'Twitter Files' Wasn't Dumb Enough, So Musk And Taibbi Bringing In Ringer Bari Weiss
On Friday, Elon Musk fanboy Matt Taibbi, who used to be a real reporter but is now ... something else, dropped what he promised was going to be earth-shattering news about Twitter's suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story on October 14, 2020. In the event, it failed to land, disappearing like a fart into the ether. Even wingers like Sebastian Gorka pronounced themselves "deeply underwhelmed."
But Taibbi has an explanation for that, and it's not that Twitter execs debated in real time about how to deal with what appeared to be Russian disinformation, opting briefly to censor it, which ultimately ensured that it would be Streisand Effect-ed into wide dissemination long before the election. No, he's blaming the evil Democrats who somehow got a mole into Twitter to ruin his supposedly giant scoop.
You guys, this is so fuckin' dumb.
Yesterday, Taibbi tapped out a thread he captioned "Twitter Files Supplemental" in which he breathlessly reported that "On Tuesday, Twitter Deputy General Counsel (and former FBI General Counsel) Jim Baker was fired. Among the reasons? Vetting the first batch of 'Twitter Files' – without knowledge of new management."
Okay, first of all, it takes some balls to call your five paragraph book report, which cuts and pastes individual lines from emails totally out of context without attaching the actual documents, as the "Twitter Files." A more apt appellation would be "Normal Shit That We're Calling Nefarious Because We Know Our Audience Is Dumb," although admittedly it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. Second of all, YEAH, NO SHIT the general counsel wanted to vet internal documents before releasing them to a reporter. That's kind of his IRL job, you disingenuous hack.
"The process for producing the 'Twitter Files' involved delivery to two journalists (Bari Weiss and me) via a lawyer close to new management. However, after the initial batch, things became complicated," Taibbi went on. "Over the weekend, while we both dealt with obstacles to new searches, it was @BariWeiss who discovered that the person in charge of releasing the files was someone named Jim. When she called to ask 'Jim’s' last name, the answer came back: 'Jim Baker.'”
“My jaw hit the floor,” said Weiss. And not apparently at being called a "journalist" years after she stomped out of the New York Times to peddle Quillette-level clickbait for conservatives on Substack and open a fake university for the martyrs of cancel culture who get shunned on real campuses for being insufferable assholes.
James Baker (not the former secretary of State) was a career federal prosecutor who joined the Justice Department during the first Bush administration and rose to general counsel of the FBI in 2014, got pushed out by FBI Director Chris Wray in 2017, and was hired by Twitter in June of 2020. He's a "controversial figure," Taibbi assures us. But Taibbi isn't really a details man, so instead he leaves it to Jonathan Turley, who will happily slime anyone if it feeds his narrative that evil, Deep State Democrats tried to murder Trump with the Russia investigation. Republicans have long had a hard-on to do LOCK HER UPS to Baker, but the closest they ever got was John Durham's indictment of DNC attorney Michael Sussmann for supposedly lying to Baker about the Alfa Bank server in the basement of Trump Towers — and that debacle wound up with an acquittal.
Now they're hoping to create enough confusion by shouting Baker's name and pretending that it proves that Twitter is biased against conservatives, absent any actual facts.
"After leaving the FBI, Twitter seemed eager to hire Baker as deputy general counsel. Ironically, Baker soon became involved in another alleged back channel with a presidential campaign," Turley writes. "This time it was Twitter that maintained the non-public channels with the Biden campaign (and later the White House). Baker soon weighed in with the same signature bias that characterized the Russian investigations."
Taibbi has already admitted that Twitter was in regular communication with the Trump White House and routinely cooperated with requests to remove material that failed to comply with the platform's terms of service. And the posts removed at the behest of the Biden campaign, Taibbi's supposed smoking gun, contain pictures of Hunter Biden's penis, a clear violation of the site's ban on non-consensual publication of nude photos. But somehow Turley fails to mention all that. Go figure!
"The news that Baker was reviewing the 'Twitter files' surprised everyone involved, to say the least. New Twitter chief Elon Musk acted quickly to 'exit' Baker Tuesday," Taibbi goes on, valiantly trying to make fetch happen, while seemingly unaware that outing Musk as oblivious of the responsibilities of in-house corporate counsel isn't quite the burn he thinks it is.
But Musk, more concerned with advancing his narrative than appearing minimally competent, quickly agreed.
"In light of concerns about Baker’s possible role in suppression of information important to the public dialogue, he was exited from Twitter today," he tweeted, adding that Baker's explanation for trying to protect the company from unconsidered disclosures was "unconvincing."
And in case you were wondering if this could get any stupider, Taibbi promises that the next installment of this dumb circle jerk will be brought to you by Bari Weiss.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.