Ever since Elon Musk revealed this morning that he is planning a hostile takeover of Twitter (assuming he can secure the necessary funding), the blue checks and liberal journos who are the platform's most prolific users have been in meltdown mode, accusing Musk of trying to bring Twitter back to the 'bad old days' of 2016.
Cowering in fear that Elon Musk could return Twitter to the content moderation policies it generally embraced before the year 2016, which might as well have been the Stone Age 😭 https://t.co/iBMyOKvAYr— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) April 14, 2022
The hysteria has reached such an intense fever pitch, that this morning, no lesser exemplar of journalistic integrity than Axios' Felix Salmon declared that Musk - who once warranted comparisons to Marvel superhero "Iron Man" - is now behaving more like a "supervillain".
Salmon, with no apparent consideration for hyperbole, warned that Musk - who recently joked that he was in "goblin mode" (a reference to a hit song by rapper Kodak Black, who was infamously pardoned by President Trump) - "can be a very dangerous beast when goblin mode is enabled," because, as the Axios reporter opines, the world's richest man is "commanding seemingly unlimited resources with which to finance his mischief-making."
Salmon also acknowledged that readers are "going to hear much more about this bid than you would about a normal proposed M&A transaction, in large part because Twitter is where journalists congregate and do a lot of their work, and they really don't want to be working in Elon Musk's private playpen."
Why is that? Because Musk would likely undo the 'protections' from "harassment" and "hate speech" (aka criticism) that the company has adopted in recent years. He also might - gasp - reinstate President Trump's account.
"If the success of your political movement, your national ambitions, or your wars, depends upon the need to censor dissent and silence your adversaries, that's a pretty strong indication that you have zero confidence in the beliefs you want to propagate, probably for good reason."
Because, he adds with perfect irony:
"Everyone knows that the evils that grew out of Weimar Germany happened when book burnings stopped and were replaced instead by a commitment to free speech and the free expression of ideas.
One more time: censorship was a weapon used by Nazis and all fascists, not free speech."
But not to worry - the fact that Musk stipulated that his offer of $54.20 (ha...420) per share is his best and final offer will make it easier for the company to reject. Twitter has also tapped Goldman to advise it on the takeover, and Goldman is apparently recommending that the firm reject the offer (while at the same time maintaining a "SELL" rating on the stock with a $30/share price target...nothing to see here).
Well this is awkward: TWTR board hired Goldman to "advise" it that the @elonmusk $54.20 offer is too low. Only problem: Goldman has a SELL rating with a $30 price target. Oops. pic.twitter.com/ViQXnXBD3C— zerohedge (@zerohedge) April 14, 2022
Another major shareholder has chimed in to talk down prospects of the deal.
I don't believe that the proposed offer by @elonmusk ($54.20) comes close to the intrinsic value of @Twitter given its growth prospects.— الوليد بن طلال (@Alwaleed_Talal) April 14, 2022
Being one of the largest & long-term shareholders of Twitter, @Kingdom_KHC & I reject this offer.https://t.co/Jty05oJUTk pic.twitter.com/XpNHUAL6UX
As Twitter prepares to hold a meeting about the buyout offer with its employees (who have already expressed their discontent with Musk to the press), it's worth remembering that things can always get worse.
Like Mark Cuban pointed out, Musk could always partner with Peter Thiel.
Want to see the whole world lose their shit ? Get Peter Thiel to partner with Elon and raise the bid for Twitter— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) April 14, 2022
Whatever the outcome of Musk's takeover, the market has already made its views known. Twitter shares soared earlier on news of Musk's hostile takeover bid (just like they soared on news of his original stake). Now, shares have turned red as more obstacles to a Musk takeover have emerged.
What's more, you know things are getting bad when the cognitive dissonance of being pro-democracy but anti-free speech is causing some stalwart blue checks to sarcastically push back (and perhaps slowly become red pilled?) as the response from some twitter journos reaches farcical levels.
Pillars of democracy:— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) April 14, 2022
* Free and fair elections
* Separation of powers
* Equal rights for all US citizens
* Content moderation on Twitter https://t.co/02LMUHmlk5
And remember, it's a very bad thing for 'democracy' if a billionaire is allowed to own media outlets...
“noooo it’s evil for musk to buy twitter” pic.twitter.com/UaS9Q7eNkb— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) April 14, 2022