My one brief run-in with Taibbi was almost 20 years ago, and trying to explain the totality of all that would, I hope, not interest anyone (it involved the 2004 Green Party nominating convention), but a lot of what I have seen out of quasi-journalists over time fits in with what I understood to be happening then: weird narratives, either impossible to refute (because they're not coherent arguments) or eminently refutable (because they're patently false), where the truth isn't the point, the distraction of the weird narrative is.

Curious what your take is on leaving Twitter at this point. It feels much too entrenched as a primary source of information. Same with Facebook, albeit for different information. It's difficult to understand how to navigate as a citizen-consumer trying to confront these awful owners.

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Mar 11Liked by Jonathan M. Katz

I'm one of those "moronic" Democrats that actually enjoyed the Democratic Representatives on Mr. Jordan's execrable committee and their questions to the "so-called journalists." I read the Twitter Files nonsense through the 4th tranche. I subsequently got bored and decided that they weren't going to show us anything that even remotely resembled a supposed government plot to suppress free speech. And they didn't.

Contrary to the opinion of at least one of your readers, the Twitter Files showed us that government agencies worked to prevent or remove things that the general public had no right to be seeing in the first place, like Hunter Biden's private parts. On the other hand, though, the Trump Administration worked to try to remove speech it didn't like, like Chrissy Tiegan's criticisms. THAT is where the "government" tried to suppress free speech. The idea that the former Twitter overlords were biased against conservative speech is a red herring, designed to keep anyone from seeing that it actually worked the other way around.

Thank you for a concise look at both how the information contained in the Twitter Files was weaponized, and how incredibly effective it was in inciting the clueless to anger, vis-à-vis your interlocutor. That is what this is all about, in the end. The team that manages to incite the greatest amount of rage & fear is the team that will - most likely - come out on top. That is, unless saner, cooler heads can blunt the disinformation and continue to disseminate the truth.

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Mar 16Liked by Jonathan M. Katz

"Because pretty soon, I was going to find myself on the 'chopping block.'": Quite likely, he meant it literally and aspirationally. I grew up among such people. They yearn for a "strongman" to direct the power of the state against the people they consider their enemies, namely "uppity" brown people, "feminazis", "perverts", etc. and, above all, "elites" who continually tell them that they're mistaken, ignorant, "deplorable", etc. Hence their enthusiasm for Donald Trump and (although it has become less fashionable to acknowledge) Vladimir Putin. Having grown up among such people, and given there are millions of them in the USA, I'm inclined to doubt that the growing dysfunctionality of American politics and government will end well or without mass violence.

"Their aim is the aim of intellectual grifters everywhere - to tire out their opponents and exhaust everyone listening into submission.": Thereby gratifying their egos, attaining through dishonest bloviation a degree of fame and, in many cases, fortune that they couldn't (or believe they couldn't) attain through honest achievement. Some are cynically malicious as well, enacting versions of the "flood the zone with shit" strategy infamously advocated by Steve Bannon; the noise is indeed the point.

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'Putting the irony of a literal scion of South African apartheid claiming to run a Truth and Reconciliation Commission aside'

What you also put aside was Musk coming from a family active in the SA Progressive Party, the only anti apartheid political party (surely invested by white middle aged men...) in parliament. Musk's father represented them in the Pretoria city council.

But why mention that when you prefer to fight like a bitch...

While starting your story writing about others doing the exact same thing.

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