Watch System Update #15 here on Rumble.
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In this episode, we take a look at the new installment of the Twitter Files from independent journalist Matt Taibbi, undoubtedly one of the most important and revelatory yet. Among other things, it shines a brand new light on how aggressively and constantly the FBI and other Security State agencies were bombarding Twitter with censorship demands of dissidents, journalists, and critics almost on a daily basis. Taibbi also published highly incriminating documents on how Democratic Congressman, Adam Schiff, abused his power as chair of the House Intelligence Committee to try to have journalists he disliked banned from Twitter and other platforms. But very few shows will cover these self-evidently significant stories because of a corporate media blackout, all but explicit, that arose on the very first night of this reporting and has only strengthened since. So, in addition to the substance of the new revelations, we will also dissect how this media blackout was imposed and what it says about the state of corporate journalism in the United States. Hint: It’s nothing good.
For our interview segment. I’ll speak to this spectacularly interesting, independent broadcaster, Sabby Sabs. We will discuss the ongoing standoff among House Republicans over their Speaker, now entering its third day, and examine what it tells us about the internal dynamics of both political parties. We’ll talk as well about new developments in both Ukraine and the liberal reverence for the FBI.
On the evening of December 2, 2022, the independent journalist Matt Taibbi began releasing and reporting on the so-called Twitter Files — documents he obtained from his access to the internal corporate archives of Twitter.
Despite its Friday night release, it quickly became one of the most viral series of tweets in the history of the platform. The objective of this reporting was the same as the objective of any good reporting, by definition — to inform the public about the previously hidden acts of some of the country’s most powerful corporate and governmental actors. That is the essence of good journalism.
As Taibbi wrote in one of his very first tweets that evening: “The Twitter Files tell an incredible story from inside one of the world’s largest and most influential social media platforms. It is a Frankensteinian tale of a human-built mechanism grown out of the control of its designer”. Among the revelations just from that first evening of reporting, Taibbi showed that the FBI and Homeland Security were heavily involved in the process by which Twitter decides which voices and viewpoints it would allow and which it would prohibit.
Twitter’s chief censor, a person by the name of Yoel Roth, was the caricature of a left-liberal culture warrior whose censorship decisions, including banning the sitting President of the United States…
…from that platform, were continuously contaminated by his desire to promote his ideological viewpoints and suppress dissent, all with the encouragement of and pressure from the Democratic Party, which justified their demands for more Big Tech censorship, with the defining utterance of all censorship advocates: “The First Amendment is not absolute”.
He also showed that Twitter, with the heavy influence of former FBI General Counsel, Jim Baker — who, upon leaving the bureau, magically reappeared as Twitter’s Deputy General Counsel — decided to censor links to the New York Post’s reporting on the presidential frontrunner, Joe Biden, in the weeks right before the 2020 election, and to lock the New York Post out of its account for almost two full weeks based on a claim that Twitter executives at the time explicitly recognized had no evidentiary support, namely that the reporting violated Twitter’s prohibition against the use of “hacked materials”.
As most major media outlets have subsequently acknowledged, and it was blatantly obvious at the time, the materials found on Hunter Biden’s laptop about his father’s business activities in Ukraine and China were not “hacked” at all and thus violated no Twitter rule, but under the pressure of the Democratic Party, the Biden campaign and the FBI’s former top lawyer, Jim Baker, Twitter, along with Facebook, censored that material anyway, depriving millions of Americans of understanding and learning about it right before they went to vote.
Since that first night, just over a month ago, there had been ten or more subsequent installments, by multiple other independent journalists, covering a wide range of topics: how federal agencies pressured Twitter to censor any dissent over COVID; how the U.S. military used Twitter to maintain fake accounts, bots, and propaganda and disinformation campaigns; the role played by corporate media outlets in attempting to launch pressure campaigns to force Big Tech to censor more of their political enemies, and multiple reports on how integral was the CIA, FBI, and DHS in the process of dictating which views and persons could and could not be heard over the Internet.
Given how vast many of these disclosures were, we, here on this show, did what any credible and serious news organization, by definition, would do: we extensively covered the key revelations of this reporting, contributed more context, and connected revelations from the reporting we ourselves have previously done on these same topics, and we interview the journalists involved to talk more about their reporting.
In fact, during our debut show here on Rumble, we devoted our first night to covering the revelations from the first installment of the Twitter Files and spoke to Matt Taibbi about the process he used, the conditions imposed on him by Elon Musk — namely none, beyond agreeing to publish them on Twitter — and the meaning of what he regarded as the most important revelations behind one of the most extraordinary acts of pre-election censorship in decades.
The following week, our second in existence, we interviewed one of the reporters from the New York Post who covered this story from the start and obviously has special insight into that censorship, given that she works for the paper whose reporting was censored, Miranda Devine. The next night, we aggregated and delved into the abundant evidence from multiple installments of these files showing how heavily involved was the FBI specifically — and still is in — Big Tech’s censorship regime, so far removed from what their legitimate role is supposed to be — and then we interviewed the journalist, Michael Shellenberger, who that day had published the first-ever Twitter Files shedding light on who was responsible for the systemic censorship on Big Tech platforms of COVID dissent and how that censorship regime was designed and implemented.
The very next night, after reporting on the new $44 billion the U.S. Congress happened to find to send for the U.S. proxy war in Ukraine — crossing the $100 billion threshold for the year — we spoke to Lee Fang, who had, one month earlier, published his own reporting proving that Homeland Security had implemented programs to seize control of Big Tech’s censorship regime — and undoubtedly its attempt to anoint Resistance fanatic, Nina Yankovic –remember her? — as Disinformation Czar was part of those designs — and then Fang used the Twitter Files to show how the Pentagon House had successfully deployed the exact armies of bots and fake identities and disinformation campaigns that they accused Russia of using in the 2016 election.
Now, our decision to cover all of these revelations was not a difficult one. We didn’t spend time internally debating it. It was easy, basically automatic. These are self-evidently groundbreaking stories revealing the previously secret schemes of the world’s most powerful institutions working to manipulate our political discourse, censor the flow of information on the Internet, and interfere with our last presidential election. If you don’t regard that as significant, what is? Anyone worthy of the title “journalist” will, of course, jump at the chance to dig into the internal files of one of America’s most influential corporations, Twitter, or, for those who didn’t get to do that, would, of course, dissect and analyze those revelations, try to add to them, and breaking key context and meaning to one’s audience. So — despite our show’s barely being two weeks old — that’s exactly what we did over and over and over.
And yet we were noticeably almost alone in covering those stories. A couple of cable shows on Fox, along with a few right-wing websites and Internet programs did cover them, but outside of those isolated cases, there was and continues to be something close to a full-on blackout in the nation’s largest media corporations when it comes to covering those revelations from these Twitter Files. A blackout against covering not some of these stories, but all of them. This media blackout says a great deal about the state of corporate journalism in the United States — and the way this blackout was imposed says even more.
Starting with that first night a month ago, like-minded liberal employees of major media corporations do what they always do now: they formed a hive mind and herd on Twitter just to speak with one unified and very ideological voice. And what they had to say could not have been clearer nor their motives more transparent. ‘Ignore these Twitter Files’. ‘The revelations are trivial and meaningless’. ‘A nothing burger’. The journalist reporting them — Matt Taibbi — is not a legitimate journalist — even though he has more journalistic accomplishments than all of us combined and a larger and more loyal audience than we could ever dream of compiling in ten lifetimes. Why, despite those far greater accomplishments, is Taibbi not a ‘real journalist’ like such towering giants of the profession such as Oliver Darcy, Ben Collins, and Taylor Lorenz? Because Taibbi is not even an employee of a large media corporation, so how could he possibly be a real or legitimate journalist?
Everyone knows that submitting to the HR Department of corporate giants is a prerequisite to being a legitimate journalist — even though when the First Amendment was enacted, it was designed not to protect some special credentialed corporate priesthood called “journalists” but was instead designed to protect the act of journalism, which all citizens, regardless of your title, with a printing press or a pen, not only had the right to do but were more than capable of doing.
And so, starting from that very first night that the Twitter Files began, they immediately began spinning a narrative that was not only designed to justify their ignoring these subsequent releases and that first installment, but also to train their followers to do the same. In other words, don’t just ignore the reporting from Taibbi, they decreed, ignore anything that comes from these documents in the future.
This message was not just self-justifying but, even more so, was designed to train the hordes of liberals who still trust these media institutions and do what they’re told — that they should henceforth ignore everything that was reported because none of it mattered and none of it was trustworthy. And that’s exactly what they proceeded to do.
The language they used that first night was so identical, creepily so, that it seemed like they were little more than digitally created creatures spawned by some centralized Artificial Intelligence program that created the perfect model of a compliant little power-serving media employee, immediately cloned them all and then place them in every major media corporation in the country.
Corporate journalists and liberal activists alike — and really, what’s the point of pretending anymore that those are two different categories — maligned Taibbi using exactly the same phrase. This person on Twitter [@DavidDecosimo] compiled just a few examples. Listen to how identical their language was — not just the mentality, but actually the words they used.
From MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan: “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”.
From Ben Collins, NBC’s Disinformation Reporter: “Imagine throwing it all away to do PR work for the richest person in the world. Humiliating shit”.
From John Knefel of Media Matters: “The Taibbi thread is a giant example of overwriting when you don’t have the goods, but you don’t want to admit you’re just doing PR work for the world’s richest person”.
Michael McDermott, a Democratic strategist who sounds exactly like these journalists, of course: “Matt Taibbi always was and still remains a fraud. Doing PR work for the richest person in the world could come as no surprise”.
Seemingly, every left-liberal journal — in part enraged that they were left out of the reporting and in large part concerned, deeply concerned, that they and their friends inside Twitter and the FBI would be exposed by it — quickly invented the same mass-endorsed formula for telling their flock to distrust and then ignore everything that was reported.
The very reliable liberal partisan, Eric Levitz, of New York Magazine, said that while a couple of revelations were interesting, “They were also saturated in hyperbole, marred by omission of context, and discredited by instances of outright mendacity. Musk’s commentary on the Twitter Files, meanwhile, proved even more demagogic and deceptive than the exposés themselves […] For these reasons, the Twitter Files are best understood as an egregious example of the very phenomenon it purported to condemn — that of social media managers leveraging their platforms for partisan ends”. Do you see that? It wasn’t the censors inside Twitter constantly banning anti-establishment voices who were the ideologues? It was the independent journalist who decided to expose it.
The equally reliable liberal Democratic partisan masquerading as a journalist, Charlie Wurtzel, of The Atlantic, sounded almost exactly like his New York Magazine liberal counterpart — and every other liberal at every other outlet and magazine writing about this, they always sound exactly the same. They always think exactly alike. Wurtzel begrudgingly conceded that some of the screenshots were interesting, but then proceeded to do his real job, maligning the journalism as worthless and unreliable:
The ‘Twitter Files’ entries are sloppy, anecdotal, devoid of context, and, well, old news… The subjectivity of moderation decisions across the social web poses tremendous and complicated problems, which is precisely why journalists and academics have paid close attention to it for more than a decade. But there’s no secret conspiracy. These claims largely comport with what Twitter has publicly stated about its moderation policies over the past few years.
He went on:
The dynamics of the entire affair are Trumpian in the most exhausting way possible. Attempts to engage with the attention hijacker only further his purpose but ignoring him can feel as if you’re letting him get away with distortions on the last word. What Musk seems to really want is to anger liberals, delight his right-wing and reactionary bedfellows, and alienate the mainstream media.
Oh, perish the thought of anyone wanting to alienate the mainstream media who takes crucial groundbreaking revelations and unites to dismiss them as some right-wing fantasy, even though the documents are all right there for you to see. And what is right-wing now about being concerned that the FBI and Homeland Security are uniting with the Democratic Party to censor the Internet? All of these people sounded alike on every topic. They always do. And then they wonder why nobody wants to read any of them. This is actually quite amusing.
Before moving to The Atlantic, that same Charlie Wurtzel, whose prose I just forced myself to read, was touted as a star columnist at The New York Times. He kept hearing that he was so incredibly popular, that there was some huge appetite in the public for his banal thoughts and liberal platitudes. He was held up as proof that the establishment media is back, baby! They now have young, dynamic, super-interesting “thinkers” like Charlie Wurtzel, who are commanding immense public interest. So, after hearing that, Wurtzel, last year, believing his own hype, left the Times in order to go to Substack. They treated this as a momentous event, very exciting. He was held out as the test case to prove that young, dynamic, popular writers from mainstream outlets like The New York Times, still commanded real followers, which would follow them wherever they go.
So, with this narrative in his ear, Wurtzel set out to Substack to find his great riches, with the huge flock of fans and loyal readers he imagines he has, and yet – surprise! — it was all a mirage. Nobody was interested in anything he had to say. Why would they? He sounds exactly like every other media liberal whining about exactly the same things in exactly the same ways — We need more censorship. Big tech needs to “content moderate” the “bad people” more, Trump is Hitler and his followers are fascists and Nazis… You know the drill: the same exact thing you hear anytime you accidentally turn on CNN, MSNBC CNN, CBS News or open up The New York Times and Washington Post op-ed page.
So, after less than six months, six months, when Wurtzel barely had 2,000 people subscribing to his trite little platform — and he admitted that by far the biggest day for him to attract subscribers was when I publicly mocked his failures — after just six months, he announced that he was leaving Substack to go to the safe and loving arms of the corporate media, namely at Jeffrey Goldberg’s Atlantic, where he can go back to pretending that his completely platitudinous liberal dreck somehow had value and public appetite. These people have no readers or followers of their own beyond what their corporate media giants can provide for them because they all say the same thing, think exactly alike about everything and serve, most of all, the same interests of status quo power.
Yet another vapid liberal media clone, the media columnist Oliver Darcy of CNN — published an article that had only one point: to distinguish the losers and misfits and illegitimate fake reporters who cared about these revelations from the ‘real reporters’, the journalists who count — even though they never break any stories and have no audience, but at least work for their large media corporations, their only metric of legitimacy.
Purporting to speak on behalf of the Real Press — writing under the CNN headline “Why News Organizations Are Largely Skeptical of Elon Musk’s Twitter Files Theater”, Darcy decreed: “Led by Fox News, the right-wing media machine is treating the ongoing series of stories as if they were the next Pentagon Papers, breathlessly hyping each new batch of documents as earth-shattering scoops that illuminate horrific abuses of power by woke Twitter overlords of yesteryear. In that distorted universe, Musk is being hailed as a hero at the center of one of the biggest stories of 2022. The establishment press, however, has shown far less interest in the documents themselves,
—Of course, they have—
“with most news organizations outright ignoring various entries in the continuing series. The right-wing media – note: the legitimate media you have over here, and then the right-wing media over here – “apparatus is pushing this story and has not really asserted that the non-reaction is effective because the mainstream press is made up of left-wing hacks who want to hide the truth from the public.”
Of course, that’s what they are. They’re left-wing hacks who want to hide the truth from the public. And that’s why they’ve regarded these stories that reveal the involvement of these security state agencies in our domestic politics, attempts to censor the Internet to align with their interests. The real legitimate news organizations decided that this was irrelevant, something that you shouldn’t pay attention to but turn away from.
Amazingly, this is one of the most viral stories in years on Twitter. The cable network with by far the largest audience, Fox, was covering it. The independent journalists who actually have audiences and readers and followings — such as Taibbi, who I think has the third most read Substack on that platform — were dissecting it and reporting on its meaning. But to Oliver Darcy, and all the other indistinguishable liberal drones in corporate media, none of this mattered because the Real Journalists Who Counted — him and other corporate media employees — decided that none of this had any significance.
Darcy added: “The chief reason most news organizations aren’t up in arms about the story is because the releases have largely not contained any revelatory information. So far, the files have failed to do much outside highlight exactly how messy content moderation can be, especially when under immense pressure and dealing with the former President of the United States”.
I remember this really well when I started doing the Snowden reporting, which ended up winning every major prize in journalism that the West has to offer, including the top award, the Pulitzer Prize for public service, exactly the same thing happened in the same exact way. These journalists were so angry that they were excluded from the story, and then it went to someone they regarded as illegitimate — me and my colleague, Laura Poitras — that they began offering dueling narratives that, on the one hand, we were helping the terrorists by revealing all sorts of things that they didn’t previously know, but then in the other, saying that these stories didn’t matter, we were just revealing what was already known, it was full of hyperbole — the same thing they’re saying now.
That decree that I just read you was issued just days after Oliver Darcy’s CNN colleague, morning show anchor Poppy Harlow — Poppy Harlow — remarked that Musk had chosen to work with journalists who weren’t affiliated with “major, credible news organizations”.
Someone, please tell me, please tell me, by what conceivable metric is CNN, “a major, credible news organization”? They have no audience — Nielsen this month revealed that in 2022, as New York Times reporter Ken Vogel put it this week: “Fewer people watched prime time cable in 2022, but Fox News lost just 1% in primetime viewership compared to 32% at CNN and 21% at MSNBC, according to Nielsen ratings”.
When you start off with almost no audience and then somehow proceed to lose one-third of that tiny number of viewers, you’ve managed to cling to, that’s really not good news. So, nobody wants to watch CNN. They were ground zero for Russiagate propaganda; they were one of the leading voices spreading the pre-election lie that the Hunter Biden laptop was “Russian disinformation” — something they spread through their employee, Obama’s senior national security official, James Clapper, who himself got caught lying when he told the Congress, in 2013, that the NSA wasn’t collecting data on millions of Americans en masse, only for Edward Snowden, weeks later, to provide me with the proof from the NSA’s own files that they were doing exactly that which Clapper denied — and their most notable contribution to journalism is the COVID death clock that mysteriously faded away into the ether starting around January 20, 2021.
Their much-vaunted streaming service, CNN+ was unceremoniously put out of its misery by corporate bosses just 21 days after it was born, because, needless to say, nobody was willing to pay for that crap. Why would anyone pay to listen to CNN hosts when they’re already refusing to listen to them for free?
And yet, Poppy Harlow — is that her name? — Poppy Harlow grabs her CNN morning cup coffee mug with both of her manicured hands and looks at Matt Taibbi, who did this groundbreaking reporting, and proclaims that Musk chose not to work with “The major credible news organizations” — meaning the failing, collapsing, discredited audience free debacle called CNN. Do you see how these people think? They live in a complete fantasy world where there are billions of people hanging on their every word due to the trust they built with the public, when, in fact, the public feels nausea when they accidentally see their faces at the airport — the only time anyone watches CNN at all.
And so, knowing that these “major credible news organizations” have any intention of covering any of these new Twitter installments — they have none — we will continue to do so, starting with one of the most important yet, released by Taibbi just today. It sheds all new light on how the FBI and the security services bombarded Twitter with so many censorship demands that it was making the already neurotic Yoel Roth even more neurotic, complaining that they never stop with their demands for more Americans to be silenced. It also shows the key role played by corporate journalists in all of this, a major reason they wanted people to look away, and perhaps most importantly at all, it demonstrates the efforts by Adam Schiff, abusing his power as chair of the House Intelligence Committee, to demand that journalists who are critical of him be removed from the platform.
Now, let’s take a look at what these journalists have decided. You have no business in paying attention to or seeing it. Taibbi is reporting from just a few hours ago, actually just less than 24 hours ago, on Twitter, and he begins here with his first tweet, which is entitled “The Twitter Files Twitter and the FBI” — and he calls it “Belly Button”. There’s this kind of grotesque art that he decided to commission that went along with it. But he’s actually using that term because of the term the FBI used for the means of communication that the FBI had set up directly as a pipeline into Twitter to receive their bombardment, their never-ending demands for censorship of American citizens. Taibbi went on, “By 2020, Twitter was struggling with the problem of public and private agencies, bypassing them and going straight to the media with lists of suspect accounts.
This is really important. One of the things that I constantly point out that I believe has been insufficiently understood about the implementation of this censorship regime over the Internet, is that the leading impulse, the primary agitators and advocates for this censorship regime, did not emanate from within these Big Tech platforms themselves. It came from media outlets.
I can’t stress that enough. Somehow we are a country in which the leading proponents of censoring the Internet are people who called themselves ‘journalists’. It’s just so remarkable to me, so offensive to me, to be honest, because, of course, journalists are expected to have a wide range of views on all sorts of issues. But we’re supposed to have foundational, defining views, one of which is the nobility of bringing transparency to the world’s most powerful institutions, which is why it sickens me to watch journalists cheer the imprisonment of a person who has done exactly that, far better than they ever could, Julian Assange.
But another value we’re all supposed to, by definition, defend is free and open inquiry. The idea that having information disseminated to the public freely strengthens democracy. That’s the role we’re supposed to play, not manipulate people about what they think, but give them the information they need to understand the world better. That has always meant journalists taking the lead in defending free speech and a free press and free discourse. But here you have the opposite.
Once journalism got corporatized, they completely inverted its function. And so, now, instead of defending a free press and free speech, and free inquiry, these journalists do the opposite. This is what this tweet is referencing, which came from the internal files of Twitter. The problem that Twitter had was that, in particular, a specific set of journalists — The New York Times Tech Team, people like Mike Isaac and Ryan Mac, and the new NBC News Disinformation Unit, little millennial dweebs who constantly tattle on people that they’re breaking the rules to get them censored, like Ben Collins and Brandy Rodney and others, and people like Taylor Lorenz — they’re constantly engaged in censorship activism under the guise of journalism, by having the government come to them and say, these people that Twitter and Facebook and others are allowing, are Russian agents or spreading Russian disinformation or disinformation in general or hate speech, and then using the media to create the public pressure on these tech executives to censor.
They’re bypassing these Big Tech companies often and going straight to their loyal servants in the media, knowing these tactics, these security state agencies do that. They’ll always do — the journalists will — what they’re told. So, they go and say: You should go ask Facebook why they’re allowing these accounts when we, the government, have determined they’re spreading disinformation. Or you should go ask Twitter why they’re allowing these particular people to express these on COVID that we’ve decided are harmful or that is hate speech. And then, these little journalists do what they’re told. They write stories: Twitter is allowing Russian bots on their platform; Facebook is allowing hate speech. And that’s designed to put pressure on Big Tech companies to censor the voices that the government and their corporate media partners weren’t censored. So, much of today’s reporting shines new light on that critical dynamic.
Here’s the next tweet from Taibbi, “In February 2020, as COVID broke out, the Global Engagement Center — a fledgling analytic/intelligence arm of the State Department — went to the media with a report called “Russian Disinformation Apparatus Taking Advantage of Coronavirus Concerns”. This is a new unit of the State Department that is tasked with going to these Big Tech companies and warning them of people that they claim are Russian disinformation activists in order to try and get them censored. They were bombarding Twitter with this. And yet, as Matt Taibbi says, quoting an internal communication: “We’re happy to work directly with you on this, meaning the state department. Instead of NBC. As Taibbi said, “Roth tried in vain to convince outsider researchers like the Clemson Lab to check with them before pushing stories about foreign interference to media”.
One of the continuous themes we’ve seen in these Twitter Files is Twitter’s anger, in particular at NBC. And the reason they’re angry at NBC is because NBC continued to publish stories that were outright false, that were lies, that were disinformation, many of which that came from that small group of journalists, so-called, who are the Disinformation Unit designed to patrol the Internet for disinformation when they, in fact, are the ones so often spreading disinformation, as I’ve often said. The people who spread the most disinformation are the ones in the media who claim to need to censor the Internet in order to combat it.
And what these NBC reporters would do is they would get information from the government accusing Twitter and Facebook of allowing Russian bots or hate speech people or disinformation agents to stay on the platform to pressure them, Big Tech, to censor these people. That was the role of the media and still is to be the leading agitators for censorship over the Internet. And here, Twitter is exhausted by the lies of NBC. And they’re saying, ‘please let us talk to you, rather than these fanatics at NBC who keep lying to the public about what’s on our platform to pressure us, to censor people we don’t actually want to censor’.
Here is the email that Taibbi quoted. You can see the highlighted part of this email that he quoted where Yoel Roth is writing to this outside group saying, “Look, I’m happy to have a U.S. government relationship”. And then Yoel Roth responds, “Thanks for this awareness”. And he says, “happy for whoever to manage this. But I do think direct outreach to them to say something like, ‘hey, we’ve heard from one reporter that you say you found the IRA as he said a bunch of times, we’re still happy to work directly with you on this instead of via NBC’ would be justified.” He’s saying that if you really have people who you think are Russian bots or disinformation agents come to us and directly tell us, don’t involve NBC because of their propensity to lie to the public, to try and pressure us to censor people we don’t think should be censored.
Here is a further tweet from Taibbi summarizing the documents that he posted in which he says, and this is crucial: “State…meaning the State Department], NSA and CIA”. Chan reassured him it would be a “one-way” channel, and “State/GEC, NSA and CIA have expressed interest in being allowed [only to be] in listen mode only”.
Yoel Roth was complaining to the US government. There are so many of your agencies constantly bombarding you with censorship requests every day I’m hearing not just from the FBI, but Homeland Security and the NSA and the CIA and the State Department. He was practically pleading with them to simplify the process so that he could do other work other than take censorship orders from the U.S. government. And here was the Government promising him, ‘well, we’ll take care of this, of the State Department, NSA, and CIA. They’ll be only in listening mode. They’ll just have a one-way line of communication with you while they tell you who they want to be censored’. So, you don’t have to actually respond.
Think about this: in the United States, the State Department, responsible for dealing with diplomatic concerns and the relationship between the United States and foreign countries; the NSA, an agency that was created to spy not on American citizens, but on foreign adversaries; and the CIA, an agency that was designed to operate with little control because they would only operate in foreign countries, instead are so actively involved in pressuring Twitter constantly on a daily basis, not occasionally, but continuously, about what they should and shouldn’t censor.
This is what these corporate media cretins are telling the world doesn’t deserve any attention; is not a real story. You see who they serve? The reason they don’t want anyone looking at this is because these are the people who tell them what to do. These are their friends and sources who feed them the propaganda they dutifully report. They’re protecting these people, these agencies over whom they’re supposed to be adversarial by telling the public, don’t pay attention to the documents that revealed the truth about what they’re doing. That is anti-journalism, what these people are doing, inside the Poppy Harlow’s legitimate, serious, respected news organizations.
Here’s Taibbi’s next tweet:
Twitter was taking requests from every conceivable government body, beginning with the Senate Intel Committee (SSCI), which seemed to need reassurance. Twitter was taking FBI direction. Execs rushed to tell “Team SSCI” they zapped five accounts on an FBI tip
And then here’s the next tweet: “Requests arrived and were escalated from all over: from Treasury, the NSA, virtually every State Department, the HHS, from the FBI and DHS and more”. So here you have the Senate Intelligence Committee, which obviously exercises enormous power over Big Tech and its relationship to the U.S. Security State — Big Tech has enormous contracts that they get from the U.S. Security State — telling them in no uncertain terms ‘You better be listening to and following the requests from the FBI about who we want you to censor’. And the only real concern about Twitter executives in all of this was that they were being bombarded from so many different governmental directions about who to censor, that they could barely do their jobs.
And they were just begging, please simplify this to make it easy for us to obey you, to the point that the Senate Intelligence Committee was concerned that they were being too resistant and sent them a message saying: “We trust that you better be listening to the FBI”
Taibbi’s next tweet: “They also received an astonishing variety of requests from officials asking for individuals they didn’t like to be banned”. This is crucial. Twitter received an astounding variety of requests beyond these U.S. security services from political officials asking that individuals they don’t like should be banned.
Here is the office of the Democrat and House Intelligence Committee chief Adam Schiff asking Twitter to ban the journalist Paul Sperry. And here is the email. It’s obviously a little too detailed for you to see, but what it essentially shows is that Adam Schiff had met with the Twitter executives in the name of the House Intelligence Committee, and he had a whole variety of requests: “Remove any and all content about Mr. Musk and other committee staff from its service to retweets and reaction to that content. Suspend the many accounts, including Gregg Roubini and Paul Sperry, which have repeatedly promoted false QAnon conspiracies and harassed.”
These journalists have denied having anything to do with QAnon but even if they did, how is it conceivably appropriate for Adam Schiff, with all the power he wields or wielded as House Intelligence Committee Chair — I think one of the main reasons to get this speakership drama over is to strip Adam Schiff of all of his committee assignments — but at the time, he was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and he was demanding that journalists that he disliked not only be banned but have all their quotes suppressed to the point where even the compliant Twitter executives said, “Look, we’re not doing this. This is not something that we do”.
Someone please tell me how anything other than corruption can explain how a journalist would tell the public that this information is not important, that it’s not revelatory, and that it doesn’t merit any attention. Here is Taibbi saying, “We don’t do this”. That was Twitter’s response.
Even Twitter, which is censoring on command, at almost every moment, declined to honor Schiff’s request at any time, Sparing the journalist Schiff wanted gone, though, he was later suspended, however.
Taibbi goes on: “Twitter honored almost everyone else’s request, even those from GEC [that State Department arm], including a decision to ban accounts like @rebel protest and @BricsMedia because GEC identified them as “GRU-controlled” and linked “to the Russian government”, respectively”.
Who doesn’t? The U.S. government under Joe Biden was accused of being a GRU-controlled Russian government agent. That’s what they do to all of their enemies and opponents and people who dissent from them. I get called that every day, and yet here they are demanding that people be banned from the Internet based on these accusations with no evidence presented.
Taibbi went on: “The GEC [the State Department] requests were that a former CIA staffer working at Twitter was referring to, when he said, “Our window on that is closing”, meaning the days when Twitter could say no to serious requests, that ability to say no to the CIA and to State Department was over.
And here you see the email Taibbi is offering — none of this is based on Taibbi’s assertions, every claim that he makes is backed up by the supporting documentation — an email in which the CIA official, ex-CIA official — imagine what it takes to worry him about undue state security influence. He’s saying, “look, I’ve generally waited for more evidence before banning, but I think that the window on that is closing, given that government partners — government partners, that’s what they called them on Twitter — are becoming more aggressive on attribution and reporting on it. I’m going to go ahead with suspension and marking the domain as unsafe”. So, they ended up obeying, and made clear that these government institutions were increasingly aggressive in demanding that Twitter censor on command, to the point Twitter felt like they could no longer defy them.
Here’s the last part of Taibbi’s reporting from Twitter today — that all the giants of journalism like Poppy Harlow — Poppy Harlow — and Oliver Darcy and Ben Collins and Charlie Wurtzel and Eric Levitz are all telling you to ignore. It’s all unreliable and unimportant. — he says: “Some reports [that came from the government on Twitter] were just a paragraph long and said things like: ‘The attached email accounts… were possibly used for “influence operations, social media collection or social engineering’. Without further explanation, Twitter would be given forwarded an Excel document”.
They wouldn’t even be purporting to offer evidence. They would just send over the names of people on an Excel spreadsheet. Here is one of the communications from the government at Twitter: “Advanced persistent threat (PT) cyber actors use the attached email accounts to create hundreds of social media accounts between mid-June and early September 2022, possibly for use in influence operations, social media collection, or social engineering”.
No proof, no due process, no evidence, just accusations. And then, here’s the list. It is nothing other than a list of Twitter accounts. “The United States government demands that Twitter ban:[…].”
Taibbi concludes with a quote from the government: “I apologize in advance for your workload.” The government was apologizing that they were bombarding them with so much. “Requests poured in from FBI offices all over the country, day after day, hour after hour: If Twitter didn’t act quickly, two questions came: ‘Was any action taken’?, ‘Any movement’?”
This is the level of pressure that the U.S. Security State, along with political officials like Adam Schiff, have been exerting on Big Tech companies using the leverage and multi-prong power they have over these Big Tech platforms to get rid of any voices or dissidents or critics these U.S. Security State agents wanted to be silenced. If you don’t think this is a story, as so many of these journalists have, then you should turn in your journalist badge immediately. There are few things more significant and more disturbing than the role that the U.S. security services are playing in our political discourses, in our election, and in the information, we are and are not allowed to hear. Rather than turning away from that as they’re telling you to, you should look more and more. And that is the reason we will continue to cover this, even if very few other people do.
The Interview: Sabby Sabs
For our Interview segment, I am really delighted to speak with a person whom I have come to regard as one of the most independent and interesting political commentators in the country. She has her own podcast in her name. She also is part of the Revolutionary Blackout Network, whose work I’ve discovered only a couple of months ago but had become a fan very quickly, we’ve had colleagues of hers already on this show, including Ted Cruz. I’ve been harassing Sabby to come on my show to the point where I’m surprised she hasn’t taken out a restraining order but we finally succeeded in getting her on. I’m really delighted to speak with her because her analysis is always incredibly interesting when we talk to her about the drama at the Capitol over Kevin McCarthy, what it reflects about the two parties, and a couple of other topics as well. I hope you’ll enjoy this interview segment. I’m sure you will.
G.G.: So here she is, as promised. Abby, thank you so much. I’m a little embarrassed for how much we’ve been chasing you, but we really value your voice and we’re excited for your debut appearance on our show.
S.S.: Hi, Glenn. Thanks so much for having me on.
G.G.: Sure. So, we’ve been covering over the last couple of days this melodrama at the Capitol. The fact that the Republican Party has a group of approximately 20 dissidents and holdouts who have said from the start they will not support Kevin McCarthy on ideological grounds to become the Speaker, and at least thus far, have kept their word and defied Party leadership and all the pressure being applied on them. And at the same time, you have the Democratic Party that did exactly the opposite. They chose their leader very quickly with no dissension or debate, even, by acclamation: Hakeem Jeffries. So, I’m wondering what you’re making of all this and what it shows about the two parties.
S.S.: Yes, exactly. This is exactly what we wanted the Squad to do: to act as a lefty party, so to speak. They were supposed to go into the Democratic Party and disrupt the status quo and to take on the establishment Democrats and the corporate Democrats as well. But what we have found over time is that when it came down to it and when it was time for them to actually push for those types of policies and to push back against those politicians, they were not willing to do so. And that includes forcing the vote against Nancy Pelosi for Medicare for All, for bringing that to the floor for a vote. They decided not to do that after they teased and hinted about possibly not supporting her. There was a whole town hall for “Force to Vote” where they were all invited on to — it received over millions of views. None of them showed up.
They couldn’t even send one representative, so to speak. In the end, they decided to support Nancy Pelosi and they received no concessions in doing so. Now, we were only asking them to ask for one thing to bring Medicare for All to the floor for a vote. They couldn’t even do that. And now we see the Republican politicians are doing just that. They’re forcing the vote against Kevin McCarthy for Speaker, and they’re asking for multiple concessions. So, we’re now into the, what, the sixth round, and he’s still been a “no” here — twenty people are still supporting Rep. Donalds. This is what we asked them to do. So, it just goes to show you how spineless the progressives are in the House at this moment. And honestly, it’s quite embarrassing to see that they weren’t willing to do this, but you have someone like Matt Gaetz who is willing to have the guts to do it.
G.G.: They’re so proud of themselves. The Democrats are. They’re sitting there grinning and posting photos of themselves about how happy they are to watch these Republicans doing what they ran on a campaign pledge to do, which was not just to go in and criticize the Republican Party –we already had Joe Crowley and Eliot Engel and all these incumbents. These Squad members took out to do that. It was to go and be a critic of the Democratic Party and the Democratic establishment and to take them on and disrupt them and subvert them. So, I’m sure there are some disagreements you have with these holdouts in terms of what they’re asking for, although, probably, some, I would imagine you’re in agreement with.
They want a lot more budget and a lot more power for the Church Committee to investigate. Well, I was just talking about the abuses of the FBI and the CIA, long a left-wing cause, but apparently in mainstream circles, at least, no longer. So, I’m wondering if you kind of are watching what these Republicans are doing — even if you obviously disagree with some of their specific demands — with a little bit of envy and maybe even admiration.
S.S.: There’s a little bit of jealousy, I have to admit, because this, again, is what we wanted the Squad to do. I’m all for getting rid of organizations like the FBI and defunding the IRS, which I think they’re asking for that as well. I’m all for those things. And I think that it’s kind of sad to look back and see that this is exactly what we could have had on the left if we had those politicians that were willing to fight. But I think what people need to understand as well is that it goes past “Force the Vote”. It extends further than that because their actions have not changed since then. If we go back to last year when we look at Nina Turner’s candidacy when she was running for Congress, with the exception…
G.G.: I guess for those who don’t know, Nina Turner was a very active spokesperson in Bernie Sanders’s campaign, somebody who really was beloved on the left, a very charismatic kind of lightning rod voice for the left, much like, say, Marjorie Taylor Greene or Matt Gaetz are to the right, or Donald Trump. So, yeah, what happened in that race? Go ahead.
S.S.: So, with the exception of AOC, who had a performative measure where she came in in the final hour and decided to endorse Nina Turner, none of the members of the Squad were willing to endorse Nina Turner because they had been told that the Progressive Caucus was going to back Shontel Brown. They were not supposed to be there to go along with the corporate Democrats. They were supposed to push back against them. And that strategy does not work. So, I’m heavily against that strategy now. And I think that’s a really good example for people to point to, that they weren’t even willing to endorse one of their own because they were more concerned about their own political careers.
G.G.: Let’s move away a little bit from the procedure of this and look at some of the substantive components to it. I can imagine a case where there’s some obviously uniting figure that is the only person who could unite the different factions of the Party or elicit the trust of the different factions of the Party. Maybe you can imagine a valid case where somebody comes, and becomes the leader of the caucus by acclamation, sort of.
Everyone agrees on a consensus that that’s the only person who can kind of have a voice within each of the factions. That’s maybe something like what the Republicans did when they chose Paul Ryan, when Kevin McCarthy was supposed to be Speaker back then and you kind of had a flub and, you know, every faction felt, at least, okay enough with Paul Ryan that they said,’ All right, that’s a kind of consensus pack’. The Democrats, as we said just two weeks ago, in the way that they’re very proud of themselves, sort of did that: they found a candidate whom they anointed their leader by acclamation. His name is Hakeem Jeffries. I don’t think he’s the kind of person about whom you could say that but describe — for people who don’t know who Hakeem Jeffries is — the new Democratic Majority Leader, and what your views on him are.
S.S.: Hakeem Jeffries, he’s very corporate. He is against progressive policies for those who are not aware, he’s been very vocal about that. And then, when we talk about foreign policy, Hakeem Jeffries supports the state of Israel. He is not for the Palestinian-led movement and he has also referred to Israel as the sixth borough of New York City. So, I’m already waving a flag at Hakeem Jeffries because this is someone who’s not good on foreign policy issues, and he doesn’t support progressive policies and he’s also against something like Medicare for All. So again, this is another person that they all decided to vote for and support, just like Nancy Pelosi, who is not going to try to bring forth any type of progressive legislation. So, again, we’re back to square one.
G.G.: What really amazes me about Hakeem Jeffries in particular, though, is, you know, the critiques you just voiced of him are true from the vast, vast majority of the Democratic Party caucus, but Hakeem Jeffries has really taken particular glee in being very open about his contempt for this Squad. He hates them. He hates their politics. He worked very hard to defeat them all. He financed primary opponents to them even once they became incumbents.
He was somebody who, in 2018, AOC said she found such a toxic figure. He was the one who replaced Joe Crowley in that leadership position when she defeated him, and it was going to be her “top priority” to take him down through a primary challenge. So, he’s not just anyone in the Democratic Party caucus. His politics conflict with the Squad. He’s someone who has a particular personal animus toward them that he’s not only not hidden, but loves to wear on his sleeve, and yet they still kind of just sacrificed all their dignity to cheer for him. What explains this for you? Did they just get completely co-opted and transformed by Washington or do they just not have political courage? Or what is it, having watched them all these years, do you think has happened to them?
S.S.: I had a pretty deep discussion with Cynthia McKinney about what actually happens in the House once you get in. And one of the things…
G.G.: Just so… Cynthia McKinney was a former member of the House of Representatives, I think almost a decade, from Georgia, and because of her views as an outspoken critic of Israel, AIPAC and the Israel lobby targeted her for defeat. They ran a primary challenge against her and she was defeated. So go ahead. What did she tell you?
S.S.: She’s one of those voices that’s been pushed out. Same as with Dennis Kucinich. I saw Cynthia McKinney explain to me that they made it very clear to her that when the Democratic Party leadership tells us what we’re going to do, we’re going to do it, there is no pushing back against them. You get in line or you’re pushed out. So, I think what has happened with the Squad is similar to what happened to Cynthia McKinney. The difference is Cynthia McKinney still decided to push back. So, then she’s gone, they primary challenged her, but the Squad decided that we don’t want to go that route, so we’re going to go ahead and fall in line so that we can still have our political careers.
G.G.: I mean, I just don’t understand the point of having a political career if you have no autonomy in doing what it is that you say you believe in.
Let’s look at a couple of specifics. I think, for me, one of the most eye-opening moments, the kind of the point of no return was when every single last Democrat, Bernie and the Squad, and every last one of them united to vote for Joe Biden, his war policies, to send $40 billion, “to Ukraine”, which even some of them recognize really meant to Raytheon and to Boeing and to the CIA, all the things that before the war they themselves were warning of, and yet they fell right into line and it took seven or eight dozen Republicans to vote “no” — Tucker Carlson, on Fox News, being the most prominent media member opposing it. At the same time, there was an article in The New York Times today on the irony that one of the demands of the holdouts is they want a new Church Committee to delve into the abuses of the CIA and the FBI.
And yet there’s no appetite for this at all on the left, which barely mentions those agencies, except sometimes AOC and others will demand that the FBI do more against what they call ‘extremist’ on domestic soil. What is it? What explains that, in your view, this kind of reversal on things like foreign policy and war and the U.S. Security State that is so evident in the two parties in these two camps?
S.S.: They’ve probably already been told not to support it. That’s probably where that comes from and we see that as well with the Twitter Files. It seems to me to be more the conservative voices that are saying, “no”, we need to get rid of the FBI, let’s get rid of the CIA, you guys paying attention to the information that’s coming out from the Twitter Files, whereas on the left, they’re actually smearing people like Matt Taibbi, like Bari Weiss, saying that they’re just drifting off of this exercise with the Twitter Files. This doesn’t make any sense to me.
The left is supposed to be the anti-war, anti-censorship base, and things have changed. Now they’re for censorship, they’re war. They’re for funding all these wars abroad, therefore imperialism, taking resources from these countries. That’s not what the left comes from. But it’s very clear to me that a lot of these people have decided to sell out. They’re just trying to get paid. They have fed into the corruption, in the same corruption that they were brought there to fight against. They are now a part of it.
G.G.: Yeah. I mean, I’d mentioned a couple of times an interview that I did with AOC during her 2018 primary challenge. I remember Ryan Grim, the Washington bureau chief of The Intercept, called me and said: ‘There’s this primary challenger trying to take out Joe Crowley in Queens’. He knows I have a very high standard for liking Democrats. He said, ‘I think you’ll really like her’. I just encourage anybody to go watch that interview. I spent 45 minutes pressing her and I found her answers very impressive. I actually encouraged people to support her and donate to her. And if you can find any AOC from that 2018 interview I did with her, when she was running against Joe Crowley and trying to get the left to support her, in the current iteration, I would love to hear about it.
Let me ask you, Sabby, with the time that we have left, I find it a little bit remarkable how little attention has been paid to the collapse of the crypto firm attacks and especially the arrest and now indictment of Sam Bankman-Fried, in part because he became one of the largest donors to really to both political parties, although he talked about the fact that he donated openly to Democrats and secretly to Republicans because that’s the only way to get the media on your side is if you’re openly favoring the Democratic Party, which I found interesting. And of course, the media ignored that because it’s a pretty huge indictment on their ideological disposition. But one of the people who seem most kind of intertwined with Sam Bankman-Fried is Ritchie Torres, who is now in his second term in office.
He represents, you know, has an incredibly compelling biography. He’s from an immigrant family. He’s black and he’s gay. He was raised in the Bronx, the district that he now represents, he’s clearly somebody whom I regard as very intelligent and shrewd. We’re going to be stuck with him for a long time. He somehow, despite representing the Bronx, has decided that his most important job as a member of Congress is to devote himself single-mindedly to the interest of this foreign country, in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, which is a good career move in New York politics, but kind of baffling from the perspective of what his job is supposed to be. But he’s clearly involved in lots of different ways in crypto and having defended it from regulators, at the same time, receiving money, even though he had no opponent, from Sam Bankman-Fried. What do you think was going on with Ritchie Torres in the crypto industry and FDX?
S.S.: I think that Ritchie is doing all that he can to protect himself in this situation here. I think people need to really understand, Ritchie Torres, like you said, he is very smart. He knows exactly what he’s doing. This is someone that’s going to go really far if he continues doing what he’s doing. I could see him becoming the next Hakeem Jeffries. It’s really interesting. I think he was propped up a lot as a progressive because of identity politics.
There was a New York Times article that said he checked off all the progressive boxes and they mentioned all the things that you just said about him so that someone that they can see is the person that’s going to be like the next leadership position in the Democratic Party because he does check off those boxes and at the same time, he’s in bed with people like Sam Bankman-Fried. At the same time, he heavily supports the state of Israel and he is against the Palestinian movement. These are red flags for people, anyone who considers himself to be on the left. You should look at what they do and not so much just look at their identity, so to speak. But because Ritchie Torres says things in such a way that makes him appear to be credible, he is someone that is going to go very far. So, he’s going to do what he can to protect himself in reference to this situation. And unfortunately, people are going to buy into it.
G.G.: You know, it’s funny, the answer you just gave, the explanation you just offered about the actual use of weaponized identity politics is almost verbatim what AOC told me in 2018. She called people like Ritchie Torres Trojan horses. People are held up as these revolutionary figures because of the first this and the first that. And in reality, they’re only there to defend status quo power and status quo power structures and drape over it. This kind of very thin veneer and costume of revolutionary change through identity politics when the substance is exactly the opposite.
Well, I think you guys can probably see why I’ve become a big fan of Sabby. I hope you’ll follow her work, on The Revolutionary Blackout as well, doing really impressive commentary and work. I hope you guys keep it up and come back on my show. I hope there’s no secret restraining order because I am going to keep sliding into your dams to try and get you on. I really appreciate your taking the time to come on.
S.S.: Thanks so much, Glenn.
G.G.: Yeah. Have a great night. Bye, bye.
So, we’re a couple of minutes over time but I just wanted to close out tonight’s show by returning to one of the topics covered in tonight’s monologue. The revelations in the Twitter Files really do constitute one of the biggest stories in politics, media, and tech of the last few years, at least. But I think an equally big part of the story and what has come out of the Twitter Files — apart from what they reveal about the censorship regime that was established to this collusion of Big Tech and intelligence agencies and politicians like Adam Schiff — is the mainstream media is near total blackout of the story. Just ask yourself, apart from this show and a few other independent Substacks and online shows, — maybe a couple of Fox shows that are often heterodox — where else are you hearing about this major story?
A major reason for why you’re watching this show right now here on Rumble is exactly what’s happening with the story. An entire corrupt ecosystem, the major power centers in the United States, and institutions are being exposed and embarrassed, and the media is completely silent about it, aggressively silent, telling you to look away.
Why? Because they’re a central part of that corrupt ecosystem. As the Twitter Files reveal, it’s journalists and media outlets who themselves advocated for those policies and that act of censorship. And you see Big Tech and the CIA and the FBI as their allies and a tool for carrying out their partisan objectives and for punishing whomever they see as their ideological enemies. Not only do they agree with and support everything that’s been exposed by the Twitter Files, but they were a central part of it. And that is precisely why it’s so vitally important to create and grow a completely separate media ecosystem — as we and others are trying to do here on Rumble and across other new and independent platforms.
While the ability to offer up different ideas and viewpoints that aren’t commonly given a voice in mainstream news is one big part of what we’re doing –. people like Sabby Sabs and others – perhaps, even more important, is the fact that the media is captured by a narrow partisan faction, and its alliance with major power centers means that it can’t even be trusted to do its most basic job properly, which is to expose and hold those power centers to account.
But one of the things I realized several years ago is that complaining about that or denouncing it or begging, pleading and even shaming them to do something different won’t be nearly enough to fix the corruption at the heart of those institutions. They’re designed to do that. That’s not a bug, but the purpose. Only competition will fix that: an alternative to the closed system of propaganda and high-minded consensus they relentlessly attempt to impose.
Fortunately, the numbers here on Rumble — after not even three weeks following the launch of our show — demonstrate that huge numbers of people are demanding an alternative. The fact that the independent sector of media continues to thrive — call it Roganism — while the traditional corporate sector collapses into a handful of giants such as The New York Times, while the rest fade away — offers further proof of how much trust and faith those outlets have lost.
Between the rock-bottom ratings of most cable news shows and the collapsing level of trust people have in mainstream media today, it’s clear that the public knows they aren’t being served. They know they’re being deceived. That’s why we are so excited to be doing this new show and we really appreciate you tuning in and supporting this project. That’s what makes it possible.
Have a great night, everybody. As usual, we will now move to Locals for the interactive part of our show to take your questions and to hear your feedback. For those who are already a member of our local community or wannabe, just click Join and it’ll take you over there. For the rest of you, we will see you, hopefully, tomorrow night and every night here at our normal time, live, at 7 p.m. EST, exclusively on Rumble.