On Saturday, writing for The Bulwark, former Republican strategist Tim Miller scorched billionaire Twitter owner Elon Musk and reporter Matt Taibbi for releasing what they called "The Twitter Files" — a series of internal conversations that revealed the details of how the platform decided, erroneously, to suppress reporting on Hunter Biden's laptop as disinformation, but that really didn't show any misconduct at all.
Republicans have long tried to raise controversy about Hunter Biden, who allegedly attempted to profit from his connection to his father's name when he was vice president — though there is no evidence his father was aware of or involved in this — and who is under federal investigation for firearm and tax offenses. And part of the story centers on a laptop that was allegedly left in a repair shop and which, Republicans have insinuated, contains material linking the president to these misadventures.
"Now if you are one of the normals — someone who would never think about posting another person’s penis on your social media account; has no desire to see politicians’ kids’ penises when scrolling social media; doesn’t understand why there are other people out there who care one way or another about the moderation policies surrounding stolen penis photos; or can’t even figure out what it is that I’m talking about — then this might seem like a gratuitous matter for an article," wrote Miller. "Sadly, it is not."
The issue, Miller wrote, is that Musk and his boosters built this up as a sort of earth-shattering First Amendment issue, suppressing Republicans' right to political speech — when it was nothing of the sort. In particular, the supposed "smoking gun" that initially had a number of GOP commentators up in arms was a message that employees were acting on requests from "the Biden team" to remove tweets — which turned out to be not tweets promoting the story, but pictures of Hunter Biden naked.
People do not, in fact, "have a constitutional right to post Hunter Biden's d*ck pic on Twitter," Miller wrote.
This whole story, Miller continued, has nothing scandalous in it at all.
"Campaigns of all ideological stripes have direct lines into social media companies and make requests about offending content," he wrote. Furthermore, "In this specific instance, the requests came from a campaign that has absolutely no government authority at all. At the time of the correspondence in question, Joe Biden was a private citizen running for office." And "Why MAGA Republicans and Elon Musk are so adamant that people be able to post photos of Hunter’s johnson is something that should probably be explored with their respective preachers or psychiatrists."