Sen. Cotton says if Apple deplatforms Twitter, it’s because Apple’s CEO is ‘envious’ of Musk

Apple CEO Tim Apple—that’s what Donald Trump calls  him, and Donald Failing Real Estate Company is always right—does pretty well for himself. The chief executive formerly known as Tim Cook made almost $99 million last year, and he’s the top decision-maker at the most valuable company on the planet . Meanwhile, Elon Musk, who recently purchased Twitter for a gobsmacking $44 billion, is turning the beloved social media platform into something more like a social disease.

But just because Cook wants to protect his brand by keeping New Twitter—which is kind of like New Coke if they’d put a Klansman on the production line to spit in every can—at arm’s length doesn’t mean he’s biased against Republicans. Unless Republicans want to step up and admit they’re the party of neo-Nazis and other assorted racists, that is. No, Twitter has—erm, had—hard and fast rules about what you could or couldn’t post. And racist nonsense and dangerous conspiracy theories are—erm, were—strictly verboten.

They were, anyway, before Musk opened the floodgates and let both the ocher abomination and his phalanx of flying monkeys out of their cages. Now Musk is feuding with Apple—though, so far, it’s been little more than a feckless, one-sided slap-fight.

The Verge:

Elon Musk claims that Apple  has threatened to “withhold” Twitter from the iOS App Store for unknown reasons. The news follows a tweet  where Musk said Apple had “mostly stopped advertising” on the platform and a poll asking whether Apple should “publish all censorship actions it has taken that affect its customers.” Apple did not immediately comment on Musk’s claim.

The news follows much more subtle signs of mounting tension between Apple and Musk-owned Twitter. Musk has criticized Apple’s App Store fee  for in-app purchases, dubbing it a “hidden 30% tax” on the internet. And Apple App Store boss Phil Schiller deleted his Twitter account  following Musk’s takeover, shortly after Donald Trump’s account was reinstated.

In a November 15th interview  with CBS News, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that “they say that they are going to continue to moderate. I’m counting on them to continue to do that.” Musk, however, has pledged to loosen Twitter’s moderation guidelines and floated the idea of a mass unbanning of suspended accounts .

Yes, by all means, take on the biggest company in the world—one that could make or break your platform with a single decision —instead of just reassuring them you won’t condone racist threats, incitements to violence, or corrosive conspiracy theories. Sounds like a plan!

In a recent tweet, Musk claimed Apple was “withholding” approval of its app without saying why.

Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2022

He also—rather hilariously—attacked Apple for not sending him money even after he specifically asked them to.

Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2022

Of course, Musk’s own decisions have no doubt had more than a little to do with Apple’s cold shoulder. He’s weakened the company, including its ability to respond to offensive content, with his massive layoffs, and his new “free speech-ish” vibe has brought the orcs out of hiding. Forbes:

It’s also in context of Twitter losing perhaps 70% of its staff,  with likely many involved in content moderation and brand safety no longer in place. That has resulted in an increase of impersonation — particularly with paid-for verification — which Musk has said has now dissipated, and additional porn, spam, and inauthentic behavior, likely from bots, on the platform. The most recent manifestation : a massive amount of porn targeting any discussion of China  and the anti-Covid restriction riots in its cities.

It’s important to note that Musk used the word “withhold” and not remove. Withholding Twitter from the App Store suggests that Twitter may be having difficulties updating its app, which must pass an Apple App Store review for compliance with app submission guidelines. As a point of reference, Spotify’s recent app update which including various ways for customers to buy audiobooks was rejected three times by Apple . Facebook also had trouble updating its gaming app in recent years.

In other words, if Twitter gets bounced off Apple’s App Store, Musk will have no one but himself to blame. But that’s not how Sen. Tom Cotton sees it! On Hugh Hewitt’s unreality show, the man who puts the “sass” in Arkansas claimed petty envy was lurking somewhere behind Cook’s avuncular gaze. Watch:

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) says Apple CEO Tim Cook may be threatening to pull Twitter off the App Store because he is “envious of Elon Musk’s massive success as a business man.”

— The Recount (@therecount) November 29, 2022

HEWITT: “Apple is considering removing Twitter from the App Store. How does that strike you? How would you respond to that?”

COTTON: “Hugh, I think that would be a very ill-advised decision by Tim Cook at Apple. I understand that he may not care for Elon Musk, maybe he’s a little envious of Elon Musk’s massive success as a businessman, but to remove a widely used social media app from Apple’s App Store simply because he has political disagreements with Elon Musk and the direction he’s taking Twitter would simply be inviting aggressive legislative and regulatory action in Washington.”

Shorter Cotton: “If you don’t create a special carveout for newly racist Twitter, Congress is going to punish you, so let the Nazis run wild—or else.”

If mainstream Republicans are running afoul of Twitter’s rules, they need to either examine themselves or those rules more closely. But what Musk is basically saying is that the old rules against peeing in the pool are brutally unfair to chronic pool-pissers.

Of course, anyone is free to swim in an ocean of urine if they want to, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us should be required to join the party.

Sen. Raphael Warnock is still defending his Georgia seat, and the Dec. 6 runoff is coming fast. If you can—and if you aren’t too tired from saving America on Nov. 8—please rush a donation to Team Warnock now!  You can also write letters to Georgia voters with Vote Forward!  Let’s finish up strong!

Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium , including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters  to Donald Trump , at this link . Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE .

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RNC commissions panel filled with Trump allies to investigate what went wrong in midterms

The Republican National Committee announced this week it plans to set up a team of advisers to review the party’s midterm performance following the anticipated “red wave” that never materialized. According to Politico , the team of advisors would help guide the party’s strategy.

This is actually a good idea. Any party should examine its performance following an election, whether they win or lose. But while the idea seems productive, the Republicans aren’t sending their best. The RNC panel seems to be full of Donald Trump allies—many of whom, like Trump himself, lost their elections. Why the RNC would pick candidates who lost to advise others on winning strategies is a mystery.

“As we assess the midterms and plan for 2024, we are gathering a diverse range of respected leaders in our movement to join together and help chart a winning course in the years to come,” RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement to Politico. “I am thrilled that this talented group of Republicans will be shoulder to shoulder with us as we work to grow our party, hold Democrats accountable, and elect Republicans.”

Amongst the panel members are Trump administration official Kellyanne Conway, Alabama Sen.-elect Katie Britt, Texas Rep.-elect Monica De La Cruz, Michigan Rep.-elect John James, and Blake Masters—who lost the Arizona Senate run that many people thought would’ve been easy for him to secure. In his case, it’s interesting to see him conducting a review as a panelist as opposed to being one of the campaigns being analyzed as the problem. If the party is trying to analyze issues in midterms and strategy, picking those who lost what many considered “easy” runs is probably not the best way to go about it.

Blake lost his bid to unseat incumbent Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly. As a MAGA candidate, many noted Blake failed to resonate with voters, despite predictions of Kelly’s growing unpopularity.

“Our party needs to modernize. We’re fighting against Big Tech, the media, and now, the Democrats’ GOTV early voting machine,” Trump-endorsed Masters said in a statement despite his loss, according to Politico . Trump also supported claims that Masters had his race stolen, even though Arizona officials pushed back on election fraud allegations.

Love Blake Masters being one of the advisors to help the RNC discover the lessons of the 2022 midterms, chief among which should be “don’t nominate weirdo fascist freaks like Blake Masters”

— Max Steele (@maxasteele) November 29, 2022

Campaign Action

According to Politico, the plan to create a panel came as McDaniel continues to face growing criticism from Republicans after a lackluster finish and barely gaining control of the House.

Former New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin recently said  he is considering a run for McDaniel’s position—as is MyPillow founder Mike Lindell .

“I am 100% running for the RNC Chairman against Ronna McDaniel,” Lindell said. “One of the big donors said to me, he said, ‘Mike, everybody wants you to be head of the RNC, some of them just don’t know it yet.’”

Others are criticizing Republican leadership, including South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who suggested it may be time to replace McDaniel.

“We really have a responsibility to message what Republican policies bring to this country,” Noem said . “And I don’t know of a party that can continue to lose like we have and keep their jobs. Everybody needs to evaluate what we are doing, and is it effective, and are we messaging truly that our policies work.”

But despite the backlash she is facing for her lack of leadership, McDaniel’s allies say they are confident she has the support needed to win reelection when the 168-member committee gathers for its annual winter meeting in January. According to Politico, the committee is expected to publish the findings sometime during the first half of 2023.

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