On Thursday, the House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government held a hearing on the bombshell Twitter Files and the implication of the government colluding with Big Tech to censor free speech. The lively hearing featured two of the Twitter Files authors, Michael Shellenberger and Matt Taibbi. And throughout, Democrats tried to demean their work and lambaste the free press as their reporting has reflected poorly on their friends in the federal bureaucracy.
Of course, the major broadcast networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC were not interested and ignored the story on their flagship Thursday evening and Friday morning newscasts. Instead, they spend 44 minutes and seven seconds previewing Sunday’s Oscars, otherwise known as Hollywood’s biggest night of self-gratification.
The Fox News Channel’s flagship evening newscast, however, took a different tract as Special Report opened with a three-minute-and-two-second report. Host Bret Baier announced:
[B]reaking tonight, a pair of journalists who were permitted to see, through sources, internal communications at Twitter testified today before a House Committee on the so-called Weaponization of the Federal Government. Republicans who control that committee are trying to show a link between censorship of conservatives, the Biden administration, and the FBI. Democrats today tried to push back in a fiery hearing.
Justice correspondent David Spunt explained the proceeding “delivered on a promise from House Republicans to expose what was going on at Twitter behind the scenes leading up to and after the 2020 election and as we expected today, things got tense.”
After airing one of the back-and-forths between Republicans and Democrats, Spunt’s surprisingly tertiary included a brief summation of the Twitter Files as having “showed coordination between Twitter and the FBI” and “the social media giant’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story”.
Here was more of his story, including soundbites from Shelleberger and Taibbi (click “expand”):
SHELLENBERGER: Then you have the former general counsel to the FBI, Jim Baker, the former Deputy Chief of Staff to the FBI, both arriving at Twitter in the summer of 2020, which I find — what an interesting coincidence.
SPUNT: Democrats hammered both witnesses.
CONGRESSWOMAN DEBBIE WASSERMANN SCHULTZ (D-FL): Elon Musk spoonfed you his cherry picked information, which you must have suspected promotes a slanted viewpoint, or at the very least generates another right-wing conspiracy theory.
SPUNT: Both authors insisted the release was not about politics, but instead free speech.
JORDAN: Do you got — do you got any, you know, pro-Trump bumper stickers on your car?
SHELLENBERGER: I voted for Biden.
TAIBBI: We’re focused not on the Biden administration or the Trump administration. In fact, just this morning, we released an exchange where Twitter talked about vetting the accounts of both Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump.
SPUNT: Today, Taibbi, released screen grabs of messages indicating Twitter employees were actively monitoring and evaluating tweets from both Trump and Biden.
But, again, ABC, CBS, and NBC couldn’t even be bothered to muster something like this.
FNC’s Jesse Watters PrimeTime followed Baier and opened with a brutal, 10-minute-plus breakdown. Watters said the work of the Twitter Files team was “exactly the type of corruption journalists are supposed to air out” and “should be celebrated,” but aren’t since “Democrats aren’t happy” since they “only like a free press if the press works for them.”
Commenting on Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s (D-FL) comical attack on Taibbi that his work was suspect since he likely financially benefitted from the endeavor, Watters noted her wealth due to stock trading (which just so happened to beat the market by 50.8 percent in 2022).
Watters also explained what makes a reporter successful in sourcing was what Wasserman Schultz and her colleagues tried to target, adding later that they’re “out for blood” and “want to punish these journalists for blowing up the silent censorship arm of the Democratic Party” (click “expand”):
And what makes reporters successful is having great sources. If your sources pan out, readers trust you report it, and good reporters spend years gaining sources on the inside. Now, they gain their trust and then report the information fairly and accurately. But the number one rule of any reporter is to keep your sources confidential, that protects your source and it protects your reporting. And if you burn a source, your scoops are toast. And future sources will never trust you. And Democrats know this because Democrats in Congress are the sources for hundreds of reporters in the media. All they do is leak scoops to the reporters, so the reporters spin them that way for the Democrats’ rise to power. But now Democrats used a congressional hearing to try to force journalists to betray their sources.
The Democrats are out for blood. They want to punish these journalists for blowing up the silent censorship arm of the Democratic Party. These reporters need to be broken, just to send a message to the rest of the press, don’t cross the line.
He later noted that, since Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, the left hasn’t been so keen on the platform, thus proving the reality that “[i]f Democrats can’t own Twitter, no one can play with it.”
Watters reemphasized that leftists were “caught conspiring with the FBI and Big Tech to censor free speech and freedom of the press and they’re not even denying it,” but instead “accusing the reporters who broke the story of being in it for the money and hounding” and “strangl[ing] them”.
Ironically, he said, these are “the same people who spent years telling us not to bully the media, remember, and how important the free press was to democracy” while their friends in the press “got book deals and Pulitzer Prizes” for “fake collusion” claims.