ZAHRAN: Elon Musk’s “threat” to democracy

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, attends the opening of the Tesla factory Berlin Brandenburg in Gruenheide, Germany, March 22, 2022. (Patrick Pleul/Pool via AP)

Elon Musk, the man who gave us Tesla and SpaceX, is now giving us something else:  An intimate look at the galling hypocrisy of most of the mainstream media.

Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion and intends to make it a private company. When making this offer, Musk expressed his interest in transforming Twitter into a “platform for free speech around the globe” because free speech is “a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.”

With that statement, Musk sent most of the mainstream media into a panic.  Making electric vehicles is one thing; making it possible for people to engage in open debates without any censorship is quite another.  Building a rocket to take people into space is exciting; building a platform that encourages the free exchange of ideas is not.   Only a crazy person would do that.

According to the mainstream media, who see themselves as the guardians of truth, free speech is the last thing a democracy needs.

Washington Post columnist Max Boot confessed in a recent column that he is “frightened” by the prospect that Musk might buy Twitter and transform it into a platform with minimal oversight.   In case his fearfulness is not enough to make him look ridiculous, Boot tweeted that for “democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less.”

When Boot says he believes in content moderation, he is not kidding.  He and his media cohorts have been practicing it for years, but only in ways that benefit leftists, not conservatives.  

During the early years of Trump’s presidency, most members of the mainstream media pushed the narrative that Trump was a Russian asset who was beholden to Vladimir Putin for his election victory.  They were basing that assertion on a dossier consisting of what they knew was unverifiable information, but they continued to report this story as if it were undeniably true.

In the summer of 2020, when cities were set ablaze, statues were toppled, and police officers were under constant attack by mobs, a reporter in Minneapolis stood in front of a burning building and said the protests were “mostly peaceful.”  Even when the evidence is right in front of us, the media wants to control the narrative by trying to make us believe something our own eyes tell us isn’t true.

In September of 2020, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was a guest on “The View.”  When she began to list all the financial gains of minorities and women because of Trump’s economic policies, her microphone was turned off.  Someone in charge had decided that viewers shouldn’t hear this information because it offered positive news about the Trump administration.

In October of 2020, with the presidential election just weeks away, the New York Post published stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop.  The emails and photos on this laptop suggested an inappropriate, if not criminal, relationship between some Biden family members and foreign officials and entrepreneurs. Once again, the mainstream media went into “content moderation” mode and completely ignored this story.  

When “content moderation” lapses into overt partisanship, it becomes “propaganda”, not news, facts or even opinion. Propaganda and indoctrination are the biggest threats to democracy, not free speech.

Only recently have these same outlets finally acknowledged that this laptop belongs to Hunter Biden. In their almost universal suppression of this significant discovery, they may have determined the outcome of a presidential election.  But it is Elon Musk, with his dangerous dream of creating a platform for uncensored speech, who poses a threat to democracy, they say. 

If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of the Founding Fathers spinning in their graves because of the media’s attempt to control free speech.  The fact that freedom of speech is in the First Amendment tells us how important this right was to them.  Elon Musk, with his visionary genius, has enough sense to appreciate not only what may happen in the future but what has happened in the past.  He knows how important free speech is to a flourishing nation, and he wants to help promote and preserve it.  

If this kind of thinking makes him a threat to democracy, then we need more people just like him.