During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, a Democrat lawmaker insulted two Republican witnesses by calling them “so-called journalists.”
The lawmaker, Rep. Stacey Plaskett, instead characterized journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger as “two of Elon Musk’s ‘public scribes’” and accused Republicans of having brought them in to “to release cherry-picked out-of-context emails and screenshots designed to promote his chosen narrative — Elon Musk’s chosen narrative — that is now being parroted by the Republicans” for political gain.”
She went on to directly call the two “so-called journalists,” prompting both to look at her in complete confusion.
Her stunning behavior prompted backlash from Taibbi, who, once given the opportunity to speak, checkmated her with some facts.
“My name is Matt Taibbi, I’ve been a reporter for 30 years and a staunch advocate of the First Amendment. Much of that time was spent at Rolling Stone magazine,” he said before turning his attention directly to Plaskett.
“Ranking member Plaskett, I’m not a so-called journalist. I’ve won the the National Magazine Award, the I.F. Stone Award for independent journalism, and I’ve written 10 books, including four New York Times’ best-sellers. I’m now an editor of the online magazine Racket on the independent platform Substack,” he added.
Yet despite being fact-checked and checkmated, Plaskett later took to Twitter to double down on all her accusations and personal attacks, going so far as to portray the two journalists as some sort of threat.
“Chairman Jordan called before us two witnesses who pose a direct threat to anyone who opposes them,” she tweeted.
“This is unacceptable, just as it was unacceptable for Kevin McCarthy to provide 41,000 hours of sensitive security footage to a biased talking head in an effort to rewrite what happened during the riots on January 6,” she added.
This, plus her original attack, prompted massive backlash against her on social media.
@StaceyPlaskett This so-called politician will go down in history as condescending and ignorant… Fifty years after we’re all dead, she will be remembered for this one act of buffoonery and nothing else.
— Jay Xavier (@JayXavi08787852) March 9, 2023
Congresswoman you’re a disgrace. You abuse journalists, calling them “so-called journalists” when you know they’re accredited, then you try clever tricks to get them to name sources. Now this tweet, where you cover your ass by calling your opposition liars. Utterly pathetic.
— Steven (@SteveP_201) March 9, 2023
Wow looks like you got your head handed to you by Matt Taibbi. For someone who is a so-called Congressman that just didn’t look good. Congratulations on making a fool out of yourself when the evidence has been already exposed. You should be embarrassed but you’re probably not.
— Ed G (@Edgjust) March 9, 2023
As soon as you called a NYT bestseller and award-winning journalist a “so-called journalist” because you don’t want to discuss/debate their actual reporting in an intelligent and honest way in order to combat it, you should have lost all credibility with everyone still pretty… https://t.co/gN80o2453w
— Julie Lewis (@huntersmomma7) March 9, 2023
You’re either intentionally pushing disinformation, or you’re truly ignorant.
Calling @mtaibbi a “so-called journalist” was incredibly false and you did it on camera for all the world to see who you really are.
So are you a liar, or are you too stupid to do your job?
— Reality Broker (@JBMcConnell55) March 9, 2023
After calling out Plaskett, Taibbi continued by sharing the message he’d been recruited to share, which pertained to the “Twitter Files.”
As previously reported, he started by explaining why he’d gotten involved in the production and compilation of the files.
“I’m here today because of a series of events that began late last year when I received a note from a source online. It read: ‘Are you interested in doing a deep dive into what censorship and manipulation… was going on at Twitter?’ A week later, the first of what became known as the ‘Twitter Files’ reports came out,” he said.
After explaining how he got involved with the files, Taibbi moved on to articulate why they’re of such massive importance.
“The original promise of the Internet was that it might democratize the exchange of information globally. A free internet would overwhelm all attempts to control information flow, its very existence a threat to anti-democratic forms of government everywhere,” he said.
“What we found in the Files was a sweeping effort to reverse that promise, and use machine learning and other tools to turn the internet into an instrument of censorship and social control. Unfortunately, our own government appears to be playing a lead role,” he added.
Indeed, and it appears to be playing a pivotal role thanks to lawmakers like Plaskett who think the bad guys are the good guys, and the good guys are “so-called journalists.”
Matt Taibbi testifies on ‘Twitter Files’: ‘This mechanism for punishment without due process is horrifying’ https://t.co/JzSP2MEmxz
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) March 9, 2023
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