The Washington Post has mostly refrained from covering the revelations contained in the “Twitter Files,” but a story the Jeff Bezos-owned media company posted last night contained a real whopper.
The paper posted a story about the “Twitter Files” saga that accused Elon Musk of stoking violence against Yoel Roth, a former Twitter executive whose primary role seems to have been tweeting about porn and banning conservatives from the platform.
In the story, the reporter mentions Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss, two of the journalists who have been breaking stories based on internal documents provided to them by Musk.
But the reporter simply can’t help himself. He refers to both Taibbi and Weiss, two well known lefties, as conservatives.
Of course, social media users were quick to note the belligerent inaccuracy of describing Taibbi as a conservative. Only someone totally ignorant — or perhaps ideologically malicious — would describe him so.
Taibbi, a former Rolling Stone columnist, wrote a book called “Insane Clown President,” a sharply critical look at former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. He wrote another book all about the law enforcement failures that led to the death-by-cop of Eric Garner, a New York man whose only crime was selling loosie cigarettes.
Taibbi’s work has previously been praised by liberals in the New York Times and the Washington Post. But that was before he became an independent journalist, started criticizing corporate media, and went to bat for that right-wing fascination we call freedom of speech.
In the middle of the night, the Washington Post pulled a sneaky edit on the story, removing the “conservative” descriptor without any explanation. This, too, was caught by sharp-eyed social media users.
What was that Washington Post motto again? Democracy Dies in Darkness?
The lesson here is clear: For corporate journalists, “conservative” doesn’t mean anything about politics or philosophy, it’s just a signifier to show that someone is part of the “out” group and therefore readers should ignore anything they have to say. And when they get called out for lying to readers, they’ll fire up the memory hole.