Conservative journalists were suspended left and right, and had their accounts shuttered for years, publications had news stories blocked, and when it all came out in the #TwitterFiles, the media defended it.
Multiple publications sneered that it wasn’t a big deal anyway and conservatives were crybabies.
But now it’s a crisis.
Twitter abruptly suspends more than half a dozen journalists – Washington Post
Twitter Suspends Accounts of Half a Dozen Journalists – New York Times
CNN announced that it’s going live with one of the people whose account was suspended.
Forget the whole conversation as to whether Elon Musk did the right thing. I don’t care and I doubt you really do either. It’s his company and suspending reporters and assorted unhinged hacks like Olbermann over his privacy is about a billion miles away from a sustained campaign to censor the point of view of half the country.
But forget the politics.
Countless accounts are suspended and banned for assorted apolitical reasons that may be open to debate. Nobody except those people and some of those who follow them care.
Media privilege however means that suspending media people leads to news stories in the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN.
How dare Twitter suspend the New York Times and the Washington Post.
What I’m getting at here is that the media is a class and it abuses its disproportionate power in defense of its privileges. The difference between the media and Elon Musk is that it postures more and its privilege is completely unearned. All the media claims to be the guardians of democracy or debate turned it into the bully boys of political censorship. Now those same bully boys who gleefully demanded that those who disagreed with them be silenced are suddenly discovering what it’s like not to have that privilege.
Maybe it was always inevitable that our society’s command and control mechanism would be reduced to a debate on a 90s internet forum, but the people who were certain that the moderator would be on their side are living in a world where that’s not the case. And what they’d like isn’t fairness, it’s their power back.