Norman Lear’s work was an integral part of American life in the second half of the 20th Century. Television programs like Maude, Sanford and Son, and The Jeffersons dragged television out of the 1950s and into the real world. As Variety states: “Lear’s shows were the first to address the serious political, cultural and social flashpoints of the day – racism, abortion, feminism, homosexuality, the Vietnam war – by working pointed new wrinkles into the standard domestic comedy formula. No subject was taboo: Two 1977 episodes of All in the Family revolved around the attempted rape of lead character Archie Bunker’s wife Edith.”
All in the Family, which ran on CBS from 1971 to 1979, typified the clash of generations. Middle-aged bigot Archie Bunker – played by Carrol O’Connor – was a right-wing King Lear in Queens, raging at the radical changes in society. Archie didn’t let ignorance get in the way of his opinions; once he argued that people who lived in communes were communists. The thing is, the old dog was actually capable of learning new tricks. Archie never evolved into any kind of saint. But over the nine seasons "Family" aired, experience taught Archie the benefits of listening to (and respecting) viewpoints far different from his own.
All in the Family was the jewel in Lear’s crown, but don’t forget the highly popular shows One Day at a Time (which featured Bonnie Franklin as a divorcee raising two daughters in the Midwest) and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (with Louise Lasser as the titular figure in a parody of soap opera conventions). Good or bad, Lear’s work was never indifferent.
More recently, you may have heard about Lear’s lively activism. His TV shows were themselves arguments for free and unfettered speech, and Lear supported a slate of liberal causes. In 1981 he founded People for the American Way. The organization’s website describes the ways that PFAW has “engaged cultural and community leaders and individual activists in campaigns promoting freedom of expression, civic engagement, fair courts, and legal and lived equality for LGBTQ people.”
Lear’s life was a long and fulfilling one. In 1978 he was given the first of two Peabody Awards, the most prestigious award in television. “To Norman Lear,” it reads, “...for giving us comedy with a social conscience. He uses humor to give us a better understanding of social issues. He lets us laugh at our own shortcomings and prejudices, and while doing this, maintains the highest entertainment standards.”
A pioneer, a gadfly of the state, a mensch. To paraphrase a lyric from All in the Family’s theme song, “Mister, we could use a guy like Norman Lear again.”
The Timeline Of Elon Musk's Twitter Takeover Downfall
Home of celebrities and neo-nazis, Twitter has it all. With nearly 400 million users globally — half of them active — the social networking and micro-blogging platform remains the central spot for 280-character musings.
Known for its fandoms, spam bots, garbage discourse, and the tantalizing opportunity to respond directly to even the most famous of people, it’s now going to be known for Elon Musk’s desecration of it.
The multi-billionaire — ex-husband of Grimes — and purchaser of the title of “founder of Tesla” boasts 100 million+ Twitter followers, 20k+ tweets, and the title of CEO as of 2022.
Despite the goal of redefining Twitter as an innovation of grand proportions and as a “free speech” haven, Musk’s tyrannical management style may cause the platform to grind to a screeching halt any moment. Instead of a slow sinking ship, Musk crashed into the iceberg and then set off rocket launchers at the escaping boats.
Here’s a timeline of Musk’s acquisition and subsequent murder of Twitter:
Most recent news at the top — scroll down and read up for a full chronological timeline (this will be updated frequently)
November 18, 2022: Twitter in trouble
Teams responsible for Twitter’s basic functioning have been laid off or fled for the hills. Critics posit that the site could cease to exist any day now.
Musk closes all office sites — even after stating that all employees were required to work in the office, or resign.
November 16, 2022: Go hardcore or leave
Musk issues an ultimatum for the remaining Twitter staff to be “hardcore” and “exceptional” employees or leave. Effectively creating a cult-like environment for employees willing to work with such a toxic boss, his ultimatum draws criticism.
November 11, 2022: Blue checkmarks for all!
Ignoring Twitter’s Trust & Safety team, Musk rolls out the purchase of the blue verification checkmark.
The checkmark, which is also used on Instagram and TikTok, was originally a verification system to distinguish legitimate account holders — such as celebrities, publications, and organizations — from posers or parodies. However, Musk’s latest policy changes make it a status symbol, and a free for all when it comes to posing as brands or established entities.
November 4, 2022: Musk lays off half the company
Employees are alerted by being locked out of their computers.
November 3, 2022: Musk has beef with renowned horror writer, Stephen King
Musk announces his plan to charge $20 for the blue checkmark of verification. King tells him he’ll leave the platform, and Musk backtracks to $8.
⭐️ October 27, 2022: Musk buys Twitter
Musk becomes CEO for $44 billion and announces himself “Chief Twit.” He takes the company private, so it’s no longer listed with the New York Stock Exchange.
Musk’s number one priority is to make Twitter a haven for “free speech.” This will not end well for him.
October 3, 2022: Musk agrees to buy Twitter
During the Twitter vs. Musk trial, he was unable to prove that Twitter mislead him by misrepresenting the platform.
September 13, 2022: Twitter shareholders vote in favor of the Musk acquisition
Musk privately offers to purchase Twitter at a reduced price of $31 billion, but they reject his lower offer.
July 12, 2022: Twitter formally launches a lawsuit against Musk
Twitter requests that the trial be moved from September 19 - September 22, right before the deal's "drop dead" date on October 24.
July 8, 2022: Musk threatens to terminate the contract
Citing that he’d been misled by Twitter's bot numbers and security features, Musk threatens to terminate the contract, ensuring legal action.
May 13, 2022: The Deal’s on hold
According to Musk, the deal’s put on hold due to the high amount (5%) of spambots on Twitter. This announcement causes Twitter’s stock to plunge by 10%.
April 25, 2022: Twitter accepts
Because Musk’s offer is much higher than what Twitter is deemed worth and he has the cash, Twitter accepts, with caveats. If Mr. Musk wants to back out or disparages the company while the deal is closing, there’s a $1 billion termination fee.
⭐️ April 13, 2022: Musk offers to buy Twitter
“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.
However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.
As a result, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced. My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.
Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.”
It’s rumored that the “420” in $54.20 is a reference to the cannabis slang for smoking daily at 4:20pm.
April 11, 2022: Musk rejects his spot on the Board
Joining the Board would have meant protecting the interests of Twitter, and therefore not criticizing the brand. There also would be a cap on his shares.
April 5, 2022: Musk is asked to join the Twitter Board
Musk’s announcement causes a major spike in Twitter’s stock prices — and a dip in Tesla stock prices. But Twitter invites him to join the board, even amidst concerns. Musk accepts the invite and extends an invite to Jack Dorsey, who declines.
April 4, 2022: Musk becomes Twitter’s largest shareholder
By investing $2.64 billion into Twitter’s stock over the course of the last few months, Musk gains 9.2% of shares, making him the largest shareholder.
January - March 2022: Musk shares his Twitter grievances
Musk’s tweets gain attention for his multiple complaints about the social media platform’s bot problem as well as its crypto scammers. He also placed a poll for his followers on whether or not Twitter’s code should be open-source — meaning available for anyone to view and rework themselves.
December 21, 2017: Musk shares his love for Twitter
I love Twitter
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 21, 2017
Then-CEO Jack Dorsey replied, “Same.” A user suggested the multi-millionaire should buy Twitter and Musk replied, “How much is it?” So technically, this dumpster fire has been 5 years in the making.