Greenwald: The Media’s Deranged Hysteria Over Elon Musk’s Promised Restoration Of Free Speech
Authored by Glenn Greenwald via Substack,
It was easy to predict that there would be an all-out war from Western power centers if Musk sought to mildly reduce censorship on Twitter. Still, the media outdid itself…
It is hard to overstate how manic, primal and unhinged is the reaction of corporate media employees to the mere prospect that new Twitter owner Elon Musk may restore a modicum of greater free speech to that platform. It was easy to predict — back when Musk was merely toying with the idea of buying Twitter and loosening some of its censorship restrictions — that there would be an all-out attack from Western power centers if he tried. Online censorship has become one of the most potent propaganda weapons they possess, and there is no way they will allow anyone to dilute it even mildly without attempting to destroy them. Even with that expectation in place of what was to come, the liberal sector of the corporate media (by far the most dominant media sector) really outdid itself when it came to group-think panic, rhetorical excess, and reckless and shrill accusations.
In unison, these media outlets decreed that not only would greater free speech on Twitter usher in the usual parade of horribles they trot out when demanding censorship — disinformation, hate speech, attacks on the “marginalized,” etc. etc. — but this time they severely escalated their rhetorical hysteria by claiming that Musk would literally cause mass murder by permitting a broader range of political opinion to be aired. The Washington Post‘s Taylor Lorenz even warned of supernatural demons that would be unleashed by these new free speech policies, as she talked to a handful of obviously neurotic pro-censorship “experts” and then wrote about these thinly disguised therapy sessions with those neurotics under this headline: “‘Opening the gates of hell’: Musk says he will revive banned accounts.”
But the self-evident absurdity of this laughable meltdown and the ease of mocking it should not obscure that there are lurking within these episodes some genuinely insidious and serious dangers. These preposterous media employees are just the sideshow. But what they are doing, unwittingly or otherwise, is laying the groundwork for far less frivolous and more serious people to use the attacks on Musk to further fortify the regime of censorship they have been constructing: the limitlessly demonizing language heaped on him, the success they have already had in driving away many if not most corporate advertisers from Twitter, the threats to once again abuse the monopoly power of Google and Apple to destroy Twitter or at least cripple it if Musk does not comply with their censorship orders (as they succeeded in doing last year to the free speech site Parler when it became the most-downloaded app in the country and refused to censor on demand).
To examine the media tactics being invoked, and to highlight the underlying conflicts among power centers at stake in this battle, we devoted our monologue to this topic as part of Friday night’s episode of the pre-launch test-runs we are airing of our new live SYSTEM UPDATE program, soon to debut nightly on Rumble. As we explained last week, these test-run episodes are designed to air for now solely on the Locals platform, and are available for now exclusively to our Substack and Locals subscribers, in order to elicit feedback and help us perfect the show as we prepare for our debut on Rumble. The audience feedback we received after our first episode and the first interactive after-show we did was genuinely helpful, and we spent the week incorporating many of our audience’s suggestions in order to elevate the quality of our program as we head toward our launch.
But given the timeliness of our latest monologue to these still-unfolding events, as well as the fact that we were able to keep the test-run glitches to a minimum, we have posted this new full thirty-minute monologue on Rumble, for anyone to watch here. Reflecting the success we believe we can achieve in reaching a large new audience with our program, the number of viewers we attracted to that test-run show before the first full day has already exceeded 100,000: on a Saturday, over Thanksgiving weekend.
As we always have done and will continue to do with all video broadcasts and video reporting we do, we have created and are posting a full transcript of the monologue for subscribers only, available below, for those who prefer to read rather than watch (though we do believe that the video component of the show allows us to use another dimension in conveying our reporting, one of the main reasons we committed to produce this new live program on Rumble). But for those who prefer to read, the transcript of our Musk analysis is below; those wishing to watch our new SYSTEM UPDATE monologue can do so by clicking this link and then watch the video on Rumble.
Mon, 11/28/2022 – 16:20