The Washington Post wages war on Elon Musk as he takes over Twitter

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The Washington Post has launched a full-scale war on Elon Musk as his takeover of Twitter has sparked a complete media meltdown. 

On Wednesday, the paper whose slogan is “Democracy Dies in Darkness” published a pair of reports ratcheting up its attacks on the Tesla CEO, whose $44 billion offer to buy Twitter has been approved this week despite the heavy resistance he previously faced. 

One report lamented how Democrats can do very little to combat Musk, a staunch advocate for free speech, writing how President Biden’s “tech agenda gets a reality check” and how “Washington’s hands are largely tied as the world’s richest person acquires an influential social network, an impact of the regulatory void around social media companies.” 

ELON MUSK’S TWITTER TAKEOVER: STAFFERS AT JEFF BEZOS-OWNED WASHINGTON POST SOUND ALARM ON TESLA BILLIONAIRE

Notably, as critics have pointed out, The Washington Post is owned by fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos. 

“By taking the company private, Musk will be subject to even less scrutiny than powerful executives of other publicly traded companies, such as Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg,” the Post wrote. “Lawmakers now find themselves stymied, after failing for years to implement guardrails on social media companies that might force greater accountability of Musk. The deal does not present obvious antitrust conflicts, exposing the limits of Congress’s recent focus on regulating the largest tech platforms.”

SpaceX founder Elon Musk smiles at a press conference following the first launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy, U.S., February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Joe Skipper and file photo of the Twitter app icon . (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

SpaceX founder Elon Musk smiles at a press conference following the first launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy, U.S., February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Joe Skipper and file photo of the Twitter app icon . (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File/REUTERS/Joe Skipper)

The other report attempted to pin the “online attacks” aimed at one of Twitter’s top executives on the incoming Twitter boss. 

It was reported by Politico this week that Twitter’s chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde cried during a virtual meeting with staff to discuss the Musk shakeup. “Breaking Points” podcast co-host Saagar Enjeti mocked the Twitter official, tweeting “Vijaya Gadde, the top censorship advocate at Twitter who famously gaslit the world on Joe Rogan’s podcast and censored the Hunter Biden laptop story, is very upset about the @elonmusk takeover.”

Musk replied, “Suspending the Twitter account of a major news organization for publishing a truthful story was obviously incredibly inappropriate.” This is referring to Twitter’s censorship of the New York Post during the 2020 presidential election in response to its bombshell reporting on Hunter Biden. 

ELON MUSK MOCKS WASHINGTON POST AFTER OP-ED CALLS TO PREVENT ‘RICH PEOPLE’ FROM CONTROLLING MEDIA PLATFORMS

Well, the Post recapped that exchange with the headline, “Elon Musk boosts criticism of Twitter executives, prompting online attacks.”

“Twitter users quickly piled onto the criticism of Gadde, including calling on Musk to fire her and using racist language to describe her. Gadde was born in India and immigrated to the United States as a child. One user said she would ‘go down in history as an appalling person,'” the Washington Post wrote. 

The report also whitewashed Twitter’s actions in suppressing the Hunter Biden story, writing “During the 2020 presidential election, Twitter temporarily blocked a New York Post story on Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s son Hunter that it said violated a policy against posting hacked materials. The company did not suspend the entire news organization but did prevent it from tweeting for a period of time.” The material published by the New York Post was never proven to have been hacked despite claims from Biden supporters.

Vijaya Gadde, Chief Legal Officer at Twitter.  

Vijaya Gadde, Chief Legal Officer at Twitter.  
(REUTERS/ Mike Blake)

Saagar Enjeti blasted the Post’s report, tweeting, “My criticism of her for a policy she publicly has defended is in no way responsible for what some rando account may say to her.”

Enjeti, who himself is Indian-American, added, “This is a great example of how the media smears you. I make a substantive point, randos say something. Now myself and @elonmusk [are] somehow racist/responsible for them! All to cover up the fact that they substantively agree with censorship.”

On Monday, the Post published an apocalyptic-sounding report titled “Twitter workers face a reality they’ve long feared: Elon Musk as owner,” saying employees “reacted with shock and dismay” to the multibillion-dollar deal.

The Washington Post’s hostile coverage of Musk comes as its boss Jeff Bezos, took a swipe at the new Twitter boss, questioning whether China will “gain a bit of leverage over the town square” over the social media giant’s change of ownership, which he later wrote, “probably not.”

Meanwhile, his paper has long been criticized for appeasing the Chinese government, most notably in 2020 when it declared claims that the coronavirus leaked out of the Wuhan lab was a “debunked” “conspiracy theory.” The Post was forced to issue a correction in 2021. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos.
(AP Images)

Even Musk himself has noticed the uptick in attacks from the Post.

“The Washington Post targets me relentlessly!” Musk exclaimed on Wednesday, adding “Their insults could be higher quality, but some are not bad. I gave them 3 stars on Yelp.”

In addition to Bezos and his reporters targeting Musk are the barrage of Washington Post opinion pieces, which have been relentless ever since he announced he became Twitter’s largest shareholder, hinting at a hostile takeover. 

Washington Post columnist Max Boot deemed Musk “last person who should take over Twitter,” also writing on Twitter, “I am frightened by the impact on society and politics if Elon Musk acquires Twitter. He seems to believe that on social media anything goes. For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less.”

Several staffers from Amazon’s sister company bashed the Tesla CEO. 

“If my Twitter experience primarily consisted of bros praising me, I too might find it baffling that so many people found the platform difficult,” Washington Post correspondent Philip Bump swiped Musk. 

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“Now that Musk is threatening to take over Twitter, don’t forget that he relied on government to get his dreams off the ground but then sank into the worst sort of anti-government demagoguery when Dems wanted to tax billionaires and help millions of others,” Post columnist Greg Sargent tweeted. 

“What are the actual chances that Elon ends up owning Twitter and this doesn’t all just end up a chaotic stunt, I’m genuinely curious how viable his offer is,” wondered the paper’s “internet culture” journalist Taylor Lorenz.

The Post imported anti-Musk opinion pieces published by Bloomberg News, founded by billionaire Michael Bloomberg. One aggregated piece from Bloomberg columnist Tim O’Brien claimed Musk “lacks the temperament” to run Twitter. Another O’Brien column shared by the Post said Musk’s investment in Twitter “could be bad news for free speech.” 

And without a hint of irony, the Washington Post published an op-ed that called for “regulation of social-media platforms to prevent rich people from controlling our channels of communication,” which Musk reacted by tweeting, “Lmaooo.”

Mojtaba Sadira

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