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Sunday, January 22, 2023
MRC Lashes Out At All Who Won't Promote Musk's 'Twitter Files' -- Including The FBI
Topic: Media Research Center

While it was cheering Elon Musk's censorship of journalists on Twitter, the Media Research Center was continuing its defense and hero worship of Musk and his release of selectively chosen internal files to hand-picked journalists. Tim Graham cranked up the MRC's defense of Musk in a Dec. 15 post lashing out at NPR for pointing out the biased nature of the document release:

Taxpayer-subsidized NPR had been aggressively ignoring the "Twitter Files" revelations, but when they finally acknowledged them on Tuesday's Morning Edition, the new information was described as an "attention-grabbing stunt," "not a bombshell," and an "ugly" spectacle causing threats of violence to Dr. Anthony Fauci and former Twitter "trust and safety" czar Yoel Roth. 

The online headline was Elon Musk is using the Twitter Files to discredit foes and push conspiracy theories.

Morning co-host A Martinez said Musk and Twitter "released internal documents to a handpicked group of journalists who have been digging through them and posting excerpts on Twitter. But is this corporate transparency or just the latest attention-grabbing stunt by the billionaire CEO?"

Tech reporter Shannon Bond bizarrely claimed that Republicans are wrong to claim they were suppressed by Twitter's leftist executive clique:

Graham is never going to critiize the biased narrative Musk is feeding because it furthers the MRC's own narratives. And he offers no evidence that only consertvatives were "censored" by Twitter -- and he will never admit that Twitter's algorithm has always favored conservatives. Instead, he invited readers to harass NPR for pointing out inconvenient facts that he can't be bothered to disprove: "This report really reveals the NPR hostility to conservatives and how Twitter's 'a much less friendly place' for NPR types. Feel free to contact NPR's Public Editor and ask when they'll address their 2020 Hunter Biden mistakes."

Staying on message, a Dec. 17 post by Joseph Vazquez hyped the latest "Twitter files" release purporting to show "the leftist Big Tech platform’s extensive collaboration with Big Government on its bloated censorship operations," followed by a post from Alex Chrsty with the usual lament that "ABC, NBC, and CBS all ignored round six of the Twitter Files on their Saturday morning shows" because it instead reported on Musk's censorship of journalists, which he framed as "suspending several accounts for sharing information about his private jet and physical location," purportedly driven by an "alleged stalker video." As we've noted, Musk had previously vowed never to suspend the tracker account, and the alleged stalker never used the account (and was more interested in Musk's ex-gal pal and baby mama, Grimes, than Musk himself).

Meanwhile, the MRC was silent on the fact that even Musk supporters had criticized his suspensions of journlaists, or that Musk briefly killed Twitter Spaces, its grtoup-chat platform, after being unable to deal with questions fronm actual journalists about his censorship.

Vazquez served up more Musk stenography in a Dec. 20 post:

It turns out that not only did the Ministry of Truth brigade at the FBI push Twitter to censor the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, but it also reportedly paid the Big Tech platform millions of dollars.

Independent journalist Michael Shellenberger, who reported on the latest batch of Twitter files Dec. 19, noted that “The FBI’s influence campaign may have been helped by the fact that it was paying Twitter millions of dollars for its staff time.”

An associate of former Twitter Deputy General Counsel James Baker told him and former Twitter General Counsel Sean Edgett in a February 2021 email: “I am happy to report we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!” Baker was a prominent FBI figure that historically helped perpetuate the Russia-Trump collusion hoax. 

Twitter owner Elon Musk about the implications of the funding: "Government paid Twitter millions of dollars to censor info from the public."

Musk is lying, and so is Vazquez by extension. Actual fact-checkers pointed out that the FBI paid Twitter to fulfill document requests, not to "censor" anyone.

The stenography, and complains thatthose outside the right-wing media bubble weren't engaging in the same stenography, continued:

Gabriela Pariseau positively framed how "over 57 percent of respondents answered yes" to Musk's poll question about whether he should remain as Twitter CEO, declining to point out that it's a very public rejection of how Musk has run the company and instead uncritically repeating his statement that “I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job!"

When the FBI accurately pointed out that "conspiracy theorists" are spreading the false narrative that the agency paid Twitter to "censor" people, the MRC got mad about that too. Kevin Tober whined about the FBI being "defiant" while praising Fox News for pushing the narrative:

On Wednesday afternoon, the FBI released a defiant statement which denied any wrongdoing that was detailed in the latest Twitter Files which were made public this week by journalist Michael Shellenberger, who revealed that the FBI and Twitter colluded to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story. In the obnoxious statement, the FBI proved the contempt they have for average Americans concerned with tyrannical Big Tech censorship by calling them “conspiracy theorists.” 

As they have with the Twitter Files, the three evening news broadcasts (ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, & NBC Nightly News) ignored the FBI’s nasty statement. Instead, the three networks obsessed over local weather reports and former President Donald Trump’s taxes.

During Fox News Channel’s Special Report, correspondent Lucas Tomlinson reported how “FBI officials confirm the agency paid Twitter nearly $3.5 million. Money critics say was used to help suppress information, including The New York Post Hunter Biden laptop story.”

Tober called this "bias by omission," though he didn't explain how not reporting a false story could possibly be "bias."

Catherine Salgado similarly huffed in a Dec. 22 post:

Th FBI finally issued an official statement on revelations of its work with Big Tech to censor Americans in the Twitter Files. The explanation? The people reporting on the files are“conspiracy theorists.”

Recent installments of the Twitter Files revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) directly flagged content and accounts for Twitter to censor. But if you have a problem with documents exposing the federal government colluding with Big Tech to restrict free speech, then you are the problem, according to the FBI’s statement shared with Fox News. “It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency,” the FBI’s gaslighting statement railed.

[...]

Experts, including Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow Hans von Spakovsky, warned Fox that the FBI may have violated the First Amendment with its actions.

Von Spakovsky is not an "expert" -- he is a partisan activist who gets paid to peddle this bogus narrative -- meaning that he and Salgado, not the FBI, are the ones "gaslightling" people. And Salgado couldn't finish without pushing the bogus narrative again:

The FBI apparently sees no issue with its censorship efforts that were happening behind the scenes. “The men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public,” the FBI’s statement continued. It’s unclear how the FBI could try to gaslight the American people with a straight face given that the Twitter Files revealed that the Bureau paid the platform over $3.4 million through a “reimbursement” program for helping its censorship efforts.  One of the Twitter accounts that the FBI flagged for the platform was the American-based, right-leaning Right Side Broadcasting Network.

Actually, Right Side Broadcasating is a highly biased, rabidly pro-Trump channel, and it's weird that Salgado made a big deal out of the fchannel being "American-based" -- as if the non-right-wing networks the MRC loves to bash are not. And Salgado censored the fact that there's no evidence that FBI ordered Twitter to "censor" anything.

And MRC boss Brent Bozell ran to Fox Business, where he knows his talking points will never be challenged, to add his two cents:

Locked and loaded Thursday morning on the Fox Business Network’s Varney & Co., Media Research Center Founder and President Brent Bozell told fill-in host David Asman that the FBI “disinformation” in a statement smearing the Twitter Files with it having been “none of [their] damn” business to suppress the New York Post’s Hunter Biden reporting.

Asman explained in the lead-in that the FBI responded to the Twitter Files by insisting they give “critical information to the private sector...to allow them to protect themselves” and that it’s “unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation for the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency.”

If Congress wanted to “do its job,” Bozell replied, they’d investigate Twitter and “look at that statement...because that was classic disinformation.”

Bozell then noted the importance of the FBI’s role in suppressing the spread of the original Post story in having allowed the media to steal the 2020 election:

That's yet another reference to the MRC's election fraud conspiracy theory fueled by polls it bought from Trump's 2020 election pollster and the polling firm founded by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway. Of course, given the highly selective nature of the documents Musk has released, one can easily argue that he and Bozell are the ones spreading disinformation.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:11 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 25, 2023 11:47 AM EST

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