Speaking at the House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday, Democrats harangued American journalist Matt Taibbi in an effort to make him uncover sources that provided the Twitter Files.
Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) reportedly expressed her desire to follow up on inquiries from Democrat Del. Stacey E. Plaskett of the Virgin Islands and requested Taibbi to state when Elon Musk first attempted to reach him about reporting on the Twitter files. Following hesitation by Taibbi, Garcia said, “I just need a date, sir.”
“But I can’t give it to you unfortunately because this is a question of sourcing and I don’t give up — I’m a journalist — I don’t reveal my sources,” answered Taibbi.
Garcia insisted that the source is irrelevant, with only the chronology mattering. Taibbi disagreed, countering, “No, that’s a question of sources.”
Elon Musk reacted to a clip of the two tangoing, writing on Twitter, “I’m not his source, but, yeah, obviously asking journalists to reveal sources is not cool.”
I’m not his source, but, yeah, obviously asking journalists to reveal sources is not cool
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 9, 2023
The Texas representative pressed Taibbi, asking if Musk is his direct source.
“Now you’re trying to get me to say that he is the source, I can’t answer your question,” responded Taibbi.
“If you’re telling me you can’t answer because it’s your source then the only logical conclusion is that he is in fact your source,” Garcia said.
“You’re free to conclude that,” stated Taibbi.
Garcia argued that Taibbi “can’t have it both ways,” prompting an outburst by House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who quipped, “He can, he’s a journalist.”
A huge flurry of bickering among the lawmakers consequently ensued, with Jordan snapping, “He’s not going to reveal his source and the fact that Democrats are pressuring him to do that is such a violation of the First Amendment.”
Jordan reportedly asked Plaskett if she was attempting to push journalists to uncover their sources — she denied the charge.
Taibbi dropped arguably some of the most consequential coverage seen in the Twitter Files reveal. The well-known journalist’s reporting brought forth numerous troublesome revelations, including that the FBI and CIA had taken an active role in content moderation and censorship on Twitter for years.