NY Times' 'hit piece' on Elon Musk's past gets blowback

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  vic-eldred  •  3 weeks ago  •  16 comments

By:   Ariel Zilber (New York Post)

NY Times' 'hit piece' on Elon Musk's past gets blowback
The New York Times was blasted for a "hit piece" suggesting that Elon Musk's childhood in apartheid South Africa made him indifferent to racism.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


The New York Times was blasted on Thursday for running a "hit piece" suggesting that Elon Musk's childhood in apartheid South Africa made him indifferent to racism and that it could impact his content moderation policies once he takes control of Twitter.

Musk, who has vowed to allow more expression on the social media platform once his takeover is complete later this year, was a child when South Africa was "rife with misinformation and white privilege," according to the Times.

Times correspondents John Eligon and Lynsey Chutel reported that Musk benefited from an "upbringing in elite, segregated white communities" in suburban Johannesburg, "where black people were rarely seen other than in service of white families living in palatial homes."

The Times story surmised that Musk's being "insulated from the harsh reality" of the system of apartheid may dull his sensitivity to racist hate speech that could be allowed to flourish on Twitter should he take over and institute his desired changes.

The Times article quotes experts as saying that Musk's upbringing in South Africa may have affected his views on racism and could offer a glimpse into how he will run Twitter.

Musk "came up in a time and place in which there was hardly a free exchange of ideas, and he would not have had to suffer the violent consequences of misinformation," a Johannesburg-based legal analyst, Eusebius McKaiser, told the Times.

Twitter users blasted the Times story as a "hit piece" and said that the billionaire's childhood during apartheid — when the South African government imposed a system of race-based segregation and discrimination — shouldn't reflect poorly on him.

The Times story notes that Musk was "bullied" in school when he "chided" a white student for using an anti-black slur.

Critics blasted the Times for "insinuating" that Musk was racist because he grew up white during apartheid.

Independent journalist Saagar Enjeti hit out at the Times for "insinuat[ing] [Musk] is racist" even though the story notes that the Tesla boss "had non-white friends growing up in apartheid South Africa."

Enjeti also cites Times reporting that Musk's father was an "anti-apartheid politician" and that Musk "literally left [South Africa] so he didn't have to serve in apartheid military."

Glenn Greenwald, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, was scathing in his criticism of the Times, accusing the Grey Lady of casting aspersions on Musk because of his commitment to free speech.


In this article NYT itself reports @elonmusk:
1. Had non-white friends growing up in apartheid SA
2. His own father was an ANTI-APARTHEID politician
3. He literally left so he didn't have to serve in apartheid military
They still insinuate he is a racist https://t.co/Oc6IANX4wv

— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) May 5, 2022


This is the kind of punishment the corporate media doles out to anyone whom they perceive as their enemy and, especially, who opposes the censorship regime on which they rely.
Reporting on Musk is obviously valid: necessary. This isn't reporting. It's deceit and punishment: https://t.co/v7gUk3Cmeh

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) May 5, 2022

"This is the kind of punishment the corporate media doles out to anyone whom they perceive as their enemy and, especially, who opposes the censorship regime on which they rely," Greenwald tweeted.

"Reporting on Musk is obviously valid: necessary," he wrote. "This isn't reporting. It's deceit and punishment."

"Very strange piece of reporting," Thomas Chatterton Williams tweeted. "People must be judged as individuals and on their own actions, not the cultures they happen to be born into."


"But as a white South African, he came up in a time and place in which there was hardly a free exchange of ideas"
Very strange piece of reporting. People must be judged as individuals and on their own actions, not the cultures they happen to be born into. https://t.co/9CbOJP2uZr

— Thomas Chatterton Williams (@thomaschattwill) May 5, 2022


Judging people by where they grew up. Thought we were past that.
— Ted Dabrowski (@TedDabrowski) May 5, 2022

"Y'all are reaching," Clifton Duncan tweeted.

Ted Dabrowski accused the Times of "judging people by where they grew up. Thought we were past that."

Musk left South Africa at the age of 17 and relocated to Canada. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a bachelor in physics and economics in 1995.

The Times story notes that Musk befriended non-white children and was "bullied" for defending a boy against racist taunts.

In 1999, his software company, Zip2, was acquired by Compaq. Musk received 7% of the proceeds, which translated to $22 million.

The next year, Musk used money from the sale of Zip2 to co-found X.com, an online bank that eventually merged with Confinity. The newly created entity was renamed PayPal, which was bought by eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002.

That same year, Musk founded SpaceX, the space exploration company.

In 2004, Musk joined Tesla as chairman of the board before eventually becoming CEO in 2008.


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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    3 weeks ago

Here is the publication that won Pulitzer prizes for lying. They went from lying to smearing.

A new low even for the New York Times.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
2  Sparty On    3 weeks ago

They hate when they get out smarted.    Of course, it’s not really a fair competition when they are up against a genius like Musk.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Sparty On @2    2 weeks ago
 Of course, it’s not really a fair competition when they are up against a genius like Musk.

In some ways he's a modern Ben Franklin.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Sparty On  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1    2 weeks ago

Lol ... not sure I’d go that far but I hear ya.    I like him because like me he’s not afraid to tell either side they are full of shit if that’s what he believes.

He’s his own man .... not owned by any other man, woman, party, company, narrative or corporation.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.2  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.1    2 weeks ago

Agreed!

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
2.1.3  Sparty On  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.2    2 weeks ago

And partisans hate that .... which only makes it sweeter.    Like what Musk is doing with Twitter right now.

Now that is sweeter than honeydew vine water.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.4  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.3    2 weeks ago

Just think how rich he'd be if he was a member of congress!

Right now we change social media and enjoy life!

actors-barbara-hale-as-della-street-and-raymond-burr-as-perry-mason-picture-id96556360?k=20&m=96556360&s=612x612&w=0&h=KdDcuLaN-GweFwAUJgVXLT51KBnWjgsZs88yseu9yuw=

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
2.1.5  Sparty On  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.4    2 weeks ago

Might actually reactivated my Twitter account.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.6  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.5    2 weeks ago

Suddenly people have found followers coming out of the woodwork. I think they are covering their tracks.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
3  Sean Treacy    3 weeks ago

Apparently, there was too much free speech in apartheid era South Africa.

I know the Times is re-editing the piece as it was turned into such a joke today, but it's incredible it was ever published in a first place. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4  Sean Treacy    3 weeks ago

Very strange piece of reporting. People must be judged as individuals and on their own actions, not the cultures they happen to be born into

I don't see the Times applying that standard to immigrants from other countries, that's for sure. 

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
5  bbl-1    3 weeks ago

Wouldn't worry about Musk and his upbringing.  He's really rich.  He will be fine.

The Times also reported that he defended a boy against racist taunts.

Okay.  Seems like the right got their morsel of hamburger today.  Next? 

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
6  Hallux    3 weeks ago

Awwww ... poor Elon, my tear ducts are overflowing with diamond dust.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
6.1  Sparty On  replied to  Hallux @6    3 weeks ago

Don’t waste your crocodile tears ..... he’s doing just fine.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
6.1.1  Hallux  replied to  Sparty On @6.1    3 weeks ago
... he’s doing just fine.

That was the gist of my comment.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
6.2  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Hallux @6    2 weeks ago

You know what may get overturned next?

New York Times Co. v. Sullivan

 
 

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