Comedian Bill Maher has slammed Twitter for flagging a tweet from satirical site Babylon Bee, which published a skit about social network workers needing therapy after Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover.
“You need a new sheriff,” the Real Time host said on his Friday night show.
“It’s good in what satire has always been.”
Maher backed Musk to turn Twitter into a “public square” of thoughts and opinions rather than a “left-wing place”. The comedian said Twitter is a place for people who want their news to reflect their politics.
Maher then took aim at President Barack Oboma’s view that Gen Z would find how to fight misinformation was dead wrong.
“I would much rather have Elon Musk make the rules than some 23-year-old who can’t accept the Babylon Beeswax joke, or anything else,” he said.
“I mean, it’s a generation that doesn’t know what the word ‘violence’ means. They think ‘violence’ means ‘everything I don’t like’. Their standard of free speech is “I am uncomfortable”. That’s not where the norm is, is it?
MSNBC host Ari Velshi and former Alabama senator Doug Jones have spoken about their views on Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.
Maher backed Elon Musk to turn Twitter into a “public square” of thoughts and opinions rather than a “leftist place”. The comedian said Twitter is a place for people who want their news to reflect their politics
Bill Maher says video mocking Twitter employees’ reaction to Musk’s takeover is what satire is
Maher, 66, spoke about the takeover twice during his April 29 show airing on HBO.
The first was during his monologue, and the topic came up again during the panel discussion with former Alabama senator Doug Jones, New York Times writer David Leonhardt and MSNBC host Ali Velshi.
In April, it was announced that Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, had acquired Twitter in a $44 billion leveraged buyout.
In his monologue at the top of the show, Maher joked that one of Musk’s promises was to get rid of bots on Twitter. He joked that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to that promise: “Why the personal date?”
Earlier this week, Musk tweeted that his next plan was to buy Coca-Cola and have the company start using cocaine as an ingredient again. Maher joked, “Of course, it’s all entertainment and games, until Hunter Biden gets his head stuck in the vending machine.”
Maher told his guests later on the show that Twitter had “failed” to judge what can and cannot be said in public discourse.
He continued, “You failed when you kicked out the New York Post from Twitter for talking about the Hunter Biden emails. And it turned out to be a true story. You failed when you said we couldn’t tell if COVID came from a lab. You have failed!’
Maher criticized Twitter’s removal of Covid-19 stories from a lab in Wuhan as well as the Hunter Biden laptop story
Pointing to conservative satire site The Babylon Bee, Maher mocked Twitter employees for flagging a video accusing them of being too sensitive.
Velshi chimed in on the conversation, saying that Facebook and Twitter need to have internal conversations about the harm they are doing to democracy.
This prompted Doug Jones to add, “I’m all for the First Amendment, all Democrats are for the First Amendment for God’s sake. But Russian bots don’t have First Amendment privilege in that country or on Twitter.
The former senator continued: “Civic education in this country is a relic of the past and we need to get back to it. That’s why you see different people on one side watching the Jan 6 riots, it was just a tour group that was okay.
When Maher called Twitter a “left-wing place,” Jones retorted, saying, “There’s a lot of right-wing trash out there.”
In a separate part of the discussion, Jones said the Democratic Party had lost its way and should “get back to delivering these messages…” We’re working. We do things.
Maher also said he was concerned about the lack of civic education in schools. The New York-born comedian said all young people care about is whether or not their feelings have been hurt rather than learning about the First Amendment.
In his closing remarks on the Twitter takeover, Maher explained how the company suppressed free speech about whether or not Covid-19 was created in a lab in Wuhan.
He said: “We don’t know where the coronavirus came from, but there’s no reason to think it couldn’t have come out of a lab. They have a lab in Wuhan that was studying coronavirus! And you couldn’t even discuss it! I mean, it’s outrageous!.’
Maher said he believed Musk would “fix” Twitter.
During the Overtime portion of the show, Velshi was asked about companies taking a stand on divisive issues.
Velshi said it’s important for companies to consider their employees’ opinions when choosing positions to keep workers happy.
Maher shifted the conversation back to generations saying that everyone he knows who runs a business hates Gen Z and Millennials.
He noted that although his show hires young people, “we don’t hire a *******”.