In testimony to the House Judiciary Committee about the Twitter Files, a few words about why state-funded "anti-disinformation" and free speech can't coexist
"Any group that claims the “confidence” to decide fact and fiction, especially in the name of protecting democracy, is always, itself, the real threat to democracy."
This is the money quote that needs to be spread far and wide. Absolute truth.
Amen. Thanks for all your work Matt. I really don't know where we would be right now without people like yourself, Aaron Mate, Sy Hersh, and a handful of others.
As a former journalist in a land far away, I hold political asylum in the U.S., given to me due to the prosecution and persecution I suffered sometimes three decades ago. You guys (Americans) can't even fathom how incredibly free & diverse, mesmerizing in fact, this country looked like to a guy like me, to someone who admired this magical land from afar, for decades.
Not only the power, the richness of the culture but for a journo living in me, the names like Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, Hunter R. Thomson, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were a stuff of legend. What a country. The "people are being created equal", "right to pursue happiness," the American Dream. I was truly happy here. I thrived. I loved the land. I crossed it three times by a car, I zig-zaged it... always in awe. Be it the Grand Canyon, the Central Park in NY, the Petrified Forest, Jeez, a miracle after a miracle.
I am not too naive - I know that the real story of America (at least to me) is not only in Hollywood or Wall Street, neither you can find it in Pentecostal fanaticism nor even in is baseball, you can find it in American pain, the pain you find as you listen to Johnny Cash while driving the Route 66 and than all the way up to less insane Portland and back.
I've been moderately rich in this country. I've been homeless in this country. I knew the rat people of New York City subways, the city I used to love and admire but now avoid; I walked the Sunset Boulevard in L.A. but never ready to accept that the dreams can really be broken. No!!, not in this land that supports you, not among the people that would encourage you to pursue your dream, no mater how insane it might seem.
I've been famous back home but when everything was stolen from me and I ended up on the streets of New York during coldest winter in February, the help I was given was not coming from the place that knew my name, nope, I was given help by the Americans I barely knew. Loans, gifts, jobs, everything just to get back on my feet. I'd be eternally grateful to this land and the people I was lucky to encounter.
Now, in the clutches of incomprehensible madness some call "woke" and some neo-Maoist Cultural Revolution, with almost every single institution being completely corrupted, de facto betraying all American principles that made it great, I look at the country I am unable to recognize.
How did you guys manage to piss away your freedoms, and soon it seems, your wealth and your happiness is beyond me. Average bridges in this country are 68 years old. When I was a kid I listened -- in awe -- my father's stories (he was an engineer) about the Golden Gate Bridge. He did not live to cross it walking, but after he had died I did it for him.
I crossed the Golden Gate, weeping. Not only for my father, but for the land we all are losing, willingly giving it away to most corrupt, ghoulish psychopath one can imagine. America of today -- I can hardly believe I write this -- is more difficult, psychologically, to live in, that was my own, under the communism or under the grenades during the war. We had hope, we fought, we knew it would not last forever.
In today's America I don't see true will to fight and I witness a vanishing hope. I do not know this land anymore, despite these few people like Matt Taibbi that keep the light flickering. I am so sorry.
Good luck today. I’ll be thinking about you and Michael, sending you courage. Thank you for protecting free speech and for “standing in the fire” for all of us.
Thank you for all your work, and thank you to Elon Musk for allowing all this to be brought to the surface.
You both are heroes but I just feel like it may be too late. Too many people, when confronted with evidence that they were wrong (jan 6, COVID lab leak theory, efficacy of COVID shots.. the list is long), cannot go back. These beliefs have become the center of who they are, and they cannot change course. Half of this country has determined that they are morally correct - evidence be damned.
I'm currently teaching John Stuart Mill and liberty of thought and discussion in my Political Theory seminar -- so each year at this time I am reminded of just how important it is teach our kids the critical importance of free speech. That discussion has evolved for me over the past 35 years, but now it has the precise outline that Matt describes here. A centerpiece for Mill was his assertion that quieting dissenting ideas/opinions was to assume the mantle of infallibility -- and that is dangerous territory we cannot turn a blind eye to or casually accept. Thank you, Matt, for providing this week's supplemental class reading!
Matt, all I can say as an American is, Thank You!’ You are doing what so many refuse to do.
Keep on going Matt. As an indy journo myself, coming back decades after leaving a big career to report on C-19 policy failures, I couldn't be more proud that people like yourself, Bari, Michael and Leighton are kicking down the walls of propaganda. You all and Elon give us hope. Thank you.
Well positioned Matt. I am sure you will be anxiously awaiting the times and post’s Defense for their complicity. Paradoxically and perhaps unfairly, the more they defend it, the more correct you will have been. Let’s see if they can do so without smearing the author. I don’t believe they will do so but I hope they at least use real facts so that it can be debated. Which I know you would be able to engage in honestly.
What beautiful writing. It takes real talent to combine clarity, completeness of thought and discipline of content to create elegance in expression. Some of the Founding Fathers had this ability in spades and I am glad to see it is not entirely lost to societal decay. And by the way, the content does reveal a horrifying and damnable fact pattern.
Thank god we have you Matt. Good luck today.
I don't own a gun, live in NYC, so I never felt the need. That said, we really need 2A to defend our free speech. Otherwise you become Canada and Australia.
I have a son with Autism, and I do believe that some of the school shootings were from people on the Spectrum who have been isolated. This stuff is super complicated.
"We the People" need to stop hiring politicians who say nice things to make us feel good, give us free stuff. Enough.
I will remain an independent until one party brings some REAL talent to the table.
Powerful and accurate
Excellent - thanks for fighting.