Today’s News Bits: Things Seen and Not Seen

There’s a report at Rolling Stone that Twitter had an entire database of Republican requests to censor posts. I don’t know if this fact came out during last week’s House Oversight Committee hearing dedicated to expressing outrage because Twitter took down Hunter Biden’s dick pics, but it’s out now.

These are important hearings because, as everybody knows, if more people had only gotten a better look at Hunter Biden’s junk, Trump would have won the election. Which he says he did win anyway, but it was stolen from him. Whatever.

The testimony at the hearings showed that requests to delete offensive tweets routinely came from people of both parties, a fact that shouldn’t surprise reasonable people.

The obvious irony here is, the sources note, that Republican leaders and elected officials have long been committing precisely the kind of “government interference” that they are now investigating, fundraising off of, and accusing Democrats and the so-called anti-Trump “Deep State” of perpetrating. Some of the loudest conservative and MAGA voices on Capitol Hill — who’ve been endlessly demanding taxpayer-funded, high-profile investigations into Big Tech “bias” and “collusion” — were themselves engaged in the behavior they now claim is colluding.

One wonders if this committee will hold any more hearings on how Big Tech and the Democratic Party are trying to “censor” them. They probably will.

And then, of course — one more time — we find that the wingnuts don’t grasp what
censorship is or what “free speech” is protected. Rep. Jamie Raskin explained to the committee that a private company, which Twitter is, can curate its own content any way it likes. The First Amendment prohibition on censorship only applies to government.

James O’Keefe is on “paid leave” from Project Veritas and may be ousted from the company he founded by its board. It turns out he’s an asshole who doesn’t work well with others. Imagine.

This one’s fun — the Trump campaign paid researchers to prove 2020 fraud but kept findings secret. (No paywall.) 

The campaign paid researchers from Berkeley Research Group, the people said, to study 2020 election results in six states, looking for fraud and irregularities to highlight in public and in the courts. Among the areas examined werevoter machine malfunctions, instances of dead people voting and any evidence that could help Trump show he won, the people said. None of the findings were presented to the public or in court.

Because the researchers found that nothing had happened that would have changed the results. But you knew that.

Note that this study was completed before January 6. It’s more evidence that Trump knew, or should reasonable have known, that his stolen election claims were false.

Senior officials from Berkeley Research Group briefed Trump, former chief of staff Mark Meadows and others on the findings in aDecember 2020conference call, people familiar with the matter said. Meadows showed skepticism of the findings and continued to maintain that Trump won. Trump also continued to say he won the election. The call grew contentious, people with knowledge of the meeting said.

Some people can’t handle the truth.

Do read this Greg Sargent column, This Gen Z Democrat is deftly skewering right-wing fantasies. It’s about Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL), the first Gen Z member of Congress. Rep. Maxwell seems very good at doing obvious things that Democrats have somehow managed not to do in the past. For example:

Yes, Dems, Is that so hard?