Why Elon Musk Buying Twitter Is Such a Big Deal

26 Apr 2022

CLAY: We are tap-dancing a little bit after a monster win that came down at the end of yesterday’s show. Elon Musk has officially bought Twitter. And almost immediately, Buck and I have seen our overall follower accounts skyrocket, up by over 10,000 each. You may not think that’s a very big deal, but both of us see this as a fairly consequential outcome that is unlikely to be occurring in a world where Elon Musk hasn’t bought Twitter.

We’re gonna dive into the overall importance of what Elon Musk represents here. Also, a federal judge saying that Title 42 cannot be ended on May 23rd, we will discuss some of that as the border crisis continues to reach a crescendo. We’ll also continue to discuss Biden’s falling poll numbers and what they may represent.

We got a couple of great guests. Douglas Murray and Miranda Divine are going to be with us in the third hour. But right off the top here, thesis statement from me. I really believe that Elon Musk buying Twitter is the most significant thing that has occurred from a First Amendment perspective in the 21st century.

I believe it is going to change things in a seismic way in terms of our discussion, in terms of the power that Facebook and Instagram and TikTok and YouTube and all of these different platforms have. Google, Apple, all of them are now going to have some eyesight on the choices that they are making because I believe Elon Musk is going to publicize a lot of the internal data at Twitter, which will give us optics on many other sites as it pertains to their algorithms. But let’s start here, Buck. When was the last time that you added over 10,000 Twitter followers in a day? Has it ever happened that you can remember in the time that you’ve been on Twitter?

BUCK: It would have to be back in the day of Trump retweets. So, we’re going back years, and I don’t even think that did it. I think maybe a couple thousand from the Trump retweet era. But for those who are listening it’s like — and I know so many of you aren’t on Twitter, so you ask, “Why is this such a big deal?” This is where so many ideas start and then gain support and then filter into the rest of the information ecosystem.

CLAY: Your front page — comes from Twitter. If you read a newspaper, it is in many ways coming through the Twitter marketplace of ideas. If you watch a show on television, it is, in many ways — no matter where it is — being distilled through the prism of Twitter. For people out there who are not active, that is kind of a rough approximation of what’s going on on a day-to-day basis.

BUCK: And so now what we’re seeing is people like Clay and me who have been saying for years, “This is rigged, they’re shutting things down, there are shenanigans going on, they’re lying…” Twitter was lying to the American people for years about not actually having political censorship underway, just about “safety,” you know? You know, this Daily Mail piece, I see this person who is “Twitter’s lead for global curation standards” who’s very upset about this.

Global curation standards. I didn’t even know that was a job title they had there. This is actually Orwellian. People abuse that term all the time. But the notion there should be a person who is “curating,” which is just another way of saying imposing their own beliefs and picking, picking and choosing ideas, personalities, concepts, political movements on a global scale for everybody to see on this platform just goes to show you.

Who is this person? What are her beliefs? Why do we have to be subjected to them in and for people who say, “Oh, it’s a private…” First of all, as we all know, it’s a private company now. It was a public company before. Not a state enterprise. But it’s a private company, about to be, and I guess it can do what it wants. But, Clay, they built this platform with the promise that it would be free speech and have lied to people.

They decided to weaponize an open free speech platform all across issues. And they’re lying to you now about what’s really going on. They keep saying it’s gonna be… They’re saying Elon Musk is a child of Apartheid South Africa and a racist, he’s a bad person and he’s… They’re going after him with all this stuff. The things that upset the right that we can’t say on Twitter are things like “masks don’t work,” which they don’t, that men are not women, which they aren’t.

I mean, there’s very straightforward rules that we talk about. They never even address this. You don’t say sterility over at CNN and you don’t see — I don’t know where The View is on this, they’re probably be like, “What’s Twitter?” you know, Joy Behar weighing in.

CLAY: I want to play a couple of cuts. Sometimes you can tell you’re in a good spot when the people who are the angry ones are the angry ones. By the way, I put up 10 suggestions for Elon Musk. I just clicked “publish” right before we sat down for this show. I spend a lot of time on Twitter — way too much, to be honest. I probably should have spent more time on Instagram and YouTube and Facebook, because they’re wildly more popular. But my media company basically came to exist in many ways through Twitter and so I’m obligated to be sharing stuff like all day long, as you know, Buck.

BUCK: Oh, yeah. My man Clay tweets a lot, folks. (laughing) Does Mrs….? Tell the truth. Does Mrs. Travis ever take the phone away at the dinner table and say, “Clay, that’s enough tweeting?”

CLAY: Buck, this is the truth. Do you ever look at your iPhone and see how much time you spend on your phone?

BUCK: I try not to because it’s depressing.

CLAY: I spend eight hours a day on my phone.

BUCK: Wow.

CLAY: Now, partly that’s when we’re here doing the show like I’m scrolling, you’re scrolling like for three hours to see what the news is, but that’s not counting the other amounts of time that are out there. And a lot of it is on Twitter. The vast majority of the time that I spend on any app if you look — it breaks down the amount of time you spend on apps — the vast majority of my time has been on Twitter.

So I have been initially wildly enthusiastic about the future of Twitter. A decade ago, before the censor culture took over, before identical politics and cancel culture took over, I was all in on Twitter. I think Elon Musk can rescue it. But it’s listen to, first of all, this is Ari Melber. He’s on MSNBC. I don’t know him at all, but I want you to listen to him.

This feels like satire because he’s suddenly realizing, “Wait! If Elon Musk wants to, he can rig the entire site and control what you see and don’t see,” and the lack of awareness from this MSNBC opinionist is staggering because many of you out there have been saying, “Yeah, that’s what’s been going on for years, you nincompoop!” Listen.

BUCK: Clay, can I just say, I wonder if this Mr. Melber is aware of the fact that Twitter banned a sitting United States president?

CLAY: (laughing) I know.

BUCK: The actual president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, was booted from this platform! He had over 80 million followers, something like that, and they kicked off the actual leader of the Free World. Okay? And I said it at the time, that was a crossing-of-the-Rubicon moment.

CLAY: Yes.

BUCK: That was when… You know, we focus a the month more now on the Hunter Biden laptop because that story is ongoing, really. But when they booted — and of course there was the suppression of that story to try to throw the election to Biden. Isn’t it interesting? They like their social media platforms like they like their elections, Clay: Rigged.

CLAY: Yeah. Well done.

BUCK: Why, thank you. Here we are seeing that they went to that length and everything that we thought about them when they booted the president off which is, “Wow this is a straight up…” It’s like a DNC propaganda operation now. Doesn’t have to do it all the time ’cause I know this sort of low-IQ lib crowd will say, oh, but you and Clay are on Twitter.

Yeah, but in key moments, on lockdowns, on masks, on election integrity, on what happened in Georgia, what happened in Arizona, on the Hunter Biden laptop, they shut that stuff down. If we were totally all booted off of Twitter, it wouldn’t… Propaganda has to be believable enough. This what everyone has to understand. They only have to really push down hard on the scale in key moments. It doesn’t have to be across the board on everything.

Yeah, we say Joe Biden looks senile and absurd because true. They’ll let us say that stuff but when it’s really important to them, when it comes to the transgender agenda, for example, and, you know, sports and “dead naming” and all these different things? That’s where they turn the screws and shut down the right. That’s where they actually use the pressure.

CLAY: And our boy… So that’s MSNBC. CNN was also really unhappy about suddenly Elon Musk buying Twitter, and our boy Brian Stelter, he was really upset by this, and in fact he was saying, “Do you want to go to a party with total…?” (laughing) Sorry. “Do you want to go to a party with total freedom?” Yeah, actually, I kind of do.

BUCK: Brian Stelter probably wasn’t invited to a lot of parties in high school. Let’s be honest. I mean, I don’t like to be that guy, but…

CLAY: Let’s listen to cut 2 as Brian Stelter freaks out about the party that you might be invited to – and there’s no rules, guys!

BUCK: Can I just ask you, Clay (impression), “Do you want to go to a party where if beer is just flowing from kegs, where there are beautiful women without hall monitors present and where people are dancing rhythmically to loud music? Do you want to go to that party?”

CLAY: (laughing)

BUCK: I think you do.

CLAY: Yes. Some of the girls might not have covered their full bodies, they might even be in halter tops or skirts, third party legs might be visible, they might be in heels, they might have done their hair, they might be good-looking. Is that the kind of party that you want to go to? Brian Stelter doesn’t want to go to that party.

It’s an easy joke to make. But, first of all, there are rules. Like, I haven’t ever been to a party where you’re just walking in to like, “Hey, there’s the keg over there, but, by the way, that guy has a gun and he might — he’s gonna shoot somebody every five minutes at the party.” Like, every party has rules.

BUCK: Every party has rules, and so actually his analogy — if we’re gonna belabor it a little bit here — yeah, no, people are welcome to the Twitter party. They’re not allowed to burn the house down. But they also can’t decide, “I don’t like your baseball hat so you don’t get to get to the keg.” You know, they also can’t just be arbitrary and capricious about who is actually allowed to come.”

CLAY: You can’t walk in and just say, “Oh, your music, I don’t like it, there should be no music in this party if you’re a guest.” Like, you don’t get to make that choice. And if you don’t like the party, you can leave, which is that easy analogy as well.

BUCK: I want to make my pitch you Clay when I come back about this is the effect — the ripple effect of this — and I actually do have faith and it is faith. In Elon we trust when it comes to Twitter and social media now, right? I mean, he could… We don’t know yet. But I have faith that he’s going to do this –

CLAY: Yes.

BUCK: — and it will have massive second order, massive ripple effects on other social media platforms and on the national political conversation. And I think you’re even gonna look at this as a moment that, wow, the left was already losing ground going into this midterm; this is like we just put rocket boosters on the freight train that is heading for them.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

BUCK: Gonna give you a pro tip, everybody: Anytime someone who makes a living in the news, information, and commentary space says, “I believe in the First Amendment but…”

CLAY: (chuckles)

BUCK: Guess what? They don’t really believe in, they don’t really believe in freedom of speech, I’ve gotta tell you. Elizabeth Warren — Elizabeth Warren — among them. She has tweeted out, Clay — I’m sure you saw this — that Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter is “dangerous for our democracy.”

If you’re wondering how this is such a big deal, think about what the Democrats’ response to this is. They are exposing themselves for being petty tyrants obsessed with the power to shut down any words they don’t like, to elevate really stupid, flimsy, indefensible ideas. This whole concept — and I want everyone to remember this.

The whole concept here of “disinformation”? Disinformation has become the buzzword — really the code word — for “we will shut you down for saying this.” The only reason they’ve been able to even get as far with this, Clay, as they have is because they had total control of the social media platform to decide that something was it was and to act on it. Now, contrarian positions have to actually be dealt with in the public square — or soon, I should say, that will happen.

CLAY: Yeah. And look. Elizabeth Warren, I just… (laughs) It is perfect evidence to me, Buck, of sometimes the people who are attacking you let you know that you’re on the right side. And what Elizabeth Warren is effectively arguing here… Think about who has become the villain. Elon Musk was the patron saint of left wingers because he managed to build an electric car company and theoretically help to create some energy independence because it gave people an option not to have to buy a gas-powered vehicle.

And he also is sending rockets to space more efficiently, effectively, and affordably than NASA was able to do. And they now hate him because he’s going to say, “Hey, you know what? Maybe it’s not a bad idea to allow people to make their own and share their own opinions.” That’s what they’re upset with! Buck, they are angry because Elon Musk is not going to be censoring enough on social media.



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