Twitter has just swallowed a poison pill to stop Musk. It may work, temporarily. But Musk has said he has a Plan B. When asked what it was, he only smiled. That must drive the Left up the wall. Liz Peek details how it does just that.
BREAKING: Twitter, in a statement, said its board of directors has unanimously adopted a “poison pill” defense in response to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s proposal to buy the company and take it private. https://t.co/GU6ktgIDF5
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 15, 2022
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Peek: You never know what Elon Musk is going to do next. The Tesla CEO’s sudden decision to not join Twitter’s board, announced by CEO Parag Agrawal, raises new questions about his ambitions. The agreement to appoint him to Twitter’s board, in light of his purchase of 9.2% of the company’s shares, was confining; he would not have been able to buy more than 15% of the firm’s stock and would have had to behave himself. That may have been too much to ask.
Elon Musk’s interest in Twitter was widely thought to signal frustration with efforts by social media giants to limit free speech in our country. It was expected that Musk would use his influence at the country to shift policy to allow a freer exchange of opinion on the site and – perhaps – reinstatement of former President Donald Trump, who has been banned for life.
Consequently, the announcement that Musk would be joining Twitter’s board cheered conservatives who consider social media hostile territory, and alarmed liberal elites who have often been targeted by the cheeky entrepreneur. Thanks to his 81 million followers, Musk has a loud voice; clearly, he is not afraid to use it. The Establishment was not happy.
Ellen Pao, in a column for the Washington Post, wrote that the ascension to Twitter’s board of Tesla’s CEO is “highly disconcerting” and amounted to a “slap in the face,” arguing among other charges that Musk has misbehaved on the platform and “displays very little empathy.”
Hilariously, she also writes that Musk’s appointment “shows that we need regulation of social-media platforms to prevent rich people from controlling our channels of communication.” I wonder what Wapo’s billionaire owner Jeff Bezos thinks about that.
Why would Pao and like-minded folks be worried? First, because they are terrified that Musk will demand that Twitter lift its ban on Donald Trump, restoring the former president’s most effective bullhorn. With Joe Biden and his Democrat colleagues failing on so many fronts, Trump is a threat.
Second, because Musk is an iconoclast willing to challenge liberal orthodoxy; he is also brilliant and can face down his critics with ruthless efficiency. When Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., accuses him of not paying his “fair share” in taxes and calls him a “freeloader,” Musk counters that he has just paid the IRS $11 billion in 2021, the most taxes of any individual in history…
Already he had lofted significant possible policy changes into the Twitterverse, like adopting an “edit” button, putting management in an awkward place. Agrawal embarassingly announced the company might adopt the new feature, but that the concept was already in the pipeline. Business decisions of that sort are usually made in the board room, not on Twitter.
But the biggest constraint imposed by board membership was the restriction on future stock purchases. Those wanting Musk to turn Twitter into an open “public town square,” as he has described it, will hope his reversal means he wants to own more than 15% of the stock. Given that Musk is the richest man in the world, with a net worth estimated at $275 billion, anything is possible.