The decade's most triggering comedy
Twitter cost Elon Musk $44 billion, but the FBI bought it for just $3.4 million.
Before Monday’s bombshell edition of the Twitter Files, internal communications suggested that the FBI manipulated Twitter’s content cops through former G-men embedded inside the company, appeals to a warped sense of patriotism, and letting woke staffers feel like characters on “Quantico.” The latest drop, released by author Michael Shellenberger, revealed that the FBI sweetened the deal with cold cash.
Twitter, which by all accounts was poorly run by the pre-Musk regime, lost a combined nearly $1.4 billion in 2020 and 2021. A bloated payroll, dubious business model, and a pampered workforce more interested in latte-fueled hot yoga than the bottom line were just some of the obvious reasons. But doing the FBI’s bidding and preventing Americans from knowing who they were about to elect as president in 2020 was one profitable little corner of the otherwise poorly performing platform.
“I am happy to report we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!” wrote an unidentified functionary of Twitter’s Safety, Content, & Law Enforcement (SCALE) team in a February 2021 email to FBI general counsel-turned-top Twitter lawyer James Baker. “In 2019 SCALE instituted a reimbursement program for our legal process response from the FBI. Prior to the start of the program, Twitter chose not to collect under this statutory right of reimbursement for the time spent processing requests from the FBI.”
46. The FBI’s influence campaign may have been helped by the fact that it was paying Twitter millions of dollars for its staff time.
“I am happy to report we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!” reports an associate of Jim Baker in early 2021. pic.twitter.com/SmNse97QxK
— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 19, 2022
What the email really said: “Hey Jim, your old(?) bosses at the bureau are paying your salary and more now for us to shadow ban tweets they don’t like. Woo-hoo!”
Baker must’ve smiled when he read that email, secure in the knowledge he was earning his keep from two employers at once. His loyalty to the FBI was such that right up until Musk gave him a pink slip, he was still beavering away inside Twitter to hide the bureau’s fingerprints.
Before you dismiss Twitter’s influence on politics, bear in mind that even if you don’t know a tweet from a chirp, it is (or at least was) the echo chamber of Big Media, concentrating the hive mind and fine-tuning the talking points of liberal journalism. No matter where you get your news, the conversation on Twitter informs what you read, see or hear. Now we know the FBI paid big money to control it.
It is impossible to measure the effect the FBI and Twitter’s extensive muffling of conservatives had on the 2020 election. In just the most blatant of countless examples, the bureau warned Twitter and Facebook off of giving any oxygen to the New York Post’s bombshell report on Hunter Biden’s laptop. Of course, the laptop revealed its owner to be a venal degenerate, but much worse, it contained credible evidence that the younger Biden sold his father’s influence to America’s enemies. Polls now show stifling the story likely cost Trump a second term.
The big question posed by the Twitter revelations is whether the federal government, through the FBI, infringed on the Constitutional rights of Americans by working with the platform to suppress their freedom of speech.
Any One L can tell you that the First Amendment applies only to the government, but if the feds were directing private companies to censor people, it gets tricky. And if the FBI was paying $3.4 million for Twitter to do what it could not, well, then you have one for the Con Law casebooks.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.