Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary Backs Elon Musk Bid to Save 'Miserable' Twitter
Top investor slams social media censorship, calls to 'fire' board members
Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary has praised tech billionaire Elon Musk's efforts to buy Twitter and save the "miserable" social media company.
During an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box, O’Leary slammed online censorship and called for the members of Twitter's left-wing board of directors to be fired.
O’Leary told co-anchor Andrew Sorkin that Twitter “is the most miserable investment you could have put your dollars into in social media.
"It has totally lagged all its other competitors.”
He slammed the company's efforts at silencing its own users and said the board has been ineffective in acting in the best interest of its shareholders.
However, the investor says Musk would provide the weak-performing company with a way out.
"The best way to look at this is, you gave them a decade, why not get the whacking stick out and just start all over again?” O’Leary proposed.
"And that’s what Elon Musk is proposing.”
"The biggest risk for shareholders here, whether you believe in the free speech issue or not, is if Musk goes away,” the businessman warned.
"Then they’re back in the same miserable place they are now. …
"When you start to try and figure out who should have a voice and who shouldn’t, you’re stepping on the basic principles of free speech in America.
"And that really doesn’t sit well with a majority of the population.”
Sorkin pushed back on O’Leary being a proponent of free speech principles, repeatedly bringing up pornography and snuff films, ignoring the censorship of so-called “fringe views” or social media-deemed “misinformation.”
"The cost of free speech, the cost to society, is allowing the lunatic fringe to have a voice,” O’Leary responded.
"And that’s always been the case, back to when they were writing newspapers by hand.
"You gotta get over that, Andrew.”
The investor wasn’t done yet, he closed the segment by boosting Musk’s bid for the company and calling for Twitter board members to be “fired.”
"It’s horrific what this company has done to their shareholders,” he said.
"I weep like a baby for them.
"I wouldn’t touch this stock.
"However, if Elon Musk gave me a piece of the deal … I’d back him because of executional performance on everything he touches.”
"The rest of this board and those employees have done a horrifically bad job,” he added.
"I think they should be fired.”
For Musk’s part, the tech billionaire seems to be completely serious about his intention to buy Twitter and take the company private — whether the Twitter board cooperates or not.
On Thursday morning, Musk disclosed that he has received commitment letters for $46.5 billion in funding to purchase Twitter, and is eyeing a workaround via a tender offer since the Twitter board has been unresponsive to the billionaire.