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Producers' Pick | Matt Taibbi recaps his congressional testimony on the Twitter Files

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade
The Truth Network Radio
March 19, 2023 12:00 am

Producers' Pick | Matt Taibbi recaps his congressional testimony on the Twitter Files

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade

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March 19, 2023 12:00 am

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Hey Prime members, top Fox shows like The Brian Kilmeade Show, The Five, Fox News Rundown, hundreds of others are available ad-free with your Prime membership. To listen, download the Amazon Music app or visit slash Brian Kilmeade. With Amazon Music you can access the largest catalog of ad-free top podcasts.

Avoid the ads. Listen to your favorite shows ad-free with the Amazon Music app or by visiting slash Brian Kilmeade. That's slash Brian Kilmeade. Well last week I could not wait for Michael Shellenberger and Matt Taibbi to go in front of Congress so they can go over what they discovered in their reporting with the Twitter files that have been not widely reported but have been find out fascinating and aggravating. But I wanted to hear the insight and maybe Matt Taibbi did too. Joining us now is the journalist and author of Griftopia, The Divide, The Business Secrets of Drug Dealing and Hate Inc. He's got a great column that you can subscribe to on Substack. Matt, welcome back.

Thanks for having me Brian. So Matt, I read what you wrote about your meeting so I know you were kind of nervous and anxious to look forward to telling everything that needs to be told but we discovered on Twitter with the Twitter files and the access you got. Instead what happened? Well the Democrats, I expected them to attack us but really they were really comically inept attacks and cut off any attempt to engage in any kind of conversation about the material and really just tried to get us to admit that Russian interference happened. They tried to talk about my sourcing which was very strange and they called us a direct threat to people who oppose them which is, you know, it's the kind of thing they complained about when Donald Trump was president. You know, if he had said that to a journalist can you imagine what the reaction would have been? So-called journalist you mean? Right, a so-called journalist.

That's right, I forgot about that whole thing too as well. So Matt, like I said, I've been following it and it's not easy. Elon Musk said you can have access to the Twitter files and to go in there sexually and organize and see what you see here and report whatever it is and the same thing with Michael Schellenberg and Barry Weiss, you know, the threesome.

So yeah, you threesome, you were called. It's unbelievable how people didn't even put their research time in. Can you give my listeners an idea of some of the things broadly that you discovered? I think the key things that we found, one, that there's a formal system reporting system where all of the platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Google, Twitter, they were receiving moderation requests or censorship requests through a system where the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were funneling requests from every corner of the government federally and also from all 50 states. They had a system that was pretty much formally set up and in place by 2020. And then I think the other major thing is that we found that most of these private anti-disinformation laboratories that you might have heard about, like the Digital Forensic Research Lab, the Stanford Internet Observatory, a lot of these are either partnered with the government or funded by the government. So it appears to be a private effort, but actually it's a taxpayer funded effort. Suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop. You see all the revelations on that and how it was table topped in the summer before the actual release.

Proving the existence of shadow banning. The FBI acting of a subsidiary of Twitter, perhaps, when you talk about them putting $3.4 million. And you also told me that you feel as though they were underpaid at Twitter because of how much they've been asked by the FBI. It also became clear that Adam Schiff's office was seeking to ban journalists.

We know that. Senator Angus King, that was Revelation 2, doing the same thing, one of which was his opponents. Pfizer's board member flagging tweets over questions about the COVID shot. So you had everybody trying to manipulate these social media platforms in which would be more comprehensive is a lot of them would launch into the media cycle. For example, Washington Post would cite Twitter off a phony story of The Source and the New York Times. And next thing you know, CNN is reporting that the Washington Post and New York Times were reporting a story of Twitter that was basically manufactured.

Yes. And I think that's that's a key point to the whole thing is that the media, which should be a check on the system instead of investigating any of these groups, they partnered with them. So if all else failed, if the government failed to get somebody removed, if an NGO failed to get somebody removed, the next step would be they would go to a friendly reporter at the Times, The Post, The Financial Times, or any of a dozen publications, who in turn would call a company like Twitter and say, why haven't you removed these 15 accounts?

And can you tell us by the end of the day, if you're going to do that or not? The company learned that if they didn't do that, they could expect some bad headlines by the next day. So they became part of the system, essentially, which is a total breakdown of what the role of the press should be. So for me, personally, if I found out that Donald Trump or Mick McElvaney, Mick Mulvaney or Robert O'Brien or anybody was calling Twitter and saying, take this down, bring this up, bring this up.

Here's one million dollars to go research this. Make sure you talk about Trump's approval rating, really double that what it is, whatever it is. I actually would be just as outraged. And I would say that you would have gotten respect, I think, from both sides of the aisle.

I don't think maybe the majority would necessarily make it the first revelation, but we'd have to get to the bottom of what's happened with social media and who's manipulating what. But instead of them digesting this and having a counter, they want to get on your credibility. Here's some of the exchanges. Here's one of the exchanges between you and and one.

Oh, yeah. Congresswoman Garcia, listen to this. What was the first time that Mr. Musk approached you about writing the Twitter files? Again, Congresswoman, that would be I just need a date, sir. But I can't give it to you, unfortunately, because this is a question of sourcing. So you're not going to tell us when Musk first approached you? Again, Congresswoman, you're asking me to you're asking a journalist to reveal a source. Well, sir, I just don't understand.

You can't have it both ways. But let's move on because no, he can. He's a journalist. He can't because either Musk is the source and he can't talk about it or Musk is not the source. And if Musk is not the source, then he can discuss. No one has yielded the gentlelady's out of order. You don't get to speak out of order because he's not recognized.

He's not recognized. He's not said that. But he has said is he's not going to reveal his source.

And the fact that Democrats are pressuring him to do so is such an honor. You guys were almost laughing at this, right? Well, I mean, yes, it's laughable, but it's also not. Look, it may not be exactly a Sherlock Holmes mystery in this case about the sourcing. But the fact of the matter is I made a deal for attribution and I have to uphold. It's not my deal to break.

That's the whole point. I mean, as you know, Brian, in any journalist, when you make an arrangement, it's up to the source to decide whether or not you're allowed to disclose who gave you what. And for them to pressure me to break that deal on television shows that they don't understand the business very well. Also, the other thing is trying to figure it out, like, oh, if he didn't say this, that must mean the source is bad. That's the same thing as asking what the source is, right?

Like, you know, it's it's totally inappropriate and it shows that the Democrats has kind of lost the plot when it comes to understanding, you know, free press ethics. And then you also cited this exchange. You since wrote on Substack about your experience there.

And my my opinion is like you're let down. You were looking forward to exposing all the reporting you're doing, because you mentioned that any journalist, despite whatever you think about how this would come out, would love to know what went on in 2020 and after the 2021 after the pandemic started with this whole revelations about the about the shadow banning that took place, the neutralizing of other sources like Dr. Bhattacharya of Stanford. So here's a little of the exchange and talk about disrespect.

I think that was shown towards you cut 57. We live in an information age where malign actors do want to use social media to influence our elections, both big ones that you spend a long time talking about and small like mine. Mr. Congressman, there should be a bipartisan goal. No, you don't get to ask questions here. OK, it should be a bipartisan goal to ensure that Americans and only Americans determine the outcome of our elections, not fear mongering. I think I hope that you can actually take this with you, because I honestly hope that you will grapple with this, that it may be possible that if we can take off the tinfoil hat, that there's not a vast conspiracy.

What an insulting series of phrases and also telling you not to speak. What is your thought about tinfoil hat when you're reporting the facts? Well, first of all, that's a technique that people have been using now for the last six or seven years to avoid talking about a subject. If they don't want to grapple with material, they just say it's a conspiracy theory.

And that's actually, ironically, one of the problems with this disinformation, anti-disinformation complex is that they will label something as a conspiracy theory before it's been proven to be false, like, for instance, the lab leak theory. But in that particular case, it was very offensive, because he made the point that in one of his elections, there was that issue with Lev Parnas and financing, and there was a court case. And I was going to point out that he had proven that there was an appropriate forum for dealing with that in the courts.

And we don't need to create this extra judicial system. And he did say, I'm not going to discuss this. I'm not going to discuss this.

I'm going to discuss it. And he didn't want to talk to him and he wouldn't let me say that. And so that was very frustrating. And Goldman was probably the worst.

He was just attacking you in particular. But I also thought they just didn't do any of their research. If they wanted to counter narrative, they've got to put in the time. They've just got to find out what you wrote and then say, Yeah, absolutely.

They didn't do any homework at all. And I was shocked by Dan Goldman, who is a Stanford educated former assistant U.S. attorney. He was obviously the lead prosecutor in the Trump impeachment, who asked me if I whether or not I agreed with a pair of indictments. Now, any first year law student knows that indictments are not proof.

They are charges. They cannot be said to be proven unless they have been tested in a fair trial setting against the defense's case. But he said that they definitively established something. And then he asked me to agree with it. It was very much it was sort of like out of the HUAC hearings from the fifties. And I said, I can't agree with that. I haven't evaluated that evidence. I don't know. And it was a very it was so discordant to hear that coming from a lawyer and especially one of that stature, which was incredible.

It was. Now, you're not done yet, are you? No, I hope not. I think we have more investigating to do. And I'm trying to map out. We hired a whole group of people to map out all of these different NGOs where they're getting their money, what they do, what their methodologies are, because I think people need to understand that when they see the words and disinformation, what that really means is censorship. And they have to be aware of how much of it is going on.

So we're going to try to help people get a resource for that. What has been the reaction since your testimony from just your friends and family? I think it was an important moment because I've over the years lost a lot of friends on the left.

I've even had trouble within my own family. But I think the hearing exposed some things about the change in the Democratic Party and its intolerance for civil liberties, which is a new thing. It's one of the things that attracted a lot of us to the Democratic Party once upon a time. And seeing the way that played out, I think changed a lot of minds.

I got a lot of calls from people that helped repair some relationships, which was great and really encouraging. Yeah, I just think you just warrant so much respect, even if people disagree, and it just wasn't given to you. And I think these people owe you an apology, Matt. Thank you, Brad.

Yeah. Hey, Prime members, top Fox shows like the Brian Kilmeade Show, The Five, Fox News Rundown, hundreds of others are available ad-free with your Prime membership. To listen, download the Amazon Music app or visit slash Brian Kilmeade. With Amazon Music, you can access the largest catalog of ad-free top podcasts. Avoid the ads. Listen to your favorite shows ad-free with the Amazon Music app or by visiting slash Brian Kilmeade. That's slash Brian Kilmeade.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-19 00:07:06 / 2023-03-19 00:13:41 / 7

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