Elon Musk has slammed journalists who are criticizing Matt Taibbi for releasing documents about Twitter’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story.
In a Twitter Spaces call on Saturday, the 51-year-old billionaire said reporters who are smearing Taibbi for revealing how the social media giant took down tweets about Biden’s laptop should ‘look in the mirror’ and confront their own deceitfulness to ‘the American people,’ saying they were ‘not being truthful’ about the story.
Taibbi, 52, has faced backlash from journalists — primarily from MSNBC — trashing his ethics and standards since his exposé revealing how Twitter executives were urged by Biden staff to delete tweets relating to the damaging contents of Hunter Biden‘s laptop.
Many of the tweets disparaging the American author repeated the same themes, claiming he was just doing public relations for the world’s richest man and did not understand limitations to the First Amendment, Mediaite reports.
But in his Twitter Spaces call on Saturday, Musk said he has ‘read hardly any of the Twitter files’ as he is focused on ‘just getting Twitter healthy.’
Instead, Musk said, he left it up to Taibbi and journalist Bari Weiss to reveal what they thought the American public should know, according to Mediaite reports, indicating he told the journalists to expose whatever they thought was of public interest.
Then on Friday, Taibbi detailed how Twitter staff discussed censoring a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop, even alluding to requests from Biden’s team to do so.
‘Twitter took extraordinary steps to suppress the story, removing links and posting warnings that it may be ‘unsafe,’ Taibbi wrote. ‘They even blocked its transmission via direct message, a tool hitherto reserved for extreme cases, e.g. child pornography.’
Notably, in one exchange a Twitter executive emailed another a list of tweets with the instruction, ‘More to review from the Biden team.’
The other executive responded: ‘handled these’.
But many woke journalists slammed Taibbi, a former Rolling Stone politics correspondent, for releasing the documents, saying he did not understand journalistic ethics — while others said he was simply doing public relations for the world’s richest man.
‘Imagine volunteering to do online PR work for the world’s richest man on a Friday night, in service of nakedly and cynically right-wing narratives, and then pretending you’re speaking truth to power,’ MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan wrote.
‘Watching some of the most famous, most powerful and richest men red-pill themselves into disaster. Pretty wild!’ his colleague Chris Hayes added.
When asked about this backlash by podcaster Clayton Morris during the Twitter Spaces call on Saturday, Musk said he thought journalists disparaging Taibbi should do some self-refection.
‘Are you surprised at all about the blowback against Matt Taibbi over the past 24 hours?’ Morris asked.
‘A number of liberal news organizations, a lot of liberal news reporters came out and really slammed Matt Taibbi, which was really shocking,’ he noted. ‘What was your response to that?’
‘Well, I think those people should be looking in the mirror and wondering why they were deceptive. Why did they deceive the American public?’ Musk replied.
‘And instead of trying to redirect blame to Matt Taibbi, accepting some responsibility themselves to not being truthful to the American public.’