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Journalism author says mainstream media should be 'up in arms' over Matt Taibbi IRS threat

Rindsberg says he believes certain members of the media wanted Taibbi to get in trouble due to him reporting on the censorship of conservatives

Published: March 30, 2023 4:18pm

Updated: March 30, 2023 4:52pm

Journalist and author of "The Gray Lady Winked" Ashley Rindsberg said Thursday that the mainstream media should have more concern and outrage over the IRS threat that independent journalist Matt Taibbi got after testifying before Congress. 

"Not very long ago, the media would have been up in arms, howling with outrage," Rindsberg said on the "John Solomon Reports" podcast. "Not even just if it happened to one of them, but specifically to Matt Taibbi who was once considered a great liberal journalist."

Taibbi testified before the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on March 9, during which he addressed evidence that the federal government actively pressured Big Tech companies to censor user content. Taibbi said that after his testimony, the IRS used intimidation tactics by sending an agent to his home who left a note, claiming the agency rejected his tax filings from years prior due to identity theft concerns.

Taibbi later said after the incident that he never received any concerns from the IRS until the day he testified.

Taibbi's testimony was based on his reporting as part of the "Twitter Files" series and largely pointed to communications between federal officials and social media executives in which the former flagged posts they considered objectionable for removal by the platform.

Rindsberg said he believes certain members of the media wanted Taibbi to get in trouble due to his reporting on the censorship of conservatives by Twitter, but cautioned his fellow journalists about dismissing this incident. 

"They probably thought to themselves 'he got what he deserved,'" Rindsberg said. "But the reality is that that level of brazenness is designed to send a message. It's not designed to be discreet. It's designed to tell the rest of us to be careful."

Rindsberg also addressed the Wall Street Journal reporter detained in Russia on espionage charges.

"Anytime that kind of thing happens to a journalist around the world, especially in a country like Russia, or countries like Iran, Venezuela or Cuba-wherever it does happen, it is never a good outcome," Rindsberg concluded. 

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