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For an allegedly dead or dying social media platform, Twitter is doing R.I.P.-roaringly well.
CEO Elon Musk might be the liveliest part of that. Owning Twitter hasn’t deadened his online personality one bit. Over the weekend, he bashed the New York Times as “basically just boring af far left brainwashing at this point.” (“AF” is online shorthand for as f—.) Musk also used a giggling emoji to mock CBS for its brief Twitter hiatus over so-called “security concerns.”
And, he once again rumbled with New York Democrat and “Squad” member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. AOC tweeted, “Shout out to all the workers at Twitter,” for building, “a vital place for connection.”
Musk sarcastically responded, “You’re welcome.”
That was only the beginning. He also helped a few well-known, banned accounts play Lazarus. Prominent accounts returning from the dead included Canadian academic Jordan Peterson, Christian satire site The Babylon Bee and the most-recent member of the ex-presidents, Donald Trump.
Here are three crazy or entertaining reactions to the goings on at Twitter:
1. The killer Bee
Musk rescuing Twitter from the censors has nothing to do with Trump and everything to do with the Babylon Bee. The Bee, one of the funniest sites on the internet, was shut down by the old guard at Twitter for giving Biden’s transgender Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine the “Man of the Year” award. This followed USA Today unironically naming Levine one of its “women of the year.”
Twitter suspended the Bee. “Westworld” actress Talulah Riley, Musk’s ex-wife twice (Yes, twice.) texted him and told him of the “suspension,” noting, “Why has everyone become so puritanical?” She asked if he would, “buy Twitter and make it radically free-speech.”
I doubt most people send Christmas cards to their ex-wives. Much less buy $44-billion companies at their suggestion. But Musk did just that.
Wall Street Journal film critic Kyle Smith tweeted that (spoiler alert!), “Banning the Babylon Bee turned out to be as wise as killing John Wick’s dog.” If you haven’t seen the action/thriller movie “John Wick,” starring Keanu Reeves or its soon-to-be three sequels, just imagine PETA with Liam Neeson’s “very particular set of skills” and you are on the right track.
2. Not dead yet
We’ve all heard the Mark Twain quote, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” While the comment itself is a misquote, it’s accurate for Twitter. Prominent journalists and news outlets are declaring the death of Twitter because their buddies who worked there either took a buyout or were fired.
It’s not really analysis, it’s the closest the left comes to prayer. They are hoping some divine presence, perhaps Gaia, intervenes and makes Twitter shut down. And the more they talk about it, the more they hope to drive advertisers away and make Musk morph into a billionaire fail whale.
Here are some actual headlines from the news media:
*Washington Post: “Musk summons engineers to Twitter HQ as millions await platform’s collapse”;
*Vanity Fair: “Twitter Is Dying, and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself”;
*The Atlantic: “How Elon Musk Could Actually Kill Twitter”;
*Guardian UK “Twitter has ‘50% chance’ of major crash during World Cup, says insider”;
*New York Times: “How to Prepare for Life After Twitter.”
And this is a CNN tweet that sounds the same: “Death is in the air on Twitter.”
It was the same on air for MSNBC. Yasmin Vossoughian hosted Nov. 19 and Musk was one of her targets. She explained, “I can’t help but keep thinking, this is really kind of the beginning of the end of Twitter.”
That’s not news. It’s wishful thinking.
3. The Monty Python solution
Comedy fans will recognize one of the great moments from “Monty Python and The Holy Grail’‘ that became enshrined as part of Internet culture – “Run away!” That’s now the official strategy for angry leftists. They love the idea of Twitter being an organizing platform for their opinions. But, they can’t stand the idea of it being an organizing platform for other opinions.
They are fleeing to new sites. The most popular choice is called Mastodon. It was named after a herd mammal that went extinct 10,000 to 11,000 years ago. How appropriate for the left.
Axios reports the site has tripled its numbers to nearly 2 million users. But many are doing it simply to avoid the social shame of not doing so. Washington Post columnist and Deputy Editorial Page Editor Karen Tumulty summed it up well, tweeting, “Okay. I have a Mastodon handle but I don’t know what I’m going to do with it.”
NBC News “dystopia” reporter Ben Collins was clearly conflicted. On one hand, he tweeted about Twitter, “It’s a good website, I met a lot of good friends here, and if it dies it’s because of one man’s ego.”
On the other, he wrote, “I told you so! Bye everybody bye!”
Collins is still there.
Musk had the best response to all of it, “The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried.”