The U.S. Congress has spent all week attacking the free press in order to defend democracy or something.
First, the bipartisan affair reached mass hysteria levels as Republicans, Democrats, and even supposedly neutral parties such as the Capitol Police harangued Fox News’s Tucker Carlson for daring to air never-before-seen security footage from the inside the Capitol building on January 6 alongside some of his own commentary on the topic.
We all know Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called it a “mistake,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called him “dangerous,” and even President Joe Biden questioned the gall of somebody to cast doubt on the government-media-complex-approved record of that day.
That demagoguery is still ongoing, but on Thursday, Congress found a new target to pick apart: the trio of journalists who reported “The Twitter Files” — Matt Taibbi, Michael Shellenberger, and Bari Weiss.
Shellenberger and Taibbi testified before Congress Thursday to discuss their reporting that showed apparent corruption between Big Tech and Big Government, seemingly to silence some conservatives and other contrarian thinkers.
The hearing was aptly titled, “Weaponization of the Federal Government on the Twitter Files,” and it would appear some Democrats are still intent on weaponizing the federal government. The three reporters received the emails from an unknown source at Twitter. Democrats were very keen on figuring out who that was.
For example, Representative Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) attempted to bully Taibbi into divulging his sources — particularly about Twitter CEO Elon Musk. Journalists are constitutionally protected from revealing their sources, but in the name of Democracy, she tried to do it anyway.
“Who gave you access to these emails? Who was the individual who gave you permission to access these emails?” Plaskett demanded to know.
Taibbi refused to say. During their back-and-forth, she also tried to belittle him as a “so-called journalist.”
He quickly defended himself by pointing out his credentials.
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“Ranking Member Plaskett, I’m not a so-called journalist,” he said. “I’ve won 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.”
Even if he did not have those awards, he would still be entitled to First Amendment protections as a journalist — whether that be citizen or corporate.
Plaskett was not alone. Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) tried goading him into giving up his sources as well.
Rep. Garcia: “So you’re not gonna tell us Musk first approached you?”
Matt Taibbi: “You’re asking a journalist to reveal his sources.”
Garcia: “So you consider Musk to be the direct source of all this?”
Matt Taibbi: “Now you’re trying to get me to say he’s the source.”… https://t.co/JmY0IUClz4 pic.twitter.com/JLjm6MIQ4F
— Real Mac Report (@RealMacReport) March 9, 2023
Florida Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz went on to berate Taibbi for “profiting” off his reporting. She ended the lecture by implying he only released the Twitter files for “attention.”
“Eyeballs, money, prominence, attention,” she said. “All of it points to problems with accuracy and credibility. And the larger point, which is social media companies are not biased against conservatives, and if anything, they ignored their own policies by allowing Trump and other MAGA extremists to post incessant lies, endangering public safety and even our democracy.”
Taibbi is not a Trump supporter, but she must have chosen to ignore that.
Rep. Wasserman-Schultz (@DWStweets) gets annoyed w/ Taibbi after he refuses to say he’s “profiting” off the #TwitterFiles pic.twitter.com/nxEWdDob1L
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 9, 2023
The message from the full hearing was abundantly obvious: Agree with the leftist narrative, or you are a threat to America’s democracy itself. Perhaps calling opponents “racists” lost its sting, so they had to change their preferred method.
And last but not least, The Daily Wire’s very own Michael Knowles was called a full-blown “Nazi” by sitting Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) because the podcast host and best-selling author said that transgenderism should be “eradicated” from public life.
“Michael Knowles is a Nazi hellbent on keeping only white men alive and in power,” Bowman tweeted. “We cannot allow him and others to push their evil agenda and we must stand up for the transgender rights. CPAC has made one thing clear this year – they support a future run by Nazis like Knowles.”
In response, Knowles tweeted, Bowman “called me ‘a Nazi hellbent on keeping only white men alive and in power’ because I said society should treat ‘transgenderism’ as we did before 2015,” while adding that the New York Democrat should be “censured for these outrageous and defamatory remarks.”
A sitting Democrat congressman called me “a Nazi hellbent on keeping only white men alive and in power” because I said society should treat “transgenderism” as we did before 2015.
Bowman should be censured for these outrageous and defamatory remarks. @SpeakerMcCarthy @HouseGOP https://t.co/xOxOexrwxd
— Michael Knowles, falsehood eradicator (@michaeljknowles) March 7, 2023
All in all, it was an illuminating week for those paying attention to the “Defenders of Democracy” crowd.
Their reaction to free speech made one thing clear, if you haven’t picked up on it yet: When they say “democracy” they do not actually mean America’s Democratic Republic and its rights, customs, and traditions. “Democracy” is code for The Swamp’s agenda that strengthens government control and screws over the average citizen. Using that definition, their rhetoric this week makes a lot more sense.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.