Tucker Carlson, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Conservatives celebrate Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover

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It was about a month ago that Fox News host Tucker Carlson was temporarily suspended from his Twitter account in support of tweets that disregarded Assistant Health Minister Rachel Levine, the country’s highest-ranking openly transgender official.

But after news broke Monday that Elon Musk had acquired Twitter for $ 44 billion, Carlson, who had not tweeted since the incident, was among the conservatives who not only happily celebrated the takeover but also announced their own return to Twitter.

“We’re back,” he said tweeted an hour before his show Monday night. By doing so, it appears that the March 22 tweet referring to Levine has been deleted.

Carlson, whose show erroneously hinted in a chyron that the world’s richest man had “loosened” the previously suspended Fox host by buying Twitter, said Musk’s purchase could be a “focal point” for conservatives who have made unsubstantiated allegations that that technology companies censor their speech.

“The reason why today’s sales of Twitter are big news – the reason it could turn out to be a turning point in our history – is that Elon Musk does not agree with the rest of the billionaires in the technology industry,” Carlson said. cited. a tweet from Musk earlier in the day about free speech.

Carlson was not the only Fox personality to say they came back to Twitter because of Musk. He was joined by Fox News host Mark Levin, who also announced that he was returning to the platform. “thanks to new ownership. “Others such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Whose personal account was permanently suspended earlier this year for spreading pandemic misinformation, predicted she would have her account restored when Musk takes over.

“Prepare for blue tick full scale meltdown after @elonmusk seals the deal and I should get my personal Twitter account restored,” she tweeted.

The reaction from conservatives comes as Musk is expected to command a very influential social media site that serves as a platform for political leaders, a sounding board for experts across industries and an information hub for millions of everyday users. Ownership of Twitter gives Musk, who said he sees the platform as essential to the functioning of democracy, power over hugely accompanying societal and political issues, perhaps most markedly the ban on former President Donald Trump, which the site adopted in response on January 6. , 2021, Capitol riots.

Twitter is lagging behind its rivals. Here’s why Elon Musk bought it anyway.

Even as conservatives said it was “a good week to release @realdonaldtrump” and urged Musk to reinstate him, the former president told Fox News on Monday that he did not plan to join Twitter again. Whether Musk lifts Trump’s ban in the name of unrestricted free speech remains unclear. For now, Trump said he will send a post to Truth Social, a Twitter clone that has bet its existence on the exclusive use of his online brand.

“I want everyone to come over to the TRUTH – conservative, liberal, whatever,” Trump said. “The response to TRUTH is much better than being on Twitter.”

Trump says he will not join Twitter again. Some advisers do not believe him.

Musk is taking over a platform whose users largely identify as Democrats or Liberals. Recent data showed that 67 percent of Twitter users lean democratically compared to 30 percent who are Republican, CNN reported.

Carlson was locked out of his account with more than 5 million followers last month after he tweeted that it was “true” to describe Levine, a transgender woman, as being a man. The Fox News host agreed with the conservative accounts of Babylon Bee and activist Charlie Kirk, both of whom were suspended for calling her a “man.” The Babylonian bee went so far as to call Levine “Man of the Year” for 2022.

“But wait. Both of those tweets are true,” Carlson wrote according to screenshots of the page that was later deleted.

While Chyron on his show Monday night suggested that Musk “restore” freedom of speech and Carlson’s account, a Twitter spokesman for The Washington Post confirmed that Carlson was suspended for “violating Twitter rules of hateful behavior.” Such rules include “targeted misconduct or nicknames of transgender individuals,” according to Twitter.

“The account owner was required to delete the infringing tweet and spend 12 hours in read-only mode before regaining full access to their account,” the spokesman said.

It is unclear when the tweet, which refers to Levine, was deleted from Carlson’s timeline. A Fox News spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Tuesday.

On his show Monday, Carlson referred to Musk’s tweet about how the billionaire hopes, “that even my worst critics stay on Twitter because that’s what free speech means.” Carlson then went on to reiterate the often-used argument of conservatives that big tech allegedly stifled their freedom of speech.

“Unlike the leaders of Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon, Elon Musk believes in free speech. “He believes that everyone should be allowed to speak, even people who disagree with him,” Carlson said. “Now that sounds like a completely American feeling, but in this atmosphere it is a revolutionary attitude.”

When conservatives on social media reiterated Carlson’s support for Musk’s Twitter takeover, liberal critics were quick to point out that the Fox host’s return to the platform came after Levine’s tweet was removed.

“Tucker Carlson’s social media team suggests that this has something to do with Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, but in fact it is that they have just deleted the tweet for which they were suspended, which disliked Admiral Rachel Levine.” tweeted Ari Drennen, LGBTQ coordinator for the liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America.

But Carlson, who did not talk about the status of his Twitter account in his show, claimed that Musk’s takeover of the platform was “the left’s worst nightmare.”

“After today, you will be able to post your dissent in a place where other people may have a reasonable chance of seeing it,” he said. “In other words: You want a chance to change the minds of others.”

Josh Dawsey, Drew Harwell and Craig Timberg contributed to this report.

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