Elon Musk eviscerates BBC live on the air

Just yesterday, Twitter boss Elon Musk was interviewed by the BBC's North America tech reporter, James Clayton.

This interview occurred against the backdrop of Twitter tagging one of the BBC's accounts as "government-funded media."

Musk spoke on a range of topics, including his acrimonious purchase of Twitter for $44 billion, which involved an intense back-and-forth between him and the former Twitter bosses.

Talking about running Twitter, Musk joked, "It's not been boring.  It's been quite a roller coaster."

He added that it was "really quite a stressful situation over the last several months," but he insisted that buying the company was the right thing to do.

Musk said Twitter wasn't doing well financially when he took over and was being run almost like a non-profit organization.

Twitter is now close to breaking even because of drastic cost-cutting and various subscription services such as the blue tick.

Musk said that usage of the site is up, and "the site works."

He added that the workload, since Musk also runs car maker Tesla and rocket firm SpaceX, means that "I sometimes sleep in the office."  He added that he has a spot on a couch in a library "that nobody goes to."

Regarding his controversial tweets, he joked, "Have I shot myself in the foot with tweets multiple times?  Yes."  He then joked, "I think I should not tweet after 3 a.m."

Musk spoke about his efforts to curb disinformation by removing bots.

Musk spoke also about his commitment to free speech and the fact that he is against banning TikTok.

When asked about the decision to add a label to the BBC's main Twitter account describing it as "government-funded media," the interview got interesting.

Musk said Twitter was adjusting the label for the BBC to "publicly funded." 

The BBC receives most of its funding through license fees paid by U.K. households.

In 2022, the BBC received $4.7 billion of its total annual funding of $6.3 billion from license fees.  The rest of the funding emanated from its commercial and other activities like grants, royalties, and rental income.

The BBC also receives roughly $112 million per year from the U.K. government to support BBC World, which serves non-U.K. audiences.

Clayton proceeded to ask Musk about Twitter ending its "COVID misinformation" policy that was used to label or censor tweets about alternative cures for COVID-19 and the effectiveness or the side-effects of vaccines.

"Has BBC changed its COVID misinformation?" Musk asked.

"Does the BBC hold itself at all responsible for misinformation regarding masking and side effects of vaccinations, and not reporting on that all?  And what about the fact the BBC was put under pressure by the British government to change editorial policy?  Are you aware of that?"

Clayton wriggled out of that one by saying the interview was not about the BBC, and he does not set the editorial policy.

Now for the most controversial section of the exchange.

Musk's detractors have frequently claimed that since his purchase, Twitter has become a platform of disinformation, bigotry, and hate.

The BBC "analyzed" more than 1,000 previously banned accounts that had been reinstated following Musk's takeover and found that since being reinstated, over a third of them had spread "abuse or misinformation."

What is this "abuse or misinformation"?

The BBC listed false anti-vax claims, misogyny and anti-LGBT rhetoric, and the denial of the 2020 U.S. election result.

Doubtless, there must be several other "studies" that arrived at identical inferences.

Numerous showbiz celebrities quit Twitter owing to this change.

Even Captain Sully Sullenberger, the brave pilot who saved 155 lives by landing U.S. Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River with two disabled engines, couldn't take the turbulence on Twitter and quit.

The best excuse came from British film's Mark Kermode, who quipped he "moved on due to the vile stench of Musk."  His display picture shows "Gone," which is from the poster of the thriller Gone Girl (2014).

Clayton claimed he noticed a slight rise in hateful tweets since Musk took over.

Musk rightly countered Clayton by asking him to cite specific examples to substantiate his claim.

"Honestly, I don't...honestly...I don't actually use that 'For You' feed anymore because I don't particularly like it, and a lot of people are quite similar," said Clayton, struggling after being caught fabricating.

"You said you've seen more hateful content, but you can't name a single example?  Not even one?" Musk pressed.

"I'm asking for one example.  I say, sir, you don't know what you're talking about.  Because you can't name a specific example of hateful content, not even one tweet.  Yet you claimed that the hateful content was high.  That's false.  You just lied."

Clayton attempted to amend his initial claim, saying that he meant organizations who track that type of content say hateful tweets are on the rise.

Musk again pressed Clayton for examples, but Clayton could provide none.

So what does one make of all this?

Obviously, the BBC interviewer came across like befuddled squawking chicken when challenged by Musk.

Obviously, there is no proof to suggest that hate and disinformation are on the rise since Musk took over Twitter.  Twitter is a public platform, and there will always be a significant amount of misinformation and bigotry.

What is amazing is that a journalist from a seemingly reputable organization such as the BBC would be so ill prepared for the interview.

Any interviewer must be armed with facts to support his claim when he is going to make allegations.  This is an elementary level of preparation that is expected from even cub reporters.

An interview with Musk was a very important assignment that had the eyes of the world watching.

You would assume that Clayton would assiduously prepare for the exchange, and even if he was lacking, his editorial team would arm him with the necessary information to substantiate his allegations.

But nothing of the kind occurred.

This is probably because the likes of Clayton are accustomed to interactions with people with whom they are in total agreement regarding key issues.  They are accustomed to merely nodding in reaction to outrageous claims as long as they follow the liberal groupthink.  But when provided with an elementary counter, they fall flat.

Make no mistake: the real objection that the BBC and others who have been slamming and quitting Twitter have but cannot say aloud is that the platform no longer manipulates expression to suit the liberal narrative.

Twitter under Musk seems to be attempting to reflect public opinion.

Liberals know that their ideas are flawed, hypocritical, and unpopular, hence they despise free expression and debate.

Since Twitter is no longer under the control of the liberal eco-system, they slam and dismiss it with pejorative epithets.

Fortunately, their big lie was caught live on the air!

Image: Twitter screen shot.

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