“If an organization portrays itself as balanced, but is not, it should be labeled to inform the public,” Twitter Owner Elon Musk said Monday, when asked about reports that CNN staff had previously been ordered not to investigate the origins of COVID-19.
Of course, such a label would have applied to CNS as well, given how its mission statement (falsely) claimed to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story." Bannister also hyped Musk trolling a congressman in a March 9 article:
When Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted a condemnation of Fox News airing January 6, 2021 video from the U.S. Capitol, Twitter Owner Elon Musk replied to Schumer by retweeting a viral video clip of the footage - to ask the New York Democrat if he wanted it deleted.
“Do you want us to remove this video?” Musk replied to Schumer Wednesday, including a video clip tweeted by @StevenVoiceover, in which the narrator pretends to be a tour guide for the “insurrection” inside the Capitol.
The selected scenes included in the video clip are those of seemingly peaceful trespassers, not violent insurrectionists trying to overthrow the government.
“God bless Elon Musk,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said, when asked if he had a message for the billionaire who, after his purchase of Twitter, allowed two demonstrably liberal journalists to publish “The Twitter” files, exposing the censorship of conservatives that took place under the social media platform’s previous ownership.
On Friday, Jordan tweeted a video clip from his appearance of “The Benny Show,” in which Host Benny Johnson asked the congressman what he had to say to Elon Musk:
“You’ve now held multiple hearings about Twitter. What is your message to Elon?” Johnson asked.
“God bless him. God bless Elon Musk for standing up for the First Amendment – and recognizing how important that is to the greatest country ever, protecting those freedoms,” Rep. Jordan replied.
“I think, what a service he has done for the country,” Jordan added.
CNS' coverage of the February hearing was highly biased and incomplete (more evidence for that label Musk wants). Bannister attempted to do more of that regarding the March hearing:
This week, Rep. Jordan took part in a House subcommittee investigation of the “weaponization of the federal government,” with regards to Twitter. During the hearing, Democrats attacked, and tried to discredit, the two publishers of The Twitter Files: progressive journalist Matt Taibbi and former California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Michael Shellenberger.One Democrat, Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands), accused Taibbi and Shellenberger of being right-wing shills for conservatives. Democrats also bucked the First Amendment by trying to pressure the two witnesses to reveal their sources – which Rep. Jordan later condemneW. d in a Fox News interview:
Given that Musk was obviously their source, it was absurd for them to claim any sort of privilege by not acknowledging that. Also note that Bannister offered misleading descriptions of Taibbi and Shellenberger -- "progressive journalist," "former California Democratic gubernatorial candidate" -- to suggest there's some kind of balance when, in fact, both writers have indisputably moved to the right and are simply Musk's servile stenographers.
CNS continued its own brand of Musk PR:
- ‘That’s Absurd,’ Musk Tells BBC Reporter Who Claims Twitter’s Hateful Content Rising – But ‘Can’t Name a Single Example’
- Sen. Ted Cruz Asks ‘Why is This a Controversial Statement?’ by Elon Musk (this would be his transphobic statement that “Any parent or doctor who sterilizes a child before they are a consenting adult should go to prison for life”)
- Musk: Inflation is Caused by Govt Issuing More Money, So Why Not Make Everyone a Trillionaire? They Tried That in Venezuela
- Musk: With Birth Control and Abortion We Don't 'Procreate,' But We Need to Make 'Civilization Go Onward'
CNS also echoed its Media Research Center parent in cheering Musk's trolling of NPR by arbitrarily labeling its Twitter feed as "state-affiliated media." Managing editor Michael W. Chapman cheered the decision in an April 5 article, purporting to add context:
Examples of other "state-affiliated media" on Twitter include Sputnik (Russia state-affiliated media), RT, People's Daily (China state-affiliated media), and Periodico Granma (Medios afiliados al gobierno, Cuba).
Chapman cannot plausibly argue that NPR is anything like those fully state-controlled outlets, and, indeed, he made no effort to -- he was doing Musk PR, after all. Instead, he quoted other right-wingers, including a couple of his fellow MRC employees (not that he disclosed that conflict of interest, of course) cheering Musk's trolling.
When Musk trolled another media outlet, Patrick Goodenough cheerfully wrote about it in an April 18 article:
A widening controversy over Twitter’s decision to label media outlets that receive government funding took a new twist Monday night when the platform changed its label for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to “69% Government-funded Media.”
Twitter had previously labeled CBC “70% Government-funded Media,” which in turn was a change from the original “Government-funded Media” label that had drawn sharp complaints from the broadcaster.
Drawing attention to the most recent label change, Twitter owner Elon Musk tweeted, “Canadian Broadcasting Corp said they’re ‘less than 70% government-funded’, so we corrected the label.”
The same day, CNS published a column by right-wing writer Joe Schaeffer insisting that the $100 million the federal goernment provides toward public broadcasting equals "100 million reasons why NPR is journalistically compromised in its reporting on the ruling establishment in Washington."
Two days later, the MRC abruptly shut down CNS, for which it has yet to offer an explanation, let alone publicly acknowledge.