MSNBC host Ari Melber was slapped with a brutal lesson in self-awareness on Monday after expressing fear that Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter would result in election manipulation.
What are the details?
Melber, speaking on his show "The Beat With Ari Melber," complained that Musk could exploit Twitter to manipulate democracy.
"If you own all of Twitter or Facebook or what have you, you don't have to explain yourself. You don't even have to be transparent," Melber said.
"You could secretly ban one party's candidate or all of its candidates, all of its nominees. Or you could just secretly turn down the reach of their stuff, and turn up the reach of something else and the rest of us might not even find out until after the election," he added.
What was the reaction?
Melber's concerns immediately drew fierce backlash because Twitter already engages in "content moderation" practices that seemingly do exactly what Melber is concerned about.
A prime example is the bombshell New York Post story about the Hunter Biden laptop. Twitter intentionally suppressed the story over "lack of authoritative reporting on the origins of the materials included in the article." But as it turned out, the story was 100% true. Twitter also purged tens of thousands of accounts after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, for example.
Here is how people responded to Melber's commentary:
- "The utter shamelessness for MSNBC to say this with a straight face in light of what has actually occurred on Twitter over the past few years," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said.
- "This is exactly what the Machine\Left\Democrats have done to their opponents for years, you absolute [clown] @AriMelber. Enjoy the ride into irrelevance…," David Rubin reacted.
- "Twitter manipulating the reach of stories for political reasons during an election? Nah, that could never happen," reporter Jerry Dunleavy mocked.
- "The utter lack of self-awareness in this clip is the thing that makes it," Noam Blum observed.
- "I can’t even hold in my head, the idea that @msnbc would be airing this. Isn’t this *their* playbook? It seems like complaining about the loss of media gaslighting as a monopoly. Or something," Eric Weinstein said.
- "Ari Melber making Michael Scott seem like the king of self-awareness with this one," John Cooper, communications director at the Heritage Foundation, said.
- "No sense of irony," Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) observed.
- "This is what @Twitter was doing to Republicans for years," the Twitter account for the House Republicans said.
- "MSNBC host Ari Melber had a revealing moment on Monday that seemed almost a clinical (if not comical) example of transference," constitutional lawyer Jonathan Turley said.
- "There is truly nothing funnier than this MSNBC host ranting about what Elon Musk could do to Twitter, and accidentally giving a perfect description of how Twitter has actually operated for the last five years," Cabot Phillips of the Daily Wire said.
For what it's worth, Musk has not announced any changes to Twitter. In fact, he has repeatedly affirmed his commitment to free speech and his desire to improve Twitter for everyone.