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Elon Musk and Don Lemon

Elon Musk and Don Lemon. | Source: Getty Images

Last week, billionaire Elon Musk sat down for an interview with ex-CNN host Don Lemon. It was the first and last interview on the first and last episode of The Don Lemon Show, which Musk abruptly canceled after the interview was recorded. The episode never aired on the X platform, but Lemon posted it on YouTube Monday so the people could see what we likely would have missed otherwise, and, well, it just wasn’t very flattering to the Tesla CEO. So, now the question is this: Did Elon Musk, the man who considers himself to be a fierce warrior for free speech and against cancel culture, just cancel a show because Lemon’s free use of his speech made him look bad?

Let’s just take a look at a few clips from the interview, starting with Musk getting visibly aggravated in response to Lemon asking him a perfectly reasonable question about whether or not “the buck stops” with him regarding the decline of the platform formerly known as Twitter, which Musk appears to blame on everyone but himself.

In this clip, Lemon challenged Musk on a statement he made last year about advertisers killing X by boycotting the platform in protest of his acquisition of it and his perceived intent to allow hate speech to flourish in all of its white supremacist glory. Lemon noted that companies’ discontinuing of their advertising on X is a form of free speech, and Musk appeared to respond to Lemon’s ironclad logic by getting increasingly frustrated.

“You said, ‘If they kill the company, it’s them,’ but doesn’t the buck stop with you?” Lemon asked, to which Musk weirdly responded, “Don, I have to say, choose your questions carefully. There’s 5 minutes left,” which could reasonably be translated as, “You’re choosing the wrong free speech, Don, you need to choose the free speech I want you to express!”

Lemon reiterated his question suggesting that the CEO of a company is ultimately responsible for said company’s decline. Musk responded by saying he purchased Twitter with the sole purpose of making it a hub for free speech.

“I acquired X in order to preserve freedom of speech in America—the First Amendment,” Musk said. (For the record, the First Amendment prevents government entities from suppressing speech, not privately owned companies that have the right to decide what language is and isn’t used on their platforms, but whatever.) 

“I’m going to stick to that,” Musk continued. “And if that means making less money, so be it.”

Lemon called out Musk for blaming others than himself for what’s happening with the platform he owns when Musk also once said that the president is ultimately responsible for everything that goes wrong in America under his watch. Lemon then asked Musk why he’s getting so “upset” over the line of questioning.

“It is upsetting me because the way you’re phrasing the questions is not cogent,” Musk replied, before stammering and stuttering over his assertion that advertisers have the right to stop using X, but they don’t have the right to “insist on censorship of the entire platform.” (Advertisers do, in fact, have the right to insist on anything under free speech, they just don’t have the power to enforce censorship, which none have attempted to.)

It’s also worth mentioning that, while Musk claims to be all about free speech, his attitude shifts when it comes to the ideological and political speech he doesn’t care for.

From CNN:

Musk’s comments on the premiere episode of Lemon’s new online show added to an unhinged 72-hour posting spree on X, in which the erratic businessman raged against the “woke mind virus” and said its “goal” is “the destruction of America,” agreed with a user who wrote “Fake News is the Enemy of the People,” said the press is “basically the [Joe] Biden cheering squad,” accused the news media of “lying” about Donald Trump’s “blood bath” comments, called NPR a “nice version of Pravda,” alleged Google “manipulate[s] their search results with left wing bias,” said the January 6 insurrection was “not a ‘bloodbath’ by any definition,” and argued that if there is not a “red wave” in November, “America is doomed.”

Musk may not be pro-censorship, but he does appear to be OK with using his platform and status to launch his own right-wing propaganda-reliant war against “wokeness.”

Speaking of Elon’s glaring hypocrisy, let’s get into the part where he declares that we all need to “move on” from discussing race and racism.

During the interview, Musk described DEI policies as racist and declared that people in America need to stop making racism “a constant subject.” Musk doesn’t appear to feel that way when he’s promoting misinformation about the intelligence of racial minorities, or when he’s promoting the white nationalist Great Replacement Theory, which he continued to do in that same interview.

Hell, just last week, he called the Oscars a “woke contest” because he thought too many non-white people were winning. When it was pointed out to him that white actors and directors dominated all the major awards, which they have almost every single year since the inception of the Academy, he immediately backpedaled and admitted that he was “wrong.”

Last year, Musk also went out of his way to defend Dilbert creator Scott Adams after he declared that white people should stay away from Black people all because of the way some Black people responsed to an absurdly loaded survey question about whether it’s “OK to be white.”

In fact, during the interview, Lemon asked Musk about his posts about airline pilots and DEI, which he and other conservatives made following an incident in January in which an Alaska Airlines Boeing aircraft lost a part of its fuselage during a flight.

Musk denied that he believes non-white male pilots are inherently unqualified for the job, but he insisted that standards shouldn’t be lowered in the recruitment process.

“There’s no evidence that standards are being lowered when it comes to the airline industry,” Lemon rightfully noted, to which Musk responded by telling Lemon to “watch the replies” on his social media regarding what he appears to believe is “evidence.”

“Replies on social media or on Twitter are not necessarily fact and evidence,” Lemon said.

(Lemon should also have brought up how Musk and his ilk are blaming DEI for airplanes falling apart even though pilots and flight engineers are currently around 92% white and male, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

Musk continued to insist that anecdotal stories from random people on social media constitute evidence that there are “significant cases where standards are lowered” to hire non-white male pilots. In other words: the self-proclaimed anti-“fake news” advocate’s citation of evidence regarding DEI harm was essentially, “Trust me, bro, it’s on the internet.”

Between these clips and others where Lemon asked Musk about his past drug use, it’s entirely conceivable that Lemon’s show got canceled because Musk’s feelings were hurt and he spent much of the video looking like and out-of-touch idiot. Perhaps that’s the reason Musk called Lemon a “stupid a**hole” and “just a bad guy, plain and simple” on X directly after the interview, as CNN noted.

Anyway, you all can judge for yourselves after watching the full interview below.


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