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‘You’re Scared’: Sen. Cruz And WaPo Columnist Feud Over Free Speech, Elon Musk

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Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz sparred with Washington Post opinion columnist Max Boot over Elon Musk’s multibillion-dollar offer to purchase Twitter.

Boot said he is “frightened” of the impact Musk’s ownership of the platform will have on society if he allows users to speak freely without consequences. The Tesla CEO offered the platform’s board chair, Bret Taylor, $43.4 billion to buy Twitter.

“He seems to believe that anything on social media goes,” he said on Thursday. “For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less.”

“If the Left thinks they’re right, why are they so TERRIFIED of free speech?” Cruz pushed back.

🤣🤣🤣

If the Left thinks they’re right, why are they so TERRIFIED of free speech? https://t.co/BB0IvanjNo

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 14, 2022

“I’m not on the left, @tedcruz, and I’m not terrified of free speech,” Boot replied. “By I am concerned by politicians—like, cough, you—who spread disinformation and try to overthrow our democracy.” The columnist attached a Post article titled “Inside Ted Cruz’s last-ditch battle to keep Trump in power” giving insight into Cruz’s role of being one of 11 senators to object to the Electoral College certification in January 2021. (RELATED: Liberals Decry Free Speech As A Threat To Democracy As Musk Offers To Buy Twitter) 

I’m not on the left, @tedcruz, and I’m not terrified of free speech. But I am concerned by politicians—like, cough, you (https://t.co/UhZzDDbXOs)—who spread disinformation and try to overthrow our democracy. https://t.co/NTt55QrPL8

— Max Boot 🇺🇦 (@MaxBoot) April 14, 2022

“It’s cute, these blue-checkmark people who pretend to be journalists (nice hat!) while begging Silicon Valley billionaires to keep giving them an exclusive platform (Bezos! Dorsey!) AND silence anyone who dares to speak,” the senator hit back. “Cough all you want; you’re scared of free speech.”

It’s cute, these blue-checkmark people who pretend to be journalists (nice hat!) while begging Silicon Valley billionaires to keep giving them an exclusive platform (Bezos! Dorsey!) AND silence anyone else who dares to speak.

Cough all you want; you’re scared of free speech. https://t.co/kRWsCGSmxl

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 14, 2022

“I realize you’re just trolling, @tedcruz, which seems to be your full time job,” Boot said. “But your claim that I want an ‘exclusive platform’ at the Post or Twitter [is] silly. There are a million different voices in both places, many conservative views. I support that. What I don’t support is dangerous misinformation like the Big Lie about the 2020 election that you spread. As one of your great colleagues said: ‘Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.’”

2/2 What I don’t support is dangerous misinformation like the Big Lie about the 2020 election that you spread. As one of your late great colleagues said: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

My views in @PostOpinions: https://t.co/NyDMBSu5TX

— Max Boot 🇺🇦 (@MaxBoot) April 14, 2022

Replying to Boot’s first post, Cruz called his new talking points to refer to free speech and democracy “authoritarian,” then mocked Musk’s critics of trusting Big Tech overlords and billionaires

“Orwell would be truly amazed at today’s authoritarians,” the senator said. “Free speech=’anything goes.’ To get ‘more democracy,’ we need ‘MORE content moderation.’ TRUST the overlords, the corporate media insists. Big Tech billionaires should decide what YOU get to say. What BS!”

Musk said the ability for someone to say something that you do not like is a sign of a “healthy, functioning free speech situation” and is “very reluctant” to delete content off of Twitter at a Thursday TED talk.

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