C&B Break Down Elon Musk’s Latest Twitter Move

CLAY: Buck, we’ve talked a lot about Elon Musk and his buying 9.2% of Twitter, which all kind of blew up last week. And then the suggestion was made that he was going to be on the board at Twitter. And then late last night it was announced that he actually wasn’t going to be on the board.

And so for those of you out there who had been hoping that Elon Musk might be a voice for — I don’t want to say the voiceless because there are other people that will fight battles. But when you’ve got sites like the Babylon Bee that are shut down because of jokes and when the president of the United States at the time, Donald Trump, can be banned and I believe Tucker Carlson’s account is locked right now for talking about the difference between men and women, something along those lines, it’s obviously an untenable situation when it comes to free speech that Twitter has created. And so the hope was that Elon Musk, who does seem to be a free speech absolutist, would have been willing to fight battles that maybe others inside of Twitter would not.

And he sent a series of tweets out that it appears angered maybe the people inside of Twitter. ‘Cause he said, for instance, should the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco should be turned into a homeless shelter since no one goes there anymore? He cited some of the most popular people on Twitter — let’s say the Taylor Swifts of the world have tens of millions of followers and basically never use the service anymore.

These were the people who were the most popular on the service. And it seems like that antagonized people inside of Twitter. And so now the question is, Buck, where does this leave us?

So Elon Musk is the biggest shareholder of Twitter. He owns 9.2% of the company. If he were going to be go onto the board, he would only have been allowed to buy up to somewhere in the neighborhood of the 14%. What do you think happens now? Do you think he’s worth $300 billion; Elon’s gonna decide Twitter is not really worth being obsessed with? Or do you think this accelerates, potentially, his goal to buy the company?

BUCK: Yeah, I think it’s the latter because —

CLAY: Yeah.

BUCK: — he doesn’t want any restrictions on what he can do in terms of buying up shares. And also he’s probably gonna have to do a housecleaning of the board.

Why pretend? He’s probably gonna say, “See ya later” to the CEO. So I can’t really understand why’d you’d want to get all cozy with them. These are ideologues. These are people that don’t want what he wants. So I think it’s hostile takeover time, my friend, like this needs to actually go the way that Twitter doesn’t want it to, which is all of the existing corporate board leadership, CEO, et cetera, pretty much has gotta go and bring in all new people. And to do that you need majority stake control and you need 1.4ness to say see ya later.

CLAY: Provocative question here. Is the single most influential thing that all of these conservative billionaires could do, to go in with Elon Musk and buy Twitter and turn it into a true platform committed to free speech? If you wanted — you consider — and the reason why I’m making this argument — I know you made this argument before — that all this money that goes to think tanks and everything else isn’t necessarily getting a great return. If you had — and I’m just tossing it out there — some of these billionaires who could raise 30 or $40 billion to buy control of Twitter, I would argue that’s the single greatest impact that those billionaires’ money could be used in terms of influencing the national conversation.

BUCK: It would also help dramatically with other social — if you had one place that was so established and used, it would help with other platforms, I believe, not necessarily direct competitor platforms, although maybe at some level — you know, people — it’s accuse counterintuitive, right?

Why do restaurants all cluster together because it turns out when you have restaurants together more people go to that area in general to go to restaurants; so, you know, that’s why you’ll actually see areas of towns where it’s like, oh, that’s where all the restaurants are. If you had a powerful social media platform that was true free speech, I think it would help with other platforms, right, I mean, ’cause let’s say you want to build a website, Clay, you sold your website to Fox for a big amount of money, and being able to promote these things on Twitter and platforms like that, being able to put out your confronted is very valuable so imagine now you actually knew that you could count on that and not being cut off because a bunch of psycholibs don’t want you sharing your stuff, right? That’s for somebody out there who’s thinking about starting a new platform I think that’s really valuable.

So, yeah, absolutely, the unsinkable aircraft carriers of free speech man I’ve been saying this since June of 2020, this is what billionaires should do. It’s taken a little while, and here we are finally I think they’re seeing that you can’t allow the status quo to continue because there’s not gonna be free speech left. That’s what’s gonna end up happening. You’re gonna have a society where everybody’s told free speech is bad.

CLAY: Well, and I understand the idea behind Parler and the idea behind Gettr and the idea behind these companies that are trying to compete with Twitter. The challenge is you have to get all of this move-mover advantage that Twitter has created and you have to get people to go elsewhere. And I would argue what we really need is a marketplace of ideas.

In my opinion, for debate over issues. We don’t just need a conservative version of Twitter and a liberal version of Twitter, which I think it’s fair to say is Twitter right now. We need a marketplace that treats all speech evenly where people can legitimately compete in that space.

And so when I look at Elon Musk, I mean, he’s gotta be sitting around when he’s got $300 billion and thinking now as he’s 50 years old, what do I want my legacy to be, are there very many better legacies than I helped to preserve the true First Amendment in the United States by buying Twitter?

And, by the way, for all the people out there who might be willing to have the same idea, I think these brains need to come together. And obviously Elon Musk is brilliant. But pair their resources. If Musk doesn’t to want spend 30 or $40 billion by himself which I would love to see, there’s gotta be a lot of assets and allies out there who could be willing to do that with him.

BUCK: Peter Thiel’s got a lot of cash.

CLAY: Lot of those repay pal guys.

BUCK: Some of those guys. And he’s done a lot of great stuff, by the way, he’s been involved in trying to build out some of those platforms at this point; so there are others, too, you know, trying to build free speech, trying to build digital liberty, if you will, or a culture in America with digital liberty.

So, you know, yeah, this is important stuff out there, especially going into an election year, folks. ‘Cause here’s what’s gonna happen. We’re making sure that you know that the Democrats don’t have any good arguments for why Joe Biden’s gonna stay in power. They’re gonna come up with every scheme, trick, and artifice to try to keep the Democrats in power.

Gonna get ugly, but we’re here with you. And we’re gonna win. Don’t worry.