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The Smell Of Sweet Musk

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The Smell of Sweet Musk

Elon Musk is buying Twitter, you may have heard.

Some of the reaction to this in the US has been curious.

Senator Elizabeth Warren thinks the deal is “dangerous for democracy”. Because he’s rich. And no rich person has ever been influential before.

The mainstream press has been almost comically opposed to it too.

The Washington Post in particular seems to have a problem with a billionaire owning a media business. (You don’t need me to tell you the paper is owned by Jeff Bezos.)

Before the deal went ahead, it offered Five reasons it will be hard for Elon Musk to buy Twitter.

He faced an “uphill battle”, he didn’t have enough money, and Twitter would block it.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

I was ambivalent about Musk until I read a book, rather than a newspaper.

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance is a terrific piece of work – properly journalistically sceptical but with plenty of access to Musk himself.

But it leads you to the conclusion that Musk is principled and sincere (among some other things).

He thinks his task is to save humanity. If you talk like that, people are going to look at you funny. But he means it; the money is a tool to the goal.

His attitude to PR people, when he even bothers to employ them is, at least, refreshing.

He goes through them like a machete through margarine, largely because they get cross with being ignored.

He sticks out his own press releases when he happens to have finished writing them and he doesn’t particularly care what anyone thinks in any case.

Since what anyone thinks so routinely turns out to be wrong, you can see why.

For our Find Out Now poll this week we asked people what they thought of Musk’s Twitter takeover and whether it was good or bad for free speech and democracy.

You can see the results below.

 

Press release of the day

Businesses are struggling to collect debts because the key contact details they had for each customer before the pandemic have not been updated, says this from Debt Register.

It says there is an absence of competent staff to manage data, including emails.

DR adds: “The biggest single cause for the non-collection of debt is poor data, and specifically, the wrong email contact, so finding a fix is essential.”

Stories that will keep rolling

1) European gas prices soar after Gazprom halts supplies. FT

2) Savers should ditch cash ISAs says Martin Lewis.. Independent

3) Lloyds Bank says customers cutting back on streaming and gyms. Guardian

4) P&O told to return furlough cash. BBC

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