There’s a lot of new information in the recently-released Twitter Files, but the big issue is whether they reveal a cover up that could lead to criminal charges. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Three times now we’ve seen material coming out about the Twitter files, and the Twitter files have become this brand new talking point that is not going to go away. Farron, what do you think about the Twitter files? As we are right now, give me your overall 10,000 foot and then let’s narrow it in a little bit.

Farron Cousins: My big takeaway, because I, I’ve followed all of the Twitter threads as they were being released and coming out and the whole thing for me is just a big, eh? Nothing has really moved me from it.

Mike Papantonio: Okay.

Farron Cousins: It, it doesn’t seem, you know, explosive. We, look, we’ve seen, you’ve seen a hell of a lot more than I have, real corporate documents showing horrifying things.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: So maybe I’m desensitized, but I’m not seeing a whole lot that really moves me, other than I feel like there is a serious lack of context for a lot of it. That is my big issue.

Mike Papantonio: In other words, we’re getting bits and pieces.

Farron Cousins: Right.

Mike Papantonio: Matt Taibbi, as you know, I am, you know, I’ve interviewed Taibbi. You’ve interviewed Taibbi. He’s known, we, we like Taibbi. We have for a long time. I think he’s a good reporter. You know, Bari Weiss, hmm. Not so much. And then, and then Shellenberger. But the, all this material’s coming out and each one has a different look at something. So let’s begin with the first look. The first look was with Taibbi. And Taibbi’s as independent as you can get. He says, look, I’m not a Democrat. I’m not a Republican. This is what I do. I call balls and strikes. So he comes out with the Hunter Biden issue. Was the FBI involved with protecting Hunter Biden? Well, now Baker, who of course was with the FBI protecting, you know, allegedly protecting Hunter saying that, you know, you know, not, he, he might be a dirt bag. Yeah. Hunter’s a dirt bag, but he didn’t do these things. Then he goes to work with Twitter and he starts protecting Hunter there. That’s Taibbi’s kind of, that’s his hook, isn’t it?

Farron Cousins: Well, Taibbi admits that he could not see any evidence of government interference with the Hunter Biden story. Pardon me. And a lot of the issue that Taibbi talks about with the Hunter Biden story was the request from the DNC from the Biden campaign was, there’s pictures of Hunter Biden’s genitalia on Twitter. Can you please take those off? I mean, that’s what those tweets were linking to.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. They weren’t.

Farron Cousins: actual Photographs of Hunter Biden and naked women as well, which is a form of revenge pornography. And so that’s well within their scope to say, listen, please take this down.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. That was, that was within their policy.

Farron Cousins: Yes. A hundred percent in their terms of service.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. So, so then they merge it to where, no, it was really about the fact that Hunter Biden has some kind of scheme going on. It’s with the Chinese, it’s with the Russians, you know, he’s out there making money for the family, and the, the Biden estate is making money through that scheme. Now, they’ve said that, but nobody’s tied it up. Matt Taibbi looked at it and he said, yeah, there’s a lot of bad stuff’s been done wrong, in fact, in censorship. But no, there, nothing’s landed, has it?

Farron Cousins: No. It, it really hasn’t. And, and Taibbi did also mention the fact that with the New York Times, uh, New York Post, excuse me story, the reason Twitter was initially saying we have to get rid of this story, is because it violates their policy against publishing hacked materials.

Mike Papantonio: Okay.

Farron Cousins: And the ban from the New York Post story really only lasted a matter of hours before it was lifted. So that’s why, to me, I, I don’t see it as a huge bombshell. It’s okay. Well, all of these stories, all three, four of the releases so far, it paints a picture to me of a bunch of employees who had no clear leadership. Nobody at the top explaining anything.

Mike Papantonio: It was, it was Home Alone, wasn’t it?

Farron Cousins: It, it really was.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: So they’re confused. They’re emailing each other, texting each other. Like, what, how, what, what, what do we do? Here’s a thing. Is this a bad thing? Is, is this a bad thing? I don’t know.

Mike Papantonio: Farron, both you and I are big fans of Ro Khanna. I mean, I, I really like the guy.

Farron Cousins: He’s good.

Mike Papantonio: And he came out and said, look, I’ve gotta look at this. This is wrong.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: He said, what was happening at Twitter is wrong because he’s a fundamental believer in the Constitution as I am. And you are. He’s a fundamental believer in the First Amendment. And what, so, so he comes out and he starts saying, censorship in the caliber of what I’m seeing with Twitter is wrong. Okay, let’s, let’s hold that in advance. Taibbi comes out with the Hunter story. Next, next you have Bari Weiss that comes out with her take on it. Her take is how, is, is just focus on ideology. That they’ve made these decisions based on the fact that we don’t want any conservatives telling their story on our, on our network. And we’re going to, because of that, we’re gonna censor ’em. Pick up and tell me if I’ve missed something there.

Farron Cousins: So this is the part where I say we’re missing a lot of context here.

Mike Papantonio: Okay.

Farron Cousins: Because it’s, it’s clear that what Weiss did was she name searched a couple of high profile accounts to see if they had the vf, which is what they call the visibility filter.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: So that is of course, something, sure, the visibility filter, that seems like something people ought to know about. And Dan Bongino, conservative talker who blocked me on Twitter years ago, I’ve never interacted with him. Charlie Kirk and then Libs of TikTok.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Was another big one. But Libs of TikTok, they actually ended up not taking action against, even though what they were posting led to bomb threats and bomb scares at a Boston Hospital. Uh, pretty serious stuff there.

Mike Papantonio: All right.

Farron Cousins: I don’t know what Kirk and Bongino were posting that got them the visibility filter, but at the same time, she searched out those individuals to see if it was there.

Mike Papantonio: Okay.

Farron Cousins: Okay. Fair enough. Right. Did you search other individuals? Did you search individuals on the left? Did you search groups on the left? Twitter did its own study in October of 2021 that actually explained that their algorithm amplifies right wing voices far more than it amplifies left-wing voices.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: So did you look at the other side? And if you did show us that they don’t have these same markings.

Mike Papantonio: Okay.

Farron Cousins: Give us the full picture. Not a part of it.

Mike Papantonio: Farron, to me, you, these are, these are things you and I talk about all the time. I mean, I’m just such a fundamental, Ro Khanna, I just completely agree with, we don’t mess with the First Amendment. Okay. We, we count on the fact that if somebody is so awful and they say the kinds of things that are so vulgar and so awful, that the system takes care of itself. It does. We don’t need some bonehead in, you know, that’s got a barely outta college making a decision on whether this fits into a policy or not. I mean, it is protect the First Amendment.

Farron Cousins: Because they didn’t even understand their own policies.

Mike Papantonio: That’s.

Farron Cousins: And again, that’s a huge issue too, because nobody was steering the ship.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: So you’ve got all your, your oarsmen basically rowing in different directions and the ship’s just spinning in circles because nobody knows what to do.

Mike Papantonio: I don’t, I don’t think this goes away. I, I think this picks up momentum because the other social media, the other social media folks have gotta pay attention to what’s happening here. And

Farron Cousins: That, that, that is a big part of it too. And I do think, obviously, I mean, we’ve experienced weird things happening with our YouTube channel. We’ve experienced it on Facebook.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, yeah.

Farron Cousins: So it, it would be interesting to see, again, the whole picture, not just from Twitter. I wanna see it from all of the sites.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: I don’t want cherry picked info. I want the whole thing.

Mike Papantonio: I, I think it’s a very good point.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: And I totally agree with you on that. But this, this does start the discussion.

Farron Cousins: It does.

Mike Papantonio: An important discussion.

Farron Cousins: And we need to have the discussion.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.