What to make of the Twitter hearings held yesterday

The Twitter Files series revealed details about collusion between the social media giant and government agencies to distort the narrative to favor the Democrats leading up to the 2020 elections.

Elon Musk, along with independent journalists such as Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss, Lee Fang, etc., had done their job.

Now it was the House GOP's responsibility to place former Twitter executives and their actions under the spotlight at yesterday's House Oversight Committee hearing.

The following are the highlights of the hearings.

We first focus on the GOP.

The committee chairman, Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, began the hearing by detailing the cover-up of Hunter Biden's laptop by Twitter, the Intelligence Community, and the media.

Comer also challenged former Twitter head of trust and safety Yoel Roth for a specific tweet where Roth referred to the Trump administration as "Nazis." 

Roth claimed to regret his language and denied that he thinks conservatives are Nazis.

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio called out the Twitter executives for having weekly meetings with the FBI and for colluding with the agency to suppress the New York Post article about Hunter Biden.

Jordan and Comer questioned former Twitter deputy counsel James Baker as to whether he spoke with anyone at the FBI about the Hunter Biden laptop.

Baker claimed to not recall speaking with anyone at the FBI.

Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina challenged Vijaya Gadde, the former chief legal officer at Twitter, for censorship of alternative medical perspectives from highly qualified doctors on COVID-19 treatment and vaccines. 

Gadde claimed that Twitter censored only information that contradicted CDC guidelines.

Mace cited her own adverse reaction to the vaccine to highlight how important it was to allow all information to be available.

Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado questioned Roth and Gadde as to whether her personal Twitter account was "shadow-banned" in 2021.

When they denied suppressing the congresswoman's account, Boebert countered the claim, saying that Twitter staff informed her she had been shadow-banned for a tweet for 90 days which prevented her from communicating with her constituents.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia took a similar route. She chided the former executives for banning her personal account without basis and pointed out their dual standards.

Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana informed former Twitter executives to prepare to be arrested for criminal interference in the 2020 elections for colluding with the FBI to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story the month before the 2020 election.

The hearings also moved into darker territories — literally.

Rep. Gary Palmer of Alabama questioned Twitter executives about the dual standards of allowing supporters of terror such as Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei on their platform while banning President Trump.

The moment the congressman uttered the words "Ayatollah Khamenei," the room mysteriously went dark.

How did the Democrats do?

The White House dismissed the committee hearing as a "bizarre political stunt." 

The panel's top Democrat, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, blasted the hearing as a "trivial pursuit" about a news article (the New York Post's piece on Hunter's laptop) that had "no discernible effect on anything." 

He even pushed the "Russian propaganda and disinformation" claim, as did other Democrats.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed that the Hunter Biden laptop story is "half fake."

During the hearing, one of the Twitter executives claimed that Trump's White House demanded that Twitter remove a foul language attack on President Trump's post from uncouth Hollywood celebrity Chrissy Teigen.

Many Democrats on Twitter celebrated this revelation as if this was an own-goal for the GOP. 

Democrat mouthpiece NBC News claimed, "Teigen's Trump diss takes center stage at House hearing meant to discuss Hunter Biden" many other Democrat outlets followed this.

The goal was to paint a false equivalence — i.e., if Democrats requested deletion and suppression of tweets, so did Trump.

So let's look at the facts.

Teigen's tweet was not deleted or suppressed.  In fact, it still remains.

Even if Teigen's expletive-ridden tweet was deleted, it would have had no impact on the election.

Hunter Biden's laptop revealed a history of abuse of power, corruption, and immorality in the Biden family.  This is crucial information that voters use while making their voting decisions.  Suppressing this information was an act of interference in the 2020 elections.

A NewsBusters poll revealed that 16% of Biden voters would have voted differently had they known about Hunter's laptop.  Another survey showed that 79 percent of Americans think Trump would have won re-election if voters had known facts about Hunter's laptop.

So what does one makes of the hearings?

The witnesses were well coached, Gadde and Roth repeatedly stating that in hindsight, the suppression of the New York Post's legitimate reporting was a "mistake," as former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also indicated in 2021.

They also claimed to regret their previous utterances or actions.

But all of it was pointless, because the damage has already been done.

They used the standard method of falsifying at hearings by claiming to have "no recollection" of various potentially incriminating encounters.

Overall, the Democrats and their PR Wing — i.e., the news media — were in denial.

How did the GOP do?

Some GOP House members did better than others.

Some did manage to expose Twitter for their bias and collusion with government agencies.

Some focused on their own Twitter accounts being suppressed and suspended, which is important, since they are elected political leaders, and others are focused on suppression of their tweets about their adverse reaction to the COVID vaccine. 

Fine and dandy, but they should have focused on the overall trend of suppressing and banning conservative voices and cited their accounts as examples.

Perhaps they could have invited regular Twitter users, members of the New York Post team, and others impacted by Twitter's manipulations.  These individuals should have been referred to during the hearings or even invited to narrate their experiences.

A lot of it was theatrics.

The hope that members on either side of the aisle have is that the clips go viral on social media, which gives them prominence as House members, to ensure their re-elections.

But citizens must be cautious not to confuse tough words and loud voices for tough actions.

Twitter is already an improved platform.

Yesterday, after Biden's catastrophic State of the Union presentation, Twitter was replete with trends calling out Biden's lies and mocking his presentation.  This never, ever happened before to any Democrats, because the Twitter executives were controlling the narrative.

The goal of the hearings was not to fix Twitter, but to address the meddling in the 2020 election.

Unless these Twitter executives suffer punitive actions for meddling with the discourse leading to the 2020 elections and information related to the treatment of COVID-19 and the vaccine, these hearings are futile.

"Destroying" or "owning" Twitter executives during a hearing should be the first step toward achieving the object, not the objective.

Image: Twitter screen shot.

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