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WaPo Runs Piece Saying Elon Musk’s ‘Twitter Investment Could Be Bad News For Free Speech.’ Musk Fires Back.
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 09: Elon Musk, founder and chief engineer of SpaceX speaks at the 2020 Satellite Conference and Exhibition March 9, 2020 in Washington, DC. Musk answered a range of questions relating to SpaceX projects during his appearance at the conference. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

On Tuesday morning, The Washington Post published an analysis piece titled, “Elon Musk’s Twitter Investment Could Be Bad News for Free Speech.” Musk, who has tweaked Post owner Jeff Bezos before, fired back, “WaPo always good for a laugh.”

In February 2021, asked for comment by The Washington Post on a profile titled “Elon Musk moved to Texas and embraced celebrity. Can Tesla run on Autopilot?” that quoted various critics slamming him for being stretched too thin, Musk fired back at the Post and ostensibly its owner  Bezos, snapping, “Give my regards to your puppet master.”

The profile had stated that Musk “is drowning in outside commitments like his aerospace company and other endeavors while letting quality – and strategy – at Tesla fall victim.”

The author of the Tuesday opinion piece that triggered Musk’s “always good for a laugh” response, Timothy L. O’Brien, a senior columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, wrote derisively, “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 …”

O’Brien then sniped, “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 confessed his real fear: “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 noted the poll Musk issued on Twitter that asked, “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” O’Brien also pointed out that Musk followed one day later by 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 surmised. “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 concluded, “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.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  WaPo Runs Piece Saying Elon Musk’s ‘Twitter Investment Could Be Bad News For Free Speech.’ Musk Fires Back.