Accuracy in Media

On Friday, Twitter, through Matt Taibbi, released internal messages about the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story just before the last election.

By Monday, the usual mainstream media outlets are near universal in announcing that it’s nothing much. HuffPost says it’s a “nothingburger,” for example.

“The Taibbi information mostly regurgitates what was already known,” HuffPost said. Well, that’s one way to downplay the importance.

To clarify what actually happened – the Joe Biden campaign asked Twitter to limit the reach of the New York Post story on that Hunter Biden laptop, just before the election. The reason Twitter gave was that it was based on hacked information. It wasn’t, but that’s the excuse they gave. Even Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) – about as partisan as it is possible to get – said to Twitter at the time, that the site got it wrong. A news outlet isn’t, under the First Amendment, limited only to information that has been legally gained. Sullivan v. NYT is the Supreme Court case that established that.

 The issue today though is not that initial decision. It’s the mass reaction from the press to Friday’s release.

Mediaite carries a listing of tweets from varied Democrat-leaning – as so many are – journalists. Arguing that Taibbi is just doing the bidding of the billionaire Elon Musk. Nothing, at all, about the suppression of the story, merely insults thrown at the people revealing it. Which is itself between interesting and appalling as a reaction.

Wired tells us that Musk has now trapped himself. Sure, moderation is difficult, but within that they say:

“Instead, the thread provided fresh fodder for conspiracy theories that have swirled around the laptop saga, including the insinuation—not backed by evidence—that government officials intervened to suppress the Post story.”

Which would be a very silly thing to believe and no one does. Because at the time of the suppression Trump was still President. So why would his government try to suppress this? The supposition is that Twitter was so in the hole for Democrats that it took this decision to benefit Democrats in the election. Wired has misled here – being able to make it seem like that nothingburger – by misstating the original argument.

So we have this almost mass insistence that the story isn’t important, or is just what was already known. That Twitter deliberately suppressed the laptop story in the run up to the election – in order to benefit the Democrats and the Biden campaign. But this isn’t important now because the usual left-leaning journalists say so.

Difficult to know which is worse, isn’t it? The original suppression or this insistence now that it doesn’t matter – the brazenness of it.

But it doesn’t stop there. The same media outlets are also running a swathe of stories insisting how terrible it is that Musk is now running Twitter. Black Twitter could collapse, and how bad would that be? Business Insider floats the idea that Musk could raid Tesla’s cash to keep Twitter going. That’s actually a suggestion – when put like that, baldly – that Musk is about to commit fraud. Wired runs another piece wondering whether Twitter is going to fail entirely. Techcrunch tells us that Musk has allowed a Nazi back on to Twitter. It’s a full-court press on Musk.

Almost as if that left-leaning press is angry at Musk having released the documents they all insist are nothing but a nothingburger.

For this is how it’s done. Downplay the revelation, stir up as many other issues as anyone can think up and there we are. That initial story, that Twitter really was deep in the tank for the Ds before the election, is now buried under this mass of misdirection.

That question of whether Twitter suppression swung the election isn’t even being asked – but of course, that’s the important question and that it isn’t being asked is the aim of this misdirection.




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