SOUL SOLD: Bari Weiss’s Faustian bargain with Elon Musk is profitable for her
Note to Bari Weiss: When a person like Elon Musk comes to you with a story, there’s a reason they chose you.
In case you haven’t read the rambling, pointless “Twitter Files” dump by Weiss and other supposed “journalists” Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger, I’ll save you a couple hours of your life.
Here’s the big “revelation”: It turns out that, faced with an unprecedented situation in which a sitting president of the United States was clearly spreading outright falsehoods and trying to encourage an insurrection against his own government so that he could toss out a democratic election and remain in power, executives at Twitter weren’t exactly sure what to do.
Ultimately, after significant reflection, they decided that they should ban Donald Trump’s account.
I’m not sure, but it may have had something to do with the fact that, by his actions, Trump had – I dunno – MURDERED SOME PEOPLE.
Or maybe – just maybe – it might also have had something to do with the fact that he was trying to overthrow the republic and make himself Caesar. Coulda been that too, you might figure.
Yet reading Taibbi’s, Weiss’s, and Shellenberger’s threads, you’d think poor old Donald was some type of victim because he wasn’t allowed to continue using the app to foment violence.
Shellenberger stated that Twitter execs had to “create justifications to ban Trump.”
I’m pretty sure, Michael, that they had all the justification that they needed.
There’s a reason Chairman Elon chose who he did.
He was looking for people who had an ax to grind against the media (definitely Weiss and Taibbi), who have huge egos (ditto that), who have especially low morals (definitely Weiss), and who he could control.
The evidence of that control is clear to me.
It can be seen in their own writing.
Listen to how similar their messages are, as if they’ve been spoon-fed what to say:
5. In an early conception, Twitter more than lived up to its mission statement, giving people “the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.”
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 2, 2022
2. Twitter once had a mission “to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” Along the way, barriers nevertheless were erected.
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) December 9, 2022
For years, Twitter had resisted calls to ban Trump.
“Blocking a world leader from Twitter,” it wrote in 2018, “would hide important info… [and] hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.”https://t.co/qaqklHOHjc
— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 10, 2022
4. For years, Twitter had resisted calls both internal and external to ban Trump on the grounds that blocking a world leader from the platform or removing their controversial tweets would hide important information that people should be able to see and debate.
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) December 12, 2022
Now, you could argue, of course, that maybe Weiss, being the “journalist” that she is, was just copying the other writers – hard to say for sure.
But I think it’s more likely that the comments (and there are other examples) are so similar because Musk wanted to get certain messages out to the public.
What would you say are the odds that a man like Musk didn’t set any conditions for his “release?”
Do you think he got to be the world’s richest person without being demanding?
We reached out to Weiss about the similarities in the writing through her producer, Candace Kahn, but received no response.
So far there’s also been no response from Taibbi or Weiss to my tweet below.
It truly seems amazing how similar the writing is here – like someone was spoon-feeding it to you. Someone like Chairman Elon, maybe? Considering how each of you has benefited from this Faustian bargain, can you tell us what the terms were? pic.twitter.com/1Q0DMbhOkn
— Ross Rosenfeld (@RossRosenfeld) December 14, 2022
Make no mistake: These were not “independent journalists” chosen for their objectivity – that is an utter lie.
This was a set-up and they were a hit team.
Outside of Taibbi, almost all of these “journalists” work for Weiss’s “Free Press,” which promotes right-wing anti-media conspiratorial thinking with its tagline “THINK FOR YOURSELF,” as seen on many of the posters they were able to produce for their ad campaign following their corrupt bargain with Musk.
And even Taibbi clearly coordinated with them, and so has an obvious working relationship.
4. This first installment covers the period before the election through January 6th. Tomorrow, @Shellenbergermd will detail the chaos inside Twitter on January 7th. On Sunday, @BariWeiss will reveal the secret internal communications from the key date of January 8th.
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 9, 2022
Here’s Weiss shamelessly promoting herself (as usual) while thanking the “journalists” who did Musk’s bidding with her:
45. This was reported by @ShellenbergerMD, @IsaacGrafstein, @SnoozyWeiss, @Olivia_Reingold, @petersavodnik, @NellieBowles. Follow all of our work at The Free Press: @TheFP
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) December 12, 2022
All part of “The Free Press.” And all ripe for the taking by Musk.
Reading through the “files” from the beginning (trust me, don’t torture yourself – and, by the way, calling them “files” makes it sound like they came out of J. Edgar Hoover’s storage cabinet – in reality these were just a whole bunch of completely reasonable exchanges by employees all trying to do the right thing), it becomes pretty clear that the three primary authors’ collective view is that it was wrong for Twitter execs to not let an unverified story about Hunter Biden spread wildly, and also VERY UNFAIR (as the Orange Man himself might say) that they didn’t allow Donald Trump to continue to spread obvious lies, promote terrorism, and foment insurrection.
I can’t imagine why.
Some hard hitting news on the way. pic.twitter.com/gXIPWcoehV
— Hiebinator (@hiebinator) December 12, 2022
I think something happened on January 6th, didn’t it??? pic.twitter.com/ihsKWFCCtP
— Mike Wilson 🇺🇦 🇦🇲 (@mwilsonua) December 11, 2022
So they allowed Trump to post anything he wanted for over a decade, only shutting him down AFTER the election, and AFTER he lied for 2 months that it had been stolen, and AFTER the J6 insurrection, and EVEN THEN they debated doing it?
HOW UNFAIR!!! 😢
— Hawt 🔥🎤 Mike (@ItsGoodToVent) December 11, 2022
So the journalism (if it can even be called that) was sloppy. That’s obvious.
But there’s even more to this than that: As Weiss recently boasted to Axios (which sadly did a puff piece), she was able to move up the launch of her “Free Press” to December 8 to coincide with her “Twitter Files” catch.
The FP has garnered some 100,000 new Twitter followers in a week, and Weiss herself has seen her Twitter followers just about double from around 500,000 to nearly a million.
Since January, her subscriber base has increased over 100%.
She’s also raised the price of her “newsletter” from $5 to $8.
Basically, she’s cashing in.
One more reminder: This supposed “truther” who is now touting Musk’s mantra of complete, unrestrained “free speech,” left the New York Times (in the whiniest, most self-congratulatory way) in large part because, she complained, Twitter had become too much of an influence on the paper.
She also said “other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are.”
So let me see if I got this straight: For insulting Weiss, someone should be immediately disciplined. But for fomenting a violent insurrection as president, let’s not even kick that person off Twitter? Is that right?
Weiss has been criticized for her views, by the way, because some of them are severely distasteful, like her opposition to recognizing a fluid sense of gender in trans people.
Now, I will tell you, dear reader, that I tried to change both Weiss’s and Taibbi’s Wikipedia pages, because I figured that – since they’re such believers in honesty and openness – it would only be right to give fair and accurate descriptions of them.
So I did.
I changed the first sentence for Weiss and the last one for Taibbi:
I went into battle for a while, back and forth, against Weiss and Taibbi allies as they kept changing my changes and I kept putting them back.
Currently, the Weiss one has been locked and my changes edited out.
But as of this writing, my addition to Taibbi’s has stood, though I would not be surprised if that’s changed by the time you read this.
Because one thing neither of these two is looking to get at is the truth.
Bari probably ain’t too happy with Ross right now, and Matt either. But you can join him on Twitter! (until Elon bans him): @RossRosenfeld
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