MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle and former banker and Puck News co-founder Bill Cohan criticized billionaires Bill Ackman and Elon Musk for expressing their opinions on politics on Tuesday.

Ruhle introduced the segment by arguing that “America’s super-rich have been very loud lately on social media, complaining about almost everything” and discussed Cohan’s early February article for The New York Times, “How Loud Billionaires “They turn their wealth into power.”

She summarized how she argued that America’s wealthy can now convert their financial capital into social capital, to the point that billionaire Bill Ackman’s criticism of then-Harvard President Claudine Gay “ended with her resignation.”

When asked how the power of money to influence discourse has changed, Cohan argued that it is much more ubiquitous, in the sense that the once regional power of local media-owning businessmen has now expanded exponentially thanks to to social media, particularly when Elon Musk has revised X’s approach to speech.

“So people like Bill Ackman just go crazy with it,” Cohan said. “And it’s not inarticulate or anything. It’s probably well thought out and well-intentioned. But he writes the kind of thing that anyone who wasn’t independently wealthy, who wasn’t a billionaire, who wasn’t self-employed, would be fired. a long time ago.”

Stephanie Ruhle

Journalists criticized billionaires for how their wealth makes them more immune to cancel culture when they influence politics. (MSNBC)

BILLIONAIRE BILL ACKMAN SAYS HE IS SUING BUSINESS INSIDER FOR DEFAMATION

“And why don’t they?” -Ruhle asked. “Whether it’s Bill Ackman or Elon Musk, why can they stand up and have their say on anything without consequences?”

Cohan argued that Ackman is safe from such consequences because he runs a hedge fund where he is “accountable to no one but his investors” who “don’t seem to care if he gets mad at Claudine Gay or Sally Kornbluth at MIT.”

Ruhle said this is a major paradigm shift, arguing that previously the wealthy preferred to indirectly influence politics with their money, not with their comments on social media. He recalled how Ackman laughed and enjoyed being able to “roll in the mud” like Musk when he warned him not to get into the middle of public debates.

Cohan argued that Ackman loves the spotlight: “Now, this platform, X, gives you an unlimited number of characters to do that, without you or me filtering them out.”

Bill Ackman

Bill Ackman criticized then-Harvard president Claudine Gay, and she eventually resigned from her position. (Chris Ratcliffe/Michael Fein/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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“But these people go far beyond their field of expertise,” Ruhle warned. “That’s what surprises me, and they face no consequences for the stupid things they say that have nothing to do with electric cars or investments.”

Cohan reiterated that the power of these billionaires is that their wealth protects them from facing the same social or financial consequences as everyone else.

“They don’t face any consequences because they are enormously rich,” Cohan said. “Even if they lost their job, even if they were fired, even if they were terminated, even if they were exiled, it wouldn’t change their life in the slightest.”

Asked whether the fame of such figures on social media is good or bad, Cohan said: “It depends on whether you agree with them. They are litmus tests, they are lightning rods for their point of view. There are a lot of people who “They actually agree with Bill Ackman and his campaign against Claudine Gay at Harvard and Sally Kornbluth at MIT. There are people who agree with Elon Musk. We live in a very polarized society.”

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“But what about this idea that wealth equals experience in all fields? Is this a new phenomenon?” -Ruhle asked.

“No. It’s complete fiction, Stephanie,” Cohan responded. “But, you know, Bill Ackman doesn’t think that. Elon Musk doesn’t think that. Donald Trump doesn’t think that. They think they’re experts in everything and they surround themselves with people who, generally speaking, don’t think that way. Tell them they’re wrong about these things.” things or just keep quiet.

By Sam