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5 Reasons Corrupt Media Are Ignoring The Scandalous ‘Twitter Files’


BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | JANUARY 18, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/18/5-reasons-corrupt-media-are-ignoring-the-scandalous-twitter-files/

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Reporters refusing to cover ‘The Twitter Files’ prefer their role as propagandists to journalists.

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Soon after Elon Musk acquired Twitter, he gave a few reporters access to the tech giant’s internal communications, resulting in scandalous revelations about Twitter’s routine collusion with and censorship direction from the FBI — revelations you likely haven’t heard much about from the corporate media.

“The Twitter Files” showed that this symbiotic relationship between the feds and a so-called private company involved the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story right before the 2020 election, the silencing of Covid dissenters, and even the squelching of regime-challenging journalists, among other bombshells. According to the communications, the federal government paid Twitter some $3,000,000 for its assistance. 

Notwithstanding these explosive revelations, backed up by the internal communications of high-level Twitter executives, the corporate media have ignored the scandals. But why? 

Here are five reasons the corrupt press has refused to adequately cover “The Twitter Files.”

1. Giving Credence To Trump’s 2020 Election Claims Would Be Unforgivable

Accurate coverage of “The Twitter Files” would require the media to report on the FBI’s role in burying the Hunter Biden laptop story shortly before the 2020 election. Among other things, “The Twitter Files” revealed the FBI met monthly and then weekly with Twitter’s team, warning them of various foreign efforts to interfere in the election. Those internal communications, when coupled with an earlier statement Yoel Roth, the then-head of Twitter’s site integrity, provided to the Federal Election Commission, establish the FBI was behind Twitter’s censorship of the Hunter Biden story.

“Since 2018 he had regular meetings with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and industry peers regarding election security,” Roth stated. “During these weekly meetings, the federal law enforcement agencies communicated that they expected ‘hack-and-leak operations’ by state actors might occur in the period shortly before the 2020 presidential election, likely in October,” Roth said, adding that from those meetings he learned “that there were rumors that a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden.” Roth then explained that those “prior warnings of a hack-and-leak operation and doubts about the provenance of the materials republished in the N.Y. Post articles,” led Twitter to conclude “the materials could have been obtained through hacking.” 

When Roth’s statement is read together with the internal emails establishing that Twitter banned the New York Post’s blockbuster reporting under the guise that the materials had been hacked, the FBI’s responsibility for causing the censorship of this politically explosive story is clear. And because the FBI knew Hunter’s laptop had not been hacked and that the materials on it were authentic, by prompting the censorship of the story, the FBI knowingly interfered in the 2020 election.

Or as Donald Trump put it on Truth Social after “The Twitter Files” broke: “The biggest thing to come out of the Twitter Targeting Hoax is that the Presidential Election was RIGGED — And that’s as big as it can get!!!”

For the press to honestly cover “The Twitter Files,” then, would require it to give credence to Trump’s “RIGGED” claims — something it just cannot stomach. Instead, the corrupt media have responded to “The Twitter Files” with silence or spin.

2. Being the Press Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

A second reason the press refuses to cover “The Twitter Files” stems from the corrupt media’s inability to acknowledge its own bias, wrongdoing, and hackery. To report on the many scandals exposed by the files would require media elites to face their own involvement in censoring news and their failings as so-called journalists.

While historically, journalists stood in unity with their fellow reporters, when Twitter and other tech companies censored and then deplatformed the New York Post, the press — in the main — remained silent. In contrast, when Musk temporarily suspended reporters’ accounts who had posted location tracking information in violation of Twitter’s new rules, a thud sounded as the same journalists collectively collapsed on their fainting couches. 

Not only did these supposed standard-bearers of journalism not condemn the censorship, most ignored the story. Those that did not ignore it, such as NPR, discussed not the details of the scandal, but their justification for ignoring it. “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” NPR intoned.

Covering “The Twitter Files” now would be an implicit admission that they were wrong not to report on the laptop story and that they were equally amiss in failing to condemn the censorship of the Post. 

“The Twitter Files” also raise an uncomfortable set of questions for news outlets, namely: Did the FBI warn legacy media that supposed Russian disinformation, in the form of potentially hacked materials involving Hunter Biden, would drop? Is that why they ignored the story and allowed the censorship of the Post to go unchallenged? 

Reporting on “The Twitter Files” would force legacy outlets to confront the potential reality that the FBI had played them and that they were willing to trust the government rather than be a check on its abuse. 

“The Twitter Files” also vindicate Musk and counter the media narrative that his Twitter takeover spelled the beginning of the end for the tech giant. Not only did the avalanche of predicted hate speech not materialize, but under Musk’s leadership, Twitter’s newfound transparency has served both the public interest and a (functioning) free press. Reporting on these facts, then, would require the press not only to acknowledge its own failings but to apologize to Musk and admit their own complicity — things they are apparently unable to do.

3. Condemning the Feds Would Shut Down Sources and Hurt Their Heroes

The media are likely also ignoring “The Twitter Files” to protect their sources — both literally and figuratively. 

Many of the same FBI agents and governmental officials, such as Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who pushed for Twitter to censor speech probably serve as regular sources for the legacy media. This scenario is especially likely if the FBI pushed for the press to censor the Hunter Biden story, as it had with Twitter and Facebook. Reporting on “The Twitter Files” would thus force the media to hammer some of the same individuals who give them valuable leaks. Condemning those individuals could shut down various source networks the corrupt media can’t risk.

The media likely also don’t want to “hurt” their sources or the FBI agents who pushed the Russia disinformation lie to tech companies because they see themselves on the same anti-Trump team. 

Just as the media refuse to condemn the Department of Justice and FBI agents involved in pushing the Russia-collusion hoax because the press favored the unwarranted attacks on Trump that hamstrung his administration, the leftist media silently applauds the FBI’s interference in the 2020 election because it helped deny Trump a second term. 

In this regard, the legacy media and the deep state share the same worldview — that the ends justify the means. The media will thus keep mum about what the FBI did because they’re grateful that intelligence agencies destroyed Trump’s chance to defeat Biden by prompting the censorship of the October surprise. 

4. The Russian Bogeyman Must Be Preserved at All Costs

Ignoring “The Twitter Files” also helps the media preserve their Russia, Russia, Russia narrative.

The various “Twitter File” threads revealed several damning details concerning Russia’s supposed interference in American politics. First, they exposed how the FBI and federal intelligence agencies used Russia’s supposed interference in the 2016 election to push for more resources and collaboration with tech giants. Second, the files revealed that, notwithstanding federal agents’ claims, there were no systemic efforts by Russia to use Twitter to interfere in the U.S. elections. To the contrary, the internal communications showed the FBI pushing for evidence of Russian interference and Twitter executives countering that they weren’t seeing issues.

Third, as detailed above, “The Twitter Files” exposed that the Hunter Biden laptop story was not only not Russian disinformation but that the FBI used that excuse anyway to prompt censorship of the story.

Fourth and finally, the internal Twitter communications showed that the trending of the #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag was not prompted by Russian bots or Russian-connected accounts and that Democrats such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Schiff’s claims to the contrary were false. Those communications also revealed that even though Twitter negated the Russian-interference theory — telling politicians point blank that the evidence showed #ReleseTheMemo was trending because of organic interest in the hashtag — Democrats and the media continued to push that false storyline.

Reporting on “The Twitter Files” would require the media to first acknowledge they were wrong in their #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag coverage. But what’s more, covering Twitter’s internal communications would force the press to dispel the notion that Russia is the bogeyman behind every Republican candidate and every negative story about Democrats.

Corrupt media need to maintain Russia as the bad guy for future elections, however, and to counter future scandals affecting Democrats. Accurate reporting on “The Twitter Files” would lessen the effects of any later resort to a Russia, Russia, Russia narrative — and the press can’t have that.

5. Reporters Prefer Their Role as Propagandists to Journalists

While there are many practical reasons the press refuses to report on “The Twitter Files,” as a matter of principle, it all comes down to one: The legacy media have none.

The so-called journalists working at outlets that were once the standard by which all journalists were judged today value politics more than they do their professional obligations. Informing the public and providing a check on the rich, the powerful, and the politicians are no longer the end goals of corrupt reporters; rather, they seek to use their power to advance their own personal beliefs and agendas. 

In short, the reporters refusing to cover “The Twitter Files” prefer their role as propagandists to journalists.


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

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