Topic: Media Research Center
If you thought the Media Research Center wasn't squee enough when Elon Musk announced that he had purchased a piece of Twitter, the squee ramped up to positively orgasmic levels when Musk declared he was planning to buy all of Twitter. Joseph Vazquez screamed "IT'S HAPPENING" (to which it was changed from "GAME ON") in the headline of his April 14 article announcing it:
The world’s richest man is officially launching his bid for a hostile takeover of one of the most censorship-obsessed Big Tech platforms in the country!
Bloomberg News reported Thursday morning that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is “saying the company has extraordinary potential and he is the person to unlock it.” The value of the offer, according to Bloomberg, amounts to a whopping $43 billion. Musk announced the move in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Musk also tweeted that, “I made an offer.”
This follows Musk’s cryptic rejecting of a seat on Twitter’s board of directors after his purchase of a massive 9.2 percent stake in the platform. CNBC reported recently that “[i]f Musk had joined the board, he would not be able to acquire more than 14.9% of the company’s shares.”
He apparently wasn’t satisfied with the shareholder cap and is now looking to buy up the outstanding stock to control the entire platform.
The game has now changed. Will Twitter finally be made to uphold the values of free speech? Only time will tell.
Remember, Vazquez and the rest of his MRC buddies thinks you have a right to lie to people and that Twitter has no right to call out those lies.
A few hours later, Vazquez and Dan Gainor cranked out a column peddling the rifht-wing falsehood that Twitter enforcing its terms of service equates to "censorship" (and making sure to please their boss by quoting him):
It was the stock buyout heard ‘round the world. Tesla owner Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter could save the whole concept of online free speech and alter politics and elections globally for years to come.
Musk’s move might be the biggest political event since the 2020 election. Media Research Center founder and President L. Brent Bozell tweeted about the offer, “Free at last. Free at last. Conservatives may be free at last!”
Leftists and the media were horrified that Musk might interfere with their ability to censor content, not just in the U.S., but worldwide. Twitter was consistently the absolute worst of the social media sites for restricting conservative content. MRC’s CensorTrack database tracked 1,954 examples of Twitter censorship, over half of the total 3,636 entries of Big Tech censorship logged.
Musk’s purchase could lift the veil of censorship that hangs like a shroud over the conservative movement. The pending purchase could also mean former President Donald Trump’s long-awaited return to Twitter. The former president used his social media superpower to beat former Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) in 2016. It helped offset the overwhelming bias against him in the legacy media.
They also rehashed an old MRC talking point: "Other platforms were 'offended' too and were determined to destroy Trump’s social media presence going into the 2020 election. Twitter in particular censored Trump and his campaign a whopping 625 times between May 31, 2018 and Jan. 4, 2021. President Joe Biden and his campaign weren’t censored at all during that time period." The correct way to state that is that Trump violated Twitter's terms of service 625 times while Biden did not.
Vazquez and Gainor just couldn't stop drooling over Trump's use of Twitter:
Trump wielded social media like a Twitter version of the Incredible Hulk. It gave him the power to virtually smash critics and leftist journalists alike — defining the campaign. The Washington Post noted at the time that, “Trump used social media, and Twitter in particular, to build relationships with voters and create a word-of-mouth buzz for his brand.” The paper added, “this strategy helped Trump build attitudinal loyalty, the degree to which a customer prefers or likes a brand, rather than behavioral loyalty, when a customer buys a product out of habit.”
Ohio University Social Media Analytics Research Team Lab Director Laqeeq Khan also noted in 2016 that “Trump won social media. Simply put, Trump’s campaign was more engaged with voters.” Khan added that Trump “mastered Twitter by embracing immediacy (right now), transparency (unvarnished expression), and risk (rather than caution).”
Trump built that Twitter army up to 88 million followers during his presidential term and used it to influence major news organizations. Even journalists who hated him hung on every tweet, eager for Trump to make news.
Now Musk has an opportunity to hit a reset and journalists and leftists in Big Tech are going to try to stop him.
Speaking of making the boss happy, Bozell appeared on Fox Business later that day to spout his talking points, and an anonyous MRC blogger was made to document it:
Appearing on Fox Business Network’s Varney & Co. late Thursday morning, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell declared that billionaire Elon Musk possibly buying out Twitter would both restore free speech to the social media platform and change “the entire dynamics of politics” across the globe. He also blasted the left-wing co-hosts of ABC’s The View for using the New York City subway shooting to attack gun rights.
“Elon Musk offering to buy 100% of Twitter in an all-cash deal. He says Twitter should go private....Brent, this is all about free speech, right?,” fill-in host Ashley Webster asked Bozell at the top of the segment. Bozell declared: “You know, I’m gonna suggest to you that this is the biggest story since the 2020 elections. It may be even bigger than the 2020 elections.”
Bozell went on to falsely overstate his case: "Consider, Donald Trump won the presidency of the United States in 2016 because he was able to use Twitter. In 2020, one reason, a major reason he lost the presidential campaign is because Twitter censored him and wouldn’t allow him." In fact, Twitter did not suspend Trump until after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot he helped to instigate (and in which Bozell's son participated), meaning it did not affect the 2020 election. And even then, the MRC itself could find few instances of Trump getting "censored" (read: violating its terms of service) only 65 times by "big tech" as of a few weeks before the eleciton.
The MRC then flooded the zone with mocking reaction pieces:
- Apple HELP! Stelter Desperately Wants to Keep Musk from Buying Twitter
- MEDIA REACT! Twitter Freaks Out over Elon Musk Going ‘Full Goblin Mode’
- MSNBC Warns of 'Devastating Consequences' If Elon Musk Buys Twitter, Allows Free Speech
- Editor’s Pick: Townhall on Axios Freak-Out Over ‘Supervillain’ Musk
- Tom Brady Asks Elon Musk To Remove Combine Photo From Twitter
There were a couple of positive reaction pieces too:
- Maher Praises Elon, SLAMS Big Tech Censorship in Rogan Interview
- EXCLUSIVE: Cruz, Gaetz, Blackburn Weigh in on Elon Musk’s Twitter Offer
There were also a couple posts on the takeover process:
- WATCH: Elon Musk Outlines Plan B If $43 Billion Twitter Bid Rejected
- NEW: Twitter Implements ‘Poison Pill’ to Thwart Musk’s Offer
Vazquez returned to whine that "A left-wing outlet funded by liberal billionaire George Soros whined that the world’s richest man’s plan to purchase Twitter was a threat to democracy." He then rehashed an old complaint that the group, Free Press, "tried to get the Federal Communications Commission to censor former President Donald Trump’s coronavirus briefings as 'hoaxes.'" Given that Trump was using those pressers to spread misinformation, that's not too extreme of a question to raise.
Vazquez concluded with his own censorship demand: "Take a seat, Free Press." Just like the MRC to not practice what it preaches.