Newsletter: Is Elon Musk Killing Twitter?

Here’s what we have in store this week:

•   A new debate with Kara Swisher and Anthony Scaramucci about Twitter
   A closer look at Musk’s companies
   Your Sunday reading list


“Twitter has enormous potential,” said Elon Musk, when he began his move to take over the social media giant. “I’ll unlock it.”
Those words, in a way, are the focus of this week’s debate.

Two luminaries square off on this question: “Is Elon Musk Killing Twitter?” Journalist and podcaster Kara Swisher, who has interviewed Musk many times, says yes. Anthony Scaramucci, who has crossed paths with the embattled CEO says no. And as always, I moderated in between.

It’s a stroke of timing that we held this debate just before Musk took the witness stand on Friday, defending a 2018 tweet he made about the financing of his other company, Tesla. But as we dug into his relatively new role with Twitter, I was reminded of the company’s somewhat humble beginnings.

Back in 2008, I interviewed Twitter’s co-founders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, after an ABC News producer pitched me the story. She laughed and said, “I know it sounds weird, but they call it ‘tweeting’ when you post something.”

“You mean like a bird?”

You can find that transcript here. But the gist of it was that even those founders didn’t quite seem to grasp how influential Twitter would become.

Now, 15 years later, amidst questions of the company’s financial health, former President Trump’s expected return to the platform, and reports of a rise in hate speech, we thought it was a good time to have a debate about Twitter, and the effect the new leadership is having.

Have a listen. It’s a good one.


John Donvan,

John Donvan 

Also, be sure to catch Anthony Scaramucci’s new podcast, Open Book, a must-listen weekly interview show. You can also catch our Twitter debate on Kara Swisher’s compelling new podcast, On With Kara Swisher.



Twitter and Tesla stock have both dropped since Musk announced his acquisition of Twitter. Learn more here.



Is Elon Musk Killing Twitter?



“Everyone, because he’s Elon Musk, thinks he’s a genius and therefore, because he’s good at rockets and cars, which are physical, and have physical aspects, that he’s going to be fantastic at media. Media is hard. And this is a media company.”Learn More

Kara Swisher

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates



“Elon Musk may be hurting Twitter in the short term, but I think long term, if you look at his management skill set and his capability, he is going to regrow and create great vibrancy in Twitter.”
Learn More

Anthony Scaramucci

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates



Points of View


Aliens or spies? What to make of the government’s new UFO report
Avi Loeb | January 13, 2023
The Hill

Watch Avi’s debate on the U.S.-China space race


Biden is about to have his hands full in the Middle East
Aaron David Miller | January 13, 2023
Foreign Policy

Watch Aaron’s debate on the America in the Middle East


Understanding the current state of the pandemic
Melissa Harris-Perry | January 12, 2023
The Takeaway Podcast

Watch Melissa’s debate on liberal values


Two things can be true: Biden broke no laws. His lawyers made a mess.
Jennifer Rubin | January 17, 2023
The Washington Post

Watch Jennifer’s debate on the Trump phenomenon

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