Jersey Magazine with Jim Monaghan

Jersey Magazine with Jim Monaghan

Elon Musk made a LOT of headlines Wednesday November 29, at his appearance at The New York Times DealBook Summit, where he told companies that were pulling their advertising dollars from X/Twitter, in VERY profane terms, that he didn’t need their money.

Since Musk purchased Twitter in April 2022, he changed the name, fired hundreds of employees, made a mess out of the blue check verification system, lost thousands of users, and watched the value of the platform plummet.

And that’s just for starters.

Musk’s Tesla stock shares have taken a recent hit, one of his SpaceX Starship rockets had to be blown up during a recent test flight, and his personal reputation has taken a huge hit.

Ben Mezrich is a New York Times bestselling author whose new book Breaking Twitter: Elon Musk and the Most Controversial Corporate Takeover In History was recently published. He theorizes that Musk didn’t break Twitter. On the contrary, Twitter broke Musk.

Interview Excerpts

JIM MONAGHAN – There are two people who come to mind immediately as I read through this book, and those would be former President Donald Trump and George Steinbrenner. The comparisons between those two and Elon Musk, and I think it’s really post-Twitter Elon Musk really comes to mind.
BEN MEZRICH – That’s amazing. And, you know, I think you’re absolutely right. And it’s crazy to me because before Twitter, just a year ago, Elon Musk would have been compared to Edison and Einstein. Now he’s Donald Trump and George Steinbrenner. It really is an amazing transformation, which is why I say Elon Musk didn’t just break Twitter. Twitter broke Elon Musk. He’s become this character that’s larger than life, but is doing things that’s pissing off half the country over and over and over again. And it’s a spiral down. And that’s what I detail in the book is things happen again and again and again that drive him into this place that we’re at now.

JM – You go into a scene in January of 2020 where Musk appears via conference to the Twitter employees, and he’s talking about how he’s worried about someone’s trying to manipulate the system, meaning the Twitter system, and he’s warning of bots and fake accounts. And that’s exactly what’s happening. My Twitter feed, Ben, is just full of just one bot and conspiracy theorist after another right now.
BM – It’s completely insane. Yeah, he went in with good intentions. He really believed that Twitter was a place that should be about free speech and that should be about truth and was being overrun by moderation and bots and this sort of thing. And he immediately scared all the advertisers away. Right? And that’s the first thing that happened. He retweeted a conspiracy theory about Paul Pelosi getting beaten with a hammer and why that happened, and it was crazy. And that scared the advertisers away. Then he got rid of the Blue Check system, which was the only way we knew where anybody was a real person or not. Threw that out the window right away. And the thing just devolved into the point we see today, which is completely about outrage. It’s an outrage engine. It’s full of bots. It’s full of hate, and it’s impossible to use.

The PR hit to Musk’s image

JM – How much of a PR hit do you think Elon’s taken over this?
BM – I think it’s completely destroyed his reputation. I think that he had Walter Isaacson write his big glowing biography to attempt to resuscitate that reputation, and it’s not going to work. I think he’s trying very hard to get away from that, but in the end, he’s got to jettison Twitter to make it go back to who he was. I really don’t think he’s the same person to most people, and he has his fans. He has this 100 million person fan base which will support him enormously no matter what he does. But the people who used to be his fan are no longer his fan.

JM – How much do you think he’s worried you just said he’s going to have to let go of Twitter. How much do you think he’s worried about losing money? Because he will lose money on the deal. And a lot of it.
BM – Honestly, for him, it’s not the money. It’s more about the scoreboard. The guy’s the richest man in the world. He’s going to make a fortune on SpaceX and Twitter. I mean, SpaceX and Tesla, no matter what he does with Twitter. But he can’t lose, and he is losing dramatically, and I think it’s very important to him. There’s a scene in the book where he gets so upset by everything that’s happening that he locks himself in a conference room. And the Twitter people are so nervous, they actually want to call in a wellness check to the San Francisco police because they’re afraid he’s going to hurt himself. I truly think this affects him. And it’s not about losing money, but he needs the site to make money because otherwise it’s a loss. Otherwise it’s a failure. And all of these banks that invested in it are going to lose money. And so it needs to make profit, which is why you’re seeing it turn into this crazy subscription-based, it’s all about money now. It’s all about how do we get money out of our users? And that’s not at all what it used to be.

Who plays Elon in the movie adaptation?

JM – You’ve had the experience of having some of your books turned into movies before. This one reads like a movie script. When the movie does come out, who plays Elon Musk?
BM – I mean, that’s something we’re discussing right now. We’re actually meeting with actors now. The actor strikes over. I love Ben Affleck. I think he’s amazing and I think he could play a great Elon. I think Sasha Baron Cohen, who’s a wonderful actor, could do it. People have talked about Brendan Frazier as someone know you need someone with size because Elon is a very large man and that’s actually part of the story. He’s intimidating. He uses his size in conferences and things like that. I don’t know. I’ve heard a lot of different names thrown out there.

  • Carolyn Hoffman On Operation Toy Train 2023

    Operation Toy Train, will once again be running a toy collection train to benefit the Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots Foundation. Since starting the train in 2009, their group of dedicated volunteers has now expanded the collection to be a 36-stop, 4-state endeavor for 2023.

    Carolyn Hoffman is the President of Operation Toy Train and she joined Jim Monaghan on Jersey Magazine to talk about the organization and the plans for this year.

     

    For the fifteenth holiday season in a row, local nonprofit Operation Toy Train will roll out its special train to collect toy donations for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation and benefit underprivileged children. This year’s train schedule includes brand new stops in western Connecticut, eastern Pennsylvania, and southern New Jersey, adding to the longstanding operations in northern New
    Jersey and southern New York. From November to December, the train aims to collect over 30,000 toys from 36 locations across four states.

    In addition to using its own specialized railroad equipment, Operation Toy Train partners with several local railroads and non-profit organizations that generously donate their railcars, personnel, and time to operate the train. This year, the collection train will operate over 200 miles across seven railroads and four states between Nov. 12 and Dec. 16, including three stationary events. The full schedule is available at www.OperationToyTrain.org/schedule.

    Members of the public are encouraged to visit the train at any of its stops to donate new toys in their original packaging (no gift wrapping, please!). Attendees at each stop can also participate in on-site activities sponsored by the towns and local businesses, meet Santa Claus, view a variety of historic railroad equipment, and meet members of the Marine Corps and the Operation Toy Train program. For those that can’t make it to one of the train’s stops, local businesses and organizational partners near each stop have received large Toys for Tots collection boxes where they can collect toy donations in advance and deliver them to the train.

    After the toys are delivered to the Marines, they are redistributed as holiday gifts to underprivileged and less-fortunate children in the communities where the campaigns are conducted.

  • Fox News Host Bret Baier On the "Fragile American Experiment"

    Joining Jim Monaghan this morning on Jersey Magazine is Bret Baier, the chief political anchor for Fox News, talking about his new book on George Washington.

  • Rock N Ruff

    Hello Rock N’ Ruffers,

    TC here and OH BOY! Do we have two amazing dogs this week on WDHA’s Rock N’ Ruff- Sophie & Scrappy!

    Sophie is the “Chubby” Chihuahua and Scrappy is the “Scruffy” Terrier and they are simply the BEST.

    Sophie and Scrappy lost their home when their owner became ill and there was no one to take them in, so our amazing friends from Northstar Pet Rescue took them in and the quest for a new home is ON!

    Sophie and Scrappy are a bit older (probably 7-8), and basically love everyone. They are friendly, happy, loving, affectionate, walk great on a leash, love the car, love hanging out together and are best friend, therefore they MUST be adopted together. We wouldn’t think of breaking up this adorable married canine couple!

    Sophie and Scrappy also get along great with the dogs and cats in their foster home, in fact they are so sweet that they fit right in with no issues at all to their new surroundings. They absolutely love making new friends. They like walking, but also love hanging, snuggling, cuddling, watching TV and getting attention. And of course giving love. Meet them and you will fall in love! We all did at WDHA. Check out their video and see what I mean. they won our hearts. (Sophie just wanted to hang in my lap!)

    Visit Northstar Pets, fill out an application and make an appointment to meet them.

    These tiny treasures will make great companions and are so loving and deserve a second chance at a new life.

    We have many adoptables on our Rock N’ Ruff page, WDHA Rock N’ Ruff so check us out if you haven’t yet.  We love our local shelter babies and encourage adoption. If you can’t adopt, foster, donate, volunteer time….it all helps tremendously.

    Opt To Adopt! (and check out these two sweet, sweet dogs and again they must be adopted together)

    Terrie Carr

  • Coach Sheets' Ride In

    Jeremy Sheetinger is the head baseball coach at Georgia Gwinnett College where he led the Grizz Gang to the 2021 NAIA National Championship.

    These quick hits may, on the surface, be geared toward his fellow baseball coaches, but his motivational message can easily be applied to the classroom, workplace, and your personal relationships.

    This week, Coach Sheets welcomes us into a season of sharing.

  • Local Look

    Looking for something fun to do in the area? Chris Swendeman has you covered with this week’s Local Look.

    There are always so many fun events happening in our local communities.  Check out what’s in store for this week in New Jersey.

    • Come see the annual huge Christmas display at Martorana Farms and their Christmas house in Augusta on 44 Augusta Hill Road. The event is free, and you can learn more on the Martorana Farms Facebook page.
    • The magic of the season comes to the legendary Morristown Green for their annual Christmas Festival. There will be performances, photos with Santa and so much more. Visit Morristown-nj.org for further details.
    • And you can get into the spirit of the holiday season in Metuchen next Saturday, December 9, for their holiday happy hour with participating local businesses. Visit the Metuchen Downtown Alliance for more information.

     

    And that’s your Local Look for this week on The Jersey Magazine.  If you’d like your event to be featured on The Local Look, you can email us at JerseyMagazine@wdhafm.com.  See you next week on 105.5 WDHA.

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