It’s as if a million Dan Rathers screamed at once into the void about TANG documents … and then fell silent. At least they’re silent on Twitter, where CBS News — the originator but hardly the only practitioner of “fake but accurate” reporting — promotes its stories from both their national and local platforms. They have decided to “pause” their Twitter use because of the “uncertainty” in the platform now that Elon Musk isn’t playing along with the censorship games.
I’ve seen virtue signaling before, but never quite so hilarious as this (via Twitchy):
CBS News and its owned and operated stations are “pausing” activity on Twitter; blaming “uncertainty” on the platform. pic.twitter.com/Pv1gEQjQJH
— Jim Lokay (@LokayFOX5) November 19, 2022
JONATHAN VIGLIOTTI: In light of the uncertainty around Twitter, and out of an abundance of caution, CBS News is pausing its activity on the social media site as it continues to monitor the platform, Major.
“Out of an abundance of caution”? Caution from what? That’s the kind of explanation one would use about evacuating a building after a bomb threat, not about refraining from tweeting one’s own articles. What exactly are the consequences of continuing to tweet out links to CBS News stories on Twitter, other than people might actually read and watch those reports?
Profiles in Courage this ain’t.
Even if we are supposed to see this as a stand against “disinformation” on Twitter, what sense does it make to “pause”? News organizations like CBS News (I know, I know, bear with me) have an opportunity to get what they see as the truth onto the platform by promoting their own reporting. They used that access to strong effect to inform their viewers and readers that Hunter Biden’s laptop was actually a Russian disinformation campaign, for instance!
Oh wait … maybe that’s not the best example.
This is nothing more than silly virtue signaling and a lame political protest against possible new policies regarding censorship from Elon Musk. Those policies would have literally no impact on CBS’ use of Twitter; they would only allow for freer speech and more rational limits on terms of service, assuming Musk ever gets around to establishing those new moderation policies.
And what would that allow, assuming they come at all? More trollery and silliness, more nuttiness, yes, but all of that exists already on Twitter. Rational human beings are fully capable of recognizing that when it comes from fringy Twitter accounts. However, Twitter’s previous regime only allowed one side to indulge in that nonsense, such as the stupid conspiracy theory that Russian intelligence agents planted a laptop with false information on it about Hunter Biden, when even the people whose e-mails got exposed from it corroborated their authenticity.
On which side of that conspiracy theory reporting was CBS News, again? See above. In their defense, it really did fit their pioneering “fake but accurate” policies.
CBS News’ biggest objection seems to be that Twitter may not cooperate with DHS’ government censorship of debate and dissent in the future. If so, then good riddance. They didn’t bother to cover that DHS story either, so it’s not like we’re missing much except for their virtue signaling, cooked reporting, and cooperation in silencing others in order to boost their own signal.
Update, 11:17 am ET 11/20: The pause lasted about 36 hours, it seems:
Turkey launched deadly airstrikes over northern regions of Syria and Iraq targeting Kurdish groups that Ankara holds responsible for last week’s bomb attack in Istanbul. https://t.co/QsXvLdbcBg
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 20, 2022
They’ve tweeted a few of their own reports this morning, and retweeted several from CBS News’ Face the Nation account as well.