Home News Reckoning comes for two disruptors

Reckoning comes for two disruptors


By Calvin Woodward | Related Press

WASHINGTON — Elon Musk and Donald Trump share bestride-the-colossus egos, an incessant need to be the focal point and a platform to showcase their eccentricities and erraticism.

Each the Tesla CEO and the previous president have used that platform, Twitter, as a sword and a protect — a soapbox to awaken the passions (and faucet the pocketbooks) of tens of tens of millions of followers and repulse the opposite aspect.

Trump weaponized Twitter earlier than he was banned after the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol. Musk was a persistent Twitter poster, taunting inventory market regulators and railing in opposition to his model of conformity in quite a few tweets. Then he determined to purchase the platform.

Now each face a reckoning this week introduced on no less than partly by their use of Twitter to advance their agendas and feed their outsize id.

Trump is confronted with a choose congressional committee’s unanimous advice to the Justice Division on Monday that he be criminally prosecuted for his half within the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol by supporters stirred to motion that day by his public remarks, on and off social media.

Proper behind that might come the discharge Tuesday of Trump tax returns, now within the palms of one other Home panel, that he has spent years combating to maintain personal.

After firing about half the Twitter workforce and sowing chaos with impulsive and ever-changing insurance policies, Musk basically requested customers whether or not he ought to fireplace himself. In an unscientific ballot he arrange, a majority of the 17.5 million respondents stated he ought to step down as Twitter chief. No phrase but whether or not he’ll honor the consequence as promised.

The tribulations of those two June infants, born 25 years and continents aside, could also be not like something thrown at them earlier than.

“The most important factor they’ve in widespread is little expertise with true failure, that’s, failure with penalties,” stated Eric Dezenhall, a marketing consultant to corporations beset by disaster.

“Regardless that Trump has failed a number of occasions, he’s at all times been protected by household cash and wonderful luck,” Dezenhall stated. “Whereas Musk is a genius, he’s had the nice fortune to have constructed a number of companies on authorities funding relatively than within the bruising free market.

“Given their life experiences, how may these guys not really feel invincible?”

Kindred spirits no less than partly, Musk invited Trump again on Twitter shortly after he purchased it. Up to now, Trump is sticking along with his personal platform, Fact Social, which has miniscule attain as compared.

Musk’s invitation was a selective train of the correct to free speech, as he additionally suspended quite a lot of mainstream journalists from Twitter and banned hyperlinks to “prohibited” social media websites like Fb, earlier than relenting to a point on each fronts.

Musk was till just lately the world’s richest man, with the quantity verified by the value of his inventory. Trump has usually argued he must be thought of among the many wealthiest, although behind that declare was a mirage.

Each have operated from a way that issues start and finish by CEO fiat. However Musk has additionally constructed viable corporations and real wealth, in distinction with Trump’s report of self-branding, fraught actual property offers and doubtful enterprises relating to steaks, vodka and even his personal actual property investor “college.”

Musk registers 120 million Twitter followers; Trump, a Republican, had 88 million when he was barred from the platform after the Jan. 6 riot. The location has vastly amplified each their voices, in a means that has benefited Musk’s companies and Trump’s political profession through the years, although at a value to their reputations.

“A hater hellscape,” Musk referred to as Twitter in 2017. However it additionally was a siren’s name to him.

“On Twitter, likes are uncommon & criticism is brutal,” he tweeted in 2018. “So hardcore.

“It’s nice.”

On that platform, Musk comes throughout much less because the visionary engineer who made electrical automobiles scorching, builds reusable rockets and cares deeply about local weather change than as a petty settler of non-public scores who can sink into right-wing conspiracy theories and misogyny.

A month in the past, teasing Trump for holding out simply after Twitter agreed to let him again in, Musk posted an outline of a girl bare from the waist down, with the Twitter brand overlaying her genitals and Trump, as Jesus, trying on. “And lead us not into temptation,” stated Musk’s put up.

Each males have used Twitter to assail the mainstream media, unfold misinformation, push the bounds of what’s acceptable in social media and interact in provocations that may make it arduous to look away.

However of the 2, solely Trump held the facility of workplace. For all his spacecraft, Musk’s universe is way smaller. Within the public-opinion affect recreation, it’s made up largely of tweets and company coverage about learn how to handle them.

Their politics don’t match — Musk’s right-wing and libertarian beliefs include a devotion to controlling world warming, for instance, and Trump’s don’t. Their personalities differ in some respects, too — Musk admits error and even apologizes every so often; Trump doesn’t.

Their work ethic bears no resemblance to one another.


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