Three Dots: Well, that was weird...
The Weaponization of Government, World War III, and other news of the week.
Well, that was weird.
Yesterday we helped break what could be the most important story of the year, if not the decade: U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and the National Science Foundation, have been financing and working private sector entities to secretly censor ordinary Americans.
Michael and Friend of Public Matt Taibbi testified before the House Committee on the Weaponization of Government about our findings. Did the Democrats respond by thanking us for exposing this imminent threat to the First Amendment? They did not.
Rather, Democrats spent the hearing impugning our motives and calling us “so-called journalists.”
Happily, the Republicans on the committee showed appropriate levels of alarm and promised to investigate our charges.
The highlight of the hearing came when Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) asked Michael about how he got involved in the Twitter Files. After Michael explained that our friend, Bari Weiss, invited us in, Rep. Garcia said, “So you’re in this as a threesome?”
Peals of laughter rippled through the hearing room at the unintended innuendo. “There were many more people involved than that,” deadpanned Michael.
After a video of the clip went viral on Twitter, many piled on to crack wise. The best response came from Bari’s wife, Nellie Bowles: “HOW MANY MORE MICHAEL,” she demanded to know
Biden Administration Goes Full-Stasi
Two days before the hearing, Republicans released letters sent from the Federal Trade Commission to Elon Musk, demanding that Twitter “identify all journalists” who Musk allowed access to the company’s past emails and Slack messages.
Neither of us has been shy about our involvement with the Twitter Files, so the FTC’s interest doesn’t change the status quo for us personally. But the demand is, on its face, quite alarming.
And it’s even more so when you consider it within the context of the sprawling Censorship Industrial Complex, which Michael testified about to Congress this week. As Jennifer Sey put it:
When it comes to social media, the US government has already created a corporate drone version of Big Brother. That’s not in some dystopian future — it’s already here.
Maybe They Learned the Stasi Stuff From Local Public Health Officials?
Speaking of the Twitter Files, one of our TF colleagues, David Zweig, has a crazy story about how, during the Covid lockdown, a church in Santa Clara County, California, defied public health orders and held masking- and distancing–free services.
The response from the public health department was straight-up unhinged. They sent officers from their “Business Compliance Unit” to the church to surveil its congregants. The officers ran stakeouts, counted the cars in the parking lot, spied on baptisms, daycare services, youth gatherings, and on people drinking coffee in the hallways, documenting every detail meticulously. Health officials even tracked congregants’ cell phone metadata and cross-referenced it against GPS data.
Someday we’ll look back on 2020 and tremble at what we allowed ourselves to briefly become. That, or 2020 will prove a mere prelude to a terrifying New Normal.