OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
Yesterday, The Washington Post posted an article titled, “Elon Musk’s Twitter Investment Could Be Bad News for Free Speech.” Musk, who has railed against Jeff Bezos before, replied, “WaPo always good for a laugh.”
An article by The Washington Post in February 2021 titled “Elon Musk moved to Texas and embraced celebrity. Can Tesla run on Autopilot?” cited various critics who slammed him for taking on too much at one time. Musk hit back at the Post and Bezos, tweeting, “Give my regards to your puppet master.”
In the article, Musk was stated to be “is drowning in outside commitments like his aerospace company and other endeavors while letting quality – and strategy – at Tesla fall victim.”
The author of Tuesday’s opinion piece, which prompted Musk’s wry “always good for a laugh” retort, Timothy L. O’Brien, a senior writer for Bloomberg Opinion, stated, “Elon Musk just bought a $3 billion stake in Twitter Inc. because when you’re the world’s richest human you can toss billions around like poker chips. This may be just another piece of performance art from Musk …”
WaPo always good for a laugh 🤣🤣
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2022
O’Brien then added, “So maybe we should take Musk’s Twitter investment as more of the same from the guy who has pondered the meaning of life while sipping whiskey and smoking weed during a podcast and once mysteriously claimed he had ‘funding secured’ to take Tesla Inc. private.”
Then he admitted what really concerns him: “But I suspect there’s something more serious informing Musk’s decision to invest in Twitter, even if he revels in buffoonery: Maybe he wants to bring Twitter to heel.”
O’Brien cited the poll Musk posted to Twitter which asked, “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” O’Brien also noted that Musk tweeted the next day, asking, “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done? … Is a new platform needed?”
“One explanation for Musk’s sensitivity might be found in his libertarian leanings,” O’Brien suggested. “Belated efforts by social media platforms to constrain some of the most virulent forms of political propaganda have raised the hackles of that crowd (along with far-rightists and Trumpistas).”
O’Brien snidely finished, “Musk probably isn’t in this for the money. He’s in it to make a point. And he’s in it to scare Twitter’s management. Somebody who has complained that his free speech is being ‘chilled’ should, perhaps, be sensitive to those nuances. But that would assume that Musk is more of a philosopher than a bully.”
Musk disclosed Monday that he purchased 9.2 percent of Twitter’s stock, prompting conservatives to demand the company ‘make Twitter great again.’
MAKE TWITTER GREAT AGAIN @elonmusk !
— Alex Bruesewitz (@alexbruesewitz) April 4, 2022
Musk joined Twitter’s board of directors, Twitter announced Tuesday. Shares of the social media platform rose more than 7 percent in premarket trading as the calls for change intensified.
Of course, some Dems lost their minds over the news.
Socialist Sawyer Hackett who is a senior adviser for former Obama Secretary of HUD, Julian Castro, posted that Musk paid zero taxes last year.
“The newest member of Twitter’s board of directors once went on Twitter and called a U.S. Senator “Senator Karen” because she suggested he—the richest man in the world—should pay income taxes. He paid $0 in income taxes last year.”
The newest member of Twitter’s board of directors once went on Twitter and called a U.S. Senator “Senator Karen” because she suggested he—the richest man in the world—should pay income taxes.
He paid $0 in income taxes last year.
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) April 5, 2022
Another Twitter user posted that Musk paid $11 billion in taxes overall last year and that Hackett spreads fake news.
“Sawyer Hackett is the disinformation agent who invented the lie that border agents are whipping migrants. Not surprising that he would mention Elon Musk paying $0 in income taxes in 2021 without mentioning that Musk paid $11 BILLION in capital gains taxes.”
Sawyer Hackett is the disinformation agent who invented the lie that border agents are whipping migrants.
Not surprising that he would mention Elon Musk paying $0 in income taxes in 2021 without mentioning that Musk paid $11 BILLION in capital gains taxes. https://t.co/iBt4E27XPF
— Max (@MaxNordau) April 5, 2022
Journalist Andy Ngo posted several screenshots of Twitter employees losing it over Musk’s new position and power in the company.
"And I still dislike him [Elon Musk]."
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) April 4, 2022
Robert Reich, a staunch socialist and former Secretary of Labor for former President Bill Clinton, really lost it over Musk, tweeting (and retweeting his own tweet):
“So let me get this straight: Elon Musk thinks “cancel culture” undermines democracy and calls himself a “free speech absolutist,” but he’s threatened to sue bloggers and fired employees for speaking out about safety concerns?”
Reich continued by demeaning Musk as an “oligarch,” “What could possibly go wrong with an oligarch determining what constitutes free speech?”
Known for his moderate stance on politics, Musk has had a history of clashes with the Biden administration. He was never afraid of calling out and ridiculing President Biden.
At Twitter’s annual shareholders’ meeting in 2024, Musk’s term as a board member will expire. As long as he is on Twitter’s board and for 90 days afterward, the billionaire won’t be able to own more than 14.9 percent of the company’s issued stock.
Musk’s board membership was announced by Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal on Tuesday, stating that the billionaire brings ‘great value’ to Twitter.
Musk replied to the CEO: ‘Looking forward to working with Parag & Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months!’
Looking forward to working with Parag & Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2022