Musk buys Twitter stock … and the left goes bonkers.
To understand why the left would get upset with Tesla, SpaceX genius Elon Musk buying the initial 14.9 percent of Twitter stock – with a subsequent offer to buy the entire enterprise — you must realize that those on the port side of politics believe that only folks like them should be controlling all the major communications platforms. They do not want conservative voices to have access to their private propaganda machines.
But even considering their desires to stifle alternative views, the passion of the outrage against Musk is shocking. One talking-head on the telly after another is expressing … concern … fear … even hair-on-fire panic … at the thought of billionaire Musk owning one of the major social media platforms. They advance the head-scratching argument that the only way to defend free speech is to restrict it – censor it.
CNN’s supposed media critic, Brian Stelter, sounded the alarm over corporate media being owned by billionaire tycoons like Musk. Whoa! Last I looked, Stelter is drawing his check from corporate media owned by billionaires. He was just purchased by billionaire David Zaslav. As a media critic, Stelter should know that virtually all the media platforms are corporations owned by billionaires.
Max Boot the cross-over self-proclaimed conservative who is now the voice of the radical left – and getting paid handsomely by billionaire-owned corporate media – tweeted (highlight added):
“I am frightened by the impact on society and politics if Elon Musk acquires Twitter. He seems to believe that on social media anything goes. For Democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less.”
“Content moderation” is a euphemism for … censorship. Quite a statement from a guy who has made his fame and fortune on the protections of the First Amendment. And do not overlook his raising the end of democracy if Musk owns Twitter. The left plays the doomed Republic card almost as much as the race card.
Then there is the left’s favorite combo – hyperbole and hypocrisy. We see that in two very different reports from Business Insider. In 2013, they opined that “Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post buy marks a fascinating cultural transition in America.”
When it comes to Musk, the Insider claims that “Elon Musk’s attempt to buy Twitter represents a chilling new threat: billionaire trolls taking over social media.”
Guys like wannabe socialists like Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor and leftwing scold, has devoted an entire editorial expressing his fear that a Musk-owned Twitter would cease “moderating” conservative content – and stop booting those on the right off the platform.
Reich also tweeted that “… Musk doesn’t actually support true free speech. He wants the power to dictate who gets to speak freely.” Another whoa! Isn’t that what the leftwing moderators and algorithm developers are doing? Did you realize that according to Reich, Musk is forcing people to speak freely – without political censorship?
Virtually every Chicken Little on the left has come before the cameras or opined on the Internet to warn of the end of just about everything if Musk owns Twitter. The only end I see is the end of the left’s exclusive claim to be the arbiter of who gets to speak freely. Musk owning Twitter would be one step toward ending the virtual monopoly the left maintains over news and opinion in the public space.
The First Amendment guarantees free speech … period. The democracy works because it is a cauldron of diverse opinions – even offensive opinions. The left, however, has a genetic fear of free speech. It tends to make their authoritarian propaganda less persuasive.
As far as I understand, Musk and I are both free speech extremists – rather libertarian in our views. We see the social media platforms as privately owned utilities that are to be made available to all members of the public to express their personal views – repugnant and even wrong as some may be. All words matter. We should remember what is mightier than the sword. The PEN IS! (Oooops.)
We must keep in mind that the appropriate legal limitation of speech remains in place even on the social media platforms. It is still illegal to slander. It is still illegal to incite violence and riots. Whether a person’s words violate the law when spoken on the street corner … in a meeting room … on television … or in print … the person can be held accountable before the law. No different for social media platforms.
What the left really wants to ban is legitimate political views that differ from the liberal narratives. That is exactly the sort of censorship the Founders had in mind when they penned the First Amendment.
I hope Musk gets control of Twitter – and I hope he will open it to opinions off all sorts – even the nasty ones … the ugly ones … the stupid ones. In fact, if we really censored stupid opinions, those quoted above would be the first to be booted off the platforms.
If you do not agree, tell me that you think what Reich said was not … stupid.
So, there ‘tis.