Even Dave Chapelle can’t make liberals tolerate Elon Musk and free speech

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On Sunday night comedian Dave Chapelle invited a very special guest up on stage with him. Elon Musk, recently the new owner of Twitter, grabbed a mic and started waving to the crowd. That’s when the booing started, and for minutes it didn’t stop.

As Musk continues to drop the “Twitter Files” in which independent journalists, most recently Bari Weiss, pore through internal Twitter documents and produce bombshell tweet threads, the incident at Chapelle’s San Francisco gig gives some insight on why Musk’s goal of being society’s free speech truth teller is harder than it might look.

There is no shortage of irony when an arena full of Chapelle fans suddenly turns into the equivalent of a howling college campus mob refusing to even hear what a person on stage is trying to say. After all, attempts to cancel the controversial comedian are as common as candy. This is a cat who touches the third rail more often than the D Train.

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Chapelle uses the N-word incessantly throughout his show, and not just the one with the softened vowel ending. He smokes inside and makes jokes about marginalized groups as he prowls the stage menacingly, as if scoping for the next object of his ire. In a word, he is dangerous.

Dave Chappelle can get away with being edgy, but the audience wasn't equally tolerant of Twitter owner Elon Musk.

Dave Chappelle can get away with being edgy, but the audience wasn’t equally tolerant of Twitter owner Elon Musk.
(Photo by Jeremy Saffer)

But what Chapelle has managed to do, and he is arguably unique among not just entertainers, but public figures in general, is to make many progressives so comfortable with him, that they give him a pass nobody else gets.

His blue, cool, Gen X distance from it all generates an energy of, dare I say, safety, in which a progressive audience can let loose some long suppressed mental and emotional threads.

That is, right up until Elon Musk enters.

When Musk took the stage, it was as if the lights suddenly flashed on and the audience got a glimpse of themselves indulging in everything they are supposed to destroy inside our society. What was meant to be a gentle night of id-searching comedy ran headlong into the embodiment of current progressive outrage.

But what Chapelle has managed to do, and he is arguably unique among not just entertainers, but public figures in general, is to make many progressives so comfortable with him, that they give him a pass nobody else gets.

What Chapelle was doing was what he always does, telling, or in this case showing, his audience something they are not comfortable with, but which is important. By sharing his stage with Musk, he was saying, “just hear the guy out,” but there are limits, even for Chapelle.

Much like Chapelle’s audience, the liberal media has spent the past two weeks booing Musk rather than listening to anything he has to say.

Of course, the recent revelations about how Twitter suppressed COVID-19 information, or the Hunter Biden laptop story or banned Donald Trump, or tamped down conservative speech are newsworthy. But instead, these so-called journalists ignore it all claiming that the real story is some alleged rise in hate speech on the website. A claim backed up by fewer facts than the Easter Bunny.

Just as Twitter itself manufactured standards to silence conservative speech rather than apply actual standards, so too the liberal media is inventing reasons every day to ignore what is almost certainly the biggest story in the history of social media.

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What is so deeply insidious about all of this is that in order to do so they have consistently smeared Musk, who until about 10 minutes ago was a liberal darling for his work on climate-saving electric vehicles. Now CNN howls absurdly that he is normalizing Nazis.

These mendacious journalists have worked their audiences into such a frenzy that those audiences literally shouted Musk down even as their beloved cultural icon, Dave Chapelle urged openness to Musk’s ideas.

On Monday morning it was left wing Twitter accounts – no they haven’t all fled to Canada or wherever since Musk took over – who were mocking Musk for the crowd’s rough treatment. But watching the video, seeing the events unfold from outside the cauldron of outrage, the crowd looks ridiculous, childish even.

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If Musk is to be successful in his efforts to educate the American people as to exactly how they are being manipulated by social media and tech giants, then he will have to find a way to overcome and win over the booing crowd.

This is no mean feat, especially with the news media handing out rotten fruit and tomatoes and whispering to the masses about all of Musk’s supposed evils. But if he can withstand it all, if he bears the slings and arrows, he can do a lot of good and cause a lot of change.

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