Dogma And Arrogance Behind Democrats' Censorship Blunders

The impossibility of defending the indefensible

At last Thursday's Congressional hearing, the lead witness for the Democrats, Olivia Troye, denied that she had called the evidence of government censorship a "conspiracy theory." Rep. Dan Bishop had asked her if she knew about the Missouri v. Biden censorship lawsuit headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. And, if she was aware of it, “does it affect your view that all of this is a figment of our imagination?”

Responded Troye, “I am aware of the decision. I also want to clarify I have never said that this was a conspiracy. You’ve not heard that comment from me.”

At the time, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Had I misremembered what Troye had said in her testimony? I reached over for a written version of her testimony. I hadn’t been mistaken. It was right there in black and white. Wrote Troye,

Instead of continuing to spread conspiracy theories about government censorship, this Committee should instead focus on the very real and dangerous threat posed by the leading Republican candidate.

While I didn’t want to make a scene, I couldn’t help but poke Matt Taibbi, sitting to my right. I pointed to the damning sentence on the page. Writes Matt, “Troye said the verbatim quote like eight seconds before denying it. I didn’t laugh, but when I looked over at the impressive deadpan on Shellenberger’s stone face — Michael can be really funny at times — I almost lost it.”

On its own, Troye’s mistake wasn’t a big deal. All of us can forget things we’ve said. As my wife, children, and coworkers can attest, I sometimes forget things I’ve said. And, though I try hard not to, I like everyone, misspeak, make mistakes with numbers, and say things I regret. Our policy at Public is to correct the mistakes we make publicly and apologize.

So far, Troye hasn’t done that. And that’s fine — that’s her decision. But it’s notable that when Matt misspoke on MSNBC about a trivial detail relating to the Twitter Files, the Ranking Member on the committee that we testified before last Thursday, Rep. Stacey Plasket, wrote a letter to Matt, suggesting he may have broken the law.

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