Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Notes on a Friday Night: A few delirious reflections at a crazy month’s end

Sitting in a hotel bar in San Francisco, going through what’s become a nightly “remembering to eat” ritual. As readers here know, this has been a crazy month, during which time I lost track of a lot of things. I’ve been an absentee father during the holidays, which is contemptible, and also remiss when it comes to responsibilities to subscribers to this site, omitting to even take time to explain basic things, which I’ll try to do now.

Once again today we did not publish the written America This Week, which frankly will have to stay on hold for at least a little while longer. Also once again, I’ve abused the patience of podcast partner Walter Kirn, who’s been a great friend during this time and deserves better. We will do another makeup episode early next week, and I’ll announce the details as soon as I can.

The reason for all this of course is the Twitter Files story. This last week saw the FBI describe Lee Fang, Michael Shellenberger and me as “conspiracy theorists” whose “sole aim” is to discredit the agency. That statement will look ironic soon, as we spent much of this week learning about other agencies and organizations that can now also be discredited thanks to these files. Selfishly I may release some of that information in the morning, to be done with it so I can be fully-present Dad on the actual holiday.

A group of us spent the last weeks reading thousands of documents. For me a lot of that time was spent learning how Twitter functioned, specifically its relationships with government. How weird is modern-day America? Not long ago, CIA veterans tell me, the information above the “tearline” of a U.S. government intelligence cable would include the station of origin and any other CIA offices copied on the report.

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