Critics have accused Elon Musk of drifting rightward for some time, but recently released texts reveal he’s also been approached by the left wing of the Murdoch family empire.
Their ask? To “bring back” Twitter‘s former CEO Jack Dorsey.
Private text messages between Musk and various Silicon Valley titans—plus reporters, advisers and media personalities—were made public on Thursday. The release comes amid the Tesla CEO’s legal battle with Twitter, which he had agreed to buy for $44 billion before attempting to renege.
The texts were dropped during the pre-trial discovery process. On October 17, Musk and Twitter will face off in court as the social media giant tries to strong-arm him into honoring the deal.
A central theme to the Musk texts was the idea of protecting free speech, which he has previously cited as an impetus for his decision to take over the platform. Musk has alleged that Twitter harbors a “strong left wing bias.” And though he claims to have once primarily voted for Democrats, he’s since predicted a “massive red wave” will wash over the 2022 midterms and vowed to vote for Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis if he runs for president.
Twitter obv has a strong left wing bias
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2022
Some have doubted that Musk’s free-speech purist stance is genuine. Yet it seems that he may have at least considered input from some left-leaning confidantes as he navigated the Twitter deal.
Rupert Murdoch, a die-hard conservative, oversees a vast media empire that includes The Wall Street Journal and Fox News. But son James Murdoch and his wife, Kathryn, are described as liberals who donate to causes that veer center-left, per InfluenceWatch.
In late April, James Murdoch thanked Musk in a text, adding, “I will link you up.” It’s unclear what connection he was referring to.
“Also will call when some of the dust settles,” his text continued. “Hope all’s ok.”
Then, Kathryn texted both her husband and Musk.
“Will you bring back Jack?” she wrote.
“Jack doesn’t want to come back,” Musk replied. “He is focused on Bitcoin.”
Dorsey walked away from Twitter’s board of directors in May, but he’d already stepped down as CEO late last year. His choice to leave the company he’d helped to found signified a massive shakeup at the social media platform.
In addition to the Murdochs, the cache of text messages featured Dorsey himself, plus Twitter’s current CEO, Parag Agrawal. Musk corresponded with deep-pocketed investors such as David Sacks and bigwigs like Salesforce co-founder Marc Benioff.
Musk had also been texting with podcaster Joe Rogan, who’s famous in part for his libertarian-esque and conspiracy-laden musings. Rogan, who has hosted the Tesla CEO on his podcast, wrote Musk in early April to ask about the potential deal.
“Are you going to liberate Twitter from the censorship happy mob?” Rogan texted.
“I will provide advice,” Musk responded, “which they may or may not choose to follow.”
Later that month, the podcaster again nudged Musk.
“I REALLY hope you get Twitter,” he wrote. “If you do, we should throw a hell of a party.”
To that, Musk replied with a “100” emoji.
Newsweek has reached out to Musk’s lawyer, Tesla’s press office, representatives for Dorsey and the Murdochs for comment.
The post Private Elon Musk Texts Show Twitter Pressure From Left-Leaning Murdochs appeared first on Newsweek.