‘What Happened to You Man?’: Matt Taibbi Spars with Mehdi Hasan in Tense MSNBC Interview

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“Twitter Files” journalist Matt Taibbi had a tense conversation with MSNBC anchor Mehdi Hasan in a long-awaited interview that aired on Thursday.

“I’ve mocked him in the past for doing PR work for the world’s richest man and he’s accused me of being an ardent establishment moralist,” Hasan said before introducing a visibly frustrated Tabbi.

“So you started off, as I expected, with the whole ‘What happened to you man?’ routine,” Taibbi shot back before explaining the importance of his recent reporting. “There was an organized systematic structure in place for the FBI and DHS to talk — not just to Twitter and to forward thousands of moderation requests to companies like Twitter — but also to virtually every other social-media platform.”

“This is essentially an organized system of quasi–state censorship and it’s alarming, it’s a lot more than what we thought was going to be there.”

Later on in the conversation, Hasan challenged Taibbi’s reporting of the Twitter Files, specifically three tweets among now hundreds that the investigative reporter has since published online.

One concerned Taibbi’s misidentifying the Center for Internet Security with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Another centers on a contested number of flagged tweets.

After the interview, Taibbi took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the matter.

“Again, Just had a very contentious interview with @MehdiRHasan, who made me aware of three errors in the #TwitterFiles which as a responsible journalist — unlike MSNBC, which has not corrected years of huge mistakes — I am now retracing/correcting,” Taibbi tweeted Thursday afternoon. The former Rolling Stone writer later said there were only two mistakes.

A few hours later, Taibbi once more expressed his frustration with Hasan.

“Part of the job is facing critics and making corrections when appropriate. This is how we arrive at truth in a free press system. I went on @mehdirhasan today to defend the #TwitterFiles precisely because MSNBC hasn’t engaged in this process across years of Russiagate reports,” Taibbi wrote.

“For @mehdirhasan to gloat over two minor errors, while dismissing both the substance of censorship story in the #TwitterFiles and the fact that those stories exposed significant uncorrected mistakes by his own network, is incredible. I stand by my work.”

A similar sentiment was expressed by Lee Fang, an investigative journalist with the Intercept and fellow Twitter Files reporter, who criticized Hasan for getting lost in the weeds of acronyms and missing the broader point about government censorship and free speech.

“This is a particularly stupid gotcha given that CIS was the gov contractor working for CISA/DHS to help facilitate social media takedown requests — Mehdi focuses on a minor error while obscuring the big picture to defend the Department of Homeland Security’s overreach,” Fang tweeted on Thursday night.

Shortly after the interview began, Taibbi released an article on his outlet, Racket News, titled “Eat Me, MSNBC,” confessing that he was “looking forward” to speaking with Hasan “as one would a root canal or a rectal.”

For his part, Hasan argued that Taibbi avoided answering his questions.

“Nearly two weeks ago, @mtaibbi challenged me on Twitter to invite him onto my show to discuss Elon Musk working with the Indian government to censor speech online. Today, he came on the show . . . and refused to talk about it or criticize Musk,” Hasan wrote on Thursday.

The MSNBC anchor further accused Taibbi of lying “under oath” when testifying before Congress in March.

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