Republicans held a hearing to prove Twitter’s bias against them. It backfired spectacularly

(CNN) Republicans live in a reality-distortion field.

That’s the only conclusion that can be drawn from Wednesday’s hearing on Capitol Hill, where GOP lawmakers continued to push a factually unsupported narrative about the federal government’s clandestine collaboration with Twitter to fix Hunter’s laptop story Censoring Biden of the New York Post in 2020.

Although there was no real evidence to support this weighty and momentous claim, Republicans relentlessly peddled it to the American public. At Wednesday’s hearing, they showed no regard for misinforming those who turn to them for accurate information or for smearing a private company and its former executives in the process.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, who appears to want to be taken seriously by Washington’s elite while tossing idiotic red meat into the Republican base, claimed Twitter happily followed alleged FBI orders to cover the Hunter Biden story censor because they were “afraid of Joe Biden” not winning the election.”

The unproven claim is nothing new to him. Comer has long championed the notion that Elon Musk’s release of the so-called “Twitter files” “provided evidence that the Biden campaign worked with Big Tech to quash a story we now know to be 100 years old.” percent is true”. Of course, that’s not what the selectively released company documents show.

But Comer’s statements get the point across: By pushing the narrative that there was a “collusion” between Big Tech and the FBI to “censor” the Post’s Hunter-Biden story, Republicans are feeding their vote not so subtly, in denying fundamental reasons to believe that the 2020 election was effectively rigged against Donald Trump.

A version of this article first appeared in the Reliable Sources newsletter. Sign up here for the daily round-up of the evolving media landscape.

Right-wing media and figures like to amplify these claims and spread them to millions of viewers who turn to them for their news. Fox News, for example, hyped the GOP allegations from Wednesday’s hearing, portraying the nonsense from the hearing as if it were a serious matter revealing significant wrongdoing.

The facts – the reality – just don’t matter. It didn’t move a Republican when the Twitter executives who summoned them before the committee refuted their claims. And it didn’t matter to the right-wing media apparatus, which blindly repeated them to their audience.

“I am not aware of any unlawful collusion with, or direction from, any government agency or political campaign as to how Twitter should have handled the Hunter Biden laptop situation,” James Baker, Twitter’s former assistant attorney, told the committee under oath.

And Matt Taibbi, one of the journalists Musk handpicked last year to scour Twitter’s internal messages for evidence of free speech violations, himself said that “there was no evidence — as far as I’ve seen — of government involvement.” in the laptop story”.

Such statements from Baker, former Trust and Safety head Yoel Roth, and former general counsel Vijaya Gadde saturated Wednesday’s hearing — but they fell on deaf ears. Republicans have shown once again that they’re used to making claims that Silicon Valley is deliberately and wrongly censoring conservative views, even when the facts don’t match their narrative.

Ironically, the hearing appeared to reveal that Twitter agreed with Trump and changed its policies after concluding he had broken his rules.

Anika Collier Navaroli, a former senior staff member on Twitter’s content moderation team, testified that the social media company ended its ban on offensive language directed at immigrants to “go back where they came from” so Trump wouldn’t face consequences for his racist Attack of 2019 would suffer over four Democratic minority congressmen. “So much for the anti-right wing bias on Twitter,” responded Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

And the hearing indicated that the Trump White House was attempting to censor the speech of at least one American: Chrissy Teigen. When Teigen called out a string of expletives to Trump in 2019, Navaroli testified that she was told the White House had contacted Trump on Twitter and requested removal.

Curiously, Republicans have shown no interest in investigating the censorship charge. No wonder why.