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‘Twitter Files’ journalist Matt Taibbi: Musk proved to be ‘very disappointing’ on free speech issue

Former “Twitter Files” reporter Matt Taibbi said that billionaire Elon Musk has proved to be “very disappointing” on the topic of free speech.

Taibbi, who published the first installment of the “Twitter Files” after Musk bought the platform, argued the Tesla CEO has fallen short of his promise of being a “free speech absolutist.”

“I do believe that Elon proved to be very disappointing on the free speech issue,” Taibbi said during an appearance on NewsNation’s “Cuomo” Friday. “All of us who worked on the Twitter Files felt the same way. We went in feeling tremendously optimistic that he actually meant a lot of the things that he said about being in favor of all legal speech and, being a free speech absolutist and all these other things.”

“That proved not to be the case. He’s currently disenfranchising thousands of Substack writers, including including me. And no one seems to care in the press,” Taibbi told host Chris Cuomo.

Taibbi, an independent journalist currently writing on Substack, wrote the inaugural installment of the “Twitter Files,” among others.

The posts, which were published on X, formerly known as Twitter, showed purported screenshots from internal communications at the company of top executives discussing how to handle the publishing of the New York Post’s story with it potentially having damaging allegations against Hunter Biden, the son of President Biden who was at the time running for Oval Office.

Taibbi’s remarks came when Cuomo asked him to react to an excerpt from former CNN host Don Lemon’s interview with Musk. Lemon asked Musk during the interview if he believed he and his platform bear responsibility to “moderate” hate speech.

“On the other hand, you know, in that interview, Don was asking Elon why he wasn’t censoring speech more,” Taibbi said. “He was asking about hate speech, which is legal in the United States. And the question, “Why aren’t you doing more to moderate legal speech?” – it’s a little odd to complain about a free speech issue when you yourself are asking to do the same thing.”

Lemon initially agreed to a deal to have his show on X, saying he believes in free speech. On Wednesday, Lemon said his deal with X was terminated.

Nexstar Media Group, The Hill’s parent company, also owns NewsNation, home to “Cuomo”.

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