"Hijack" in the Jan 6th thread

In the Jan 6th thread I expressed an opinion that Mike Lindell should be called and questioned on his involvement. I was mod-noted by @Aspenglow for a ‘hijack’.

Come again? How is it a hijack? It’s a discussion of who should be called as a witness in the hearing. It seems to me to be directly on-topic. If you disagree with my opinion, then we can discuss it. You can present me with factual reasons why he hasn’t and won’t be called. And this is a reasonable point to discuss. Why forbid even asking the question?

Probably time for you to review our rules in P&E:

I’m going to highlight the points I think are most important for you to keep in mind.

Be aware that most rules are not ‘bright line’. This is intentional on our part as we believe such encourages poor behavior in some posters. It is not difficult to follow the rules - the vast majority of posters have no problems working inside the hazy confines we set - and if you find you need to know exactly where that line might be, you should look at why this is so meaningful to you.


Hijacks. This is, perhaps, the single largest and most important change to the rules in Great Debates and Politics and Elections made in 2020. Staying on topic is a strong goal of Great Debates and Politics and Elections moving forward. Threads exist for a reason. Presumably, the original poster wants to discuss a specific topic. Posts which pull the thread away from that topic are hijacks. Some of these are inadvertent, some are not. Posts that seem intended to steer a discussion away from the original topic may be sanctioned. Hijacks may be, but are not limited to, posts that lead away from a topic, endless questioning, repeatedly asking the same or similar questions once they’ve been answered, and other maneuvers. Whether or not such is occurring is at the sole discretion of the moderation staff and may lead to official sanction.

Now, as to your point about whether or not it’s reasonable to discuss: It’s not. The Committee has been glaringly obvious that they are not looking to conduct a three-ring circus. Mike Lindell is not going to be called as a witness, and to assert otherwise requires some basis for making such an assertion. You’ve provided none. As such, it really is a hijack, in my view.

I’d also like to remind people that we have an existing thread for Mike Lindell in P&E, and this new bit of news is perfect for that thread. The thread started when Mike was kicked off of Twitter, so being denied the opportunity to testify before the committee is in the exact same vein.

On January 15th, Lindell met with Trump and a photographer captured some of his meeting notes. This included phrases like, “Insurrection act now,” and, “Martial law.”

I don’t know if the Jan 6 committee should be asking him questions, but someone should. Lindell was still trying to pull off the coup more than a week after J6.

Are you saying that it is a hijack to the thread to discuss who we think should be called as a witness? What about when there was speculation about calling secret service agents to discuss Trump inside the vehicle, despite no indication that the committee will have them do so?

I think there is some validity to the suggestion of calling Lindell. He was part of Trump’s inner circle and from all accounts very enthusiastic about attempts to undo the election results.

I encouraged the folks who were discussing that to move the discussion to another thread, after the discussion had run on for several hundred posts:

I am trying to moderate the thread lightly, but let’s at least try to keep it within the realm of what could happen.

I’m not sure it was out of the question that SS agents might be called to testify and offer corroborating or non-corroborating testimony about what happened inside the limo.

But Mike Lindell is never going to be called by the Committee as he doesn’t serve any purpose whatsoever to be there.

I think there is a lack of understanding about what the Committee is trying to accomplish. It’s trying to get at what Trump knew about the legality of what he, Trump, was doing on January 6th, when he orchestrated the insurrection. Lindell offers no insight into that whatsoever. Mike Lindell is not a lawyer. He was not a member of Trump’s administration. He was not in a position to advise Trump in any way as to legal matters. All he can do is gas bag about the Witch Hunt and muddy the waters. That’s why he won’t be called.

Good point. With that in mind, I see that you are taking the more speculative parts of the J6 committee to other threads, and keeping that one on what is actually happening. Fair enough.

I guess it was just surprising how quickly you shut this one down. I mean, it is Mike Lindell, but the “inner circle” angle is intriguing.

I mean, I wouldn’t call him as a televised witness, but I would take his deposition.

Thanks for understanding. That’s exactly what I’m attempting to do. It’s a huge, unwieldy thread and I mean, why not call Roger Stone? Why not call Peter Navarro? There are only so many rabbit holes I think we should go down.

I shut this one down quickly because there is zero basis to believe Lindell would be called to publicly testify. Z-E-R-O. The OP of this thread has never offered any, which might have caused me to reconsider.

Nothing precludes posters from starting a new thread: Who Should the Committee Call that They Haven’t Already Called to Testify?

I still think you’re being too hasty. Sure, it’s unlikely that they’ll call Lindell, but only because he’d be a hostile witness. He is a close associate who may have heard things, or even actively been part of things. Sure, if the conspirators were acting intelligently, they would have kept him out of the loop entirely. But they kept making so many mistakes about that.

I could see a situation where they call him in, not to testify in public, but record him in private, tricking him into revealing something he discovered in his talks with Trump, while not realizing how bad it was. If he admits, say, that one of the Trump administration talked to him to push him to do what he’s doing, that would go towards showing Trump’s guilt.

That is a complete misrepresentation of my point. I did not claim that he would be called. I asked for the reason why he hasn’t been. See the difference?

There may be very good reasons why he hasn’t been called. I would have been happy to read them. But you shut down the discussion.

You say I haven’t offered any basis. Since I didn’t make any such claim in the first place, I don’t need to provide a basis.

Your moderation was based upon a misreading.

That’s a complete misrepresentation of Aspenglow’s point, which was:

I agree. There’s not much use speculating about everyone who isn’t being called. There are other threads for that. I mean, there are threads for that. We even have a separate thread devoted to why Trump hasn’t been called, or if he should be. And as I pointed out, there is already a Lindell thread specifically about his efforts to be listened to, and how his misinformation is being shut down. I don’t see any reason for that to be in the January 6 thread.

The Committee is not conducting a trial. They don’t need to call “hostile” witnesses. In fact, they’re avoiding doing that.

I don’t think the Committee is interested in trying to “trick” anyone.

And I gave you the answer in this thread.

You’ve given no reason why he should or would be called. Feel free to offer that anytime.

Again, let’s keep the thread to within what is at least possible, not what would be fun to watch. If you wish to discuss speculative witness that you’d like to see called, you can start such a thread. No one is stopping you from having that conversation.

Maybe other moderators will see it differently and this discussion will continue, but at this point, I’m not changing my mod note or my position. I’ve no more to offer on the subject or my reasoning for viewing the introduction of Lindell into the discussion as a hijack.

Just a personal opinion, but I would have preferred that the neck grab and Lindell speculations been allowed to take their course. It seems to me that the real danger of a hijack is it moves the thread so far away from the orignal topic that it can’t find its way back. However with a thread about current events like the Jan 6th one, there is no danger of that. Once the hearings start up the thread will instantly return to the topic. But between hearings I don’t see any harm in killing the time by shooting the breeze on whatever comes to mind.

Which is a hijack. This thread and forum is for discussion moderation. Discussing Mike Lindell belongs in the other thread.

Oh, the irony.

You explicitly forbade me to do so.

I’m sorry, but I disagree.

In the future, there are people who are going to try and find specific posts within that topic who will be tearing their hair out as they trawl through the 500-odd posts about steering wheel and clavicle grabs. That’s why those having that discussion were invited to start a new thread.

Some felt it would be better to break the thread into a new thread for each hearing. I didn’t want to do that because people would be discussing over several different threads and it would be even more challenging to find and respond to what someone said (“Hmm, was that posted in Hearing Date 06-23-22? Or 6-28-22?”).

There’s no perfect answer.

But I’m really struggling to understand why it’s such a huge ask to start a new thread to discuss speculative witnesses.

No problem. I don’t really feel strongly one way or another just expressing my preference for the record.

Not to speak for anyone else, but I think it’s more a matter of how the moderation was communicated than of the moderating decision itself. I fully agree that Lindell’s testimony would be a circus and that there would be no value in having him make a public appearance in that context. At the same time, I believe that “what he might offer” is a debatable question. Ultimately, though, I agree that it would not be appropriate for that particular thread.

The thing is, though, the parameters of the thread had not, as far as I can tell, been clearly established with the boundary “this is for discussing the facts of what has been testified to, and the legal and political implications of those facts.” Up to that point, the discussion had naturally revolved around that gravitational center, but it had been pretty squishy around the edges.

So when another squishy edge topic is raised, and it’s quashed as a “hijack,” it feels a little arbitrary, that it’s based on an assumption that had not been explicitly articulated previous to that (unless I missed something).

Consider, instead, a moderator note expressed thusly: “In the interest of maintaining a manageable focus in this thread, we will narrow the topic from this point forward to ‘what has happened, who has appeared, what has been said, and what it might mean.’ Speculative subjects should be covered in a separate thread, perhaps under the heading ‘who else should be called, what might they offer, why is the committee not calling them, etc.’”

Then it would have felt like a course correction, and not a criticism.

Just my spectator’s perspective.

(bolding mine)

Please show us where @Peter_Morris asserted that Lindell is going to be called as a witness.

I see him asking if LIndell should be called, but no assertions that he is going to be called.

What’s more, Peter_Morris actually did provide a basis for the assertion (that he did not make):

Also, when @Senegoid also provided the basis for the assertion, as you required for it to be a non-hijack, they were warned for doing so.

This was absolutely not a hijack, especially given your explanation above.


I was a bit surprised by the @Senegoid warning, too, but on general principles.

If somebody jumps spontaneously into a big (ie, many posts) thread, and hasn’t been directly informed about OT posts (for example), how do we impute responsibility for an understanding of evolving mod notes about what’s in and what’s out ?

I know you’re familiar with the term constructive knowledge from your career. How can we impute constructive knowledge to somebody who is either new to a thread or has only been jumping in and out ?

In all sincerity, is it as simple as ‘ignorance of the law is no excuse’ ?