The carefully constructed liberal narrative is crumbling, and the usual suspects have responded by deep-throating the boot.
On Thursday, journalist Matt Taibbi testified before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government as part of its inquiry into the Twitter Files. Taibbi has decades of journalistic experience (mostly at Rolling Stone magazine) and a long history of speaking truth to power.
During the Trump administration, such people were heroes. Left-leaning journalists were the semi-divine light-bringers of democracy, and democracy, we were told, “dies in darkness.”
But now that the progressive establishment, which never lost institutional power, has regained political power as well, the darkness has become their ally. Anyone doing real journalism is an enemy of the state.
Democratic Del. Stacey E. Plaskett of the Virgin Islands, the committee’s ranking member, illustrated this shift when she smeared Taibbi and fellow “Twitter Files” scribe Michael Shellenberger as “so-called journalists” during her opening statement. (RELATED: ‘Ridiculous Statements’: Reps. Jim Jordan, Stacey Plaskett Clash Over Twitter Files)
Why “so-called”? With three decades of experience, multiple best-selling books to his name and bylines in prominent publications, it’s hard to say who counts as a journalist if Taibbi doesn’t. But the answer is simple. “Real” journalists advance the establishment narrative. You’re only a “real” journalist if the people who have the most to hide know they have nothing to fear from you.
But Plaskett wasn’t done. While questioning Taibbi, she pushed him to provide a date that might help her identify the source who gave Taibbi the “Twitter Files” documents.
After Rep. Stacey Plaskett claimed they are not trying to get @mtaibbi to reveal his sources, Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) once again tries to get him to reveal his sources. pic.twitter.com/ECsl643EAr
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 9, 2023
“But I can’t give it to you unfortunately because this is a question of sourcing and I don’t give up — I’m a journalist — I don’t reveal my sources,” Taibbi responded, just like a good journalist would. Now imagine, for a moment, Republican lawmakers applying the same pressure to liberal reporters who relied on anonymous sources to publish hit pieces about Trump. You’d need earplugs to drown out all the shrieking about “fascism.” (RELATED: New Twitter Files Show Media Outlets Fell For ‘Russian Bot’ Lies)
Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida also joined in, accusing Taibbi of publishing “cherry-picked information.” When he tried to defend himself, she shouted him down, clearly more interested in a soundbite than in getting at the truth. She also ignored the fact that, in his Twitter Files reporting, Taibbi called out both parties for pushing the social media platform to censor content they didn’t like. He didn’t show favoritism. He just happened to be honest about which party’s ideology dominated Twitter and informed its decision-making process. There’s no need to cherry pick when the whole tree is rotten.
That committee hearing marked the second time in less than a week that Democrats and their allies did their best Nosferatu impression after journalists exposed their preferred narrative to sunlight.
Just days earlier, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joined forces to condemn Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson’s decision to release portions of the more than 41,000 hours of footage from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that he’d received from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
McConnell said it was a “mistake” for Fox News to air Carlson’s segment and accused him of drawing “offensive and misleading conclusions” from the videos. Schumer went even further, calling on Fox to kick Carlson off the air.
Tucker Carlson is siding with the enemies of democracy.
Here’s what I just said on the Senate floor: pic.twitter.com/WZvhXh1rNU
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 7, 2023
What did Carlson do to deserve such outrage? He showed Brian Sicknick, the officer who supposedly died as a result of the riot, walking around healthy and alert. He revealed that previously released footage was deceptively edited to portray GOP Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley in an unflattering light. He showed cops escorting the QAnon Shaman, supposedly so dangerous that he deserved four years in prison, around the Capitol without ever attempting to detain him. (RELATED: Tucker Carlson Fires Back At Sen. Schumer’s ‘Call For Censorship’ Over Unearthed Jan. 6 Footage)
Was the riot a proud moment in the history of our great republic? Definitely not. But was it 9/11, Pearl Harbor, the Oklahoma City bombing and the Battle of Chancellorsville all rolled into one? No. And now that the footage is out there, the powers-that-be can no longer pretend that it was.
There’s nothing our leaders covet more than the power to adjust the Overton Window, to reach into a box of labels that range from “universally acknowledged truth” to “offensive conspiracy theory” and slap them on statements in whatever way best serves their agenda. When we notice they’re doing it, the labels stop sticking. And when that happens, they get very, very angry.
Grayson Quay is an editor at the Daily Caller.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.