Nets Ignore Twitter Files Round 6 For ‘High-Profile’ Suspended Journos

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ABC, NBC, and CBS all ignored round six of the Twitter Files on their Saturday morning shows. The revelation that the FBI was working with Twitter to suppress content was not nearly as interesting to them as Elon Musk’s version of Twitter suspending several accounts for sharing information about his private jet and physical location.

ABC’s Good Morning America was the worst offender with co-host Whit Johnson introducing the matter, “Now to the 180 from Elon Musk after his latest Twitter move. International criticism raining down on the billionaire after the social network suspended several journalists. ABC’s Alexis Christoforous is here with more on that.”

Christoforous began by embellishing the situation by referring to the journalists who were suspended as, “high-profile.” Reporting on the most recent developments, she declared,:

Well, less than 24 hours after banning several high-profile journalists from Twitter for publishing public information about the location of Elon Musk’s private jet, the billionaire has reinstated their accounts. Musk tweeting early this morning ‘The people have spoken. Accounts who doxxed my location will have their suspension lifted now,’ referring to the results of an online poll in which Musk asked his Twitter followers whether he should lift the bans.

ABC did not include the alleged stalker video or that Musk uses the FAA’s privacy program for his plane. They did however note that, “The suspensions were met with international backlash. The United Nations and the European Union joined U.S. lawmakers in condemning Twitter’s decision to ban the reporters. The E.U. even threatening Musk with sanctions including a possible Twitter ban.”

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The U.N. is not exactly in a place of moral authority when it comes to anything. Still, Christoforous concluded, “Critics calling the move dangerous and hypocritical because Musk vowed to protect free speech when he bought Twitter.”

The Twitter Files showed the FBI acting as the literal joke police, but according to the media, the current Twitter leadership is the threat to free speech for not wanting his current location shared on the internet. 

Over at Today, NBC’s Peter Alexander also gave the suspended journalists more credit than they deserved, “The site’s owner, Elon Musk, now reversing his decision to suspend prominent journalists’ accounts.”

He then turned things over to Dana Griffin who did a better job than Christoforous in explaining Musk’s side of the story. She included the stalker video and pointed out his child was in the car at the time.

However, when talking about the original suspended account, she still missed the FAA privacy program part of the story, “The suspensions coming after Musk appeared to threaten legal action against the 20-year old Florida college student behind the now-suspended @elonjet account that uses public information to track his private plane.”

CBS Saturday Morning was the most matter-of-fact of the networks. As part of a brief 30 second summary, Michelle Miller noted the decision to reinstate the accounts after, “Musk suspended the accounts earlier this week after he accused the journalists of endangering his family by sharing his location in real time.”

Friday’s Twitter Files were among the most significant of the six releases, they finally showed government involvement in content moderation and the networks still couldn’t find time for it.

Good Morning America was sponsored by Progressive, Today was sponsored by Citi, and CBS Saturday Morning was sponsored by Macy’s.

Here are transcripts for the December 17 shows:

ABC Good Morning America

12/17/2022

7:16 AM ET

WHIT JOHNSON: Now to the 180 from Elon Musk after his latest Twitter move. International criticism raining down on the billionaire after the social network suspended several journalists. ABC’s Alexis Christoforous is here with more on that. Alexis, good morning. 

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Good morning, Whit. Well, less than 24 hours after banning several high-profile journalists from Twitter for publishing public information about the location of Elon Musk’s private jet, the billionaire has reinstated their accounts. 

Musk tweeting early this morning “The people have spoken. Accounts who doxxed my location will have their suspension lifted now,” referring to the results of an online poll in which Musk asked his Twitter followers whether he should lift the bans. 

The suspensions were met with international backlash. The United Nations and the European Union joined U.S. lawmakers in condemning Twitter’s decision to ban the reporters. The E.U. even threatening Musk with sanctions including a possible Twitter ban. Critics calling the move dangerous and hypocritical because Musk vowed to protect free speech when he bought Twitter. 

***

NBC Today

12/17/2022

7:08 AM ET

PETER ALEXANDER:  Now to some breaking news from overnight about what used to be former President Trump’s favorite megaphone: Twitter. The site’s owner, Elon Musk, now reversing his decision to suspend prominent journalists’ accounts. NBC’s Dana Griffin is in L.A. with more on the Twitter whiplash. Dana, good morning.

DANA GRIFFIN: Good morning. You know, when the journalists were banned, it was supposed to last seven days. However, only hours ago, they were reinstated. The back and forth raising questions about what are the rules on Twitter? 

Overnight, Twitter CEO Elon Musk bowing to pressure and reinstating the accounts of several journalists he had banned. 

It caps off a tumultuous week for Twitter after Musk first suspended the account of the whereabouts of his jet and then the accounts of nine journalists who reported on it, like Aaron Rupar. 

AARON RUPAR: To me it was a news story and I was just sharing that the account was still active on Facebook, so there was no intent at harm whatsoever.

GRIFFIN: Musk joining a live chat on Twitter Spaces Thursday night to say the suspensions were related to the company’s new rules banning the sharing of “live location information” known as “doxxing.”

ELON MUSK: No special treatment. You doxx—You dox—you get suspended. End of story.

GRIFFIN: Musk later tweeting “criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not.”

The suspensions coming after Musk appeared to threaten legal action against the 20-year old Florida college student behind the now-suspended @elonjet account that uses public information to track his private plane. 

Musk claimed that a stalker confronted a car carrying his child in Los Angeles on Tuesday posting this video asking if anyone recognized the driver.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What’s your name?

GRIFFIN: The LAPD said no police reports have been filed and late last night, a poll expired that asked Twitter users if those accounts should be unsuspended now or in seven days. Fifty-nine percent of votes favored the journalists.

Musk tweeting, “the people have spoken.”

JOAN DONOVAN: Ultimately these platforms thrive because we participate. We give them the power. And so consumers and advertisers have a very important voice in deciding tech policy of the future. 

GRIFFIN: It’s worth noting this was the second poll Musk posted on this topic. He said the first had too many options, so he narrowed it down. And as he tweeted, the people have spoken. 

***

CBS Saturday Morning

12/17/2022

8:14 AM ET

MICHELLE MILLER: Overnight, Twitter owner Elon Musk says he would reinstate the suspended accounts of several journalists who have been covering him and his companies. Musk suspended the accounts earlier this week after he accused the journalists of endangering his family by sharing his location in real time. He posted a poll on his social media platform asking users if and when the suspicion should be lifted. Majority voted, for now, Musk tweeted “the people have spoken.”

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