Sunday, December 18, 2022



Matt Taibbi posted a sixth installment of the Twitter Files in a 31-part Twitter thread yesterday afternoon. The thread is accessible here. This review is occasioned by the posting of Taibbi’s part 6.

• I posted previous installments of my notes here (December 6, on Taibbi’s part 1), here (December 11, on part 2 by Bari Weiss, part 3 by Taibbi, and part 4 by Michael Shellenberger), and here (December 14, on part 5 by Weiss).

• See also my post on the Star Tribune’s representative silence on the Twitter Files here (December 10) and Miranda Devine’s New York Post column on the = here.

• Earlier this week Weiss reported on the modus operandi of the journalists’ document review. I quoted it in relevant part here (December 15).

• By enlisting prominent independent journalists and opening up Twitter’s internal communications for their review, Elon Musk has manifested his hostility to old Twitter’s censorship regime and his (perceptive) understanding of the mainstream media.

• Musk supports new Twitter as a free-speech platform. He has accordingly made himself public enemy number 1 in the eyes of the mainstream media, the Biden administration, and the deep state operatives at whose behest old Twitter was run.

• The Twitter Files threads have focused on the 2020 election, the removal of President Trump from Twitter, and the nature of the platform’s censorship regime, and old Twitter’s censorship regime working hand-in-hand with government authorities including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The key episode in the larger story is old Twitter’s suppression of the New York Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop and the Biden family corruption in the weeks before the 2020 presidential election. It remains in the background of part 6.

• Jon Justice invited me on his Twin Cities News Talk/AM 1130 show yesterday morning to talk about my “Notes on the Twitter Files.” Jon asked good questions and let me have my say. I think the Twitter Files story is the most important story out there. It gives us some idea who is really running the show. It affords a look back at the 2020 presidential election as well as a look into the heart of darkness, Biden style. It therefore remains relevant to the way we live now.

• Taibbi’s part 6 focuses on the collaboration of old Twitter with the FBI and other government authorities among the intelligence agencies. Caroline Downey provides this (useful) straight news story at NRO.

• Taibbi himself offers this summary near the top of his thread. Twitter acted as an arm of the FBI to suppress what was denominated “election misinformation” (“even involving joke tweets from low-follower accounts”). In another tweet below Taibbi characterizes the relationship between the FBI and Twitter as “master-canine.”

• The FBI beefed up its suppression task force to some 80 agents.

• This was the FBI at work.

• Taibbi’s thread suggests that the FBI’s work was incredibly intrusive and overbroad but does not give much of a sense of what the FBI deemed “tampering” or “misinformation.”

• The sense that something is wrong descends like the fog.

• The FBI monitoring included jokes, parody, satire. You can’t be too careful.

• Twitter and the government authorities were one big happy family.

• Is it time to insert the quote from 1984? It goes like this: “There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always–do not forget this, Winston–always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face–for ever.”

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