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Sunday, November 26, 2023
MRC Deflects Criticism Of Musk A Year After Buying Twitter
Topic: Media Research Center

The Elon Musk PR team at the Media Research Center continued to take it hard as people point out how Musk has mismanaged Twitter (well, X) as his purchase of the social media website approached its first anniversary. tim Graham had a major whinefest in an Oct. 28 post:

Liberal reporters really hate how Twitter isn't a reinforcement and censorship tool for them any more. The Washington Post published a "Crappy Anniversary" piece headlined "A year later, Musk’s X is tilting right. And sinking."

A team of four reporters -- Will Oremus, Elizabeth Dwoskin, Sarah Ellison, and Jeremy B. Merrill -- reporter Twitter is sinking, based on "interviews" and leaks: 

The number of people actively tweeting has dropped by more than 30 percent, according to previously unreported data obtained by The Washington Post, and the company — which the entrepreneur behind Tesla and SpaceX has renamed X — is hemorrhaging advertisers and revenue, interviews show.

There are a bunch of people fired by Musk commenting in this story. But here's the part they really hate....displacing the so-called "mainstream media."


And who does the Post bring in to say Twitter is no longer trustworthy? An Obama Bro! Oh sure, trust him when he claims it wasn't a happy place for Democrats and the Left! 

And who did Graham bring in to boost his whinefest? Christina Pushaw, longtime spokesperson for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, for whom the MRC oeprates a Defense Brigade.

Graham went on to add whataboutism to his whine: "There again the liberals who "nonpartisan" NewsGuard as the gold standard -- when we noticed the fake news on the 'Israeli airstrike' didn't dent any '100 percent' ratings for liberal outlets." The MRC's war on NewsGuard, meanwhile, is loud, lame and partisan.

When the New York Times offered up a similar critique of Musk-era Twitter, It was Clay Waters to serve up a whinefest in an Oct. 30 post:

First the Washington Post, then the New York Times went after the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, one year after techno-entrepreneur Elon Musk purchased it and shone a light on the previous regimes squelching of conservative voices in favor of liberal “blue checks” and other anointed ones, and possibly swinging the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden (see “Twitter Files”).

Reporters Steven Lee Myers, Stuart Thompson, and Tiffany Hsu collaborated on the “interactive” online project “The Consequences of Elon Musk’s Ownership of X.” (At least the Times only needed three reporters to conjure up fear and loathing against Musk and X; the Post required four.)

The introduction featured three blocks of text interspersed among graphics, demonstrating this was less a technology news story than an anti-Musk rant:


The Times also cited a Harvard journal, The Misinformation Review:

Even worse, the article argued, Mr. Musk’s changes appear to be boosting the engagements of the most contentious users.

By “contentious,” read “conservative.”

Waters didn't dispute that Musk was boosting and amplifying right-wingers.

Luis Cornelio served up an Oct. 30 press release for his employer with a letter asking Musk to fight "censorship":

MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider joined other free speech advocates in signing an open letter to X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk, calling on him to stand against government censorship. 

The letter, led by the Alliance Defending Freedom and signed by over 50 pro-free speech advocates, called on Musk to expand his promise to protect the First Amendment on X by allocating legal funds to protect individuals affected by state-sponsored censorship. Specifically, the letter cited growing concerns about laws aimed to prosecute individuals who go against the government-approved narrative on numerous fronts.

“Free speech is broadly protected by every major human rights treaty; however, in the West, speech increasingly is targeted by ‘hate speech’ laws,” read the letter. “In other regions, blasphemy laws target minority groups, sometimes with the sentence of death. These repressive laws are two sides of the same coin—both punish those who speak out against state-approved views.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, The Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon, Fox News Contributor & Host Sara Carter, Human Events Senior Editor Jack Posobiec and prominent Spanish-language political scientist Agustín Laje also signed the letter.

The idea that any of these people are "pro-free speech advocates" is ludicrous. These are all right-wing advocates who care only about their own "free speech"; most of them actively oppose the free speech of anyone who dares to disagree with them.They also don't explain why it's "censorship" to correct hate and misinformation online.

From there, it was Musk PR mode to counter all that criticism. It took both Autumn Johnson and Tom Olohan to write a Nov. 1 bit of stenography about Musk attacking George Soros again, this time asserting that Soros "fundamentally hates humanity" during an interview with Joe Rogan. A separate post by Johnson and Olohan the same day, also taken from Rogan's interview with Musk, cheered Musk for having "slammed the 'death cult' in charge of social media platforms" and having "accused leftist elitists of  going 'too far' in the hatred of mankind." Johnson and Olohan couldn't find room, however, to notate the part of the interview where Musk broke into song after several seconds of awkward silence rather than answer a question about the Taliban having a presence on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the MRC's freakout over Twitter's Community Notes continued with a Nov. 3 post by Catherine Salgado declaring Twitter demonetizing posts with Community notes attacks to be among the worst "censorhip" of October:

X owner Elon Musk announced on Oct. 29: “Making a slight change to creator monetization: Any posts that are corrected by @CommunityNotes become ineligible for revenue share. The idea is to maximize the incentive for accuracy over sensationalism.” While Community Notes can at times add helpful information to posts that are inaccurate, Community Note fact checks have also asserted inaccurate or incomplete information. In addition to the initial censorship that Community Notes created, Musk’s latest announcement adds a new form of financial censorship on X.

Yes, Salgado bizarrely thinks fact-checking is "censorship."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 PM EST

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