The Media Undertakers Must be Getting Exhausted
The media worked hard to bury the FTX scandal. There a young (but well-connected to leftist politicos and media) tech slob Sam Bankman-Fried “lost” eight billion dollars, shelled out at least $40 million to Democrats, is suspected of laundering a lot of taxpayer money through Ukraine, and cloaked his outrageously criminal conduct in the garb of promoting social justice once he realized he could no longer disguise his Ponzi scheme.
The gravediggers hardly had begun to return their shovels to the cemetery shed when there appeared a new story that needed burying. Elon Musk and Matt Taibbi just opened up another crack in the door revealing how outsiders along with the DNC manipulated Twitter in the runup to the election. Not that the shadow banning and actual banning on Twitter of conservative voices wasn’t obvious before, but Musk is inside the belly of the beast and proof of the outrageous behavior at Twitter which preceded his purchase is now being made public, with Musk promising there’s more to come. Twitter staff and executives used barriers designed to combat spam and fraud to manipulate speech that was neither. Even worse, outsiders, including the DNC with connections to these insiders, used these tools to control what people could post and viewers could read, even going so far as to censor items transmitted on the direct message (private person-to-person) feature of the site. In effect, well-connected private parties (almost exclusively Democrat) could and did remove posters. Among the stories Twitter actively blocked was that of the salacious Hunter Biden laptop contents. So shocking was the material on this laptop, so revealing of the perversity of Hunter and the corruption of Joe Biden, that one post-election survey reports that 16% of persons who voted for Biden said they would not have had they known of the contents of this laptop. One major newspaper, the NY Post, did publish a story about it, and several online posters did as well. The most detailed, should you care to see for yourself what was on the laptop, is here.
The laptop reveals not only sexual depravity and illegal drug use, but corruption and influence buying as well. Taibbi reports “Twitter took extraordinary steps to suppress the story, removing links and posting warnings that it may be ‘unsafe’.” The only person it was unsafe for was Joe Biden, the Democrat party’s presidential candidate.
Even then, White House spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany was locked out of her account for tweeting about it. Several insiders questioned what was going on and received the untrue defense that the material was removed because it violated the company’s “hacked materials” policy. The laptop was never hacked. It was abandoned by Hunter, then was unlocked while in the possession of the NY Post, and it and its contents are authentic. At any other time in history of which I am aware such a scandal would have been front-page news in the weeks preceding an election. In 2020 Twitter and the mainstream media decided that was not to be the case when the scandal clearly would impact the Democrat candidate. The key player in this was the formerly richly compensated, now fired, Twitter head of legal affairs, policy, and trust, Vijaya Gadde. Apparently, CEO Jack Dorsey was never even informed. No one at Twitter had the guts to reverse Gadde’s deceitful partisan power play. So, as one might expect in a bureaucracy, they just shut up and went along with it, despite even Ro Khanna, Democrat congressman, expressing concern that this autocratic, unwarranted censorship was creating backlash on the Hill. While Gadde was born in India, she was raised and educated here, is a lawyer and should, but evidently does not, have some idea about the scope of the First Amendment. Ro tried in vain to explain to her that even had the laptop been hacked the story should not have been blocked. “A journalist should not be held accountable for the illegal actions of the source unless they actively aided in the hack.” Other Democrat congressmen thought this was fine and dandy and said they want even more “moderation,” by which, of course, they mean censorship of facts and views not in their interest.
Of course, if Twitter had merely determined on its own not to allow certain views, there would be no justiciable claim of a constitutional violation. But here’s the problem -- it appears that the censorship was being done on orders from the government to suppress speech.
Now you’d think this was a big story and would garner attention on the front pages of the Washington Post and New York Times. You’d be wrong -- the Fourth Estate biggies apparently like suppression of dissent and are happy to keep their readers from knowing what Taibbi reported.
Charles Lipson posted those papers’ front pages -- nothing there on this.
“The biggest story Friday night is the release of Twitter documents showing how the company’s previous executives killed the Hunter Biden laptop story. Yet here are the webpages from the late Friday night for the NYT and WaPo. Radio silence. They killed the story about killing the story.”
He adds, “CBS News hopes to verify the Twitter release within 2 years.”
It was not only Twitter, certain congressional figures, and the DNC directing the control of information on Twitter. One FBI whistleblower has just testified that ”the FBI held weekly meetings with Big Tech companies in Silicon Valley ahead of the 2020 presidential election to discuss “disinformation” on social media -- muscling the tech firms to censor views and facts. It probably took little effort to get compliance, knowing how FBI Director Wray’s agency and Silicon Valley types share the same penchant for shutting up those not on the Left.
Blocking, banning, and shadow banning social media posters does not appear the end of it. As Julie Kelly reports in the context of the January 6 sound and light shows on the Hill and in the D.C. courtrooms, Attorney General Garland’s minions in D.C. are now criminalizing speech with which they disagree, charging the Oath Keepers with “seditious conspiracy” although there were no weapons on them, they were military veterans “most suffering various degrees of service-related disabilities,” and it’s certainly hard to see how unarmed individuals “without a single firearm or explosive device” could possibly meet the law’s test of conspiring “to oppose by force the authority of the Government of the United State, and by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States.”
In China, protestors against Xi’s absurd COVID lockdowns gather and hold up blank pieces of paper to protest the lack of free speech. What do we have to do? Confine ourselves on social media to cat and dog pictures and pretend we are having open dialogues on matters of interest to citizens?