Corporate Media Rages Over Elon Musk’s Suspension Of Journalists

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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The corporate media raged over Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s suspension of eight journalists’ accounts Thursday night over accusations they live-shared his location.

Musk accused the journalists — including three from The Washington Post, CNN, and The New York Times — of “doxxing” his location in what he described as “basically assassination coordinates.” He contended that they shared links to trackers following Musk’s private jet, including the account @ElonJet, which was suspended from Twitter for that reason. The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell admitted to posting the links, but denied doxxing Musk.

The New York Times called Musk’s decision “questionable and unfortunate” after the paper’s own staffer, Ryan Mac, was suspended.

“Tonight’s suspension of the Twitter accounts of a number of prominent journalists, including The New York Times’s Ryan Mac, is questionable and unfortunate,” said Charlie Stadtlander, a spokesman for the paper. “Neither The Times nor Ryan have received any explanation about why this occurred. We hope that all of the journalists’ accounts are reinstated and that Twitter provides a satisfying explanation for this action.”

In response to the suspension of The Washington Post’s reporter Drew Harwell, Executive Editor Sally Buzbee said the suspension “directly undermines” Musk’s strive to incorporate free speech on the platform, according to Fox News.

“The suspension of Drew Harwell’s Twitter account directly undermines Elon Musk’s claim that he intends to run Twitter as a platform dedicated to free speech. Harwell was banished from Twitter without warning, process or explanation, following the publication of his accurate reporting about Musk. Our journalist should be reinstated immediately,” Buzbee said.

CNN called the decision to suspend Donie O’Sullivan “impulsive and unjustified.”

“The impulsive and unjustified suspension of a number of reporters, including CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, is concerning but not surprising,” CNN said. “Twitter’s increasing instability and volatility should be of incredible concern for everyone who uses the platform. We have asked Twitter for an explanation, and we will reevaluate our relationship based on that response.”

The network’s program “CNN This Morning” said Musk falsely accused the journalists of doxxing him. CNN media analyst Sara Fischer said that it is normal practice to track celebrities’ private planes, adding that Musk’s “rules” place journalists at risk for doing their jobs. (RELATED: CNN Journalists Laments Being Kicked Off Twitter By Musk)

Anchor Don Lemon suggested that Musk suspended them for “attention.”

“He knows if he bans journalists, we’re gonna talk about it. He needs attention because he needs eyes on Twitter,” Lemon said. “He is accomplishing exactly what he wants to accomplish. That’s it.”

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” similarly denied that the journalists doxxed Musk, saying instead that the Twitter CEO was solely acting on his ego. One anchor compared the Twitter CEO to former President Donald Trump.

“He’s been fed not just by sycophants inside his companies by telling him how great he is, he is fed by sycophants in mainstream media,” “Morning Joe” anchor Joe Scarborough said.

“He has certainly achieved remarkable things with Tesla and with the space program, but this is off the rails,” MSNBC anchor Jonathon Lemire said. “You could take almost any headline right now that has Musk’s name in it and swap out Musk for Trump and it would still feel apropos. The chaos, the ego, the insults and the fact that he is bringing down an institution.”

Scarborough added that Musk is destroying Twitter and life will go on without it. Co-host Willie Geist argued that “smart people” will have to explain “why [Musk] is doing this” in terms of purchasing and reforming Twitter.

Musk claimed on Twitter that the journalists posted his “exact real-time location” in violation of the platform’s rules.

“Same doxxing rules apply to “journalists” as to everyone else,” he wrote. “They posted my exact real-time location, basically assassination coordinates, in (obvious) direct violation of Twitter terms of service.”

A screenshot of suspended Voice of America journalist Steve Herman reportedly shows his account posting the location of Musk’s jet by sharing a screenshot of the Mastodon account, @elonjet. It is not possible at the moment to see tweets of the suspended journalists and tell whether or not they posted the links in question.