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Tuesday, August 30, 2022
MRC Returning To Squeeing Over Musk, Defending Efforts To Terminate Twitter Deal
Topic: Media Research Center

We noted that the Media Research Center seemed to be backing off its hero worship of Elon Musk after he tried to back out of his deal to buy Twitter for the overpriced amount of $44 billion. Well, the MRC must have read our post, because it started picking up the pace shortly afterwards, embracing Musk's defense of backing out of his Twitter deal and bashing Twitter for trying to enforce it. Autumn Johnson complained in an Aug. 2 item about the latter:

Twitter is figuratively dragging Elon Musk’s friends to court.

The Washington Post on Monday reported that Twitter asked Musk’s friends for “checklists, timelines, presentations, decks, organizational calls, meetings, notes, recordings” and any information about bot or spam accounts on the platform.

The subpoenaed friends include investors Marc Andreessen, David Sacks, Jason Calacanis and Chamath Palihapitiya.

Joe Lonsdale, another Musk associate, also received a subpoena but said he had “nothing to do” with the transaction.

Johnson lovingly detailed Musk's countersuit against Twitter in an Aug. 5 post:

In his countersuit against Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk alleges that the company misled him about the number of spam accounts on the platform.

Insider, which obtained a copy of the countersuit in advance of the October trial, reported Thursday that the 146-page countersuit claims Twitter misrepresented its user metrics to Musk and his team.

NewsBusters reported last month that Musk would file a countersuit after he was sued for backing out of the deal to purchase the platform for $44 billion.

According to Insider, the countersuit says that Twitter’s lawsuit to enforce the deal is "filled with personal attacks against Musk and gaudy rhetoric more directed at a media audience than this court" and "is nothing more than an attempt to distract from these misrepresentations."

"Twitter played a months-long game of hide-and-seek to attempt to run out the clock before the Musk Parties could discern the truth about these representations, which they needed to close,” the lawsuit reportedly says. “The more Twitter evaded even simple inquiries, the more the Musk Parties grew to suspect that Twitter had misled them."

Johnson censored mention of Twitter's response to Musk's countersuit.

Johnson served up more Musk stenography the next day, touting how he "tweeted early Saturday that his deal to purchase Twitter for $44 billion will go through if the company backs up its claims about its number of spam accounts."

Johnson continued being a Musk stan in an Aug. 8 post:

On Saturday, Elon Musk challenged Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to a public debate in which the Agrawal would be invested to prove his claims about the number of bot accounts on the platform.

“I hereby challenge @paraga to a public debate about the Twitter bot percentage,” Musk tweeted. “Let him prove to the public that Twitter has <5% fake or spam daily users!”

He then pinned the tweet to his profile and polled Twitter users on whether Twitter’s claim that less than five percent of its monthly daily active users are “fake/spam” is true. The options were “Yes” with three robot emojis or “Lmaooo no.” 

Approximately 64.9% of users voted no, indicating that survey participants think Twitter is not telling the truth about the bot accounts. In reference to the poll, Musk then proclaimed that “Twitter has spoken.”

Johnson didn't explain why Musk thinks it's a good idea to handle a legal dispute through a debate and a Twitter poll.

Christine Salgado complained that Twitter was doing actual legal-related things to the lawsuit in an Aug. 10 post by subpoenaing Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, boint on to attack "the leftist leadership of Twitter." She didn't provide proof that Twitter's leadership is "leftist."

Johnson returned to cheer a minor court victory for Musk  in an Aug. 17 post:

On Monday, the Delaware Court of Chancery ruled that Twitter must give Elon Musk documents from its former head of consumer product.

The Verge reported that although Musk requested documents from 22 Twitter employees, the court granted just one of his requests. According to an order obtained by, Judge Kathaleen McCormick ordered Twitter to “collect, review, and produce documents from Kayvon Beykpour.”

The court ordered that Twitter produce documents from a previously agreed 41 custodians in addition to Beykpour. "The plaintiff is not required to collect, review, or produce documents from any other of the defendants’ proposed 22 additional custodians," the order reads. "The plaintiff need only collect, review, and produce documents from the 41 custodians to which plaintiff has agreed to date and Mr. Beykpour."

Twitter fired Beykpour in May when company CEO Parag Agrawal decided to “take the [company] in a different direction,” Beykpour tweeted.

Johnson also continued to complain that Twitter was doing the same thing Musk is doing in seeking information from witnesses in an Aug. 20 post under the headline "Twitter Is Harassing Everyone Musk Knows About Deal," repeating how Musk "reportedly complained that Twitter is requesting information from people who know nothing about his deal to purchase the platform." Of course, there's no reason to trust Musk's words at face value, yet Johnson does anyway.

There's still some old-fashion Musk hero worship happening as well. An Aug. 17 post by John Simmons was devoted to recounting how Musk "jokingly claim[ed]" to offer to buy the Manchester United soccer team.

Meanwhile, the MRC didn't say a thing about Musk unironically contributing an opinion piece on using technology "to help achieve a better future for humanity" to a magazine published by the Chinese government agency that oversees online censorship -- you know, the thing Musk proclaims he is going to end by buying Twitter. There was also no mention of the fact that the creator of the online tool Musk is citing as evidence that Twitter has more bot accounts than it claims says that the tool has its limitations and was surprised that the multibillionaire Musk didn't spend actual money to build a more sophisticated tool or hire experts to prove his claim.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2022 10:32 PM EDT

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