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Washington Post caught stealth-editing report that initially labeled Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss 'conservative'


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The Washington Post was blasted for characterizing the center-left reporters behind the viral "Twitter Files" as being "conservative journalists."

Twitter owner Elon Musk tapped independent journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss to report on internal documents that have shed light on the company's controversial decisions like the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story and the deplatforming of former President Trump, as well as confirming long-held suspicions like the practice of shadow banning conservative users. 

Taibbi, a Substack writer who used to be a scribe for Rolling Stone magazine, and Weiss, the editor of The Free Press and host of the "Honestly" podcast who used to be the opinion page editor at The New York Times, are widely seen as being left of center, although they have become thorns in the sides of traditional liberal outlets since going independent.

Despite their progressive views on a host of issues, the Post still labeled them "conservative."

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In a report about Twitter dissolving its so-called "Trust & Safety Council" and the alleged harassment that former Twitter head of trust and safety Yoel Roth has been facing ever since Musk took over the company, the Post briefly mentioned Roth's role in the "Twitter Files" that has been reported by Taibbi and Weiss.

"As head of trust and safety at Twitter, Roth was involved in many of the platform’s decisions about what posts to remove and what accounts to suspend. His communications with other Twitter officials have been posted in recent days as part of what Musk calls the Twitter Files, a series of tweets by conservative journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss," the Post wrote Monday evening. 

Critics panned the "Democracy Dies in Darkness" paper for its "inaccurate" label for Taibbi and Weiss.

"Painfully embarrassing for the Post to print this," Grayzone host Aaron Maté reacted. 

"Calling those two conservative is so patently ridiculous. Wacky WaPo gaslighting like crazy," Sky News host Rita Panahi exclaimed. 

"It is rather insane that news publications are ascribing political ideologies to journalists that don’t remotely fit because they want to discredit the journalism being done," conservative writer A.G. Hamilton tweeted.

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"They are not interested in actually telling the truth. Everything is spin," National Review contributor Pradheep J. Shanker wrote. 

"'Conservative' is just a smear to the MSM. It has no other meaning except to brand someone as unworthy. To signal to its readership that such a person can be safely ignored," journalist and author Abigail Shrier tweeted.

"There's almost a medieval quality to a lot of political discourse. If you don't agree with every mainstream liberal opinion, then you're a conservative? They see the world in black and white," The Intercept investigative reporter Lee Fang said.

After Fox News Digital reached out to The Washington Post for comment, the word "conservative" was scrubbed from the article. No editor's note nor correction was placed to acknowledge the change but the article itself shows it was "updated" at 10:57p.m. EST. 

A spokesperson for the Post confirmed it received Fox News' initial request for comment but did not respond to following inquiries regarding the apparent stealth edit. Neither Taibbi nor Weiss responded to requests for comment. 

Taibbi went viral with the first installment of the "Twitter Files" which focused on Twitter's internal discussions leading to it censoring the Hunter Biden laptop story during the 2020 presidential election, with some officials struggling to explain how it violated its "hacked materials" policies.

It was later revealed that the first batch of "Twitter Files" were vetted without Musk's knowledge by Twitter deputy general counsel Jim Baker, who previously served as the FBI's general counsel and was involved in the Russia probe. Musk fired Baker shortly thereafter.

JIM BAKER, OUSTED TWITTER LAWYER AND EX-FBI OFFICIAL INVOLVED IN RUSSIAGATE, WAS A CNN ANALYST IN BETWEEN JOBS

Baker was swept up Taibbi's reporting about the suppression of the Hunter Biden story, telling his colleagues at the time, "I support the conclusion that we need more facts to assess whether the materials were hacked" but added, "it's reasonable for us to assume that they may have been and that caution is warranted."

Additionally, Taibbi initially reported, "Although several sources recalled hearing about a ‘general’ warning from federal law enforcement that summer about possible foreign hacks, there’s no evidence - that I've seen - of any government involvement in the laptop story." It is unclear whether Baker's involvement in vetting the "Twitter Files" led Taibbi to draw that conclusion and whether Baker omitted files that would have shown the federal government intervening in Twitter's suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story. 

The second installment published by Bari Weiss revealed Twitter's "blacklisting" of prominent conservatives, including Fox News host Dan Bongino, Turning Point USA's Charlie Kirk, as well as Stanford University's Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a longstanding opponent of COVID groupthink during the pandemic who expressed opposition to lockdowns.

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Internal communications also reveal Twitter staffers admitting that the popular account Libs of TikTok never violated its "hateful conduct" policy despite being punished several times for allegedly doing so. 

The third, fourth and fifth installments of the "Twitter Files" focused on the permanent suspension of former President Trump around the Capitol riot events in January 2021.

Over the weekend, writer Michael Shellenberger revealed that Dorsey was phoning it in as he was on vacation while his deputies were pushing to deplatform Trump with Roth in particularly spearheading efforts to censor other users pertaining to tweets about the 2020 election. 

On Monday, Weiss delved into the pressure Twitter management was facing from its employees who called for Trump's permanent suspension, though the Free Press editor also revealed several Twitter staffers who enforce policies did not believe Trump's tweets from Jan. 6 actually violated its rules.

However, it was Vijaya Gadde, then-Twitter's head legal chief, who asked if Trump's tweets could be "coded incitement to further violence." Moments later, the so-called "scaled enforcement team" suggested that based on how Twitter interprets Trump's tweets, it could violate the violence incitement policies. 

Musk had been vocal about being transparent when it comes to Twitter's past and present actions curating content on the platform, including censored content. 

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