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*We recorded this episode before it was revealed that Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett had written Matt Taibbi a letter threatening him with prison time over his Twitter Files testimony. This makes our discussion with Lee even more crucial.*
Lee Fang, an independent and highly accomplished investigative journalist, is needed this week more than ever. His in-depth research and reporting, increasingly foreign to “intellectually lazy” corporate pundits like Mehdi Hasan, is a superpower for independent journalism in the fight against a mainstream media which has become little more than a traffic cop for the US government.
Lee explains the contents of the leaked national security documents (something people know very little about thanks to the NYT & co) and corporate media’s response, sharing the importance of one specific unearthed secret he found in the leak: Biden and national security officials, while publicly parading Ukraine’s advantage in the war, privately claim that Ukraine is losing rapidly to Russia. But instead of allowing Ukraine to negotiate peace, they continue the lie to “weaken” Russia and bleed Ukraine dry of any money they can suck out of it.
And then we get to the Twitter Files. Lee, who had exclusive access to Twitter documents, explains what he unearthed about a sweeping Pentagon propaganda campaign.
But the more the Twitter Files reveal about the government, the harder corporate media tries to bury them. After Mehdi Hasan’s embarrassing attack on Matt Taibbi (with enough name-calling and avoidance to make Trump proud), Rep. Stacey Plaskett sent a letter to Taibbi threatening him with jail time for committing perjury in his Congressional testimony. Lee’s response: “That is bullshit. What Matt Taibbi said in his testimony is 100 percent accurate.” He proves it point by point.
One bright side, however, is that Mehdi, whose flashy punditry needs no actual research, clearly chose the wrong people to go after when he attacked real investigative journalists. Lee’s entire career is highlighted by his willingness to go in the weeds with mountains of documents and sift through years of archives. So he decided to comb through Mehdi’s entire career. And what he found: multiple instances of plagiarism.
Watch the full interview with Lee Fang where we read Mehdi’s articles side-by-side with the originals he lifted and decide for yourself if Mehdi Hasan can be considered a journalist.
Plus, watch this week’s Thursday Throwdown: Build Back Better in Ukraine.
And join the Absurd Arena live discussion board with Katie and Aaron every Tuesday at 12pm est in the Substack app.
Watch the full interview here: