Elon Musk attacked The New York Times on Saturday for not covering his exposé of how Twitter executives were urged by Biden staff to delete tweets relating to the damaging contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Other left-leaning outlets including CBS News, ABC and The Washington Post are also yet to cover the ‘Twitter Files’, despite their contents causing a sensation among American conservatives and free-speech advocates.
In response to the alleged lack of coverage from the Times, Musk described the newspaper as an ‘unregistered lobbying firm for far left politicians’.
The comment came in response to a tweet from conservative radio host Clay Travis, who said, ‘There is not one single article about @elonmusk or the @twitter email release last night on @nytimes app this morning.’
Musk responded: ‘That is because The New York Times has become, for all intents and purposes, an unregistered lobbying firm for far left politicians’.
Elon Musk promoted a Twitter thread on Friday by the journalist Matt Taibbi in which, among other things, he published correspondence among Twitter staff in 2020
Musk took aim at The New York Times on Saturday for failing to cover the emails
Conservative radio host Clay Travis noted on Twitter that The Times didn’t cover the Twitter emails
Musk responded to Travis that he believed The Times was a ‘lobbying firm for far left politicians’
On Friday Musk promoted a Twitter thread by journalist Matt Taibbi in which, among other things, he published correspondence between Twitter staff in 2020.
In it they discuss censoring a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop and allude to requests from Biden’s team to do so – something Twitter went on to do.
‘Twitter took extraordinary steps to suppress the story, removing links and posting warnings that it may be ‘unsafe.’
‘They even blocked its transmission via direct message, a tool hitherto reserved for extreme cases, e.g. child pornography,’ Taibbi said in one tweet that was part of the thread.
Notably, in one exchange one Twitter executive emailed another a list of tweets with the instruction, ‘More to review from the Biden team.’
The other executive responded: ‘handled these’.
One of two stories that The Times did publish after the emails were released included one that cited sources who suggested that Twitter ad revenue was down
The Washington Post similarly wrote about Musk and Twitter on Saturday, but made no mention of the Twitter Files. A story about a rise in anti-Semitism was the leading story on their site on Saturday night
CNN covered the news, but suggested the emails merely ‘corroborated what was already known about the incident’
Publications that have covered the story include POLITICO, NBC and CNN. The latter dampened the news by suggesting the leaked emails ‘corroborated what was already known about the incident’.
The Daily Beast echoed that sentiment but discussed the Twitter Files in a story headlined: ”Deeply Underwhelmed’: Right-Wingers on Musk’s Overhyped ‘Twitter Files”
In another story from Saturday The Times criticized Musk for allowing hate speech to flourish under his leadership
The Daily Beast addressed the Twitter Files but suggested they were underwhelming and didn’t reveal anything new
NBC News was one of the few major news organizations to cover the Twitter Files
Although the New York Times is yet to write about the thread, it did publish two different stories relating to Musk and Twitter on Saturday, the day after it was posted.
The first of those stories, ‘Hate Speech’s Rise on Twitter Is Unprecedented, Researchers Find’ criticized Musk for a rise in hate speech since his takeover of the social media company.
The other, ‘Twitter Keeps Missing Its Advertising Targets as Woes Mount’, was also critical of Musk’s management of the platform and suggested that its current ad revenue in the US is 80 percent below internal expectations.
The Washington Post followed a similar trend. The lead story on its website on Saturday night, ‘Surging Twitter antisemitism unites fringe and encourages violence, officials say’, similarly cited sources who suggested that anti-Semitic speech on Twitter had been on the rise since the Musk takeover.
POLITICO was a major publication that did address the Twitter Files as early as Friday night. Although it did not delve into Taibbi’s specific allegations it did link to his 35-tweet thread.
REVEALED: Tweets deleted by Twitter at request of ‘Biden team’ DO appear to be photos of Hunter smoking crack from laptop – as pressure mounts on President to explain what he knew and when he knew it
- Images of Hunter Biden appear to be in the tweets that staffers from Biden’s 2020 campaign instructed Twitter to delete
- Journalist Matt Taibbi Friday began publishing the internal Twitter documents
- Taibbi conducted his probe with the cooperation of new Twitter chief Elon Musk
- Emails showed staffers censoring tweets at the behest of the Joe Biden’s team
- His campaign made requests for tweets to be taken down – and Twitter complied
Images of Hunter Biden naked, smoking crack appear to be in the tweets that staffers from Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign instructed Twitter to delete.
The revelation came after the company’s new CEO, Elon Musk, published a slew of tweets containing emails from Twitter executives involved in censoring Hunter Biden’s laptop.
In one of these emails, sent ten days after The New York Post first broke the laptop story on October 14 of that year, Twitter staffers were asked to ‘review’ five tweets deemed problematic by ‘the Biden team.’
‘More to review from the Biden team,’ that staffer’s redacted correspondence read – garnering a reply hours later from another Twitter employee – one that assured the worker the task had been ‘handled.’
That same day, another email reveals that there was an additional complaint from the DNC and two more tweets were deleted.
It is not clear from the leaked emails what the deleted tweets were about, however Washington Free Beacon investigative reporter Andrew Kerr said he had discovered the contents of several of the tweets.
He said three of the tweets the Biden camp demanded be deleted contained ‘Hunter Biden porn’ and photos of Biden’s genitalia, from the laptop.
He claims one of the tweets requested to be deleted by the DNC was from actor James Woods and was about Hunter smoking crack and a committing a sex act.
And he says the second tweet was a link to Hunter Biden weighing and using drugs, and another link to a Hunter Biden sex tape.
Images of Hunter Biden naked, smoking crack appear to be in the tweets that staffers from Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign instructed Twitter to delete, it has been revealed
The revelation came after the company’s new CEO, Elon Musk , published a slew of tweets containing emails from Twitter executives involved in censoring Hunter Biden’s laptop
‘More to review from the Biden team,’ one staffer wrote on October 24, days ahead of the presidential election, listing five tweets. ‘Handled,’ another replied hours later. Three of the tweets the Biden camp demanded be deleted contained ‘Hunter Biden porn’ and photos of Biden’s genitalia, from the abandoned laptop, it has been claimed
One of the tweets requested to be deleted by the DNC was about Hunter smoking crack and a committing a sex act. A second tweet was a link to Hunter Biden weighing and using drugs, and another link to a Hunter Biden sex tape
Now, Hunter’s father Joe is facing mounting political pressure to address why his campaign ordered Twitter staffers to pull tweets they seemingly deemed problematic – when they had only appeared to discuss the contents of the laptop.
‘I’ve pulled web archives of 3 of these tweets,’ Kerr, who has held bylines for both The Washington Examiner and The Daily Caller, wrote in the first of two replies to the slew of posts on Musk’s profile, which were reshared by the mogul after being posted in succession by independent journalist Matt Taibbi.
‘All three are homemade Hunter Biden porn and Hunter Biden dick pics pulled from his laptop,’ Kerr said of the three of the five posts confirmed to be sent from the Biden campaign on October 24, 2020.
‘These tweets don’t contain any info on Hunter’s business dealings. Just porn,’ Kerr continued. ‘Can’t immediately find archives of the other 2 tweets.’
He went on to add of the second string of unconfirmed posts -one of which was shared by since suspended user @stephen_liuhuan, and the other Woods – ‘The Stephen_liuhuan tweet was a link to Hunter Biden weighing and using drugs, and another link to a Hunter Biden sex tape.’
‘The James Wood tweet,’ he revealed, ‘is Hunter Biden smoking crack and getting a foot job.’
The journalist’s assertion came shortly before Woods, a famously outspoken conservative and Christian, said he would be suing Twitter for the revelation, declaring ‘my Twitter days are in the past.’
Hours before, a barrage of tweets tauntingly titled the ‘Twitter Files’ surfaced on Musk’s page, in which the executive shine a light on the past actions of his new company, which he said amounted to collusion with the Biden campaign.
The leaked correspondence contained damning insider communications that provided new insight to dissent seen within the company as it responded to the first news of the scandal, which was first reported by The New York Post on October 14 of that year.
In light of Musk’s release, Donald Trump has demanded the 2020 election results be declared void, and have the US declare him the rightful winner.
It has also since spurred the GOP’s leader on the House Oversight Committee to demand staffers who engaged in the potential coverup appear before Congress, to answer for what he charged were blatant crimes when he becomes chair in January.
Musk made the declaration Friday online in a barrage of tweets he tauntingly titled the ‘Twitter Files,’ which saw the CEO take aim at his new company for supposed collusion with the Biden campaign by leaking old company emails
The emails provided newfound detail on Twitter’s shady censorship decision, which Musk said was made behind the scenes ‘at the highest levels of the company’ at the behest of Biden officials, and ‘based upon thousands of internal documents obtained by sources at Twitter.’
Musk, however, outsourced those findings to journalist Taibbi, giving him access to the explosive documents, which the reporter published in excerpts Friday evening, to be retweeted by Musk.
The thread contained redacted emails in which Twitter executives engaged in the foot-dragging indecision to pull prominent tweets noting the scandal, as outcry grew over the suppression.
According to Taibbi, a former writer for Rolling Stone, the company emails were nixed due to a request ‘from the Biden team’ shortly after the company began to crack down on story, wanting it taken down.
The contents of the tweets are currently unknown.
Following the ordeal last night, Trump spoke out about the scandal, which could give new credence to the ex-president’s previous claims that the Democratic Party conspired against him during the 2020 election to ensure his rival Biden took the oval office.
‘So, with the revelation of massive and widespread fraud and deception in working closely with Big Tech Companies, the DNC, and the Democrat Party, do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 out and declare the rightful winner, or do you have a new election?’ Trump asked his 4.68million followers on TruthSocial.
‘A massive fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.’
Trump, who recently announced a renewed bid for the White House, then proclaimed: ‘Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, false and fraudulent elections!’
Amid the outflow of damning posts, Musk shared a similar sentiment, adding that the several executives actions – some of whom were identified and some left anonymous – should constitute a violation of the Constitution’s First Amendment, if the Biden campaign played a part in Twitter’s scrubbing of the posts.
The South African mogul at one point declared: ‘If this isn’t a violation of the Constitution’s First Amendment, what is?’
Also unmasked were outsized political donations to Twitter staff from Democrats for the 2020 election cycle to the tune of $909,431 – compared to a paltry $14,137 sent in by Republicans
Weeks ahead of the election in October 2020, Twitter prevented sharing of a story about Hunter’s involvement with a Chinese oil giant – and his then-presidential candidate father Joe Biden’s potential slice of a multi-million-dollar deal with the foreign firm.
Other emails between Twitter staffers further supported the claims from Musk that suggested Biden’s team may have circumvented the First Amendment with their alleged suppressing of the stories.
In the leaked materials, unnamed high-ranking staffers pointed to supposed infractions of their ‘hacked materials policy’ as reasoning behind the suppression.
All were published in the immediate aftermath of the New York Post’s reporting on the story on October 14, including one from the White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who had her account locked as a result.
Musk and Taibbi, went on to accuse Twitter staffers of succumbing from requests from not only Democrats, but high-powered Republicans, to pull content they deemed problematic, pointing to donations received by the company from both parties.
In 2020, Taibbi revealed, ‘requests from both the Trump White House and the Biden campaign were received and honored.’
Donations to Twitter staff from Democrats during the election cycle, however, was particularly pronounced – to the tune of $909,431 – compared to a paltry $14,137 sent in by conservatives.
Taibbi tweeted: ‘Both parties had access to these tools,’ adding ‘in 2020, requests from both the Trump White House and the Biden campaign were received and honored.’
He went on to added, however, that the ‘system wasn’t balanced’ and ‘was based on contacts’ – adding how Twitter went to great lengths to halt the spread of the Biden story, including tactics usually reserved for preventing the sharing of child porn.
‘Because Twitter was and is overwhelmingly staffed by people of one political orientation, there were more channels, more ways to complain, open to the left (well, Democrats) than the right,’ Taibbi said.
He continued: ‘The resulting slant in content moderation decisions is visible in the documents you’re about to read,’ before sharing a slew of documents supporting the pair’s claims.
The heavily redacted documents, the journalist teased, contained correspondence from ‘multiple current and former high-level executives.’
Michael Chamberlain, Director of White House watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust, called the burgeoning scandal a ‘model example of the power of tech platforms to stifle speech that harms their political allies.
‘As egregious as this episode was, it’s really just the tip of the iceberg,’ Chamberlain told DailyMail.com Saturday .
‘It appears that a structure created to defend against illicit foreign interference has morphed into a government-funded and directed censorship industry targeting the American public, outsourced to non-federal entities to try to skirt the U.S. Constitution.
‘The American public has never accepted the government putting its big boot on the scale of public policy debates.’
Prior to the reveal, Taibbi disclaimed ‘there’s no evidence – that I’ve seen’ that the Biden campaign had a role in suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story – but said that ‘the decision was made at the highest levels of the company, but without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey.’
The company’s progressive head of legal, policy and trust, Vijaya Gadde, he added, ‘played a crucial role in the decision.’
Taibbi claimed emails showed Dorsey intervening multiple times to question the censorship, amid the scramble to limit sharing of the New York Post’s Hunter story.
The journalist also added that he had not seen any evidence that Biden staffers had a role in suppressing the story.
However, in a recent interview with Joe Rogan, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted that his company received a briefing from the FBI ahead of the 2020 election warning of disinformation campaigns.
The briefing led to Facebook being on high alert for Russian propaganda – which Hunter’s laptop was initially tarred as by top former intelligence officials, until DailyMail.com proved it was real.
Hunter’s laptop was initially tarred as Russian propaganda by top former intelligence officials, until DailyMail.com proved it was real
Public policy executive Caroline Strom asked staff what was the cause for the story being blocked
Elaine from the comms global escalations team replied, claiming the story breached Twitter’s hacked materials policy
Former Trust and safety chief Yoel Roth was roped into the email chain, as well as legal chief Gadde
Communications official Trenton Kennedy writes: ‘I’m struggling to understand the policy basis for marking this as unsafe’
White House spokeswoman Kaleigh McEnany was locked out of her account for tweeting about the story
Taibbi, a popular podcaster and former Rolling Stone politics correspondent, shared one October 14 2020 email from Donald Trump’s campaign team to Twitter staff complaining that McEnany had been locked out of her account ‘for simply talking about’ the New York Post story.
Twitter’s public policy executive Caroline Strom forwarded the email to an ‘ops analyst’ at the social media company, who wrote back that: ‘the user was bounced by Site Integrity for violating our Hacked Materials policy.’
At that time, the Biden campaign had not disputed the veracity of the material from Hunter’s abandoned laptop, which DailyMail.com later authenticated using top cyber forensics experts.
‘They just freelanced it,’ one former employee told the podcaster. ‘Hacking was the excuse, but within a few hours, pretty much everyone realized that wasn’t going to hold. But no one had the guts to reverse it.’
Rep. Ro Khanna (left), a California Democrat, emailed former Twitter Head of Legal, Policy and Trust Vijaya Gadde (right) in alarm at the suppression of the Hunter Biden story, saying ‘this seems a violation of the 1st Amendment principles’
‘Everyone knew this was f***ed,’ an anonymous ex staffer reportedly told Taibbi.
Emails showed internal arguments breaking out among senior Twitter staff over the suppression of the Post’s story – which included lurid details of Hunter’s escapades with prostitutes and hard drugs, as well as worrying evidence of potential corruption involving Ukrainian gas company Burisma and his links to Chinese firms.
In one striking exchange, Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, emailed former Twitter Head of Legal, Policy and Trust Vijaya Gadde in alarm at the suppression of the story, saying ‘this seems a violation of the 1st Amendment principles.’
But another email from a DC lobbying firm contained a stark warning: some Democrats on Capitol Hill wanted to see more crackdowns like the one on the Hunter Biden story – even after being reminded of Americans’ First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression.
Taibbi wrote then-CEO Jack Dorsey was unaware of the censorship, but alleged that an executive, ‘former head of legal, policy and trust’ Vijaya Gadde (pictured glaring at Musk when he took over), played a ‘key role’
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is pictured last year in Miami. He was apparently kept out of discussions over the Hunter Biden laptop story
One staffer, Trenton Kennedy, allegedly wrote: ‘I’m struggling to understand the policy basis for marking this as unsafe.’
‘I think the best explainability argument for this externally would be that we’re waiting to understand if this story is the result of hacked materials. We’ll face hard questions on this if we don’t have some kind of solid reasoning for marking the link unsafe.’
Another, Katie Rosborough, shot back with a link to a Fox News article about Hunter’s laptop, asking: ‘will we also mark similar stories as unsafe?’
The internal discussions showed that despite admitting ‘the facts remain unclear’, Twitter decided on ‘preventing this content from being amplified.’
One staffer, Ian Plunkett, wrote that the site should be ‘cautiously interpreting this through the lens of our hacked materials policy and allowing the link with a warning and a significant reduction of spread.’
Dorsey, who stepped down as CEO last November but retained a ruling stake in the company, has since said the blocking of posts sharing the Biden story was ‘a mistake.’
Even senior executives were questioning the veracity of the claims the laptop material was hacked.
Former VP of global communications Brandon Borrman, wrote: ‘To Ian’s point, can we truthfully claim that this is part of the policy? i.e. As part of our approach to addressing potentially hacked materials, we are limiting visibility of related stories on Twitter while our investigation is ongoing.’
The censorship even caused one Democrat Congressman Ro Khanna to write to Gadde that it was ‘generating huge backlash on hill re speech’ – referring to concerns in Washington DC over limitations on free speech being imposed by Twitter.
‘In the heat of a Presidential campaign restricting dissemination of newspaper articles (even if NY Post is far right) seems like it will invite more backlash than it will do good,’ Khanna wrote.
Research firm NetChoice wrote to Twitter’s head of Public Policy Lauren Culbertson the next day on October 15 2022, warning that ‘both Democrats and the Republicans were angry’ about the suppression, according to the emails obtained by Taibbi.
Taibbi wrote that the Trump campaign had takedown requests granted too, but reported that staffers were taking far more from Biden’s team.
‘By 2020, requests from connected actors to delete tweets were routine,’ he wrote. ‘Celebrities and unknowns alike could be removed or reviewed at the behest of a political party.
‘Both parties had access to these tools. For instance, in 2020, requests from both the Trump White House and the Biden campaign were received and honored.
‘However: this system wasn’t balanced. It was based on contacts. Because Twitter was and is overwhelmingly staffed by people of one political orientation, there were more channels, more ways to complain, open to the left (well, Democrats) than the right.’
He shared statistics from OpenSecrets, showing political donations by Twitter staff were between 96% and 99% to Democrats, with a total $909,431 given to Democrats in the 2020 election cycle and just $14,137 to Republicans by individuals linked to the company.
In the email to Culbertson, Szabo wrote that he had polled several lawmakers and their staff on the Hill, and that some Democrat lawmakers were less concerned about the First Amendment.
‘The Democrats were in agreement: social media needs to moderate more because they’re corrupting democracy and making all ‘truth’ relative,’ Szabo wrote. ‘When pushed on how the government might insist on that, consistent with the First Amendment, they demurred: ‘the First Amendment isn’t absolute.’
According to the emails, Twitter was feeling the heat from both sides of the political aisle: Republicans livid over censorship, and Democrats complaining the site ‘doesn’t moderate enough harmful content so when it does… it becomes a story.’
Szabo wrote that Democrat lawmakers ‘complained that the companies are inept: They let conservatives muddy the water and make the Biden campaign look corrupt even though Biden is innocent.’
‘They linked this to Hillary Clinton’s email scandal: she did nothing wrong but because the press wouldn’t let the story go, it became a scandal far out of proportion,’ Szabo added in his email to the Twitter executive.
‘In their mind, social media is doing the same thing: it doesn’t moderate enough harmful content so when it does, like it did yesterday, it becomes a story. If the companies moderated more, conservatives wouldn’t even think to use social media for disinformation, misinformation, or otherwise.’
Musk’s choice to grant behind-the-scenes access to Taibbi may be interpreted as a sign of his unfavorable views of major media organizations.
The journalist has written books critical of cable news on both the right and left of the political spectrum, accusing both MSNBC and Fox of polarizing the country.
He has said he admires liberal firebrand Bernie Sanders, but also has enraged left wing activists by slamming cancel culture.
He also was critical of Twitter’s suppression of the Biden scandal from the beginning.
On October 24 2020, about a week after the story about Hunter’s abandoned laptop and its shocking contents broke, Taibbi wrote a post on his substack titled: ‘With the Hunter Biden expose, suppression is a bigger scandal than the actual story’.
The piece was sent by Dorsey to his head of legal Gadde, one of the Twitter internal emails shows.
In a tweet on Friday evening, Musk accused the Twitter staffers: ‘If this isn’t a violation of the Constitution’s First Amendment, what is?’
Taibbi wrote that according to his sources, censoring tweets because they shared ‘hacked materials’ usually required an official finding of a hack by law enforcement, but that policy was abandoned with Hunter’s laptop.
In an email the day after the story broke, one executive allegedly wrote to staff admitting that the New York Post and the Trump campaigns tweets had been censored, among others.
‘Twitter actioned Tweets yesterday relating to two NY Post articles that were tweeted out that allegedly included pictures and screenshots of emails from a laptop that allegedly belonged to Hunter Biden, Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son,’ the alleged internal Twitter email shared by Taibbi said.
‘Our teams made the determination that the materials fall under our Hacked Materials Policy, in addition to sharing personal information, so links were actioned. As you may know, this existing policy framework was launched in 2018 to mitigate real-time harm based on hack and leak scenarios coming out of the 2016 election.
‘I know there are questions that you probably have and are also probably getting a lot of incoming from stakeholders – governmental, academic, civil society, etc. The last 24 hours certainly has been a whirlwind with lots of curves and unknowns and we fully expect that the issues surrounding this matter will continue to swirl in the coming days so thank you to everyone for your patience.’