Here’s the Elon Musk interview that got Don Lemon’s show canceled

Don Lemon has published the “tense” interview with Elon Musk that got his show canceled on X. During the interview, Lemon touches on various topics related to hate speech on X and Musk’s own views on right-wing conspiracy theories, with the billionaire becoming noticeably irritated by the interview’s end.

Things start to take a turn about halfway into the interview. Lemon asks Musk about his comments on illegal immigration and the far-right great replacement theory and then turns to the topic of content moderation. Lemon asks whether better content moderation on X would let Musk avoid some of the criticism of his posts about the so-called “great replacement theory.”

“I don’t have to answer questions from reporters,” Musk responds. “Don, the only reason I’m doing this interview is because you’re on the X platform, and you asked for it. Otherwise, we’re not going to be doing this interview.” Musk adds that he doesn’t “think people should care what the media thinks about them.”

Lemon and Musk go on to argue about the presence of hate speech on X. Lemon points out a study that found antisemitic posts on X grew from June 2022 to February 2023. Musk responds by saying that studies only “count the number of posts but not count the number of views.”

Lemon then suggests X should take these posts down because “they’re hateful” and “can lead to violence.” Musk responds that Lemon “loves censorship” and that X will only remove content that’s illegal. “You can sign up right now and do 100 things that are hateful, but if nobody reads it, it doesn’t matter,” Musk concludes.

The interview also goes over Musk’s disagreement with companies’ diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies as well as his views on racism. Musk says the country should “move on” from a history of racism and that “we are all descended from slaves.” (“Well not everyone was a slave,” Lemon responds.)

Lemon later says he has personally experienced discrimination and that it’s “insulting” for “someone to say that that hasn’t happened and I should just move forward and ignore the past.” Musk replies by saying Lemon keeps “putting words” in his mouth and that “we should treat people like individuals and base our opinions on them on their character.”

Things get more heated at the very end of the interview, when Lemon mentions Musk’s statement that advertisers could “kill” X with an ad boycott. Lemon asks whether Musk should take responsibility if X fails. “Doesn’t the buck stop with you?” Lemon asks. Musk replies by telling Lemon to “choose your question carefully, there’s five minutes left.” As Lemon attempts to dive deeper into Musk’s upbringing, Musk says there are only a “couple minutes” left and that he has a “whole roomful of people waiting to meet with me.”

There are other parts of the interview worth watching as well, including Musk talking about meeting with Donald Trump and Musk’s prescription ketamine usage. Musk says he uses ketamine, which is a dissociative anesthetic, once in a while when he gets into a “negative sort of chemical mindset.” He also says he met with Trump but denied rumors that the former president asked for a donation for his political campaign.

Lemon, a former host on CNN, was supposed to debut new episodes of his show on X as part of a deal he struck with the platform earlier this year. However, Lemon said Musk decided to cancel the deal after their interview, which Musk later confirmed, saying Lemon’s show is too similar to CNN. Lemon’s show will still be posted on X, but it just won’t appear there first.

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By asm3a