Woke scolds fearful that Musk will succeed at his mission to free speech
We know that many of you hate betting content on sports TV. This weekend’s Grey Cup broadcast bristled with wagering talk. Puritans just couldn’t wrap their heads around the presence of lines, sides and parlays on the broadcasts of their favourite CFL teams. And the spares who are pitching it all.
Fair enough. It ain’t your grandfather’s CFL broadcast. But betting is here to stay. If you’re looking for something to blame, then stick a pin in Twitter. The “worldwide web” took gambling from barber shops, speak-easy and back alleys to a giant presence across North American sports.
When the gambling dam broke, wagering went from a bad habit to the sports version of day trading. It became the sexy new thing. And the money rolled in. Casinos and betting sites are spreading that money across social media and broadcasters.
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The tide of this money has raised all boats. How high has the revenue river risen? An NFL franchise (Denver) is now worth $4 billion. TV networks and players like Amazon will pay almost anything for a piece of the league’s broadcast/digital pie. (It’s a similar but less pricey scene in other leagues.) Twitter helped do that.
So it is fascinating to see the debate about cratering Twitter since it was purchased by Elon Musk. A cursory glance at the wildly popular site this weekend showed an alliance of Woke scolds and entertainment industry preeners ready to wreck the world’s largest marketplace of chatter because they don’t want to hear anything that challenges their worldview.
Or contradicts the Church of Rachel Maddow on (choose any) Trump, abortion, climate, Afghanistan, racism, Trump, trans dysphoria, inflation, voting integrity, guns, Trump, Hunter Biden, electric cars, veganism, CO2, Trump, white privilege, SGM, polar bears, FBI, Dreamers, ballot harvesting and … Trump.
Imagine a betting site that banned the contrarian tips of a legendary character. That only allowed discussion of taking overs not unders on sports bets. Or banned teaser talk. That’s today’s Twitter.
The progressive scolds who’ve controlled the spread of opinions on Twitter since the Obama administration of social justice now want to abandon the site because Musk had the wacky idea of allowing a former president back on the site.
Even people you’d thought sane about the new tech have lost their marbles over the prospect of hearing things they find vexing. Here’s NBA owner Mark Cuban: “The greatest challenge Twitter has is making users feel safe. Safe that they won’t be abused by users on the platform. Safe that tweets won’t lead to action off (of) the platform that hurt people. I think this is the element that @elonmusk is missing that current AI can’t protect.”
By safe, does Mark mean from the Ayatollahs who promised death to Israel or Nancy Pelosi’s daughter Christine who tweeted “the neighbour was right” after a neighbour savagely beat senator Rand Paul? No? They’re still on Twitter after the Babylon Bee was silenced? Wow.
Here’s another sample of a Madame Defrage moment. Leftist activist Shannon Coulter (responsible for the creation of the GrabYourWallet movement to boycott retailers that carry Trump-related products) just emailed the head of safety at Apple and Google respectively to ask if their app stores will continue to carry the Twitter app now that Elon Musk has reinstated Donald Trump.”
It’s more than individuals who’ve taken the “safe space” mantra to new lengths. This weekend CBS News – which gleefully printed all the Russiagate lies and fake Ukrainian impeachment hoax – decided it was just too refined to dip its toe into the Musk version of Twitter after its entitled staff began quitting in protest.
Reporter Jonathan Vigliotti provided CBS’ rationale. “In light of the uncertainty around Twitter, and out of an abundance of caution, CBS News is pausing its activity on the social media site as it continues to monitor the platform.”
An abundance of caution from people who banned the 2020 Hunter Biden laptop story because there was an election in three weeks and his dad might lose to Trump? Sure. The Walter Cronkite network was ripped for erring on the side of censorship, one writer saying the decision was “so stupid it makes my head hurt”.
Prompting a doubleback on Sunday. “After pausing for much of the weekend to assess the security concerns, CBS News and Stations is resuming its activity on Twitter as we continue to monitor the situation.” Their entitled vanity could choke a mule.
The CBS journalists who have long praised Edward R. Murrow’s 1950s defiance of the McCarthy hearings are now all-in with authority. Says journalist Matt Taibbi, “Americans who once venerated self-reliance are building a church of conformity, whose chief means of worship is destroying heretics.”
Making the charade even more risible is the new role of Musk as evil incarnate for buying Twitter, turfing a large portion of its useless, self-absorbed employees and restoring a semblance of balance to the site. From hero of youth culture, the Tesla pioneer has become an evil that must be burned at the stake lest he remove the blue-check bias of the site.
What is clear from this convulsion of fear is that the fire of safe spaces – segregated convocations, banning of speakers, crushing of businesses – that took root in academia has now jumped the fire line into the public domain, where it is now burning every corner of free speech.
It bristles with its new power. Says Taibbi: “The math isn’t hard: if the DHS [Department of Home Security] or the NSC [National Security Council] can do this to the world’s richest man, they can do it to anyone, making this story into a test case to see what the new censorship regime can get away with.” There’s hope. When you hear Joe Biden say it is “worth looking into” whether Musk is a “national security threat” due to his “co-operations” and “relationships” with other countries, you know that the censors are nervous he’ll succeed.
Let’s give them something to really be nervous about. Keep tweeting. Pay the $8 fee.
Bruce Dowbiggin is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his new book with his son Evan, was voted the eighth best professional hockey book by bookauthority.org. His 2004 book Money Players was voted seventh best.
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