The Daily Wire recently posted an article sharing some of their observations regarding the possible takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk.
The article reports:
When Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter and make it a private company, Twitter’s board of directors responded with a poison pill — and the legacy media responded with a poison pen.
Journalists have contended that Musk’s bid to loosen the social media platform’s speech restrictions represent a threat to the First Amendment, threaten to give billionaires too much control over the media, or even presage the fall of our republic into a totalitarian oligarchy. These unduly emotional responses reveal that the legacy media’s fear is not so much Musk as it is free speech — and losing their ability to create the national narrative.
It really is all about control.
The article notes:
CNN’s Brian Stelter seemed to criticize the capitalist system of private media ownership. “There is also a lot of folks out there saying it’s troubling enough that private companies control these key communication platforms around the world, maybe it’s even worse to have the world’s richest person trying to buy one and take it private,” he said on April 14. In the same vein, and on the same day, Business Insider ran a story titled “Elon Musk’s attempt to buy Twitter represents a chilling new threat: billionaire trolls taking over social media.”
But billionaire ownership of the media is hardly new. And judging by their position on the payroll, it seems not to leave journalists ill at ease. To take but a few examples:
- Jeff Bezos, who owns The Washington Post outright, is worth an estimated $171 billion
- The Atlantic is a favorite opinion journal of the elite and often cited on MSNBC. Its majority owner, Lauren Powell Jobs (the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs) is worth an estimated $19.5 billion;
- Bill Gates, who is worth $129 billion, has donated millions to underwrite (read: influence) the coverage of NBCUniversal, CNN, The Financial Times, ProPublica, the Gannett Company, National Public Radio, Al-Jazeera, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, Minnesota Public Radio, and Public Radio International. Gates has spent his billions on foreign news outlets including the BBC, the UK Guardian, France’s Le Monde, Spain’s El Pais, and Germany’s Der Spiegel. Reviewing the amount of Gates’ contributions, the socialist Jacobin website wrote, “Billionaire Bill Gates Uses Money to Shape the Media”; and
- George Soros, whose net worth plummeted to a meager $8.6 billion after he transferred $18 billion to his Open Society Foundations in 2017, has donated his largesse to “more than 180 different media-related organizations,” according to a 2011 Media Research Council report by Dan Gainor.
If billionaire status does not actually offend the journalistic Left, what does? Perhaps Musk’s political donations to some Republicans, including George W. Bush, Kevin McCarthy, Joni Ernst, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio? Possibly, but many businessmen (including our former president) have donated to politicians of both parties — and self-described centrist Musk is no exception.
It’s okay to be a millionaire who owns a news outlet if you are a liberal. It’s required that if you are a corporation that you pay more in taxes unless you are a liberal (see Disney). The double standard lives among us.