If there’s anyone who would understand the evolution that Elon Musk has had in his political thought, it would be Bill Maher, who seems to have had a similar political evolution. They considered themselves liberal until the Democratic Party ran screaming so far to the left that it made people like Maher and Musk wonder how crazy they have become. Then they found themselves in the center and on some issues, even to the right of center because they still have some sanity. Musk broke it down in a cute graph the other day.
On his show Friday, Maher had a little fun, joking about Musk’s Twitter deal.
.@ElonMusk tweeted: "I'm buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in." It's all fun and games Elon until Hunter Biden gets his head stuck in the vending machine. pic.twitter.com/OGYc2pV6aK
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) April 30, 2022
Then he laid out why he thought it was a great thing that Musk was taking over Twitter — because Twitter had failed.
The Babylon Bee got a shout-out on @billmaher 😂 pic.twitter.com/vJw2kjTciR
— Joel Berry (@JoelWBerry) April 30, 2022
“Has Twitter failed in setting itself up in the past as the judge of what can go out there? And I would say yes, you have,” Maher said during a panel discussion Friday night.
“You failed when you threw the New York Post off of Twitter for talking about Hunter Biden’s emails. And it turned out that was a real story. You failed when you said we couldn’t read about whether COVID had come from a lab. You failed!”
He pointed out how even now, as Musk is about to take over, they’re still trying to stomp on content, with how they labeled a Babylon Bee satire video about the Twitter employee reaction to the Elon deal “sensitive content.” He pointed out how funny it was that Twitter went after a parody video about them being too sensitive — and proved their point.
“‘Sensitive content,’ Twitter said. In the video, they were making fun of Twitter for being too sensitive. This is so ‘Through the Looking Glass’!” Maher exclaimed. “This is well within what satire has always been. And the fact that they flagged this for being insensitive shows their complete lack of self-awareness about what their own problem is. If that’s where the line is, you have failed Twitter. You do need a new sheriff.”
Maher — like Musk — believes in the value of hearing thoughts other than your own. “Twitter could be a place where you might see an opinion that you didn’t formally consider, and we need that desperately in America.” Instead, he said, it’s become a left-wing echo chamber instead of the “town square” for the free flow of ideas.
Part of the problem is that Gen-Z folks seem to think that if something makes them uncomfortable, it shouldn’t be allowed.
“I’d much rather have Elon Musk making the rules than a 23-year-old who can’t take the joke on Babylon Beeswax, or whatever the f— that is. I mean, this is a generation that doesn’t know what the word ‘violence’ means. They think ‘violence’ means ‘anything I don’t like.’ Their standard of free speech is ‘I’m uncomfortable.’ That’s not where the standard is, right?”
Maher blasted the education system for failing to teach “civics” to young people.
“Civics doesn’t exist anymore. They don’t know … ‘Free speech? What the f— does that mean? It hurt my feelings.’ That’s what matters to them.
We’ve come a long way from Skokie when everyone — left, right and center — seemed to understand that you defended the right to free speech, even if you disagreed or thought that speech was hateful — that the answer to hateful speech was more speech against it.
Maher said because Twitter has become essentially the public square, cutting someone off from Twitter is basically “saying you don’t have free speech rights.”
New York Times writer David Leonhardt tried to argue that you then might get people saying “lies about election fraud.” As though the liberal media didn’t push lies about Russia collusion for years, but they have no self-awareness about that. Maher rebuffed that, saying you can’t cut off speech.
“I understand that, but Twitter also said you couldn’t — they banned you talking about whether coronavirus came from a lab — and it may well have. And even the Biden administration admits that now,” Maher pushed back. “We don’t know where coronavirus came from, but there’s no reason to think it couldn’t have emerged from a lab. They have a lab in Wuhan that was studying coronavirus! And you couldn’t even discuss this! I mean, that’s outrageous!”
“I think that’s what Elon Musk wants to fix at Twitter,” Maher said. “I think so.”
That’s the point. It’s about having that vibrant arena in which free thought can flourish. That’s why the left is scared — because that would finish them.
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