Today the House’s Weaponization Committee held a hearing in which Democrats attacked Twitter and the “so-called journalists” who revealed the Twitter Files:
“Twitter Files” reporters Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger held firm Thursday against an onslaught of attacks from Democrats who referred to them as “so-called journalists” and demanded they give up their sources during a tense House subcommittee hearing.
“The Republicans have brought in two of [Twitter CEO] Elon Musk’s public scribes to release cherry-picked, out-of-context emails and screenshots designed to promote his chosen narrative — Elon Musk’s chosen narrative — that is now being parroted by the Republicans,” said Delegate Stacey Plaskett (D-USVI), the ranking member of the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
Taibbi refused to answer questions about who approached him about the Twitter files, and when, saying that as a journalist he could not divulge his sources. I am not sure I understand this, since there is no federal shield law. Does a state law apply? I don’t know.
In any event, the Democrats’ childish display made clear how desperate they are to discredit the facts relating to the FBI’s collaboration with social media platforms to suppress free speech. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was especially absurd:
“Being a Republican witness today certainly casts a cloud over your objectivity,” she said, before attacking the “Twitter Files” as a story “spoon-fed” by Musk to further the billionaire’s priorities.
Got it. So from now on, we will disbelieve all witnesses called before Congressional committees by Democrats.
The linked Post article says:
Plaskett also downplayed revelations earlier this week that the Federal Trade Commission had demanded Musk turn over the names of all reporters who were granted access to Twitter’s internal records.
“On Tuesday, the majority released an 18-page report claiming to show that the FTC is, quote, ‘harassing’ Twitter,” the delegate said before sarcastically adding: “Oh my, poor Twitter.”
So what is the FTC’s beef with Twitter? Today’s Wall Street Journal takes up that question:
The FTC’s hundreds of written demands to the company in recent months, reported by The Wall Street Journal earlier this week, show it is investigating Mr. Musk’s personal role in high-profile decisions including massive layoffs…
Twitter was losing money hand over fist, and layoffs were obviously necessary. And every major tech company has engaged in major layoffs in recent months. So what?
…rapid changes to Twitter’s features…
Again, so what?
…and the sharing of internal company records with journalists.
Here we get to the crux of the matter. But why is it any of the FTC’s business? The Journal explains:
Most private companies can make those kinds of decisions without having to explain them to the federal government, as long as they stay within the law. Twitter is different.
After a series of incidents in which the company broke its promises to protect users’ privacy and security, Twitter effectively agreed to put itself in the penalty box. It has been under an FTC order since 2011, and last year agreed to new, more-intrusive sanctions as part of a $150 million settlement of new alleged violations.
But nothing we are talking about here has anything to do with user privacy or security, unless the “user” is the FBI.
Cobun Zweifel-Keegan, managing director at the International Association of Privacy Professionals, said the rapid-fire changes being made at Twitter could expose the company to legal risks, if regulators determine that the changes weren’t deliberated carefully as required under the FTC order.
“Any time a decision is being made very quickly, that could easily raise questions in the mind of a regulator about whether a compliance, design and review process is being followed,” Mr. Zweifel-Keegan said.
Oh, please. Elon Musk didn’t wait long enough before trying to stanch the flow of red ink? And he should have pondered changes to Twitter’s features longer? Or he should have delayed releasing the Twitter files to outside journalists? Delayed until never, is what I think the FTC is getting at.
It seems obvious that the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats hate free speech and are doing everything they can to try to squelch it.
UPDATE: Via InstaPundit, a funny excerpt from today’s clown show. It is alarming to realize that someone elected this woman to Congress:
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) March 9, 2023