Twitter owner Elon Musk is doubling down on his defense of freedom of speech, despite CNBC trying to grill him over his tweets.
In a CNBC interview Tuesday, Musk stood stunned when CNBC Squawk on the Street co-anchor David Faber asked why the Twitter owner shared his opinions of George Soros on social media. Faber claimed that Musk’s unfiltered speech hurt his companies’ financial stakes. But Musk, who has made freedom of speech the bedrock for Twitter 2.0, didn’t back down: “I will say what I want to say. If the consequence of that is losing money, so be it.”
Faber brought up a May 15 tweet in which Musk ripped Soros for seeking to “erode the fabric of humanity” and asked whether Musk cared about losing advertisers. “You just don't care? You want to share what you have to say?” Faber asked. Referencing a line from The Princess Bride (1987), a fired-up Musk had stated during the tense exchange: "I don't care."
Musk had also stated on Twitter that Soros reminded him of “Magneto,” a fictional Marvel supervillain associated with X-Men films and comic books.
“You tweeted today this thing about George Soros,” Faber said in reference to Musk’s criticism of the leftist billionaire. “You said, ‘[Soros] wants to erode the very fabric of civilization, and Soros hates humanity,” the CNBC reporter continued. Musk answered: “That's true. That's my opinion.“ Musk’s tweet alleging Soros wants to “erode” civilization came as a response to infamous anti-Trump personality Brian Krassenstein, who invoked the race card on Musk’s Magneto comparison by pointing to both the supervillain and Soros’ common Jewish origins. Race, however, had nothing to do with Musk’s tweet.
Musk’s stance did not satisfy Faber, who then asked, “Why share it? Why share it when people who buy Teslas may not agree with you? Advertisers on Twitter may not agree with you.” He continued: “Why not just say, ‘Hey, I think this.’ You can tell me. We can talk about it over there. You can tell your friends. Why share it there?” Perhaps Faber doesn’t know that digital town squares are ideally supposed to operate as havens for free speech.
Musk responded with a simple but fiery response, “Freedom of speech. I'm allowed to say what I want.”
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