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Lawmakers Erupt in Heated Discussion After ‘Twitter Files’ Journalist Refuses to Reveal Sources

Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, engaged in heated conversation with lawmakers while she tried to get “Twitter Files” Matt Taibbi, journalist, to disclose a source at a Thursday congressional hearing.

The lawmaker for the Democrats asked Taibbi about whether Twitter Elon Musk, the owner of the company, asked Taibbi to participate in reporting on the company’s internal Twitter communications as well as its communications with federal officials. GOP House lawmakers called Taibbi as well as fellow GOP members. “Twitter Files” journalist Michael Shellenberger, who released lengthy threads on the communications, which some analysts say show evidence of collusion between former Twitter managers, the federal government, and left-wing organizations.

“I can’t give it to you, unfortunately, because this is a question of sourcing, and I’m a journalist. I don’t reveal my sources,” Taibbi said.

Garcia replied that it was not about his sources. She argued that it was more about a timeline of events.

“No, that’s a question of sources,” Taibbi said.

Garcia continued to press, saying that “someone had sent you through the internet, some message about whether or not you would be interested in some information.”

Taibbi (a former) responded. “Rolling Stone” The writer said that “I referred to that person as a source.”

“You’re not going to tell us when Musk first approached you?” She was curious. “Again, congresswoman, you’re asking a journalist to reveal a source,” Taibbi said.

Garcia asked Garcia if Taibbi considered Musk to be a source for his reporting. He replied that he did. “now you’re trying to get me to say that he is the source [and] I can’t answer your question.”

Musk frequently announced the upcoming Twitter Files reports after taking control of the company. He promoted Shellenberger’s and Taibbi’s threads regarding prior Twitter management’s policies and communications.

Tesla CEO Elon Tesla and his security detail leave the local office in Washington, January 27, 2023. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

“A week later, the first of what became known as the Twitter Files reports came out. To say these attracted intense public interest would be an understatement,” During the hearing, Taibbi spoke. “My computer looked like a Vegas slot machine as just the first tweet about the blockage of the Hunter Biden laptop story registered 143 million impressions and 30 million engagements.”

After Taibbi’s confrontation with Garcia, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio intervened to protect Taibbi. “he’s a journalist” Who doesn’t need it? “to reveal his source and the fact that Democrats are pressuring him to do that is such a violation of the First Amendment.”

Taibbi’s testimony was part of the House Judiciary Committee’s Weaponization of the Federal Government subcommittee. Democrats claimed that Republicans used Musk’s two devices. “public scribes” To provide what they have said “cherry-picked” Emails and screenshots

“Republicans have brought in two of Elon Musk’s public scribes 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 because the Republicans think these witnesses will tell a story that is going to help them out politically,” Del. Stacey Plaskett, a member of the rank subcommittee on weaponization, spoke to the panel.

Jordan argued that the federal government was involved in a “cozy relationship” Twitter and Facebook have partnered with tech companies like Twitter to silence conservative voices. Notable was the New York Post bombshell report that revealed details from Hunter Biden’s laptop in late 2020.

“The information op was run on us, run on we the people. And if that’s not the weaponization of government, I don’t know what is,” Jordan spoke out on Thursday.

Plaskett asked Taibbi earlier in the hearing who gave him access Twitter’s internal communications and emails. He refused to reveal that information.

“The attribution for my story is sources at Twitter,” After Plaskett described him as a “sparring” man, he replied that he also sparred with Plaskett “so-called journalist.”

“Ranking member Plaskett, I’m not a so-called journalist. 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,” He told the lawmaker.

Plaskett later claimed that there wasn’t “real evidence” alleged collusion between Twitter and federal agencies. She also argued that the hundreds of emails disclosed by Shellenberger, Taibbi were evidence of Twitter’s content moderation rules.

In January, the Weaponization Select Committee was established to investigate the alleged coordination of Big Tech and government.

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