OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, and HBO talk show host Bill Maher have a lot in common with each other and, in some ways, Tucker Carlson.
All three men rail against cancel culture whenever they can and all three believe that wokeism is a danger to the United States.
When Musk appeared on Maher’s HBO talk show “Real Time” on Friday the pair discussed Carlson and why his audience is more massive now than it ever has been, along with what the “woke mind virus” is and how it gets started.
“You’re a likable guy. They attack you a lot and you seem to laugh it off, which I think is fantastic,” Maher said to Musk to begin the interview. “I love it that you have a sense of humor because a guy as important as you who makes changes could use your powers for evil and not good.”
On the topic of Carlson and his video that was posted on Twitter and has amassed close to 80 million views, Musk explained why Tucker’s platform, and anyone’s platform, is more massive on Twitter than on television.
He said that the Carlson video drew “a lot of people’s attention.”
“Twitter has a tremendous audience. So there’s 250 million people that spend an average of half an hour a day on Twitter,” the CEO said. “It’s about 120 to 130 million user hours per day and it’s been increasing.”
The pair also talked about what they dubbed the “woke mind virus” that appears to be taking over the nation.
“I think a lot of people thought when you bought Twitter that this is kind of an outlier, like… what doesn’t fit with these other things you’re doing? I never thought that because I think you’re dealing with big civilizational issues and problems. And I was right on your page. I think Twitter is one of them,” the host said. “I mean, you have talked about this ‘woke mind virus’ in really apocalyptic terms. You should explain why you don’t think it’s hyperbole to say things like it’s ‘pushing civilization towards suicide. First of all, what is the world mind virus? And if we don’t deal with this, nothing else can get done.”
“So I think we need to be very cautious about anything that is anti-meritocratic and anything that results in the suppression of free speech,” the CEO said. “So, you know, those are two other aspects of the woke mind virus that I think are very dangerous is that it’s anti-meritocratic. You can’t question things. Even the questioning is bad. So, you know, another way… [it’s almost synonymous] with cancel culture.”
“You and I are both in that little group of people, maybe it’s a bigger group now, who are called conservative, who haven’t really changed,” the host went on to say.
“It’s bizarre that we’ve come to this point where- free speech used to be a left or a liberal value, and yet we see from the quote ‘left’ a desire to actually censor. And that seems crazy,” the CEO said. “I mean, I think we should be extremely concerned about anything that undermines the First Amendment. There’s a reason for the First Amendment… People came from countries where they could not speak freely and where saying certain things would get thrown into prison. And they were like, well, we don’t want that here. And by the way, in many parts of the world, including part of what the people might think are relatively similar to the United States, the speech laws are draconian.”
The host admitted that he doesn’t use Twitter anymore even though Musk is the “the mayor of Tweettown” because “the mob of Mean Girls is still there,” and “it’s so easy to get canceled.”
“I don’t even know what pisses them off. They’re so nuts, these kids,” the host said. “I feel like I’m walking on a roof with a blindfold. I could fall off any time.”
“You have to say well what does canceled mean,” the CEO said. “Yes, people attack you on Twitter, that’s one thing. But frankly, that’s just an increase engagement. So I would just ignore it.”
“Well, that’s easy for you because they can’t take your job away or any of your ten jobs, but they could take mine. And they did once, by the way,” the host said, referring to his former ABC show “Politically Incorrect.”