The blue checkmark journalists on Twitter are losing their minds – and it's amazing!

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By the time this is posted online, we’ll be having our U.S. midterm election livestream, so if you’re listening to this show on Tuesday night, feel free to tune in. We stream it on Rumble, YouTube, Gettr and other platforms. I’m excited about it. After two years of bad news under the Democrats, I think America is going to swing back to the Republicans, in both the House and the Senate. Of course I’m worried about the margin of cheating, but I’m still optimistic.

We’ll talk with Katie Daviscourt in a moment about some of the interesting races. Perhaps the most curious one is this oddity: the Democratic candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania is John Fetterman, who has quite a unique look. That shaved head, that goatee, the tattoos, and always in hoodies. It’s a tough guy look, but he’s not really working class, he’s more Marxist woke-ist, I think. But that’s not the weird thing — the weird thing is, he had a stroke; he tried to keep it a secret; and the media helped him keep a secret. Until finally, one reporter sort of just said the opposite — and holy moly was she battered by the Democrat trolls.

Well, it just gets crazier. He’s running against TV’s Dr. Oz, who is running for the Republicans. That’ll be an interesting one to watch — but I’m really worried about Democratic Election Day shenanigans there. Election Day — who’s kidding whom? That only happens in first world countries. Third world countries like the U.S. now takes days or weeks to count ballots. All the Democrat-leaning media are saying this is normal, completely normal, nothing to be worried about. It’s really nuts. Anyways, that’s tonight’s livestream.

But back to the monologue. I want to talk about Twitter, and I know that most of you probably don’t even have a Twitter account. It’s just a shorter, meaner Facebook, built for quarrelling with people, as opposed to sharing family photos or invitations to barbecues, which is probably more of a Facebook thing. But even if you are not on Twitter, and I very strongly do not recommend that you join it, if you’re not already trapped in it, here’s why Twitter is important: it’s what journalists and politicians love.

It’s where they brainstorm. It’s where they chat amongst themselves — but you can listen it. It’s where, like birds in a flock, they subconsciously, unconsciously, assemble in formation. You can see journalists whip each other up, and iron out a narrative; you can see what all the pundits are pushing together. And because it’s so short and quick, it’s often a more honest reflection of what they think than a scripted video or a written essay. People say dumb things on Twitter. It’s the danger but it’s also the fun.

You can debate anyone; you can engage with anyone. And you never know who will engage back. I did a tweet once that Donald Trump replied to, when he was president — I got a real kick out of that! In a way, it’s a kind of meritocracy — if you have something smart or funny to say, it can go viral — no matter who you are. That’s the Internet for you — power to the people. We take it for granted now, but before the ubiquity of smartphones with their built-in cameras, it was rare to catch some crisis in action, on videotape. I mean, in the olden days, pre-internet, pre-smartphone, some people who were real photography buffs carried a real camera with them, but that was rare. And very few had a video camera. Now, think about all of the important news that is captured by ordinary people just in the right place at the right time, on their cell phones. Twitter lets you publish videos and photos and comments, and the emphasis is on speed and engagement.

So it truly is the public square for politics in 2022. It’s good for sports or entertainment, following celebrities, that sort of thing too. But I think it’s real value is politics and news — That’s certain the value to various governments, who have tried to spy on Twitter, to get information about dissidents, who they are, what they’re saying in private, etc.

So as you know, Elon Musk bought Twitter — and took it private. He mustered $44 billion dollars U.S. — that’s almost $60B Canadian. And it was a fascinating dance — he made the offer, and several of the board members rejected it. But then when he pulled back — saying they misled him, in that a large number of the customers they claimed were real were actually fakes, they were robots or “bots”, Twitter then sued him, demanding that he close the deal! They went back and forth, and in the end he bought it.
And in the first week or so — he fired half the staff!

Now, how can you fire half the staff? If it were another kind of business — like a restaurant, how could you fire half the staff? Would you get rid of cooks or dishwashers or waiters? I mean, it’s tough to imagine there being that many useless people in a real business like a restaurant.
I guess you could do what McDonald's and other restaurants are doing — having touch-screen tablets to order food, which I supposed gets rid of some cashiers. But that’s not half the people.

Or imagine an airline — how could you get rid of half the people? Pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, refuelling people, baggage people, you’d be terrified if they got rid of half the people, right?

And the thing about that McDonald's tablet idea — that’s using high-tech ideas to replace labour. What is Twitter other than a high-tech idea? There’s no Twitter store, there’s no product that is shipped to you, there’s nothing you physically touch. It’s just an app on your phone or your laptop.

So it’s already as efficient as can be, right? How on earth can you sack half the staff — and have customer use grow (as it has in the past few weeks)? Who on earth did they fire?

Well, that’s the amazing and shocking part. Twitter was absolutely chock full of political bosses, activists, censors, regulators. Nothing to do with the service itself; nothing to do with the technology. They were barnacles on a ship; they had attached themselves to the profitable, useful technology, and just brought in their woke agendas. They colonized the place. Half the staff were political bosses.

I mean, look at this incredible statement, by a former Twitter employee fired by Musk:

You had a human rights team? Implementing United Nations principles? Did anybody know about that? That Twitter was imposing some foreign globalist filter over its app?
I don’t believe it, in some ways — every dictator in the world has a Twitter account, from Iran to China to Venezuela. So much for UN principles.

And look at this investigation by a journalist named Lee Fang:

Docs show Facebook and Twitter closely collaborating w/ Dept of Homeland Security, FBI to police “disinfo.” Plans to expand censorship on topics like withdrawal from Afghanistan, origins of COVID, info that undermines trust in financial institutions.

Huh? So that’s what Twitter’s thousands of political enforcers were doing? Running errands for the military and big banks?

So they were basically political censors who also let the police just come right on in and silence people. No trial, no rule of law. Just a cozy relationship.

By the way, portals like that are exactly what the Chinese government does to its internet companies like TikTok. And we condemn it. But that’s what Twitter was doing all along. That’s what half the people at Twitter were doing. You might have laughed at me the other day when I called Twitter a CIA operation. But literally half the people working there had nothing to do with computer science or engineering or whatever. They were spies of a sort — either gathering info on people, or silencing people. Working for hidden masters.

Now, obviously if someone is fired, that’s bad for them, and we mean no harm to anyone. Just because we disagree with them, doesn’t mean we want them to not be able to make their rent. And of course, if they enjoyed their work friends, that is a sad development, just speaking on a personal level:

But that’s self-serving. All of these censors and regulators and filterers weren’t doing free speech. They were all shaping and regulating and hiding and tweaking other people's free speech. As in, it wasn’t free anymore. Public policy people working at Twitter? Why? Twitter ought to be like a bulletin board — people can put things on it. You don’t need thousands of staff standing around taking down things that real people put up and putting up things you want them to read instead. Public policy people? If you’re into public policy, get a Twitter account, and make your case. Don’t secretly silence from behind the scenes. I’m sympathetic to this person as an individual; but I’m glad their job is gone — it was the job of a censor!

Some of the tweets were just lamenting the end of a cushy, well-paid career. But others had an ominous warning to them — you’ll regret this! We were the last bulwark against Russian propaganda! We were the last thing stopping you from believing misinformation and disinformation! This is a trick — everything was true until now, but now that I’m fired, you will be a sea of lies!

I don’t exaggerate much. But look. I can see how a Twitter censor who truly censors every day — using AI and algorithms to censor by the thousand or by the million — can say that their absence will change the world. It will — we’ll hear more points of view now, not just the ones approved by a left-wing Silicon Valley company’s woke leftists.
So they really will be missed — by their friends in the Democrats, the FBI, the CIA, whatever.

But what about another thing Musk has done — that little blue checkmark next to your name. It’s called a verified checkmark — it supposedly verifies your identity. That it’s not someone impersonating you. Useful for public people. But in fact, it wasn’t treated like a verification mark. Because anyone can get verified by showing ID and proving they are who they are — think about what you did to get your online banking going. You can do it, and you might not even be famous. My point is, that blue checkmark was not, in practice, about verifying your identity. It was about whether or not you would be invited into an elite club of influencers and approved pundits. I have no idea how I got mine; I didn’t ask for it; one day it came. Maybe it's because I run a news company, and even our critics on the left acknowledge it’s a thing. But the blue checkmark “community” has a specific identity, a group identity. They’re the fancy people they’re the official people. They're approved. It’s not just verified; it’s approved.

In fact, Twitter has punished people by taking away their blue checkmark. How does that make sense? Are they no longer verified with their identity? No — it just means they have lost Twitter’s seal of approval. It’s a snob thing, a club, a caste, and elite. Us versus them. Again, I have no idea how I got it.

But Elon Musk said he’s going to let anyone verify themselves for $8/month. You, too can get a blue checkmark. That’s not just a source of income for Twitter, it’s a way of reducing spam and bots. Spam and bots are anonymous accounts, sometimes made by the hundreds or by the thousands. And they are artificial — they’re like what a laugh track is to a TV comedy. Fake. You can half thousands of fake bots promoting or opposing someone or something. It’s what Elon Musk didn’t like about Twitter when he called off his bid.

He says one solution is to make people pay $8/month, to go through the verification process, to eliminate bots. I mean, you wouldn’t see someone buying 10,000 bots at $8 each, per month, even if they could provide the verification information. So it’s about improving user experience; about moving away from ads and towards a membership fee. But it’s also about democracy. Now the “peasants” can look just like the kings on Twitter.

And oh does that make the blue checkmark elites furious! Stephen King, the millionaire writer, was arguing with Elon Musk, the billionaire, about paying $8 a month or not.
It wasn’t the money. It’s that Stephen King is special, and wants a freebie — because don’t you know who I am!

But what really made me roll my eyes was seeing Canadian journalists saying that their blue checkmark, and the inability of the little people to buy them, was essential to their work. It was all that was keeping journalism safe. They were like Twitter’s own censorship and United Nations squad. And really, they are — they’re part of the elite club that suddenly isn’t cool anymore and they're erasing.

This is my favourite example: Musk says:

So Canada’s very own Rachel Gilmore, a young woman at Global News whose speciality is short TikTok videos, said that’s very dangerous, you see:

So letting ordinary people be verified is poison. It will silence people — that part isn’t explained, but you know. It will “drown out” “bad actors”.
And by implication, Rachel Gilmore is certainly none of those things! And you know that’s true, because she has the blue checkmark. She didn’t have to fill out any forms or take any tests to get it. But if you’re part of the club, you just know. You’re special. So we should believe her that she is none of those ba things, simply because of the blue checkmark.

Yeah. That blue checkmark is the seal of approval for just the facts journalism.

So I wrote:

To which Gilmore replied:

It does! It explains why we have 1.58 million YoUTube subscribers, and millions more in other media. Because we know that a blue checkmark isn’t what makes a journalism — doing journalism is.

Here’s a CP reporter:

That doesn’t really make sense. Of course, it can be a job. I replied:

I mean, what does getting paid or not have to do with journalism? Except that if you get paid by Trudeau, odds are you’re compromised.
I liked this one, by a journalist:

Actually, firefighting requires special skills and special equipment. Journalism doesn’t — you’ve got a phone with a camera and a social media account. There are no barriers to entry.

This journalist was scared:

No again:

None of the advocates of keeping blue checkmarks for the fancy people are telling the truth. They’re not worried about disinformation or misinformation or unethical people. The mainstream media takes care of that nicely — how many conspiracy theories do they serve up, from their lies about the origin of the virus, to their lies about the efficacy of the vaccines, to their lies about the convoy? That CBC hack got a promotion after that!

All we heard out of the trucker commission of inquiry from every police source is that the truckers were peaceful, and that the media was the source of the lies. The blue checkmark media! Not us, the citizen journalists!

Rachel Gilmore is a TikTok journalist, for crying out loud. I’m not sure if that’s even a thing, but I won’t go snobby on her. I’m just saying, she needs that blue checkmark to give her validation so dearly, so she’s not just another “influencer” showing just enough skin on social media to get views. It’s her claim to being classy and important and real and authoritative, because her work alone doesn’t afford her that. And it’s a way of marginalizing her enemies and critics — I have this validation and you don’t.
Well, now the world’s richest man says everyone can buy that elite status.

For me, I don’t care much. I have it and I suppose I’d rather have it than not. But I love that the scarcity of it is about to end — and that the grubby peasants will be able to buy what these princes and princesses had bestowed upon them once.

But doesn’t that say it all? The Media Party really is a club, a party as I call it. It’s about a team, about friends and enemies, and whose side you’re on.
That’s what all these blue checkmarks are raging about. And I’m loving every minute of it.

GUEST: Katie Daviscourt on the midterms

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