Ana Navarro, a frequent co-host on ABC’s The View, told PEOPLE that she thinks the right to freedom of speech isn’t as “black and white” as Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk “seems to want to believe.” Musk, who recently purchased Twitter for $44 billion, has promised to promote free speech that “matches the law” and oppose censorship that goes too far. “Well, I hate Teslas. Let’s begin by that. I drive a Maserati because I want cars that make noise,” Navarro admitted Friday during the Politics and Inclusion Dinner sponsored by ColorComm, Inc. at Masseria Restaurant to kick off the White House Correspondents’ Dinner weekend.
“Most Americans find it incredibly self-absorbed to be involved in a disagreement about the leadership of Twitter at a time when a war is raging across the globe in Ukraine, but at the same time, you have to recognize the role that a social media platform like Twitter plays in combating disinformation, specifically [Vladimir] Putin’s disinformation, on issues such as all of the genocide,” Navarro continued.
“I’m kind of like in a wait and see mode. I think he certainly makes a lot of noise and says a lot of things that make no sense. I hope that Twitter does not become a dangerous place where misinformation and threats become the norm [and] under the guise of freedom of speech you allow for there to be a dangerous environment that can threaten people’s lives,” she continued.
Navarro also revealed that some Twitter users have been banned from the platform for attacking her. “I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of misogyny and death threats and threats of violence against you,” she said. “And I think he needs to really reflect on the reality of what absolute freedom of speech means because the consequences may not be something that he’s fully understood.”
By “free speech”, I simply mean that which matches the law.
I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law.
If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect.
Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 26, 2022
The CNN on-air contributor noted that she was getting threats on social media from a man who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for mailing bombs to Democrats and media figures.
“That’s an example of where, you know, where a maniac using Twitter to threaten people’s lives should not fall under blanket protection of freedom of speech. There are checks and balances. And there are actions and reactions and consequences, and so it’s not as black and white as Elon Musk seems to want to believe,” she said.
CBS Mornings Host Gayle King, who was among the high-profile guests at the diversity dinner, was also asked how she thinks Musk will handle Twitter.
“I think he always stirs things up. I always think he keeps things interesting. I think he’s a brilliant thinker and I’m curious to see what he does,” she told PEOPLE.
“I’ve interviewed him a couple of times and you know, I’m just impressed with his thought process. I actually do believe that he wants to make the world a better place but I also think he doesn’t mind stepping on toes and stirring things up in the process. So we’ll see.” King also said she would like to interview Musk again about his purchase of Twitter. “Oh, I always want to interview him. He knows. He knows that I’ve asked and asked and asked,” she said.