🇺🇸 Elon and the Ego

Plus, unicorn sighting.

The Flag

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Left: What Biden's Support for Israel's Will Cost America Tuqa Nusairat, Los Angeles Times

Left: The Real Reason Why Biden Shouldn't Drop Out Walter Shapiro, The New Republic

Right: Can We Save our Universities? Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness


Appeals, Javier Milei, Infant Evacuations

US: Supreme Court declines appeal from Derek Chauvin in murder of George Floyd (CBS News)

US: An appeals court is hearing arguments over Trump's gag order in Jan. 6 case (NPR)

US: Biden talks turkey — then pardons them (POLITICO)

World: Who is Javier Milei, Argentina’s president-elect? (AP)

World: Premature Gaza babies evacuated to Egypt as Israeli tanks encircle second hospital (Reuters)


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Elon and the Ego

Credit: James Duncan Davidson CC BY-NC 3.0

On Friday, Media Matters for America published a report that said that Elon Musk’s X placed ads for major brands alongside “white nationalist” and pro-Nazi content. The report accused Musk of spreading an “antisemitic conspiracy theory” and allowing “hateful rhetoric” to flourish. Per Media Matters, Disney, Apple, NBC, Comcast, Paramount, IBM, and the European Union are halting advertising on X because of its reporting.

Reporting from the Left: Major advertisers flee X, deepening crisis at Elon Musk’s social media site (CNN)

Reporting from the Right: Apple and Lionsgate join IBM in pausing ads on X amid antisemitism controversy (FOX Business)

From The Flag: Musk has increasingly faced allegations of antisemitism from several corners, including the Biden administration. A recent exchange with X user @breakingbaht has received particularly intense criticism, with Musk endorsing the statement that Western “Jewish communities [sic] have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.” In response to the accusations, Musk announced the company will file a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters for America. Here’s what both sides are saying.


Musk Is his own Worst Enemy

  • “He wants to own a social network where he can spout antisemitism—even if that means owning a bad business.”

  • “Musk’s control over vital national security infrastructure is of more concern than what happens on X.”

  • Musk has always raised eyebrows, but this may be his most notable use of bigoted rhetoric, which is even more revealing of who he is.

Elon Musk Can’t Help Himself Alex Kirshner, Slate: “… Musk’s biggest problem is not that he made a bad deal, or that he owns a platform that doesn’t addict young minds like TikTok or Instagram, or that it’s now overrun by pornbots, or that he has to service all that ridiculous debt he stuck the company with. He’s the wealthiest man in the world. He could, if he were motivated, get over those things. The problem Musk will never be able to fix is that he cannot help himself. He lacks the restraint, humility, and perspective you’d expect to see in a CEO—or for that matter, a 10-year-old boy. And across what might be X’s most embarrassing few days since he bought it, it has been clearer than ever that he will never, ever develop those traits. … If Musk put a bit more effort into rationalizing his prejudices, he might have gotten off easier. But since the beginning of his pursuit of Twitter in the spring of 2022, he has had a hard time muzzling himself when he sees the opportunity to say something that will soothe his brain but hurt his business. … Musk’s priority is not to save Twitter as a viable entity or a good place for a lot of people to hang out on the internet; it is to preserve it as an outlet where bad ideas can find oxygen.“

Why Elon Musk's antisemitism is a national security risk Kelsey D. Artherton, MSNBC: “Under Musk’s ownership, X has welcomed the kinds of extremists once banned from Twitter for violent and hateful rhetoric. Rather than confront the hate spread on his site with content moderation, Musk has lashed out at the watchdogs that have highlighted X’s pandering to antisemites. In September, Musk blamed a decline in ad revenue on the Anti-Defamation League, which he said was falsely accusing him and X of being antisemitic. Musk’s continued engagement with the ‘great replacement’ conspiracy theory, from his explicit reinstatement of neo-Nazis previously banned by Twitter to his tolerance of slurs and hate speech, only renders the protests levied against him in September more relevant, and it suggests his expressed antisemitism is just one facet of a broader racism. (Musk himself has not addressed the controversy; Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X, said in a post that ‘X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination. There’s no place for it anywhere in the world.’)”

One more opinion piece from the Left: With antisemitic tweet, Elon Musk reveals his ‘actual truth’ Allison Morrow, CNN


Musk Is Wrong This Time

  • Whatever accomplishments or good stances Musk has previously taken, none of that erases the damage he is causing by elevating antisemitic statements.

  • Often, the criticism levied against Musk is unwarranted and a product of “cancel culture,’ but he had made a serious mistake this time.

  • Musk needs to be more responsible with his massive platform, especially at a time when Jewish people are facing a higher degree of antisemitism.

Elon Musk Screws Up Jim Geraghty, National Review: “On the menu today: Elon Musk concurs with a Twitter/X user who contends, ‘Jewish communities [sic] have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.’ … Does that assertion strike you as the ‘actual truth’? Does promoting that perspective right now strike you as helpful? … If you run around shouting that Jews push hatred against whites, what do you think is going to happen? Is it the right response to what we’re seeing right now — antisemitic attacks up about 400 percent since the Israeli war against Hamas began? There’s a fire burning out there. Is what we’re seeing from Musk pouring water or gasoline on it? When you see the rising attacks against Jewish Americans in cities, at protests, and on college campuses, do you feel ‘deeply disinterested in giving the tiniest sh** about it’?Don’t you think that, considering the potential consequences, we ought to care a lot? History does not lack for instances when rabid antisemitism led to catastrophic outcomes, including mass murder.”

The Soviet nature of Elon Musk’s antisemitism Michael Rubin, Washington Examiner: “Elon Musk is under fire for endorsing a tweet that argued, essentially, that Jews now get what they deserve for supporting many liberal movements that demonized white people. Is the criticism against Musk fair? Yes. Granted, too often, Musk’s detractors make unwarranted charges about his character and beliefs largely because they disagree with his politics. … So what makes Musk’s current controversy different? … To treat white people as a monolith is bigotry. To prioritize group identity over the individual, meanwhile, discounts individual agency and free will. Do some Jews support such ideas? Certainly. Many Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims do as well. Do all Jews? No. To suggest they do, as Musk has, is the same calumny as blaming all Jews for international communism. It scapegoats a community, and it demonizes. The Soviets mastered it. Charles Lindbergh-era nativists did, too. Musk should be better.

One more opinion piece from the Right: Kindness, Hatred, Etc. Jay Nordlinger, National Review


Musk’s Favorability

As of last November, a YouGov/The Economist poll found that 41% of American adults had a “very” or “somewhat” favorable view of Musk compared with 37 percent who viewed him “somewhat” or “very” unfavorably (FiveThirtyEight).

Last December, Musk also polled users on X, what was “Twitter” at the time, asking whether he should “step down as head of Twitter.” Musk had said he would abide by the results of the unscientific poll, with 57.5% voting yes, and 42.5% voting no. Notably, Musk has not stepped down since then (CNN).

Do you believe Musk is fit to remain in his role at X?

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General Lee, Friendship Ghosting,

General Lee on horseback

On This Day in 1776: In what proved a fateful decision, Continental Commander in Chief General George Washington writes to General Charles Lee in Westchester County, New York, to report the loss of Fort Lee, New Jersey, and to order Lee to bring his forces to New Jersey.

Today I learned not everyone has two pinkie toe joints. About 44% of people only have 1 joint on their pinkie toe.


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