American oligarchs: Does Elon Musk have ‘too much power?’


(NewsNation) — This week, Banfield is focusing on the oligarchy of America, beginning with the world’s richest individual, Elon Musk.

NewsNation’s Brian Entin spoke with Joe Justice, a former Tesla employee, and Dr. Nolan Hidgon, the author of “The Anatomy of Fake News” about what they know about the billionaire.

“Elon sleeps in the factory in his sleeping bag,” Justice said. “Elon is accessible. If you’re also working on the most important thing, then Elon is there. You can always email, or chat, or message Elon. Or walk over.”

Justice revealed to NewsNation that new employees are explicitly told that anyone can talk to Elon. If someone tries to prevent new hires from interacting with Musk than they would be fired immediately.

Mr. Musk isn’t just available in person. His tweets usually receive tens of thousands of interactions. He currently has over 100 million followers on the platform, but Justice says it’s unusual for high net worth people to tweet as frequently as Musk does.

“Typically, it’s a communication team, and their tweets are scheduled weeks, or months, in advance, and brokered in deals. I did not see anything like that. In Tesla, it does actually appear to be Elon, mostly from the bathroom sending tweets,” Justice said.

The Tesla and SpaceX owner is also trying to buy Twitter in a $44 billion deal.

Twitter’s board has recommended unanimously that shareholders approve the proposed $44 billion sale of the company to billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, according to a regulatory filing last week.

“I think it is way too much power,” Dr. Higgins said. “Historically, wealthy individuals have bought media platforms to manufacture consent from the public, for their economic and political interests.”

“There’s a long history in the United States. That’s what wealthy people do. They buy platforms of communication as a way to manufacture consent for their policy goals. And given Elon’s wealth, I think there is a real threat to democracy when you control something like Twitter,” Dr. Higgins added.

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