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Musk and Lemon Spar Over X’s Conspiracy Theories and Advertiser Withdrawals

Recently, ex-CNN anchor Don Lemon conducted an interview with billionaire Elon Musk, probing him on his controversial social media activities and the advertiser backlash that X, formerly known as Twitter, is currently experiencing.

Controversial Posts Questioned

Credit: Depositphotos

Lemon pressed Musk about his behavior on social media, explicitly asking, “Why would you quote something you didn’t believe?”

He was probing Musk on his controversial posts about Jewish people and the “great replacement theory.”

Musk’s Dismissive Response

Credits: DepositPhotos – July 23, 2023, Brazil. In this photo illustration, the letter X logo seen displayed on a smartphone. Elon Musk announced that there will be a rebranding of Twitter soon, and speculation points to the implementation of X. — Photo by rafapress

In response to Lemon’s questions on moderating his social media behavior to avoid controversy, Musk retorted, “I don’t have to answer these questions.

Don, the only reason I’m doing this interview is because you’re on the X platform, and you asked for it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t do this interview.”

Indifference to Media Criticism

Credits: DepositPhotos – Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during a delivery ceremony for the first Model S electric cars in China in Beijing, China, 22 April 2014 — Photo by ChinaImages

Musk expressed his nonchalance towards media scrutiny, stating he “couldn’t care less” about criticism over his online posts, highlighting his disregard for how his social media activities are perceived.

The Advertiser Boycott

Credits: DepositPhotos – Los Angeles, CA / USA – July 24 2023: Elon Musk twitter account. Elon Musk announces that Twitter changes name to X. High quality photo — Photo by rokas91

The discussion shifted to the considerable impact of some of Musk’s posts and leadership approach, highlighted by the withdrawal of some advertisers from X.

Lemon Probes on Free Speech

Credit: DepositPhotos – Don Lemon at arrivals for Turner Upfront 2016 Red Carpet Arrivals, Nick & Stef”s Steakhouse, New York, NY May 18, 2016. Photo By: Jason Smith/Everett Collection — Photo by everett225

Lemon questioned Musk about the advertiser boycott, wondering, “Why is that not a form of free speech? They’re not beholden to advertise on X.” 

Tension Rises Over Questions

Credits: DepositPhotos

The interview tension escalated as Musk, growing impatient with Lemon’s line of questioning, cautioned, “Choose your question carefully. There’s five minutes left.”

Leadership Accountability

Credit: DepositPhotos – New York, NY, USA – April 25, 2018: journalist Don Lemon attends the Brooks Brothers Bicentennial Celebration at Jazz At Lincoln Center, Manhattan — Photo by SamAronov

Lemon pressed Musk on the responsibility of leadership at X, to which Musk declared his intention behind acquiring X was to “preserve the First Amendment,” prioritizing principles over profit.

An Agreement Ends

Credit: DpeositPhotos – Tesla CEO Elon Musk is pictured during a delivery ceremony at the sales center of Tesla in Jinqiao, Shanghai, China, 23 April 2014 — Photo by ChinaImages

After a heated conversation, Lemon revealed that Musk had terminated their arrangement for Lemon to present a show on X, signifying a notable change in their professional dynamics.

Open Platform for ‘The Don Lemon Show’

Credits: DepositPhotos – Elon Musk official twitter account. Elon Reeve Musk FRS is an entrepreneur and business magnate. — Photo by rokas91

Even though their agreement fell apart, Musk offered a conciliatory gesture by permitting Lemon to air The Don Lemon Show on X, motivating him to cultivate an audience on the platform.

The First Amendment at the Forefront

Credit: Depositphotos

Musk’s commitment to preserving the First Amendment through his ownership of X was underscored throughout the interview, reflecting his stance on free speech and platform responsibility.

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Credits: DepositPhotos – Close-up of the NATO logo sign on the side of the warship. Riga, Latvia – 30 Oct 2022. — Photo by Armands photography