How Elon Musk Stood Up Against Whoopi Goldberg’s Bullying


Musk questions the role of mainstream media in shaping public discourse on ‘The View’.


Whoopi Goldberg unloads on Elon Musk saying she's 'done with Twitter'


It is not often that live television still manages to genuinely surprise us in this age of viral content and 280-character commentary. This is primarily due to the fact that our TV hosts appear to have mastered the art of managing celebrities, navigating controversies, and ensuring the spotlight remains securely on them. Until Elon Musk, the renegade tech entrepreneur and current master of Twitter, arrived on the set of ‘The View’, this was the case.


Whoopi Goldberg, a seasoned veteran of the programme, is familiar with interacting with her guests. She is typically always in charge, whether dealing with a rising pop sensation or a seasoned politician. Nonetheless, as soon as Musk took his seat, viewers sensed that this episode would deviate from the script.


The episode began with a montage of Musk’s accomplishments, ranging from the Teslas cruising our streets to the SpaceX rockets ascending into the heavens. Yet, his recent takeover of Twitter was the topic that the programme seemed most eager to discuss.


The first few queries posed by Whoopi were softballs, joking about Musk’s prolific tweeting, his love of memes, and, of course, how it felt to have so much power at his fingertips.


Nonetheless, as Musk began to loosen up, Goldberg shifted tactics. She drew attention to the frequently negative consequences of Musk’s more controversial tweets and asked, “You command enormous power with your platform. With all due respect, do you not believe that some of your tweets contribute to negativity and empower internet trolls?”


Elon, who is renowned for his straightforward, unfiltered responses, did not disappoint. He leaned forward and chose his words carefully. “Whoopi, every instrument, platform, and microphone can be utilised for either good or evil. While I accept responsibility for my words, it is essential to recognise that platforms, whether Twitter or ‘The View’, amplify what individuals bring to them.”


Whoopi responded with elevated eyebrows, “So you’re saying we’re the same?” A daytime talk programme and the most popular social networking site?”


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Here is where Musk made his most profound observation. “Essentially, absolutely. Your daily broadcast reaches millions of viewers. When you ridicule someone or highlight a particular narrative, you influence public discourse. Twitter operates similarly, albeit with retweets and favourites.”


The audience, acclimated to the typical humour and lightheartedness of the show, was captivated. This confrontation was not just about two individuals, but also about the broader impact of media – social and mainstream.


Elon continued, “There is a duty associated with every platform. Before critiquing the social media realm, perhaps television should reflect on its own role. After all, doesn’t ‘The View’ often establish the tone for Twitter conversations?”


Goldberg, ever the consummate professional, attempted to redirect the conversation back to more secure territory by making jokes about Musk’s recent purchase of a Texas town and his plans for Mars. But the challenge had been issued, and the Internet was ablaze.


Twitter was predictably ablaze after the performance. Clips of the exchange went viral, and “Team Elon” and “Team Whoopi” amassed digital armies. However, beyond the initial reactions, a deeper conversation emerged. How do various platforms influence our worldviews? Where does enjoyment cease and bullying start?


While Musk’s supporters believed he had courageously spoken truth to power, Goldberg’s fans admired her audacious approach, in which she was always willing to challenge and interrogate her guests regardless of their stature.


Despite this, the conversation’s central theme resonated strongly. Our responsibility as viewers and content consumers is paramount. Musk’s point was not merely a deflection; it was a call for all content platforms to conduct introspection. The distinctions between traditional and digital media have dissolved, and the impact of what is said, whether on television or on Twitter, is enormous.


One thing became clear in the aftermath of the episode: this was no ordinary celebrity spat. It was a reflection of our era, a reflection of our evolving media landscape, and a stark reminder of our responsibilities as creators and consumers.

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