What Will Tucker Carlson Do? In a Tweet in December of 2022, Elon Musk commented he would step down as CEO of Twitter as soon as he found “someone foolish enough to take the job!”
Musk is making good on his promise this week. He announced he has hired NBC Universal executive Linda Yaccarino to be the new CEO of the social media platform.
Musk will continue at Twitter as executive chair and Chief Technology Officer to oversee product, software, and systems.
Many Musk fans have expressed concern for the new hire given Yaccarino’s history of support for ESG-type policies and her involvement in the World Economic Forum (WEF), an organization Musk has outwardly criticized.
Free Speech and the Twitter Files
Musk has often declared that free speech is essential to a functioning democracy and cites it as the main reason he purchased one of the world’s most popular social media platforms.
Back in March, he released a select number of internal Twitter, Inc. documents, to a chosen few journalists (including Bari Weiss, Matt Taibbi, and Michael Schellenberger) shortly after he acquired the company in October 2022. These became known as the Twitter Files,
The records outlined cooperation between the media, the President’s staff, intelligence officials, and Twitter to discredit and suppress information about the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. They also revealed that Twitter colluded with the World Health Organization to censor what was deemed to be COVID-19 and vaccine ‘disinformation’ from appearing on Twitter feeds.
Musk positioned himself as a guardian of free speech, claiming “New Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.”
So why has he hired Yaccarino?
Yaccarino has spent years harvesting huge advertising dollars, something Twitter desperately needs.
Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion in April 2022 and it is now valued at about $20 billion. That’s a precipitous drop and Musk is clearly prioritizing profits for the company.
Many companies refuse to advertise on Twitter, claiming Musk has allowed disinformation, reinstating controversial figures and accounts such as Nick Fuentes, Jordan Peterson, the Babylon Bee, and of course, Donald Trump.
Yaccarino, also known as the “Velvet Hammer” for her tough but smooth negotiating skills, has landed some of the biggest deals in television advertising.
Musk will be looking to Yaccarino to bridge the gap between the promotion of free speech and enticing previously skittish advertisers to spend their money on Twitter.
In an interview with Musk last month, Yaccarino suggested that Twitter advertisers should have influence over content moderation.
The former NBCUniversal executive has often supported progressive policies, making statements supporting diversity and social justice efforts. She also was an avid promoter of masks and vaccinations and seems to be in favor of suppressing “fake news.”
This does not elate Musk supporters. However, Musk has been assuaging Twitter users by reassuring them he is willing to lose ad dollars in order to protect free speech.
Will Tucker Carlson Toss Twitter?
It will be interesting to see how Tucker Carlson feels about the change in leadership, particularly since he was one of the voices often censored on Twitter prior to Musk’s management.
Carlson and Musk may seem like a strange pairing but as Carlson mentioned in a speech to the Heritage Foundation just days prior to his removal at Fox, “There is no thread that I can find that connects all the people who popped up in my life to be that lone brave person in the crowd that says no thank you … people I despised on political grounds just a few years ago. Once you say one truthful thing and stick with it, all kinds of other true things occur to you. The truth is contagious.”
No doubt he believes Musk is one of those people spreading the contagion of truth by restoring previously censored personalities and voices on Twitter.
In his most recent announcement on the platform, Tucker Carlson parroted Musk saying, “You can’t have a free society if people aren’t allowed to say what they think is true. Speech is the fundamental prerequisite of democracy.”
Carlson decided to take his show to Twitter because “there aren’t many platforms left that allow free speech. The last big one remaining in the world … is Twitter.”
His ethos doesn’t seem to jive with Yaccarino’s, to say the least.
However, while Yaccarino chairs a committee for the WEF, she also was appointed as a member of Trump’s presidential council on sports and fitness. Additionally, she not only follows the popular Republican Governor, Ron DeSantis, but often likes his tweets. As well as Jesse Waters from Fox News. Sacrilege.
If it’s one thing I’m learning it’s that if you’re taking crap from both sides of the aisle, it means you’re doing something right. Maybe, despite the protests, hiring Yaccarino is the right move for Twitter, because if it goes bankrupt, there will be no platform for any kind of speech.
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor for 19FortyFive.com. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review.