The New York Times threw everything and the kitchen sink at Tesla founder Elon Musk Thursday, strongly implying that his childhood in South Africa will affect his Twitter policies.
The article, written by John Eligon and Lynsey Chutel, is titled “Elon Musk Left a South Africa That Was Rife With Misinformation and White Privilege.” The writers claim Musk as a child was “detached from apartheid’s atrocities” and “surrounded by anti-Black propaganda.”
The reporters speculate that Musk’s sensitivity to “racist hate speech” is lower because of his childhood. This in turn could result in that type of speech thriving on Twitter when his promised changes are implemented.
Musk claims his pending $44 billion purchase of Twitter is a win for free speech. Before the deal was reached, he condemned the platform’s pattern of removing objectionable posts and banning users.
The Times article dives into pure speculation, questioning Musk’s childhood experiences in South Africa. The piece vaguely claims it is “unclear” what role his childhood in the apartheid era possibly played in his dedication to free speech.
Nevermind that Musk, at 17 years of age, left South Africa for Canada to avoid the country’s mandatory military service saying, “Spending two years suppressing Black people didn’t seem like a great use of time.” Also, his estranged father, Errol Musk, belonged to the anti-apartheid Progressive Party.
What’s even more unclear is how the “newspaper of record” finds it appropriate to smear a person for the actions of a country he only lived in as a child. And many are fighting back against the hit piece.
The list starts with Maye Musk, Elon Musk’s mom. Comparing his childhood home to Russia, she says publicly opposing apartheid meant jail, just as opposing the invasion of Ukraine in Russia can mean jail. Then she asked the Times if they are “going to blame children for decisions made by governments.”
Many others took to Twitter — of course — to criticize the New York Times for their blatant slander.
The lengths the corporate media will go to and the leaps of logic they gladly take to prove unprovable points, defy reason. When there is evidence other than Musk lived somewhere else as a child, let’s hear it. But until then, enough with baseless insinuations and outright hit pieces.