tv Smerconish CNN October 29, 2022 6:00am-7:00am PDT
officially taken ownership of twitter, announcing the bird is freed. and promising to loosen speech restrictions. even before yesterday's events many were fearful. according to critics, elon musk's takeover actually threatens free speech and could, quote, ruin america. and alienating users. in fact what twitter needs is more regulation, not less. and they had nothing on elon musk and asking, of course, is donald trump coming back. taylor lore rez tweeted this, it's like the gates of hell opened on this site. and then there was former president trump's own take on truth social. he said i'm very happy that twitter now is in sane hands and will no longer be run by radical left maniacs that run our country. all of that after we learned
that intruders on friday morning had broken into the house of nancy pelosi and attacked her 82-year-old husband paul. the alleged assail lent is now charged with attempted homicide with other crimes after reportedly attacking paul pelosi in his home with a hammer while ex claiming where is nancy? and on facebook, covid vaccines, the 2020 election, the capitol insurrection and an akwaktence told cnn he seemed out of touch with reality. last year, he posted posts by my pilly ceo mike lindell. falsely contesting that the election was stolen. and then links to websites claiming covid vaccines were deadly. he also posted links to youtube video like democratic farce commission to investigate january 6th capitol riot collapses in congress. and global elites taking control
of your money revealed. two days after minneapolis police officer derek chauvin was found guilty of attacking george floyd, he-p 'in other posts he used anti-semitic language posting videos using lgbtq people of grooming children. no evidence of election fraud, quote, should be dragged straight out on the street and shot. the timing could not be worse for elon musk who himself just released a statement to twitter. saying the reason why i acquired twitter is because it's important for civilization to have a common digital town square where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner without resorting to violence. there's currently great danger that social media will splinter into war right-wing and far left-wing echo chambers that
generate more hate and divide our society. in the relentless pursuit of clicks much of social media has fueled and catered to these polarized extremes they believe that is what brings in the money but in doing so, the opportunity for dialogue is lost. hey, i could have written those words myself. those are the themes of my broadcasting and public speaking and have been for years. we have been driven into a polarized ditch by the partisan media. and there needs to be a home base for nonextremists. musk went on to say this, that said, twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape where anything can be said with no consequences. and he promised, quote, in addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all. where you can choose your desired experiences according to your preferences. look, musk was already facing the daunting task of trying to balance, i think, noble desire
to host a digital town square, with the need to avoid, as he puts it, the hellscape. but then came the epitome of the latter with the savage attack of a senior by someone who amplified online any number of internet-fueled falsehoods and conspiracy theories. and it all begs the question of whether we can have it both ways. can we replicate the free speech town square in a way that doesn't fuel beliefs that train democracy? that brings me to today's poll question at smerconish.com. is it possible for elon musk to host a digital town square that doesn't become a hellscape? i sure hope so. joining me now to discuss this, scott galloway, the professor of marketing at nyu stern school of business a serial entrepreneur and podcast host. s who the author of multiple books most recently a best-seller, "adrift, america in
100 charts." scott, do you think this heinous attack on paul pelosi makes it more difficult for elon musk to soften content regulation? >> yeah, high, michael, good to be with you. i think it does. he's already appointed a mirror image of facebook's governance to outsource those types of commissions. but i think what does make it easier, though, what probably this facilitates is calls to carve out on election misinformation, misinformation surrounding medicine. but it's time, the thing that most of these attacks have in common is that 93 were either catalyzed, discussed or organized only. i think you'll see congress finally move on carveouts of 230. such that good individuals were clearly signaling this offline violence and it might jump from offline to online, that the platform is in cursive ability.
i think it's possible for him to soften moderation, and the section 230 carveouts. also, michael, just from a shareholder's standpoint, if you go from least moderated, least would be 4chan, the most moderates would be tiktok, there's a connection between additional moderation. twitter is successful because of moderation, not despite it. >> can he make this deal work? i mean, to me the neophyte from the outside looking in, it seems like he made his offer? then didn't want to pay that number. then was about to be held accountable in front of the chancellor court in delaware and had no choice but to go forward with the deal. forebil -- with a "b," that's a big nut to cover. >> michael, the moment this closed yesterday it became the second worker acquisition in history.
you look at the peer group, meta and snap, they're down around 40% to 70%. when musk acquired, $33, at a natural level of 10 or 14 bucks, so you have a company that is not worth about $10 billion, $12 billion generously that he paid $44 billion for. he said to advertiserers i bought twitter because i wanted a place for free discourse. he bought twitter because the delaware chancery court was about to make him. ago of yesterday, $33 million has been especially torched. it's the second worse acquisition just behind, you'll like this, aol's acquisition of time warner. $33 billion went up in smoke yesterday. >> in the end, a decision has to be made about donald trump? is it a pure business calculation? are we going to sell more widgets with him or without him? i mean, what is the approach to that question? >> i think what we forget sometimes in business is that people making these decisions
are human. i would take the under here. that he doesn't put trump back on the platform because of human reasons. simply put, one narcissist doesn't want to let another narcissist have more sunlight, i think elon musk and donald trump both relish being in the headlines. i don't think musk is in any hurry to share the stage. think about it, musk manages to be in the news, to be the headline every day. i don't think he's in a hurry to start being in the headline every odd day. i don't think he lets him back on the platform. >> but if he doesn't let him back on, you're going to have a whole host of conservatives who are going to feel let down. and maybe they'll try to go to truth social or parler or some place that has rolled out the red carpet. by the same token, if he welcomes them back, you know, twitter to me is a very progressive liberal place i base it on the complaints i get each and every saturday. it seems like he's going to alienate one, or alienate the
other? >> yeah, twitter is a liberal place based on the complaints you get. not based on the data of the science. the most popular handles tend to overindex conservative. michael, i know these people, they don't lean left, they don't lean right. they lean green. they lean down. whatever content gets the most engagement, and ads. what exactly is it that people on twitter that they haven't been allowed to do? basically, it's misalign election information and hate speech. if you want a free forall, go to 4 chan. it gets about 1% of engagement in monthly active users than twitter has. and it has no value. the company worth more than meta right now is tiktok. and it has the strictest moderation. consumers have voted, michael,
they want more moderation. you're hearing from the vocal minority and the people who say their voices are being squelched that you cannot get to shut up. the data doesn't broaden out to discourse. >> to your point to pew research, fewer than 1% of americans are frequently weighing in about politics on the twitter platform. so, it is a very smail, but vocal group. one, nonetheless, that i want to hear from in terms of social media. hey, stick around, scott, let's do this together. kathryn what do we have in terms of social media. i'll read it out loud. see what scott thinks. you are acting as if twitter wasn't a hellscape before he took over says austin. is it already a hellscape? you seem to be saying, scott galloway, it's better police stationed than other locations. what's your response to that? >> hellscape is an acquit
description. elon musk has dug in the middle of the forest filled with grenades and jumped in. as we come in for midterm elections he has a quarter of his revenue coming out of china. there are efforts by the prc to weaponize the platform to create bots to influence midterm elections. he's courting favor with bolsonaro in brazil in order to secure supply lines for earth minerals for his batteries. and bolsonaro said he's not going to accept the elections. what happens when bots start talking about election misinformation? or the fact that our elections are not supporting the peaceful transfer of power? so, congratulations, boss, the water is fine. you are the dog who caught the car. he has bought this thing at exactly a terrible time. he's going to be hugely compromised. and he's going to face some of the difficult problems that twitter has tried to solve for the last decade. but this is a hellscape -- i wouldn't describe it as a
hellscape, but he has bought himself -- he's lost $33 billion such that he can come across as a figure that is not able to figure this out. what he's going to find with this product company, michael, is that he's not as smart as he thought, and they weren't as dumb as he hoped. >> you know the respect that i have for your views. that's why i want you here every week if i can get you here but i'm rooting for him. i just have to tell you, the statement he released to advertisers talking about a polarized landscape and the need for something in between, he's speaking my language. thank you for being here as always, scott. >> thank you, michael. >> i want to know what you think, go to my website at smerconish.com. answer this week's poll question, is it possible for elon musk to host ail digital town square that doesn't become a hellscape? up ahead, can anyone be neutral about donald trump. the tax fraud trial began this week, and every potential juror was asked if they had prejudices
about the former president that would impact their ability to serve as a juror. many did not hold back. i will talk to two of the defense lawyers about the challenge of finding 12 impartial citizens. and with more than 17 million midterm ballots already cast across 46 states, president biden and vice president harris and president obama hitting the campaign trail trying to rally the ds. is that going to work? ♪ it's subway's biggest refresh yet! think he's posting about all that ancient romanan coinage? no, he's seizing the moment with merrill. moving his money into his investment account in real time and that's... how you collect cos. your money never stops working for yowith merrill, a bank of amica company.
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here on the campaign trail here in philadelphia at the state independents dinner to bolster john fetterman and gubernatorial candidate josh shapiro. former president barack obama attended a rally in georgia aiming to boost raphael warnock, gubernatorial candidate stacey abrams and others. and next week, president trump due to appear in rallies pennsylvania, florida and ohio, but how can it's last-minute push change minds. joining me is david byler, political columnist and data analyst for "the washington post." we're ten days out, david. where are we pig picture? >> big picture? this is an extremely close midterm election. if you look at the national house polling what you see is republicans have a slight edge. they've made up a lot of ground since dobbs versus jackson the decision that overturned roe v. wade happened. you're seeing an independent break towards republicans. you're seeing both sides trying to turn out their base.
so, you're in a situation where it's not surprising that obama, biden and these other people, are going out and trying to increase turnout and trying to get the last swing voters because it's really anybody's game, especially in the senate. >> do you take issue with the consensus among what mark h harperen would say is the gang of 500. i don't know if it exists or not but i like using that line that all of the momentum has shifted towards republicans? >> i don't take too much issue with that i think oftentimes, what you see in midterm elections, the wave sort of breaking late. i don't know if we have a wave necessarily this year but indecided, undecided voter, tend to go in one direction and when you have a democrat who is president, somebody governing, somebody passing laws that some swing voters think go too far, who are bypassing those laws, taking issues off the table for democrats, when you have that
situation, you would expect those swing voters to sort of go right. and that's really what we've seen in the last couple of weeks heading into the 2020 election. >> each side has something strong in their arsenal to motivate their base for the democrats. it's abortion, to a more limited extent, it's january 6. i don't know if the pelosi attack now sort of re-energizes the base on that issue. like, hey democracy is at risk. the republicans, of course have the economy generally, eye including inflation, they've got crime, they've got borders. which of those hands would you rather be holding? >> right now, the republican hand. and i'll tell you why. if you look at the polling data, you see that americans are getting more and more focused on the economy. and a little less focused on issues like abortion or crime or some of the other sort of social issues. those issues are good for turning out the base. but as election day gets closer, people refocus in on things like inflation. things like gas prices.
unemployment, right now, republicans hold a very slightly stronger hand. but this is going to go down to the wire, i think. >> a final question. the polling in the last couple of cycles has been off. to the detriment of republicans, meaning their vote has been undervalued. why is it always in that direction? why is it not -- maybe the election will change it, why is the democratic vote not under valued in these polls? >> well, there's sort of two things there. one is that there are past elections where the democratic vote has been undervalued. we have to reach back in our memory in 2012 and some of other elections before that to get there, but it has happened. and in very event elections, what we've seen is there is a segment of trump voters who, when they say cnn or msnbc or whoever, you know, calling to poll them, they don't pick up the phone. they hang up immediately and the pollsters can't reach them. so, that is a problem for polling. and the real question is, are
those same voters who can't be reached by polls, are they going to turn out and swing the election in november. or are they going to stay home because trump isn't on the ballot. that's sort of the $64,000 question of this election. >> david bylor, thanks for the analysis. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> i want to bring in deval patrick, former democratic governor of the great state of massachusetts. professor and co-director now of harvard kennedy school center for public leadership. governor, nice to have you back. >> good morning, michael. >> to take what you heard from david bylor about the conventional wisdom saying it's a building red wave? >> well, conventional wisdom, might be exaggerating to call it wisdom. it's fun to listen to all of the predictions and so forth, and what electorate is going to do at any given moment. but it's also, to some extent, sort of irresponsible, because it diminishes the role of the voter. i mean, we've been treating the
outcome of the midterms for months, as if we already knew what was going to happen and the voting didn't matter. imagine what kind of impact that has on voters. on campaign teams. on candidates, the rest of it. so, i feel, you know, that is -- we are in this constant, chatter, and it's fun, to listen to the analysts tell us who's up, who's down, at any given time. the folks who win this race are the ones who are out doing the work. and i can tell you that democratic candidates and their teams and their organizations on the ground are out doing the work, making the case. and it's a very strong case to be made. >> i will not ask you therefore to prognosticate as to who wins or losing the house or senate but according to governor deval patrick, what's the number one issue, is it not the economy, including inflation? >> i think the economy is
enormously important. it is real life for many, many people, right? the fact that groceries are more expensive, gas prices are coming down. but it's still expensive. and there is for many people, a sense of economic uncertainty. at the same time, we have one of the lowest, if not the lowest unemployment rate in our history. 10 million plus jobs created in the last year or so. and so many measures that go right at that issue of daily affordability of life. that's with student loan initiatives that the president is talking about. the health care premiums with the investment in infrastructure and the jobs that are created in the course of that, the reshoring the manufacturing. the manufacturing sector is really roaring back to life. these are present time and long-term benefits for people, all around. inflation is a concern. but it's a whobl concern.
and simply raising it as a concern, as republicans do, doesn't mean that they have an answer. they haven't actually offered any solution to that. whereas the biden team and democrats have been working together and with those republicans willing to work with the democrats, to really get at that as a long-term issue. particularly around the issue of energy. >> if that horrific attack on paul pelosi has been random, a street crime and he had been the victim, it would have fed a republican narrative about unsafe streets and democratic leadership. but instead, it was someone intent on a plan because apparently he'd been whipped up by internet falsehoods. does that now cause more attention to january 6 and democracy being under attack? or is this of no significance ten days from now? >> it's impossible for me to say, really, michael. it's deeply concerning, first of all, i wish paul pelosi a speedy
and complete recovery. i think it is -- it isn't surprising that so much violence, political violence,st right. and we've seen real examples of that. you mentioned january 6. that's not the only one. and it should concern us. because, you know, it is possible to have valid and vigorous differences of opinion, without treating the other side as the enemy. and i think to the extent that republicans and those on the right, and i will say the few examples on the left i hear of. >> sure. supreme court of the united states. i'm glad you said that. right. but, i mean, i'm not arguing for -- you're not arguing for parity, but there have been bad actors on both ends of the spectrum and that needs to be acknowledged. governor deval patrick, thank you for coming back.
>> good to be with you, thank you. up ahead, how do you pick a jury of new yorkers who don't have strong opinions about former president donald trump? that was the challenge faced this week by my next guests. i'll ask two of the lawyers representing the trump payroll corporation how it went down. did they assemble an impartial jury? i want to remind you go to my website smerconish.com. by the way, register for the newsletter. it's free. the poll question, is it possible for elon musk to host a digital town square that doesn't become a hellscape? ing excellence. palantir. data driven enterprise accelerator.
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chosen. two of the trump payroll corporation defense lawyers will join me in just a moment to answer that question. trump, himself, isn't personally charged in this case against his company. isn't expected to show up at the courthouse unlike his former chief financial officer alan weitzelberger who is expected to be a witness. just as he looms on the midterms despite being on the ballot he can't help but being a specter in the courtroom. 23 nine of the jury form got to the crux of it. do you have any strong opinions or firmly held beliefs about former president donald j. trump either positive or negative that would interfere with your ability to be a fair and impartial juror? as lead prosecutor susan hoffeninger told the court if we were to strike every insure who had a negative opinion about donald trump we wouldn't be able to get a jury at all. and you have to believe other
prosecutors who may be considering prosecuting trump himself, are closely watching this trial and this process. when the judge first informed 130 potential jurors about details of the case, many waved their hands in the air to discuss private screening by judges and lawyers about reasons why they could not serve. more than half were dismissed. one man was excused after saying quote, trump made him sick to his gut. another calling him a demonstrative liar. he's guilty until my mind, anything he does, anything his corporation does. 12 elected on thursday, three, or a quarter, openly said they are not fans of the former president, but no one else, said they could be fair and impartial as jurors. the man who would become juror number 8 said honestly i used to think he was funny before he was president. then he started acting a little crazy and narcissistic. that's the only reason i didn't like him as president. not so much policy.
joining me now two veteran trump lawyers working for the payroll defense team, william brendon and michael vandervin, with vandervin taking the lead role, you'll remember him -- >> -- putting in the evidence so i started to be able to get looking at it. >> you need to stop. there was nothing fun here, mr. raskin. we aren't having fun here. >> michael, you're starting this trial with a quarter of the jurors saying they don't like -- and i get it, you represent a corporate entity, but come on, they don't like donald trump. how can you win that? >> well, the first -- you win it by putting the facts in of the case and putting your defenses on but what we did in the jury selection is we tried to separate donald trump from the company. he's not a defendant in this case. they've investigated his companies thoroughly. they didn't charge him with any
criminal conduct. and the running of the company and the folks that were doing the acting for the company are the focus of the trial. and i think will be what carries date for us. >> bill brennan, you've been quoted in the media saying this is a garden variety tax fraud case. but still won't it become a referendum on trump? >> michael, that's out of my control. i've been doing this for 35 years. this is a garden variety tax fraud criminal case. and that's how i'm going to try it. and we spent a long time this week trying to select 12 jurors who gave their word that they'll give us a fair shot. and i believe in the jury system. and i believe that when people get into that jury box in that jury room, their best instincts take over. and i take them at their word that they'll give us a fair shake. you know, we're presumed
innocent. and i think that, you know, we'll have a fair jury. >> michael van der veen, if i'm a prospective juror and when asked how i feel about donald trump and i use the word disguise, and if i'm asked, mr. smerconish, can you nevertheless put aside those feelings and if i say, yeah, i can put aside all of that, then i'm in? >> that's basically it. and a little more expansive too, mike. what we do, we really start asking probing questions about the specifics of their feelings or emotions. and talk to them about weighing the balance. but what's really most critical and what we rely on and what all lawyers rely on is once that jury is picked, seated and sworn in, and they go back and they listen to the evidence and deliberate, that door closes,
and, boy, people try to do the best they can. they put aside their prejudices. and they put -- for the most part, put aside their biases and try to be the best jurors they can. we find that they follow the judge's instructions closely. and they try to be the best part of our system that they can be. >> counselor brennan, in the end, it's a self-certification, right? you have to, the court has to take the word of a prospective juror that they have the ability to be fair and impartial, whatever their personal feelings might be. so, do you worry about a sleeper cell? do you worry about somebody who is just going to say whatever the hell they have to say so they can get on that jury? >> well, michael, there's always that possibility. you're a lawyer, you pick juries. you know that. the phrase comes from the french voir dire, it means to speak the truth. and the court and the prosecution team, and the defense team, gets to
individually question each prospective juror. and we do the best we can. you know, it may not be the best system ever, but it's the best we've got. so, i believe, that after a week of questioning hundreds of prospective jurors, you know, it's sets and upsets, michael. from the set of jurors, the veneer panel we started with, i believe we had the best subset we could have gotten. now, if somebody has a hidden agenda, it's hidden. we can't figure that out, we won't know that but i agree with michael van der veen, i believe when 12 american citizens get in that jury room, they really try to do the right thing. i'm a great believer in the american jury system. and i believe we will get a thefair shake. >> i was thinking as speaking to the two of you, maybe a change
of venue. but what are you going to go in the country? i mean, the same issues would present themselves pertaining to donald trump, no matter if you're in maine or if you're in new mexico. gentlemen, thank you for being here. i appreciate it. it's a fascinating case and we're all going to be watching. >> thanks for having us, go, phillies. >> on that, we can agree. checking in on your tweets and youtube and facebook comments. what do we have, kathryn? trump should ask for a bench trial and ask one is next up. there's zero chance that 12 unbiased people can be seated for a jury. you would think so, jim, three of those, we know at least three of those on have negative views of donald trump but said to the court, no, i can put it aside and be fair and impartial. i have to say, the lawyers have said it has been their experience you that really can put faith in the hands of jurors to do that. maybe they can believe that a
client, not even this one, is a bad seed. but in this particular case there was no wrongdoing. we'll find out. i want to remind you answer this week's poll question at smerconish.com -- is it possible -- man, i hope so -- is it possible for elon musk to host a digital town square that doesn't become a hellscape? still to come, when is an astrophysicist a great commentator? well, when the astrophysicist is neil degrasse tyson. he's here to talk abouout his grand nah book. brand-new book. settle down there, big guy the new subway s series. what's your pick? dry skin is sensitive skin, too. and it's natural. treat it that way with aveeno® daily moisture. formulated with nourishing, prebiotic oat. it's clinically proven to moisturize dry skin for 24 hours. aveeno®
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tyson at the museum of history says we need to step back and think about how we look from space. quote, views of earth from space transform global perspectives for the better. neil degrasse tyson joins me nnow s now, neil, you say everything that divides us, the borders, the politics, the skin color, who we worship is invisible from that perspective. explain. >> yeah, i mean if you ascend from earth, then everything that sort of we created in civilization that we have used and invoked to decide who our enemies are and who our friends are, all of that just evaporates as you ascend. i'm reminded what the school room globe looks like in elementary school. color-coded entries. why did they do that? we think that's the natural way to look at the earth, but, of
course, it isn't. those color-coded entries remind you who your friends and enemies are and who's on which side of the sand. on space, you see earth, especially from distances such as the moon. you see earth not as the school room globe would you have see it but as nature would have intended with just oceans, land and clouds. that can change you, but permanently in a whole other kind of way, you'll see other humans as fellow participants in an attempt to just be better shepherds of the earth. i mean it all changes. >> there's a great quote that begins your book, edgar mitchell, an paolo xiv as toe not. i'll put it on the screen, from out there in the moon, international politics look so petty you want to grab a politics by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say "look at that, you son of a bitch."
expand on that. >> that's right. you don't have to read the book, just that quote. the whole book issues forth from that. but another dimension of this is just simply are you formulatie ing your opinions from any rational foundation? by the way, the diversity of opinions in our culture is part of what enriches what it is to be american. i mean, if everyone -- here's what happened recently, i think -- i'm old enough to remember, you'd express an opinion. then someone else would have an opinion. say, oh, that's interesting, let's compare. then you'd still go out for a beer after, right? >> right. >> and now, if you have an opinion if anyone else disagrees with, they're angry with you and they want your opinion to match theirs. in the limit, that is like a totalitarian, authoritarian dictatorship. do you really want to carry that through to those limits? >> bill clinton had a moon rock
in the oval office. i didn't know that until i read "starry messenger." what is the reference there? >> yeah, on the table, he had a moon rock, if he had warring sessions in congress or heads of state that might be visiting, if things got a little tense, i had him on my podcast, that's why i know this. if things got a little tense, he would say, that rock is from the moon. and they'd be oh. it has a way of just sort of rebalancing and recalibrating. but your starting point for how -- whatever it was that made you disagree in, in the first place. and this book is just a celebration of ways to rethink all the forces that are dividing us. the tribalism that -- i mean, it feels like it's worse than ever before. probably not, but it just feels that way. and what i want is everybody to read this before thanksgiving
dinner. because that's when all the crazy aunts and uncles come in with all kinds of weird, wacky ideas about how the world works. you just come in calmly and you say, well, you hadn't thought about it this way, here's why. so, that's the goal. >> it's a great perspective from up above, if you will, on a problem we all know exists. neil degrasse tyson "starry messenger." enjoyed. thank you. >> thank you. still to come, your best and worst tweets, youtube, facebook, and the poll final result. i>> elon musk to host a digital town square that doesn't become a hell scape? i'm rooting for him. i strip all by myself. breathe right strips open your nose for relieief you can feel right away, helping you take in air more easily,y, day or night. at adp, we understand business today
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. well, there it is. there is the result of this week agency poll question at smerconish.com. probably poorly worded on my part. i am not rooting against him. wouldn't you like to see a digital town square that's toll rent of different opinions on the issues but keeps out antisemitism and keeps out proponents of violence? i think we can do it. i think if anybody can do it, he'll get it done. one social media, if we have time for it. why are you so keen to have trump back on twitter? because he has not destroyed democracy completely yet. you want him to finish the job? >> did you hear me say i want him book on twitter if you push me, my answer is probably yes. is he miss behaves he is out.
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