Who is Matt Taibbi, and Bari Weiss and why did Elon Musk choose them for Twitter Files?:- Musk’s media renegades: The anti-establishment writers including Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss were chosen for the ‘Twitter Files‘
Bari Weiss, Matt Tibby, and others were given access to the so-called “Twitter Files” by Elon Musk. Weiss and Taibbi are controversial figures who struck out on their own after working for major media outlets. They share Elon Musk’s anti-conflict outlook and have been given the inside track on a major story.
When the “Twitter files” were released last week in a long thread by freelance journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss, the findings sparked much debate among media experts and commentators.
While some heralded the documents as evidence of larger tech censorship, others described them as “nothing burgers” that didn’t add significantly to public understanding of how Twitter handled some of its most controversial problems.
Musk chose to provide journalists with access to internal material, and his choice was telling — all are writers who have gone against the tide on major issues like trans rights and COVID-19, and have spoken openly to the mainstream American media. But they are hostile.
Both Weiss and Taibbi left high-profile roles to pursue their reporting, and are fierce critics of established outlets in their Substack newsletters.
This view is largely shared by Elon Musk, who spends time debating and ridiculing online media (insiders have been his targets in the past).
Here’s a little more about the figures Elon Musk has chosen to be his messengers:
Matt Tibby – “Red-Pilled Culture Warrior”
In his Twitter File thread on December 9, Matt Taibbi detailed how former President Donald Trump was banned from the platform.
Taibi’s tone in describing the “erosion of standards” where Twitter enforces “violates its policies” reflects his own disillusionment with the people who have the power to tell the world’s stories.
Tabby is a journalist and author, active since the 1990s, most notably serving as a contributing editor at Rolling Stone.
There, he focused on politics and finance, famously writing a 2010 article describing Goldman Sachs as “the great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity”.
From around 2015, Taibbi began to weigh in on the debate surrounding cancel culture and became more hostile towards the mainstream media where she previously earned a living.
Taibbi left Rolling Stone and moved to Substack in April 2020, often writing posts about how the mainstream media was “destroying itself”, and writing in defense of vaccine skeptics at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as Contradictory. Was taking a position.
He also interviewed Tucker Carlson in a post that The Banter Newsletter’s Ben Cohen described as a “puff piece” that “paints Carlson as a victim of liberal hysteria” and “a rant against the establishment”. Brave truth teller guardrail.”
Taibbi was also sympathetic to Carlson’s claim that he was being spied on by the National Security Agency, for which he never presented any evidence.
In October 2021, New York Magazine called Taibbi “one of the most famous investigative reporters of his generation” because of his fierce reporting on Wall Street and the financial crisis, but who had become a “red-pilled culture warrior” in the same bracket. , as Glenn Greenwald.
Bari Weiss – the contrarian who left the NYT with a bang
Bari Weiss focused her Twitter Files thread on “shadowbanning” – a practice where certain content is silently suppressed. He discussed screenshots of how Twitter employees are creating “blacklists” and limiting certain trending topics and accounts.
Some saw the smoking gun, as proof of conservatives’ longtime claims of censorship. Others argued that what Weiss described was simply what all content moderation looks like.
Weiss also spent years at the heart of the American media, writing op-eds for The Wall Street Journal and later The New York Times, where she was one of the paper’s few conservative writers.
She particularly focused on gender issues and has been criticized for arguing against trans activists and in favor of traditional understandings of gender.
She resigned from The Times in a scathing attack on her then-employer, saying she had been bullied by her colleagues at the paper because of her views.
In his letter of resignation, Weiss said that the New York Times was “giving in to the whims of critics on Twitter.” He was praised by Republicans including Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump Jr.
Weiss founded Substack in January 2021, and later an outlet now called Free Press.
She has a podcast called “Honesty,” which often hosts guests with gender-critical views, including Julie Bindel, Katie Herzog, and Jesse Single.
Like Taibbi, Weiss describes herself as a moderate who believes the left has gone too far.
Michael Shellenberger – The environmental writer who defies the consensus
Michael Shellenberger, author of “Apocalypse Never” and “San Francisco,” is a controversial figure among environmentalists.
In his Twitter Files thread published on December 11, Shellenberger shared Weiss and Taibbi’s findings, as well as added context about the intricacies of Twitter suppressing certain search terms like “Kraken” — a term associated with QAnon, but also a company name.
Musk may have seen a similar tendency to go against the grain in Shellenberger. While his writings have focused on the environment and climate change, Shellenberger believes that global warming is “not the end of the world”, according to an interview in The Atlantic.
His views have alienated him from scientists where there is a general consensus among environmentalists that climate change is a real and very serious problem.
Shellenberger has advocated for homelessness reform by providing mandatory treatment for those with mental illness and drug addiction.
Shellenberger also ran for Governor of California in 2018, coming in 9th place out of 27 candidates.
the supporting cast, cut from the same cloth
Tibbey, Weiss, and Shellenberger have been the main authors of the “Twitter Files” posts since Musk started the project, but they also credited several supporting authors who share a similar anti-establishment tone.
Journalist and documentary filmmaker Leighton Woodhouse has written for several publications including The Intercept, Gawker, Newsweek, The New Republic, and Vice, and was credited as a collaborator by Schellenberg.
On his YouTube channel, Woodhouse has posted two videos about homelessness in California in collaboration with Shellenberger. He also has a substack called “Social Studies” where he writes about “two opposite extremes of American society” – “the elite” and the homeless. ,
On his substack, Woodhouse said he too has become disillusioned with the mainstream media since Trump’s election, saying that “the journalism profession has abandoned its curiosity about the world and turned to lazy political activism and boring party-line orthodoxy.” Slide in.”
Elon Musk Views
Weiss also credits several other writers for helping him assemble his reporting.
Abigail Schrier is a journalist who has focused her reporting on criticisms of transgender people, including the participation of trans women in women’s sports.
She is the author of “Irreversible Damage”, which argues that since 2010 there has been a “sudden, severe increase in transgender identity among teen girls”, and blames gender dysphoria on mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and anorexia. However, there is no scientific evidence that so-called “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” is a real phenomenon.
The book received criticism from trans activists for being alarmist and for misleading trans and non-binary children.
Dr. A.J. Eckert, in an article for Science-Based Medicine, described the title alone as “inflammatory and misleading, and clearly intended to alarm concerned parents” and said that the research and evidence in the book were “minimal”.
Nellie Bowles and Isaac Grafstein are two journalists who write for the independent news website The Free Press, which is edited by Weiss.
Bowles used to write for The New York Times, where she covered gender equality in the world of technology. His recent work included a controversial interview with Jordan Peterson.
On its welcome page, The Free Press describes itself as “a new media company built on the ideals that were once the bedrock of American journalism.”
It cites apparent media bias and a lack of objectivity by mainstream journalists as the need for an independent publication.
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