Independent journalist Matt Taibbi fired back after a Democrat congresswoman called him and others “so-called journalists” during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Twitter Files on Thursday.
“This isn’t just a matter of what data was given to these so-called journalists before us,” ranking member Del. Stacey Plaskett, D-V.I., said during her opening statement. She was making an apparent jab at the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, accusing him and Twitter CEO Elon Musk of working together behind the scenes on the “Twitter Files,” which Taibbi published.
Taibbi directly addressed Plaskett’s comments after the congresswoman finished her opening statement.
“Ranking Member Plaskett, I’m not a so-called journalist,” Taibbi said during the hearing. “I’ve won the National Magazine Award, the I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, and I’ve written 10 books, including four New York Times bestsellers.”
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Taibbi then went on to outline how the Twitter Files came about, starting with a note he had initially received from a source about conducting a “deep dive into what censorship and manipulation was going on at Twitter.”
“A week later, the first of what became known as the Twitter Files reports came out. To say these attracted intense public interest would be an understatement,” Taibbi said. “My computer looked like a Vegas slot machine as just the first tweet about the blockage of the Hunter Biden laptop story registered 143 million impressions and 30 million engagements.”
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Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., then began his line of questioning once Taibbi wrapped up, apologizing for Plaskett’s earlier statements.
“It is not surprising that the minority is already attacking you in its opening statement. We apologize to both of you. You shouldn’t be treated that way,” Johnson said to both Taibbi and author Michael Shellenberger, who testified alongside Taibbi during the hearing.
Musk has been vocal in the past about his desire to expose Twitter’s once-secret internal communications, allowing journalists, such as Taibbi, to publish their findings in lengthy threads on the platform.
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These threads have now been coined the “Twitter Files,” with Taibbi’s first installment focusing on Twitter’s internal discussions that led to it censoring the Hunter Biden laptop story during the 2020 presidential election.
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.