Katie Phang: Legally Elon Musk Can Do ‘Whatever’ He Wants With Twitter
MSNBC Katie Phang shared her perspective from a legal lens, stating that owner Elon Musk, by law, can do “whatever the hell he wants” with Twitter.
Twitter suspended the accounts of several journalists and news media members on the grounds of violating the social media platform’s latest rule change about accounts that track private jets, which the platform put in place Wednesday.
As a result, the accounts for Ryan Mac of The New York Times, Donie O’Sullivan of CNN, Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, Matt Binder of Mashable, Micah Lee of The Intercept, Steve Herman of Voice of America and independent journalists Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann and Tony Webster were all suspended on Thursday.
Appearing on “11th Hour,” MSNBC host and analyst Katie Phang shared her perspective from a legal lens, stating that owner Elon Musk, by law, can do “whatever the hell he wants.”
“So legally, he can [suspend whoever he wants], but, I mean, it’s indicative of somebody who has incredibly thin skin for somebody who swears that he wants this public square for people to come and be able to participate,” Phang told host Stephanie Ruhle.
“But it kind of makes you wonder, what kind of people, what kind of accounts does Elon Musk want to have on Twitter? Legally, he’s allowed to do it. He owns it. He can do whatever the hell he wants to do.”
Phang also pondered what type of platform Musk wants, considering the $44 billion tag he paid to purchase Twitter in October.
“At the end of the day, you want to just sit there in an echo chamber where you’re just going to hear the same voices over and over again,” Phang added. “He bought it to be able to create a space where people could continue to come together to share information.
“But he’s [getting rid of accounts] it all under this doxing kind of guise. But he’s now getting rid of accounts … that aren’t even critical. But some are critical; some are retweeting things. There really is no guidance here. There’s no clear explanation. But legally speaking, it’s his toy. He can break it as much as he wants, but putting it back together may prove to be very hard.”
Eduardo Razo is the Assistant Content Editor for BNM, which includes writing daily news stories on the news media industry. He can be found on Twitter @eddierazo_ or you can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rupert Murdoch Could Be Forced To Testify In Dominion Defamation Suit
“Erin Murphy, the representative for Fox News and its parent company, has argued that the Murdochs were not involved in the broadcasts where Dominion was potentially defamed.”
On Wednesday, the judge overseeing Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation case against Fox News expressed interest in the responsibilities of executives like Rupert Murdoch to prevent known deceivers from appearing on their network.
According to CNN, the judge, Eric Davis of Delaware Superior Court, indicated he might compel Murdoch to testify. Dominion alleges that Murdoch knowingly allowed Fox News hosts to invite guests who would spread falsehoods about the 2020 election. Judge Davis repeatedly questioned a Fox News lawyer about the role of top executives in the editorial process, explicitly asking if Murdoch and others had the authority to prevent TV hosts from inviting guests who had a history of spreading election-related lies and were deemed “problematic.”
Erin Murphy, the representative for Fox News and its parent company, has argued that the Murdochs were not involved in the broadcasts where Dominion was potentially defamed. She maintained that the voting machine company had not provided sufficient evidence to prove that the Murdochs had a direct role in the matter. Therefore they cannot be held responsible.
Murphy emphasized to the judge that merely demonstrating the executives’ ability to intervene is insufficient. Instead, it is necessary to prove that the person who made the final decision acted maliciously.
The voting systems company is seeking a court order to compel Murdoch and his son, Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch, to testify in the trial scheduled for next month. Fox is opposed to this request.
Although Judge Davis has not yet decided on witnesses, he acknowledged that Rupert Murdoch’s unique position at Fox Corporation could make him a required presence. He also stated that he might allow certain out-of-state witnesses to give live video-conferencing testimony, although he prefers live in-person testimony if possible.
After two days of pretrial hearings, the next stage is for Davis to rule on “summary judgment,” where both sides have argued that they should be declared the winner without a trial. Davis may issue his decision at any time, and jury selection is set to begin on April 13.
Dominion has filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News and its parent company, Fox Corporation, seeking $1.6 billion in damages, alleging that they damaged its reputation by promoting the falsehood that it rigged the 2020 election to prevent Donald Trump from winning a second term. The Fox entities have denied any wrongdoing, expressed pride in their 2020 election coverage, and dismissed the $1.6 billion figure as grossly exaggerated.
Fox News has asserted that it is proud of its 2020 coverage and has suggested that Dominion’s lawsuit could undermine the First Amendment. Fox Corporation maintains that Dominion overstated its influence on Fox News’ editorial coverage and has sought to be removed from the case, but Davis rejected this motion.
Ryan Hedrick serves as the Assistant Program Director and Co-Host of the Morning News Express at WFMD. Prior to WFMD, he hosted an afternoon program at News Talk 103.7 FM in Chambersburg, PA. He has worked at Sirius XM in Washington D.C., WBEN in Buffalo, NY, and for stations in Baltimore, MD. He has also worked at WIBW-AM in Topeka KS, earning the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) award for Major Market enterprise reporting in 2016. To connect with Ryan, find him on Twitter @SureToCover.
Amid CNN Rumors, Gayle King Says ‘I Have No Intention of Leaving CBS’
“I’m very close to Chris Licht. I like him very much, but on that question, ‘me no speak English’.”
Rumors have continued to circulate that CNN is interested in bringing CBS Mornings anchor Gayle King to the network for a primetime interview program.
The reports have linked King with TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley, who admitted he had had discussions with the network about a potential program, and was only considering it due to King’s involvement.
However, at AdWeek’s Convergent TV Summit Wednesday, King said stopped short of conriming the reports, and also denied she had any interesting in departing her longtime television home.
“I’m very close to Chris Licht. I like him very much, but on that question, ‘me no speak English,’” King joked. “Let’s just say I have two years left on my contract with CBS, and I have no intention of leaving CBS.”
King has hosted CBS Mornings — which rebranded from CBS This Morning in 2021 — since 2011, and said added she has no interest in stepping away anytime soon.
“I like the fact that I sit here at 68 years old, Walter Cronkite had to retire at 65. Just think about that for a second,” said King. “I marvel at that. He had to retire at 65 and didn’t want to. I’m not even thinking about retiring, and I love that I work with 20 somethings, 30 somethings, 40 somethings, and don’t feel like the old lady in the room. I don’t feel that way.”
Anderson Cooper Adding Sunday Evening Program at CNN
The Whole Story — which will debut on Sunday, April 16th — will focus on a singluar topic each episode.
CNN primetime host Anderson Cooper is adding a Sunday evening program to his duties with the network.
The Whole Story — which will debut on Sunday, April 16th — will focus on a singluar topic each episode. The debut episode will center upon the current state of San Francisco, with CNN anchor Sara Sidner contributing reports on the “political and social issues plaguing the city”.
Other topics for future shows include women beliving that baby powder sold by Johnson & Johnson caused their cancer, migrants seeking refuge at the Southern border, the coronation of King Charles II, and pyschadelic mushrooms, among others.
In a statement, CNN CEO Chris Licht said the show “goes behind the headlines, touching every continent and corner of the planet, as we bring our viewers into the heart of the essential stories of our time.”
CNN producer Susan Chun — who is currently the Executive Producer of Anderson Cooper 360 — will serve in the same capacity for the new program.
In addition to his current primetime program, Cooper also works as a correspondent for 60 Minutes, which also airs on Sunday evenings.