Jordan Candler / April 27, 2022

Wednesday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, Elizabeth Warren, Sunny Hostin, and more.

Insight

“Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.” —Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990)

Re: Praying Football Coach Joseph Kennedy

“A school does not endorse private religious speech just because it fails to censor it.” —former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement

“I don’t know how we could write an opinion that would draw a line based on not making yourself the center of attention as the head coach of a game.” —Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Non compos mentis: “He is the one who chose to publicize his prayer. I don’t know of any other religion that requires you to get at the 50-yard line.” —Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Re: Twitter

“Where there is a dynamic market economy, there will always be rapid change. Six months ago, those griping about the way in which Twitter was being run did not see this coming. Nobody did. The talk was about the government, and Section 230, and whether, if you squint a little, Twitter could be forced to look like a phone company. But where there is demand, there will eventually be supply, and, by buying Twitter from its previous owners, Musk has vowed to alter that supply and bring it into line with the preference of a large share of consumers. In business, at least, there are many second acts in American life. … Were we designing the web from scratch, we would never choose to put Twitter in its current position. Twitter’s format destroys nuance, encourages hyperbole, and all but begs its users to form mobs. That it has become as popular as it has among the opinion-making class cannot be a good thing in the long run. But it is here now, and the important question is whether it can be made better than it currently is. Elon Musk clearly believes that it can.” —National Review

“‘Content moderation,’ as it’s called, is nothing but a euphemism for a very selective editing and censorship of viewpoints found disagreeable by those doing the ‘moderation.’ Musk is going to make it the open platform it was supposed to be. … His view seems to be the old view that animated the Founding Fathers of our country, that the answer to objectionable speech is not less speech, it’s more speech. As Thomas Jefferson put it, this is a country where we’re not afraid to tolerate error so long as ‘reason is free to combat it.’ Content moderators don’t want to combat it, they want to silence it. … Free speech on Twitter is not going to harm America.” —Brit Hume

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated. I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.” —Elon Musk

“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.” —Elon Musk

“Elon is the singular solution I trust.” —former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

Potomac Fever

“The deal is dangerous for our democracy. Billionaires like Elon Musk play by a different set of rules than everyone else. We need a wealth tax and strong rules to hold Big Tech accountable.” —Senator Elizabeth Warren (“Oddly enough, Musk wants democracy to mean everyone getting a fair say and playing by the same rules — not a different set for conservatives than for leftists.” —Nate Jackson)

“The president has long been concerned about the power of large social-media platforms, the power they have over our everyday lives.” —White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki (“Dear Jen: How does Joe Biden feel about the fact that Twitter helped get him elected by censoring the New York Post’s 100% verified and corroborated blockbuster about his son Hunter’s laptop revealing family corruption? Does that power concern the president?” —Nate Jackson)

“We need regulation of social-media platforms to prevent rich people from controlling our channels of communication.” —former Reddit CEO Ellen K. Pao (“[Written] on the pages of The Washington Post, which is owned by billionaire leftist Jeff Bezos.” —Nate Jackson)

Lack of Self-Awareness Awards

“Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?” —Jeff Bezos (“Says the man who started Amazon, which perhaps sells more Chinese goods than any other company.” —Nate Jackson)

“You could secretly ban one party’s candidate, or all of its candidates, all of its nominees, or you could just secretly turn down the reach of their stuff and turn up the reach of something else and the rest of us might not even find out about it until after the election.” —MSNBC’s Ari Melber (“We’re scratching our heads wondering if Melber was even alive from October 2020 through January 2021 because all of that actually happened and it happened before Musk even thought of buying Twitter.” —Nate Jackson)

Theater of the Absurd

“On Twitter, it is predominantly straight white men. So when Elon Musk says, ‘Wow, this is about free speech,’ seems to me that it’s about free speech of straight white men.” —"The View’s" Sunny Hostin

“Bigotry is on the ballot when it comes to Ron DeSantis, right? That’s what this is about. It’s not anti-Disney. It’s anti-black. It’s anti-gay. It’s anti-LGBTQ+ plus community, and for some reason, the Republican base responds to it. It’s anti-woke, and woke, what that really means when you look it up in the dictionary, it’s an awareness of social justice. It’s an awareness of marginalized communities. It’s an awareness, and for some reason Ron DeSantis and his Republican base, they don’t want people to know that there are social injustices going on.” —Sunny Hostin

“It’s not like Disney went on an all-out war against this [Florida parental rights] bill. The CEO made a few statements. They weren’t running ads. This was minimal. … It was to penalize and take revenge against Disney for having dared cross a pet legislative cause of theirs. And that is wrong. It’s anti-American. It’s what happens in Venezuela. It’s what happens in Nicaragua.” —"The View’s" Ana Navarro

And Last…

“Netflix losing subscribers. CNN+ shuts down. Disney stock value dropping. Twitter takeover by Musk. Just the beginning?” —Laura Ingraham

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