‘the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.’
As time progressed, however, the company was slowly forced to add those barriers. Some of the first tools for controlling speech were designed to combat the likes of spam and financial fraudsters.
The Twitter Files were shared by journalist Matt Taibbi, pictured, at the direction of the firm’s new owner Elon Musk
Slowly, over time, Twitter staff and executives began to find more and more uses for these tools. Outsiders began petitioning the company to manipulate speech as well: first a little, then more often, then constantly.
By 2020, requests from connected actors to delete tweets were routine. One executive would write to another: ‘More to review from the Biden team.’ The reply would come back: ‘Handled.’
Celebrities and unknowns alike could be removed or reviewed at the behest of a political party: 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.
However: 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.
The resulting slant in content moderation decisions is visible in the documents you’re about to read. However, it’s also the assessment of multiple current and former high-level executives.
Okay, there was more throat-clearing about the process, but screw it, let’s jump forward.
The Twitter Files, Part One: How and Why Twitter Blocked the Hunter Biden Laptop Story.
On October 14, 2020, the New York Post published BIDEN SECRET EMAILS, an expose based on the contents of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop:
Twitter took extraordinary steps to suppress the story, removing links and posting warnings that it may be ‘unsafe.’ They even blocked its transmission via direct message, a tool hitherto reserved for extreme cases, e.g. child pornography.
White House spokeswoman Kaleigh McEnany was locked out of her account for tweeting about the story, prompting a furious letter from Trump campaign staffer Mike Hahn, who seethed: ‘At least pretend to care for the next 20 days.’
This led public policy executive Caroline Strom to send out a polite WTF query. Several employees noted that there was tension between the comms/policy teams, who had little/less control over moderation, and the safety/trust teams:
Strom’s note returned the answer that the laptop story had been removed for violation of the company’s ‘hacked materials’ policy:
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…
The decision was made at the highest levels of the company, but without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey, with former head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde playing a key role.
‘They just freelanced it,’ is how one former employee characterized the decision. ‘Hacking was the excuse, but within a few hours, pretty much everyone realized that wasn’t going to hold. But no one had the guts to reverse it.’
You can see the confusion in the following lengthy exchange, which ends up including Gadde and former Trust and safety chief Yoel Roth. Comms official Trenton Kennedy writes, ‘I’m struggling to understand the policy basis for marking this as unsafe’
By this point ‘everyone knew this was f*cked,’ said one former employee, but the response was essentially to err on the side of… continuing to err.
Former VP of Global Comms Brandon Borrman asks, ‘Can we truthfully claim that this is part of the policy?’
To which former Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker again seems to advise staying the non-course, because ‘caution is warranted’:
In one humorous exchange on day 1, Democratic congressman Ro Khanna reaches out to Gadde to gently suggest she hop on the phone to talk about the ‘backlash re speech.’ Khanna was the only Democratic official I could find in the files who expressed concern.
Gadde replies quickly, immediately diving into the weeds of Twitter policy, unaware Khanna is more worried about the Bill of Rights:
Khanna tries to reroute the conversation to the First Amendment, mention of which is generally hard to find in the files:
Within a day, head of Public Policy Lauren Culbertson receives a ghastly letter/report from Carl Szabo of the research firm NetChoice, which had already polled 12 members of congress – 9 Rs and 3 Democrats, from ‘the House Judiciary Committee to Rep. Judy Chu’s office.’
NetChoice lets Twitter know a ‘blood bath’ awaits in upcoming Hill hearings, with members saying it’s a ‘tipping point,’ complaining tech has ‘grown so big that they can’t even regulate themselves, so government may need to intervene.’
Szabo reports to Twitter that some Hill figures are characterizing the laptop story as ‘tech’s Access Hollywood moment’
Twitter files continued: ‘THE FIRST AMENDMENT ISN’T ABSOLUTE’ Szabo’s letter contains chilling passages relaying Democratic lawmakers’ attitudes. They want ‘more’ moderation, and as for the Bill of Rights, it’s ‘not absolute’
An amazing subplot of the Twitter/Hunter Biden laptop affair was how much was done without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey, and how long it took for the situation to get ‘unf*cked’ (as one ex-employee put it) even after Dorsey jumped in.
There are multiple instances in the files of Dorsey intervening to question suspensions and other moderation actions, for accounts across the political spectrum.
The problem with the ‘hacked materials’ ruling, several sources said, was that this normally required an official/law enforcement finding of a hack. But such a finding never appears throughout what one executive describes as a ‘whirlwind’ 24-hour, company-wide mess.
It’s been a whirlwind 96 hours for me, too. There is much more to come, including answers to questions about issues like shadow-banning, boosting, follower counts, the fate of various individual accounts, and more. These issues are not limited to the political right.
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