Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Journalist Matt Taibbi's video demonetized by YouTube


AP Photo/Seth Wenig

YouTube doesn’t like Narrative™ deniers, and when it can’t figure out how to boot a video off the platform because it would look too obvious, they do the next best thing: prevent content creators from making money off their content.

YouTube did precisely that to a video disseminated by former Rolling Stone and current Substack journalist Matt Taibbi. Taibbi has become a thorn in the elite’s side by constantly challenging the prevailing narrative, and hit Democrats where it hurts by publishing a 5 minute video of Democrats and pundits claiming that the 2016 election was stolen.

It is a pretty damning video given how Democrats have been pounding Trump and Republicans for being “election deniers,” asserting that they are threats to the country. Democrats compared Trump’s victory of Clinton to 9/11, implying that Trump was a greater threat than terrorism.

Taibbi sent out an email to his subscribers (of which I am one) informing them of the decision by YouTube, and he notes that YouTube’s decision to demonitize his content proves his point.

Today we’re releasing a video Matt Orfalea has been working on, showing years of audio and video clips, tweets, and headlines in which Democratic Party politicians and media figures describe Donald Trump’s presidency as illegitimate. Before it was even published on this site, Matt received the above notice.

I’d like to thank YouTube for making our point. The material in this video does not promote the idea that any election was stolen or illegitimate. On the contrary, it shows a great mass of comments from Democratic partisans and pundits who themselves make that claim, about the 2016 election. Those comments were not censored or suppressed when made the first time around, by the likes of Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Karine Jean-Pierre, Adam Schiff, Rob Reiner, Tom Arnold, and Chris Hayes, among many others.

Nor did any platform step in to issue warnings when my former boss, Keith Olbermann, promised with regard to Trump’s ascension to the White House, “It will not be a peaceful transfer of power.”

However, the decision to assemble these materials in one place, inviting audiences to consider their meaning, apparently crosses a line. Now we know: you can deny election results on a platform like YouTube as much as you want, you can even promise disruption, but drawing attention to such behavior angers the algorithm. It’s hard to imagine a better demonstration of the double-standard in content moderation.

Taibbi explains why he posted the video in the first place, and it is of course very persuasive:

Led by the losing candidate in 2016, Democratic Party politicians along with law enforcement and intelligence officials and media spent years denying the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency, based on an equally specious/dishonest formulation: “The election was hacked.” Moreover, they instigated removal efforts based on the same declare-guilt-now, prove-it-later mentality that gripped figures like Trump and Rudy Giuliani in 2020. How different really is “Just say it was corrupt and leave the rest to me” from “We just have to dig deeper, do the investigation and find it”?

The January 6th hearings ironically are an outgrowth of the Democrats’ own six-year-long election denial endeavor, involving the same people who pushed attempts to remove Trump based on manufactured theories of foreign collusion. There’s an automatic Boy Who Cried Wolf factor built in to hearings that include the likes of California’s Adam Schiff (“I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now”) or Maryland’s Jamie Raskin (“Donald Trump is the hoax perpetrated on the Americans by the Russians”).

Moreover, congressional Democrats’ successful push for censorship on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — a campaign that began even before January 6th — reveal that the party considers the act of denial itself illegitimate and ban-worthy, if not criminal. But how can that be if, as the video shows, the party’s own leaders engage in the same behavior? How can declaring the 2020 election illegitimate be prohibited, if saying the same thing about 2016 was and is encouraged?

Democrats’ obsession with Donald Trump is something to behold. They have spent 8 years talking about little else. Whatever. If they want to make stupid claims, let them.

But mobilizing all the resources of government and the social media platforms to shut up opponents? It proves that they, not anybody else, are a threat to democracy.