Episode 60

Elon Bails on Twitter, Griner Swap, San Francisco’s New DA, TikTok Probe

Ravi, Cory, and Rikki begin with Elon Musk backing out of his deal to buy Twitter. From there, they move on to the potential prisoner swap to get Brittney Griner out of Russia, Brooke Jenkins taking over as San Francisco’s district attorney, and increasing calls for a probe into TikTok’s handling of American user data.


Ravi, Cory, and Rikki explain Musk’s reasoning for pulling out of the Twitter deal, unpacking their validity along the way. Ravi translates the legalese while Rikki outlines Twitter’s case against Musk. They then use Trump’s feud with Musk to transition into a discussion around the troublingly high average age of our lawmakers.

Rikki lays out the timeline of Brittney Griner’s incarceration in Russia and explains what makes it such a delicate situation. Cory runs down the rap sheet of Viktor Bout, the Russian arms dealer said to be on the table for a potential prisoner swap. Ravi argues that while we need to do all we can to get Griner out, the exchange is so uneven as to warrant caution.

The hosts discuss the tough position that Brooke Jenkins now finds herself in as San Francisco’s newly minted district attorney following the recall of Chesa Boudin. Ravi explains how Jenkins will try and differentiate herself from her predecessor and takes his best guess at how Jenkins will fare.

Ravi and Rikki argue in favor of a governmental probe of TikTok, with particular respect to its handling of American users’ personal data. Cory pushes back, questioning whether the popular app poses a genuine national security risk.

Elon Musk vs. Twitter [1:35]  

Twitter Didn’t Seek a Sale. Now Elon Musk Doesn’t Want to Buy. Cue Strange Legal Drama. (The Wall Street Journal, 07/11)
Experts say Musk faces uphill battle for victory in Twitter legal fight (Financial Times, 07/09)
Elon is done with Twitter, (Pivot Podcast, 07/09)
Elon Musk responds to Trump calling him a ‘bulls— artist,’ says there should be maximum age for presidency (Fox Business, 07/11)
What Is Delaware’s Court of Chancery and Its Role in Elon Musk’s Twitter Deal? (The New York Times, 07/11)

Brittney Griner [17:04]

Could the U.S. get Brittney Griner in exchange for the Russian arms dealer known as the ‘Merchant of Death’? (NBC News, 07/07)
U.S. basketball star Griner admits Russian drugs charge but denies intent (Reuters, 07/08)
WNBA star Griner makes freedom appeal to Biden (Reuters, 07/05)

San Francisco’s New DA [23:43]

Brooke Jenkins, S.F.’s new D.A., says residents ‘don’t feel safe.’ What will she do about it? (San Francisco Chronicle, 07/09)
Listen: Who is new S.F. District Attorney Brooke Jenkins? (San Francisco Chronicle)
Biggest decisions S.F.’s new D.A. Brooke Jenkins will have to make right away (San Francisco Chronicle, 07/08)

TikTok Probe [31:32]

Calls for TikTok Probe Widen, Adding to Pressure on Biden to Weigh In (The Wall Street Journal, 07/08)
U.S. Moving – Some Say Too Slowly – to Address TikTok Security Risk (The Wall Street Journal, 02/02)
Leaked Audio From 80 Internal TikTok Meetings Shows That US User Data Has Been Repeatedly Accessed From China (BuzzFeed News, 06/17)
The Inside Story of TikTok’s Tumultuous Rise – And How It Defeated Trump (Forbes, 05/05/2021)