5 key moments from Elon Musk’s interview with Don Lemon

On Monday, Don Lemon launched the wide-ranging interview with Elon Musk that prompted the billionaire to cancel X’s take care of the previous CNN anchor final week after Musk disliked his strains of inquiry.

Musk, who hardly ever grants interviews to journalists, sat for an hour-long dialog during which Lemon peppered him with questions on a few of his most controversial conduct, from his drug use to his rising political affect to his stance on content material moderation. Lemon stated Musk referred to as to inform him the deal was off hours after they taped the interview at Tesla’s Austin headquarters earlier this month.

“I problem you, Elon, to look at the entire interview and inform the world why this isn’t what you declare you need on X,” Lemon stated earlier than introducing the interview, which was posted Monday on X and YouTube.

X, the social media platform Musk took over in 2022, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark from The Washington Post. But in a submit on the platform final week, the corporate’s company account confirmed that it ended the take care of Lemon.

“Like any enterprise, we reserve the suitable to make choices about our enterprise partnerships, and after cautious consideration, X determined to not enter right into a industrial partnership with the present,” the corporate stated. In his personal submit, Musk criticized Lemon’s present, which he stated “was mainly simply ‘CNN, however on social media,’ which doesn’t work, as evidenced by the truth that CNN is dying.”

Here are 5 takeaways from Lemon’s dialog with Musk.

Musk resists accountability for hate speech on X

Lemon repeatedly requested Musk whether or not he bears accountability for the unfold of hate speech or different harmful content material on X, however the tech magnate was dismissive. When Lemon introduced up situations of racist and antisemitic content material on the platform, Musk argued such posts didn’t violate X’s requirements.

“I believe we’ve got a accountability to stick to the legislation,” Musk stated, including that if a submit is against the law, “we’re going to take it down.” To take away posts that didn’t break the legislation would imply “we’re placing our thumb on the dimensions or being censors,” he argued.

When Lemon questioned whether or not X has change into a breeding floor for conservative conspiracy theories, Musk responded that “previous Twitter was essentially a instrument of the far left.” But when it got here to questions on his personal posts — which have just lately tilted to the suitable — Musk stated that he usually reposts issues he doesn’t solely agree with however thinks “that folks ought to contemplate.”

Musk experiences depressive episodes

Asked about his drug use, Musk acknowledged that he has a prescription for the dissociative anesthetic ketamine to “deal with a damaging chemical state in my mind, like despair” that impacts him intermittently.

Musk denied abusing the drug, saying it doesn’t have an effect on what he decides to submit on his social media platform, which has repeatedly landed the billionaire and his firms in scorching water. He stated he takes “a small quantity as soon as each different week, or one thing like that.”

“If you utilize an excessive amount of ketamine, you’ll be able to’t actually get work executed,” Musk stated. “I’ve a variety of work.”

Musk’s alleged drug use has been a degree of concern for traders, however within the interview, he recommended it’s been useful to the corporate’s backside line.

“From a standpoint of Wall Street, what issues is execution,” Musk stated, including that “for traders’ standpoint, if there’s something I’m taking, I ought to maintain taking it.”

Musk described his assembly with Donald Trump

When Lemon requested about Musk’s just lately reported encounter with Donald Trump, Musk stated that it occurred by likelihood whereas he was having breakfast at buddy’s house in Florida. (The New York Times reported that rich Republican donors had been amongst different attendees.) When Lemon pressed for particulars about what was mentioned, Musk appeared flustered and waited a number of moments to reply. “Let’s simply say, he did many of the speaking,” Musk stated.

He declined to specify what they spoke about, besides to disclaim that Trump requested him to contribute to his presidential marketing campaign or to assist pay his authorized payments. Musk stated that he doesn’t plan to donate to any candidate’s marketing campaign.

“I don’t need to put a thumb on the dimensions monetarily,” Musk stated.

Musk didn’t rule out the opportunity of endorsing a presidential candidate, including that he’s “leaning away from Biden.”

America must ‘transfer on’ from racism, Musk says

In response to questions on his resistance to variety, fairness and inclusion insurance policies (which Musk has decried as racist), Musk argued that the nation ought to “transfer on” and never make racism “a continuing topic.”

Of late, Musk has been retweeting posts that promote misinformation concerning the intelligence of racial minorities, Mother Jones has reported. He’s additionally been posting regularly concerning the Biden administration’s immigration polices, repeatedly claiming Democrats need to maximize the variety of undocumented immigrants within the nation to assist win the election.

“We are all descended from slaves,” Musk stated through the interview with Lemon.

“Well, not everybody was a slave,” Lemon corrected, including that it was “insulting” for Musk counsel that individuals who skilled racism or discrimination ought to “simply transfer ahead and ignore the previous.”

Musk rejects the concept that the ‘buck stops’ with him

The most tense trade within the interview arose when Lemon introduced up Musk’s earlier assertion that X advertisers may “kill” the platform with a boycott. (Several advertisers left the platform over issues their advertisements had been showing alongside antisemitic content material and different hate speech.)

When Lemon recommended that the businesses’ suspension of their promoting was a type of free speech, and that Musk would possibly bear accountability if X fails, he grew pissed off.

“You stated, ‘If they kill the corporate, it’s them,’ however doesn’t the buck cease with you?” Lemon requested.

“Don, I’ve to say, select your questions rigorously,” he responded. “There’s 5 minutes left.”

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