“Real Time” host Bill Maher’s panel discussion about Elon Musk’s buyout of Twitter sequed into a debate concerning social censorship.
“When you tell people they can’t be heard, they don’t go away,” Maher explained. “Donald Trump has been off Twitter. He didn’t go away. He’s going to absolutely get the Republican nomination next time. And his people, they didn’t go away.”
“They didn’t self-deport because he wasn’t on Twitter.”
The social media platform synonymous with censorship was Twitter, which reportedly prompted Tesla founder Elon Musk to buy the company. He paid $44 billion Thursday and promptly had the now-private company delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.
Musk fired the CEO, CFO, general counsel and a slew of other high-ranking employees within minutes of taking ownership.
“Let’s just start with [the argument of] ‘It’s a private company. They can do whatever they want,’” Maher said, referring to Twitter. “Let’s get past that. That’s a dodge answer. What Musk is saying is but it is de facto the town square, and some sheriff should come in and say, what good is the First Amendment if the place where people are really talking, they can’t talk.”
The world’s richest man is the new sheriff in town and he wasted no time saying lifetime bans are so over. He famously said former President Donald Trump will be allowed back on the platform. Kanye West’s account was publicly visible the day after the takeover, although Musk denies involvement in restoring access.
Maher’s HBO Max program touched on the violent reaction to an Oregon pub’s drag queen story hour. Maher also talked about the 42-year-old man in his underwear who assaulted Paul Pelosi, 82, in his San Francisco mansion.
Maher made no mention of the California gun-toting wannabe assassin who would have fatally shot Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh if not for two U.S. Marshals guarding the house.
“You know, this is this cold civil war that we’re in, that we’ve been hearing about,” Maher said. “Civil wars, it’s not going to be like the last civil war. It’s going to be this kind of stuff. And I think when you shut off that valve of letting people talk, I think that stuff only gets worse.”
If discussion did not resolve more differences than violence, nations would not employ legions of diplomats to represent them before other sovereign states.