So, Elon Musk sure shook things up the other day with his interview on CNBC where he dared to break the Fourth Wall of media when he took a shot at George Soros comparing him to Magneto from Marvel’s X-Men.
It’s a brutally funny exchange as Musk carefully measures his response, takes his time and then goes into full pop culture legend mode invoking Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride.
Elon Musk is asked about his Tweet saying George Soros reminds him of Magneto 🤣 pic.twitter.com/4gfsURVGIF
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) May 16, 2023
That CNBC flak wasn’t confused by this, he’s doing his job. He’s enforcing narrative control.
The choice of Magneto is an astute one, since it implies Soros’ childhood activities during World War II.
And while I appreciate Musk stepping on that third rail of media conformity, George Soros the philanthropist, I still maintain he’s closer to Sheev Palpatine than Erik Lehnsherr.
But what Musk really did was to question why media companies should always bow to the whims of their advertisers.
Musk has been subjected to advertiser boycotts since the day he walked in with the sink. Twitter’s business model needs to change. Advertising isn’t it. It’s only a part of it. Musk understands it needs to evolve because Twitter isn’t like legacy media companies.
Not one bit.
Musk did this after taking real flak from the internet for hiring World Economic Forum member and top-tier advertising executive Linda Vaccarino as the new CEO for Twitter.
Now, Vaccarino is a troubling hire but with Musk positioning himself as Mr. Free Speech in the common square, it may not be as bad as, “See Mother WEFfer, expect evil to follow,” as the initial Twitter outrage mob suggested.
I’ve told you for more than a year (November 2021, to be precise) that we are past Peak Davos, meaning Peak WEF. The WEF is now an easy bogeyman to tar someone with the broadest of guilt-by-association brushes.
The reality, however, is that viewed dispassionately, this year’s World Economic Forum was a mess, a bunch of globalist ghouls and their retinue of sycophants whistling past their own graveyards wondering where the next big score was coming from.
Top Ghoul Wrangler Soros himself didn’t even show up, preferring instead to suck the blood of the attendees of this year’s Munich Security Conference to ensure the trains to World War III would run on time.
Clubs like the WEF are only as strong as the talent they can keep. Is Vaccarino evidence of brain drain from the WEF? It’s not ludicrous. In fact, it’s more likely than she’s some wide-eyed ideologue.
I’m not saying it’s true, I’m saying it’s possible. So, distrust, but verify is your guide here.
The incentives line up nicely.
Musk needs to shore up Twitter’s relationships with advertisers to keep Twitter afloat.
Vaccarino brings instant credibility to the company.
If Musk is thinking in terms of a different kind of ad model, Vaccarino’s hire makes sense.
Talk to the Hand
The corporate orthodoxy imposed on media companies comes not just from retards like Reed Hastings at Netflix but also through the corruption of their boards by Davos generals like Blackrock and Vanguard.
Their real profit comes from exercising power. Sacrificing a quarter or two of profitability to put the vein tap in deep across the C-Suites of the S&P 500 and EuroStoxx 50 is hard to quantify on the balance sheet.
But Musk can say what he wants in public because that itself is a form of advertising for Twitter and/or Tesla that can’t be yanked by some ninny like Larry Fink or Alex Soros making a phone call.
He’s on their level and the company is private.
When your business model depends on advertising you’re their bitch. Musk knows this so you make the calculated move to attack Soros, becoming a hero to a vast audience spurned by Twitter when Soros, Fink and the rest of the WEF ran the place
One of the first blogs I wrote here in 2016 was called “The Authenticity Gap.” In handicapping that election correctly, that Trump would win, I made the point that despite his obvious deficits, he was far more authentic than Hillary.
Being comfortable being yourself is what drove Trump’s victory. The country was desperate for it and the swing voters were Millennials.
Well, guess what? Musk is shoring up his AQ—Authenticity Quotient—with not only his Millennial fanbois who buy Teslas, but even jaded Gen-X curmudgeons like me, even if I still spend most of my day in Distrust, But Verify mode.
Pied Piper or not, he has the platform to drive the conversation where it was never allowed to go before. We can take it from here, folks.
No, I Said, “Tucker!”
And this brings me to Tucker Carlson, who announced to great fanfare that he’s bringing his erstwhile news show to Twitter, self-produced.
His two short videos since Fox canceled his show, putting him in contract limbo, have generated ratings that even his record cable ratings couldn’t match.
Advertiser boycotts hit Fox multiple times over things Carlson said on air. They don’t want the media to speak the truth, they want it, as Carlson pointed out in his last video, to tell you only the part of the truth that supports their agenda.
Musk has been subject to this since the day he walked into Twitter with a kitchen sink in his hand.
Every globalist tit-sucker and wannabe-brownshirt, but I repeat myself, threatened Musk with extinction. The EU threatened to ban Twitter. The Biden administration began official investigations.
It was all so breathlessly repeated in the compliant media one would have thought going long smelling salts would have been good investment advice for every case of the fucking vapors these people had.
Think back to the so-called “Discord Leaks” and the ruinous press conference with Dept. of Defense Spokesman John Kirby. We had ‘reporters’ openly asking how they could help the DoD suppress information about the war in Ukraine.
As I argued in my blog about this issue, the media was openly simping for the regime, torching what remained of its credibility to announce to the world they have joined that team against us.
Neither the content of these leaks nor the media’s response was revelatory to anyone with a passing acquaintance with the current state of politics. No, the noteworthy thing was that they were so willing to take off the mask so we could all stop pretending they were journalists.
When the media openly asks how they can help…we have crossed into new territory. Why?
Because it’s never been that way before. Yes, we knew the media were court stenographers, people like myself and Kit [Knightly at Off Guardian] have known this for more than a decade. But to openly torch what’s left of their credibility to support disinformation to keep the administration’s secrets is something very very new.
This wasn’t some double-secret 12-D chess maneuver by hyper-competent game players. This was far more what it looked like on the surface, a sphincter-clenching moment of raw panic from people whose lies were outed in pure damage control mode.
So, about that power of the advertisers, again? How do they have any when their platforms and networks have zero credibility?
Who does the CNBC flak dumbstruck by Musk’s Inigo Montoya impression thinks is really in charge here?
And Then the Lights Came On…
It was like that moment in the Pixar classic, UP, where Doug becomes Alpha:
The media is so used to bullying people into submission they don’t know what to do when it doesn’t work. But, why would you do that? Lose Money? It’s unthinkable.
Take a step back and see the reversal here. Do you really think Musk is scared of these quislings when I own the single biggest, and by far, most powerful communications platform in history?
The answer would be no.
And that reason is simple. Musk’s real heresy wasn’t returning something closer to free speech to Twitter. It was proving that the company could operate on 20% of its old budget and one-quarter of its staff.
That 80% cost reduction didn’t just equate to stabilizing the company, it freed it from the tyranny of the advertiser.
Musk doesn’t need advertising on Twitter the way Twitter needed advertising before him. The company wasn’t being run as a profit center measured in dollars.
Twitter was a loss leader for tyrants. The legacy media conglomerates are their policy makers and the ad executives their thought policemen.
Carlson can now self-produce a loss-leader for free speech while his lawyers roast Fox’s chesnuts and he, Musk and Trump can:
… build another Mar-a-Lago in their heads living TV-ad free for months with “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” the only choice on the in-house cable feed.
Musk is now turning the entire cost structure of news media on its head. It was always going to happen, he just ripped the last band-aid off exposing the rot underneath.
The media companies and their advertising control model worked so well for so long because it costs billions to run a broadcast network. The on-air talent, the producers, the studio, cameras, travel, etc. are expensive folks. FOX’s makeup budget alone is more than my annual operating costs.
No wonder they just fired Laura Ingraham, too.
Have you seen the 25-54 demo ratings?
The media companies had to depend on the kindness of strangers to even stay in business.
Today most of the distribution has been decentralized, i.e. Twitter and personal ISP fees. Physical production tools are cheap. Bandwidth is cheaper. The overhead of running a small broadcast company with a private subscription model is a far lower percentage of top-line revenue than any big network.
The legacy media can neither buy your loyalty nor coerce your conformity.
Now shit-posters cum ‘investigative journalists‘ like Brian Krassenstein whose tone deaf defense of Soros is what prompted all of this have to work that much harder to protect him.
And thanks to Twitter and things like it, the world is your research department. Now, the best voices, the best talent, spend their time curating what they see. More time for enjoying life, less time wasted sucking up to Sith Lords.
That was Tucker Carlson’s real power when he was at Fox. He’s now free of all of those constraints.
If you want to see where Carlson is headed once he’s doing a free show on Twitter, just look to Megyn Kelly.
"Welcome to being a public figure. Grow up!"
— The Megyn Kelly Show (@MegynKellyShow) May 17, 2023
That’s where the editorial bias is now, not in the corporate boardrooms.
You are the ultimate arbiter of what you deem valid. Your eyeballs are all that matters. Your consent.
These are only some of the reasons why Musk owns the most powerful media company in the world.
Does he need to pay Tucker Carlson $20+ million to be on his network? No. Carlson pays Musk.
Does Musk need to hire Carlson a production team? No.
A research team? No.
A legal team to fact check everything? No.
The reason why Musk can’t be bought is because Musk doesn’t need the advertisers.
The advertisers need Musk.
Musk knows it. Carlson knows it. The paid influencers know it. Soros knows it.
What Twitter now does, if its algorithm is set to neutrality, is assist everyone in finding whatever audience they want to attract. The media companies can’t maintain the purity of the signal or enforce the groupthink, because they don’t own the means of production anymore.
All they can do is flood the zone with low quality bots.
And the thing that scares them more than anything else is the day when Musk rolls out the real revenue maker for Twitter. The one where they can’t bribe us with money or power because neither of those things buys dignity.
This article was originally featured at Tom Luongo’s blog Gold Goats n’ Guns and is republished with permission.