As promised, Twitter owner Elon Musk has unveiled internal document showing how now-fired Twitter executives censored the Hunter Biden laptop scandal in the weeks leading up to the presidential election in 2020.
“What really happened with the Hunter Biden story suppression by Twitter will be published on Twitter at 5 am ET,” Musk announced in a Dec. 2 tweet.
At the center of that controversy, now more than two years old, is the exclusive New York Post story that reported on Hunter Biden’s scandal-filled laptop he left and never retrieved from a Delaware repair shop. When that Post story broke, Twitter locked the newspaper’s account (pictured at top) for a whopping 17 days. Even linking to the Post story included a “warning” label.
At the same time, the same national media that eagerly reported “Russian stooge” Donald Trump had once partied with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room showed a sudden lack of curiosity over the allegation the troubled son of a former vice president used his daddy’s title to make multi-million-dollar business deals with nefarious businessmen all over the world.
Thanks to Musk, what is now being called the “Twitter files” are being released by independent reporter Matt Taibbi, who was given exclusive access to Twitter’s internal documents by Musk himself. In his tweets, Taibbi describes the “extraordinary steps” that were taken to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story. One example is the decision to block the Post story on Twitter’s direct message service, a decision that usually involves serious cases such as child pornography.
This week, as soon as the Twitter thread from Taibbi began publishing, the narrative-defending media - like frantic firefighters - rushed to the scene and attempted to dump a lake of water on a blazing fire. The traditional news networks ABC, NBC, and CBS devoted seven seconds – collectively – to the Twitter revelations. MSNBC, which had assured its viewers for four years that President Trump was working for Russia, devoted three minutes to the story.
Over at The Washington Post, which belatedly admitted the laptop was genuine back in March, the newspaper found a journalism professor to insist there is no “bombshell” in Taibbi’s reporting on internal communication at Twitter.
And that might be true depending on one’s perspective.
It is true Taibbi himself acknowledges he is describing internal discussions at Twitter headquarters, not a three-way collaboration with the FBI and the Biden campaign. CNN reported this week that lack of backdoor communication in the Twitter documents “undercuts” the claim by Republicans that FBI agents were pressuring Twitter to censor the laptop story, but New York Post columnist Miranda DeVine swiftly undercut that talking point. In her weekend column, she points out a former Twitter executive has already admitted to weekly meetings with the FBI. That now-fired Twitter official, Yoel Roth, described those meetings in a sworn statement he submitted to Dec. 2020 to the Federal Election Commission.
What the FBI was secretly engaged in, DeVine writes, is “pre-bunking” the laptop story by convincing Twitter executive the Feds had learned about “hacked” materials involving Hunter Biden that were not true and should not be allowed on Twitter.
But how did the FBI know about the laptop? It was surveilling Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who knew of the laptop and was communicating with the Post about a story, Devine writes in her column.
In other words, according to the Post’s columnist, the internal communications at Twitter that Musk released came after FBI agents approached Twitter bosses in an effort to protect Joe Biden and his son as Election Day approached.
“Then there is the curious role of Twitter deputy general counsel James Baker,” DeVine writes, “who is former general counsel at the FBI, where he was involved in Russia-collusion plots against Trump.”
Regarding the cooperation between Taibbi and Musk, Curtis Houck of the Media Research Center tells AFN it is very revealing to see the unhappy media turn on Taibbi, a former award-winning Rolling Stone writer. The unhinged backlash against Taibbi, Houck says, mirrors the mob that attacked editorial writer Bari Weiss, who left The New York Times after describing working in a woke, antisemitic newsroom in a scathing farewell letter.
“They're now being ostracized,” Houck says of those independent-minded, veteran journalists.
Both journalists, Taibbi and Weiss, are working independently and publishing their stories on the online writing forum Substack.