Independent journalist Matt Taibbi and author Michael Shellenberger, two of the individuals who've released installments of the "Twitter Files" in the months since Elon Musk took control of the social media company, did not receive a warm welcome from Democrats on Capitol Hill on Thursday when they arrived to testify about their findings about Twitter's inner workings before the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
Stacey Plaskett, the delegate to Congress representing the U.S. Virgin Islands, serves as the ranking member on the subcommittee, and failed to hide her disdain for the work Taibbi and Shellenberger have done to shine a light on the biased past actions of Twitter.
"This isn't just a matter of what data was given to these so-called journalists before us now," Plaskett said in her opening remarks, a lazy attempt at smearing the experience and credibility of the two writers before her. "There are many legitimate questions about where Musk got the financing to purchase Twitter," she added before diving into unfounded claims about how Musk — then the world's richest man — paid for Twitter. Sure, Stacey.
After displaying her own lack of professionalism, Plaskett was corrected by Taibbi about his credentials that make him much more than a "so-called journalist."
"My name is Matt Taibbi, I've been a reporter for 30 years, I'm a staunch advocate of the First Amendment. Much of that time was spent at Rolling Stone Magazine," he explained in his opening comments before turning to address Plaskett's smear.
"Ranking Member Plaskett, I'm not a 'so-called journalist,'" Taibbi explained. "I've won the National Magazine Award, the I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, and I've written ten books — including four New York Times bestsellers."
Well, that should set both the record and Plaskett straight.
Reporter @mtaibbi calls out Ranking Member Plaskett for referring to him as a “so-called journalist”:— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) March 9, 2023
“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.” pic.twitter.com/6LNOr9HmlP
Perhaps the sweetest irony of Plaskett engaging in name calling based on her partisan bias is that she is something of a "so-called" congresswoman herself. Since she's a delegate to — and not a member of— Congress, she doesn't enjoy the full privileges of being in the House, such as the ability to vote on legislation before the full body. It does not, unfortunately, mean that she's prevented from spreading falsehoods about witnesses appearing before the committees on which she sits.