Episode 41

Musk Buys Twitter, CNN+, Florida vs. Disney, Gun Deaths, Cottontroversy

Ravi gives a few quick updates on the new Lost Debate newsletter and changes to our YouTube page. Then the hosts dive into a big block of media stories, including Elon’s successful takeover bid at Twitter, the swift demise of CNN+, slowing growth at Netflix, and the state of play in the streaming wars. We then move on to DeSantis’ feud with Disney and the lesser-known special tax status the company had in Florida for decades. They then debate the worst year on record for gun deaths among children, possible explanations as to why, and their own personal opinions on the ever-lively gun reform debate. The hosts finish with the controversy in a San Francisco classroom over using cotton to teach about slavery.


Ravi introduces the Lost Debate newsletter – the first one, dealing with New York’s investigations of former President Trump – as well as some changes to our YouTube page. [00:34]

Ravi, Cory, and Rikki speculate on Musk’s vision for Twitter and how he will implement it now that he’s acquired the company. They sort through all the noise around his takeover and what it could mean for the social media “public square.” [02:40]

The hosts then make their cases for why CNN+ so dramatically flopped before turning to the slowing growth at Netflix and why the takes on both situations might be overblown. [09:46]

Cory gets us into DeSantis’ recent move to strip Disney of its special tax status in Florida as Rikki goes through the timeline of their feud. Ravi explains what exactly Disney’s special tax status means and why revoking it could have consequences for neighboring districts, all in the name of political retaliation. [18:36]

Cory outlines a record year for gun deaths in 2020, wherein guns became the leading cause of death among children for the first time in America’s history. Ravi and Rikki debate the extent of the Second Amendment and the proper federal response to surging gun deaths while Cory takes a step back to address the related problems that need dealing with too. [26:38]

The hosts discuss the confusing controversy around a teacher in San Francisco who was suspended for using raw cotton in a lesson about slavery. They discuss the resulting outrage from the left and how it could’ve easily come from the right instead. [40:47]

Elon Musk and Twitter Reach Deal for Sale (The New York Times, 04/25)
Elon Musk Is Fighting For Attention, Not Free Speech (The Atlantic, 04/14)
Running Twitter Is Going to Disappoint Elon Musk (The Atlantic, 4/25)
Jeff Bezos Tweet (Twitter, 04/25)
Elizabeth Warren Tweet (Twitter, 04/25)
Jack Tweet (Twitter, 04/25)
DeSantis wanted to punish Disney. Repealing its tax status may hurt taxpayers instead (NPR, 04/22)
DeSantis responds to critics after signing bill ending Disney autonomy (Fox News YouTube Channel, 04/22)
Disney’s special tax district in Florida, explained (The Washington Post, 04/25)
Why Colorado’s Democratic governor called Ron DeSantis socialist (Deseret News, 04/21)
BILL ANALYSIS AND FISCAL IMPACT STATEMENT (The Professional Staff of the Committee on Community Affairs, 04/19)
Florida governor signs bill stripping Disney of self-governing authority (Reuters, 04/23)
Parental Rights in Education or “Don’t Say Gay”? (Lost Debate YouTube Channel, 04/01)
Special Districts Are Kingdoms of Unaccountable Power (The Wall Street Journal, 04/25)
Ron DeSantis Aims at Disney, Hits the First Amendment (The Atlantic, 04/22)
DeSantis tests limits of his combative style in Disney feud (Fortune, 04/24)
Ron DeSantis’s attack on Disney obviously violates the First Amendment (Vox, 04/23)
What We Know About the DeSantis-Disney Rift (The New York Times, 04/24)
DeSantis responds to critics after signing bill ending Disney autonomy (Fox News YouTube Channel, 04/22)
Disney World Losing Its Special District Status Could Be ‘Catastrophic’ For Local Taxpayers (Forbes, 04/22)
SB 4-C: Independent Special Districts (The Florida Senate, 4/22)
Ben Shapiro Tweet (Twitter, 04/25)
Robert Reich Tweet (Twitter, 04/23)
Florida governor signs bill stripping Disney of special status (Reuters YouTube Channel, 04/23)
DeSantis signs law dissolving Walt Disney World’s self-government (WPTV News YouTube Channel, 04/22)
Jared Polis Tweet (Twitter, 04/19)
About Reedy Creek (Reedy Creek Improvement District)
Reedy Creek Homepage (Reedy Creek Improvement District)
DeSantis dissolves Disney’s Reedy Creek district. What it means for Florida counties, taxpayers (Florida Today, 04/23)
Ron DeSantis’ governing strategy in Florida is paying off (CNN, 04/21)
In a first, firearms were leading cause of death for U.S. children and teens in 2020 (NBC, 04/22)
Why Americans Are Leaving Downtowns in Droves (The Atlantic, 04/25)
The Atlantic Claims ‘More People Carrying Guns Tends to Result in More Shootings.’ Decades of Data Show They’re Wrong (FEE Stories, 12/22/2021)
Gun Safety Policies Save Lives (Everytown, 01/19)
Current Causes of Death in Children and Adolescents in the United States (The New england Journal of Medicine, 04/20)
The Data Are Pointing to One Major Driver of America’s Murder Spike (The Atlantic, 01/10)
The Anti-gun Laws That Make Progressives Uneasy (The Atlantic, 02/10)
Pandemic gun violence surge was not linked to rise in gun sales, study finds (The Guardian, 07/09/2021)
Safe Gun Storage (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)
Firearm Purchasing During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results From the 2021 National Firearms Survey (Annals of Internal Medicine, 02/2022)
All Injuries of 2020 (Center for Disease Control & Prevention)
The Economist/YouGov Poll (YouGov, 04/16 – 19)
CNN+ will shut down April 30, just one month after launch (CNBC, 04/21)
CNN+ Streaming Service Is Shutting Down a Month After Launching (The Wall Street Journal, 04/21)
CNN+ will shut down at the end of April (CNN Business, 04/21)
CNN to shutter $100 million streaming service, CNN Plus, after a month (The Washington Post, 04/21)
CNN+ struggles to lure viewers in its early days, drawing fewer than 10,000 daily users (CNBC, 04/12)
Breaking Points BUYS CNN+ NFT In Monument To Its FAILURE | Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar (Breaking Points YouTube Channel, 04/25)
Netflix Loses 200,000 Subscribers in Q1, Predicts Loss of 2 Million More in Q2 (Variety, 04/19)
85% of US households have a video subscription service (Kantar, 01/26)
Netflix shares tank 35% after it posts 1st subscriber loss in a decade (The Washington Post, 04/20)
House of cards? Why the world is falling out of love with Netflix (The Guardian, 04/23)
Had enough streaming? Netflix and CNN woes show viewers may be reaching their limits (USA Today, 04/23)
Are you still watching? Netflix loses 200k subscribers and it expects to lose 2 million more (USA Today, 04/20)
S.F. teacher used a cotton plant to teach about slavery. The fallout has divided parents (San Francisco Chronicle, 04/22)
Black students upset by school project directing them to clean cotton (NBC News, 06/03/2021)
San Francisco teacher suspended for using cotton plants to teach class about slavery (Meaww, 04/25)