New Twitter owner Elon Musk gave reporter Matt Taibbi of Substack access to internal Twitter documents about the media platform’s decision to spike the Hunter Biden laptop story and about how “the Biden team” had a direct pipeline to Twitter executives.
“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 than the right.
“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 reserved for extreme cases, e.g., child pornography. ... White House spokeswoman Kaleigh (sic) McEnany was locked out of her account for tweeting about the story.”
“Although several sources recalled hearing about a ‘general’ warning from federal law enforcement that summer about possible foreign hacks, there’s no evidence ... of any government involvement in the laptop story. ...
“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.”
And what a difference the laptop story suppression made. A survey by The Polling Company found that 17% of Biden voters in seven swing states would not have voted for President Joe Biden had they known about the story. This is nothing short of the biggest election interference in U.S. history.
Where’s the apology from the 50-plus former “senior intelligence officials” who signed the letter claiming the laptop story “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation”?
Will Jessica Guynn of USA Today and Paul Barrett of New York University apologize?
Guynn in February 2022 wrote, “Despite repeated charges of anti-conservative bias from former President Donald Trump and other GOP critics, Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube are not slanted against right-leaning users.”
She referred to a study conducted by Barrett, deputy director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, who said: “Republicans, or more broadly conservatives, have been spreading a form of disinformation on how they’re treated on social media. They complain they’re censored and suppressed but, not only is there not evidence to support that, what evidence exists actually cuts in the other direction.”
Atlantic staff writer Anne Applebaum, during an April 2020 question-and-answer panel on disinformation and the media at University of Chicago, said: “My problem with Hunter Biden’s laptop is, I think, totally irrelevant. I mean, it’s not whether it’s disinformation. I mean, I didn’t think Hunter Biden’s business relationships have anything to do with who should be president of the United States. So, I don’t find it to be interesting. I mean, that would be my problem with that as a major news story.”
If you think half the country, including Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg, are losing sleep, you’re kidding yourself. After all, Trump’s out. Recall what the retired Harry Reid said about lying about Romney’s alleged nonpayment of taxes. Asked by CNN’s Dana Bash if he had regrets about the lie Reid said, “Well, Romney didn’t win, did he?”
Musk spent $44 billion to do what The Washington Post, The New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union used to do before they became public relations bureaus for the Left: defend free speech. Had Musk not bought Twitter, the truth of Twitter suppression would have been forever suppressed by the people who suppressed it.
Just think. Had the computer store owner not made a copy of the laptop and had Musk not bought Twitter, nothing to see here.
Larry Elder is a bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an “Elderado,” visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.