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Sunday, July 30, 2023
MRC Elon Musk PR Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

There's lots of bad news about Elon Musk that the Media Research Center won't tell its readers. It has censored continuing criticism of Musk for bowing to censorship demands from foreign countries. Some of that criticism has come from Enes Kanter Freedom, whose criticism of Musk the MRC has previouly published -- then shoved down the memory hole when he showed interest in buying Twitter. And it's certainly not going to tell readers thatMusk's decision to no longer block anti-transgender hate could be a bad thing for transgender people -- it spent too much time haranguing Musk into doing so to ever admit that.Instead, it continued to suck up to him by serving as his PR operation. For instance:

Luis Corneio spent a June 2 post portrayin the reluctance of Tweitter employees to spread anti-transgender hate from the likes of Matt  Walsh as an "internal revolt aghainst free speech," touting how Musk's interference in decision-making by allowing Walsh's anti-transgender film "What is a Woman?" had "amassed nearly 63 million views in less than 24 hours, marking a victory for free speech and common sense amidst a bevy of radicalized rainbow mafia propaganda sweeping across the United States and schools." In fact, Twitter's "views" metric is highly unreliable.

Meanwhile, Musk was still letting hand-picked writers promote selectively released "Twitter files" despite the diminishing returns. Ignoring all that, Joseph Vazquez brethlessly wrote in a June 7 post:

Just as CNN didn't blink twice when it described "fiery but mostly peaceful protests" in 2020, the joke of a media outlet is telling Twitter Files readers "don't believe your lying eyes" when it comes to Big Tech-Big Government censorship collusion.

CNN published what amounted to a Big Tech-Big Government press release June 6 headlined: “Twitter’s own lawyers refute Elon Musk’s claim that The ‘Twitter Files’ exposed US government censorship.” CNN’s sources? The lawyers for the censorship-obsessed, pre-Musk Twitter regime in Donald J. Trump v. Twitter, Inc.

Wow, who would have thought that people paid to defend pre-Musk Twitter would do just that! “Twitter’s own lawyers are disputing those claims in a case involving former President Donald Trump — forcefully rejecting any suggestion that the Twitter Files show what Musk and many Republicans assert they contain,” CNN claimed.

Talk about awful timing.

Just a day after CNN’s spin, The Grayzone News host Aaron Maté released a batch of “New Twitter Files” showing that the FBI actively assisted Ukrainian intelligence in censoring Twitter users and journalists accused of spreading so-called “disinformation” and “fear.”

Vazquez hyped how "Twitter Files journalist Matt Taibbi" hyped the latest release, but he failed to mention that not only has Taibbi stopped bieng a "Twitter Files journalist," he acrimoniously split with Musk over Twitter censoring links to Substack, where Taibbi mostly writes.

This was followed by another post that day, by Catherine Salgado, hyping Taibbi's comments. Like Cornelio, she  called Taibbi a "Twitter Files journalist" without mentioning that he no longer was.

Salgado returned for a June 13 post complaining about the guy who founded Twitter: "Anti-free speech Jack Dorsey just claimed that his pro-censorship tenure was generally characterized by 'fairness' and that the platform remains 'the most important public square.'" She concluded by touting and lecturing Twitter's current proprietor:

New Twitter owner Elon Musk arranged for the release of The Twitter Files to expose its previous heavy censorship. Musk has repeatedly affirmed his dedication to free speech, although censorship did initially increase under his ownership, and has still continued amongst the rank-and-file under his leadership. 

Is Salgado admitting that the "Twitter files" released are biased and designed to peddle a preferred narrative instead of telling the full truth? It appears that way.

Salgado touted another "Twitter Files journalist" in a June 21 post:

Twitter Files journalist Michael Shellenberger said the war on free speech has taken “the form of a world war.”

The Twitter Files and The Facebook Filesshowed direct government-tech collusion to censor free speech. MRC Free Speech America exposed a government anti-terror program, the “Targeted Violence & Terrorism Prevention Grant Program” (TVTP), weaponized against Christians, conservatives, and Republicans. Like the now-defunct Disinformation Governance Board, TVTP came out of the Department of Homeland Security.  In light of all this and global efforts to suppress speech, Shellenberger warned in a June 19 article on UnHerd of the fight against free speech. He said, “You can see its shadow in every Western country, from the US and Canada to Ireland and Australia, as well as in every multinational organisation, from the EU to the UN.”

Actually, that MRC Free Speech America report was so filled with misinformation that even Fox News felt compelled to debunk it. Salgado continued:

Much of the censorship work is justified by the claims that digital hate speech is sharply increasing, but that’s simply not true, Shellenberger argued. It’s an excuse for the suppression of information, often true information. Ultimately, Shellenberger insisted of leftists’ “misinformation” and “hate speech” cant that “[w]e need to train our ears to hear such language as pretexts for government censorship.”

An “elitist, anti-populist strain” is coming from governments and NGOs around the world, Shellenberger soberly noted. Even many private entities that are calling for censorship have received government funding, he explained. This created the “Censorship Industrial Complex,” partly exposed by The Twitter Files.

Salgado didn't mention that Shellenberger, like Taibbi, is no longer a "Twitter Files journalist." And she certainly didn't say a thing about reports showing that Musk is signing off on more "censorship" requests from other countries than pre-Musk Twitter did.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:24 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 30, 2023 10:38 PM EDT

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