Elon Musk’s increasing flirtation with conspiracy theories recently brought him into focus with the left-leaning Media Matters for America, a self-appointed watchdog group for the right-wing media ecosystem which recently published an investigation that found ads for major brands on X, formerly known as Twitter, appeared next to antisemitic posts and hate speech.
Musk, in retaliation, has sued the group for defamation—and said the organization is “pure evil”—while arguing that Media Matters’ report used a small number of anecdotes to misrepresent the scale of the problem.
“Let’s even concede that all this is true—it’s still hard to believe because if you think about it, we hit the bullseye a bunch of times, right?” said Media Matters President Angelo Carusone, who joined The New Abnormal this week to talk about the organization’s back-and-forth with one of the world’s richest men.
“How is it the case that we were misrepresenting how often this phenomenon is occurring when we were able to document it so regularly in such a short period of time with only one researcher. It’s not like we had an army of a million bots hitting refresh until we were able to collect this.”
The lawsuit also represents a hypocritical stance for the “free speech absolutist,” who has previously claimed to be staunchly against bullying and harassment, Carusone added.
“It’s really strange because back in the day when growing up, from what I understood in reading his bio, he was bullied—and he’s supposed to hate bullies,” he said. “He’s defined himself as opposing this type of behavior. And so it’s kind of like a supervillain story that he’s now become the very thing he hates.”
Then, a trip down memory lane to Jan. 6, 2021, courtesy of a slew of newly released videos from the infamous day—including one highlighted by Republican Sen. Mike Lee from Utah, which he embarrassingly says shows someone in the crowd flashing an FBI badge (it’s actually a Trump supporter with a vape in his hand).
Plus! A conversation with award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor about her transformational Afrofuturism and the importance of inclusive visions of science fiction.