Matt Taibbi on the new censorship, blacklists and why the Democratic Party wants to Destroy Him.

Chris Hedges with Matt Taibbi | June 22, 2023

The journalist Matt Taibbi has been targeted by the Democratic Party for exposing extensive government blacklists used to censor left-wing and right-wing critics.

Given access to the internal traffic of Twitter by Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, he documented repeated cases where the FBI and other government agencies repeatedly suppressed news and commentary. The censored content was almost exclusively produced by those critical of the dominant narrative advanced by the Democratic Party and the old establishment wing of the Republican Party. Which has joined forces with the Democrats.

Threads that were censored included those from the Yellow Vests movement, activists from the Occupy movement, Global Revolution Live, negative stories about Joe Biden, reports on the Ukrainian energy company Burisma that paid Hunter Biden about $1 million a year while his father was vice-president, positive stories about Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro, reports about Ukrainian human rights abuses and details of the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop. These accounts that were flagged and usually disappeared.

The so-called “moderation requests” were sent by an entity called the Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF). The FITF is an FBI-led interagency task force that includes numerous government agencies, including Homeland Security, the CIA, the Pentagon and the State Department. It flags what it considers objectionable content for about two dozen social media companies, including Twitter, Facebook, Google, Pinterest and Wikimedia.

In March, Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger were called to testify before the Select Subcommittee on Weaponization of the Federal Government. While Taibbi was testifying on March 9, an IRS agent visited his house in New Jersey. Taibbi discovered that the IRS opened a case against him on the day he published a Christmas Eve Twitter thread from a letter House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan sent to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel inquiring about Taibbi’s case.

It was a Saturday. It was Christmas Eve. Taibbi did not owe taxes. The case was four years old. All this suggests that the IRS case was politically motivated and the FBI was monitoring Taibbi.

Taibbi ran into a buzzsaw of orchestrated character assassination when he testified. The Democratic members of the committee rarely let Taibbi speak. They delivered vicious and insulting diatribes, which were then broadcast on outlets such as MSNBC and CNN, part of the effort to further discredit Taibbi. The ranking committee member, Stacey Plaskett, sent Taibbi a letter accusing him of lying to Congress and threatened Taibbi with a five-year prison sentence.

Joining me to discuss this wholesale censorship, and the efforts by the ruling establishment, including the Democratic Party, to discredit him and his work is Matt Taibbi.

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