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WATCH: House Democrats Level Personal Attacks Against Journalists During Congressional Hearing

TwitterFiles reporters Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger appeared before the House Select Committee on the Weaponization of Government on Thursday.

Kim Iverson exposes House Democrats “shilling for censorship” and attempting to (figuratively) shoot the messengers as they leveled personal attacks against the pair of seasoned journalists.

The House Select Committee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government heard from “TwitterFiles” journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger on Thursday morning.

Neither of the journalists could be considered “far-right” — Taibbi spent a decade covering politics at left-leaning Rolling Stone magazine where he now-famously called Goldman Sachs a “vampire squid” in a 2009 article, while Shellenberger is an author with a focus on environmentalism and ran for Governor of California as a Democrat. According to an appearance on Bill Maher’s HBO show in 2022, Shellenberger “allowed how he was a liberal, a libertarian, and a conservative, depending on the issue.”

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The pair’s history of leaning more to the left didn’t stop House Democrats from smearing them as fake journalists paid off by Elon Musk to push his “chosen narrative” using cherry-picked information.

Fox News reports:

House Democrats on Thursday repeatedly disparaged hearing witnesses Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger, two of the media figures behind breaking the “Twitter Files,” implying they were paid off and not true journalists.
On several occasions, Democratic members of the House Judiciary Select Committee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government suggested that the two witnesses were unbecoming of their title and had only covered the Twitter Files for monetary gain.
In addition, Taibbi and Shellenberger were accused of “cherrypicking” information from internal Twitter communications to support GOP talking points.
Source: Fox News

Ranking member Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands in her opening statement called Taibbi and Shellenberger “Elon Musk’s public scribes” and “so-called journalists” while claiming that the TwitterFiles reports did not show evidence that the federal government pressured Twitter to censor Americans.

Later, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) used her time to smear Taibbi as a paid mouthpiece and not a journalist by calling him “Elon Musk’s handpicked journalist” adding, “pardon the oxymoron.” She also said that Taibbi’s appearance at the hearing as a Republican witness “casts a cloud” over his objectivity. When she tried to frame his TwitterFiles reporting as biased, she cut off Taibbi and reclaimed her time.

Rep. Sylvia R. Garcia (D-TX), who didn’t understand what the platform Substack favored by independent journalists was, continued to press for Taibbi and Shellenberger to disclose their sources.

These attacks on journalists by Democrats in a House Committee hearing are a far cry from the denunciations made by Democrats and large swaths of the corporate media when former President Donald Trump railed against “fake news” before and after he was elected. Democrats and many in the corporate press said that government officials smearing journalists could lead to real-world harm citing the attacks and imprisonment of reporters around the globe and, of course, the murder of Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi.

Similar criticisms against House Democrats from those same groups do not seem to have been forthcoming despite the very clear and very personal attacks against Taibbi and Shellenberger.

Sources:

1. Haring, Bruce. “Bill Maher And Guests Talk Tough About The Decline Of Western Civilization In ‘Real Time’ Debate.” Deadline. June 3, 2022. https://deadline.com/2022/06/bill-maher-real-time-decline-western-civilization-1235038318/

2. Lanum, Nikolas. “Democrats repeatedly attack Twitter Files witnesses at contentious hearing: ‘Elon Musk’s public scribes’.” Fox News. March 9, 2023. https://www.foxnews.com/media/democrats-repeatedly-attack-twitter-files-witnesses-contentious-hearing-elon-musk-public-scribes

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