Elon Musk and Bill Maher found common ground on Friday’s Real Time on HBO. Both have been damned if they do and damned if they don’t for various controversies.
After a long recitation of Musk’s various business activities, Maher said he knows that Musk is okay because he does things with a sense of humor, as opposed to Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg, of whom Maher said he’s not even sure if he’s a real boy.
In turn, the Twitter head allowed that he’s been a longtime fan of Maher, and even once sat in the show’s live audience.
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“I’ve had it from both sides,” Maher said. “We’re called conservatives, but who haven’t really changed.”
Musk agreed. “I think of myself as a moderate,” he said, listing his work accomplishments with electric vehicles, high-storage batteries, and solar energy. “That’s not exactly far right.”
The problem, they agreed, can be traced to wokeness, which is “the opposite of liberal,” Maher said.
Musk noted that free speech used to be a left-liberal value. “Now we see a desire to actually censor.” He added, “We should be extremely concerned about anything that undermines the First Amendment.” Musk added that the trend goes beyond the domestic borders. “In many parts of the world that you think are similar to the US, the speech laws are Draconian.”
Free speech, Musk said, is only relevant “when it’s someone you don’t like. When it’s something you like, it’s easy.” Censorship advocates, he noted, have to realize, “at some point, it could be turned on you.”
Maher asked when the “woke mind virus” started.
“It’s been a long time brewing,” Musk said. “It’s been going on for a while. The amount of indoctrination in schools is beyond what parents realize. The experience we (now) have in high school and college is not what we had. And hasn’t been for ten and 20 years. Parents are not aware of what’s being taught, or what they’re not being taught.”
Maher said he doesn’t tweet anymore because of the mobs of “mean girls” who attack anything that moves. Musk advised to ignore it. “That’s easy for you to say,” Maher fired back. “They can’t take your job.”
They next turned to AI, or artificial intelligence. Musk has been outspoken in his calls for a moratorium on its development, citing the potential dangers. “If it’s a potential danger, there should be some regulatory body that oversees it so (developers) don’t cut corners,” Musk said.
The panel portion of the show saw Ian Bremmer, founder and president of Eurasia Group and author of The Power of Crisis: How Three Threats – And Our Response – Will Change The World, and Konstantin Kisin, cohost YouTube show and podcast TRIGGERnometry and author of An Immigrant’s Love Letter to the West.
They discussed Tucker Carlson’s recent ending with Fox and Joe Biden’s decision to run again, which Maher strongly endorsed, much to the chagrin of Kisin.
Maher’s show-closing “New Rules” editorial focused on California Senator Dianne Feinstein, whose absence from her duties, diminished capacity, and general befuddlement is defended by some as an attack on women.
“Stop trying to turn Feinstein into a feminist crusade,” Maher said. “This isn’t about plumbing , it’s about her wiring.”
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