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Don Lemon Says Elon Musk Canceled His Deal With X After Their Interview

via People

Don Lemon announced that Elon Musk had canceled his partnership deal with Twitter/X to bring “The Don Lemon Show” to the platform, just hours after Lemon interviewed Musk.

Lemon said Musk had publicly encouraged the partnership and committed support, but felt differently after the interview which covered topics like SpaceX and the presidential election in a respectful manner.

“Elon Musk has canceled the partnership I had with X, which they announced as part of their public commitment to amplifying more diverse voices on their platform. He informed me of his decision hours after an interview I conducted with him on Friday. That interview will remain the premiere episode of The Don Lemon Show on Monday, March 18,” Lemon said.

“Elon publicly encouraged me to join X with a new show, saying I would have his ‘full support,’ and that his ‘digital town square is for all.’ He and his team pursued the deal in numerous conversations and made significant commitments about the support X would provide for the show. I made the decision to work with them in a unique partnership that I believed would ultimately assure that my work would be available to the most people, in the largest possible venue. I took Elon and his management team’s word that they, for the first time, were interested in working directly with new and diverse voices,” he said.

“There were no restrictions on the interview that he willingly agreed to, and my questions were respectful and wide ranging, covering everything from SpaceX to the presidential election. We had a good conversation. Clearly he felt differently. His commitment to a global town square where all questions can be asked and all ideas can be shared seems not to include questions of him from people like me.”

“Our conversation will be available on YouTube, wherever you listen to podcasts and X. This will be just the first of many episodes of The Don Lemon Show. While Elon goes back on his word, I will be doubling down on my commitment to free speech and I cannot wait to get started,” he said.

Journalist Kara Swisher predicted this outcome, noting Musk’s thin-skinned nature and history of reacting to fair criticism.

“As I told him would happen, @donlemon, the owner of this platform Elon Musk sent a terse text to his reps: ‘Contract terminated’ after an interview Lemon did with Musk last Friday that was not to the adult toddler’s liking, including questions about his ketamine use,” tech journalist Kara Swisher wrote.

“The much touted multi-million-dollar deal was a pricey effort to attract high profile media creators to X. Not so much when perpetually aggrieved billionaires in desperate need for constant affirmation run the place. So much for free speech.”

“I had told Don that this is exactly what would occur, including at a recent book tour event in NYC for my memoir, ‘Burn Book,’ he moderated, despite promises by Musk and CEO Linda Yaccarino — who extravagantly touted this deal at CES to advertisers — that this time was different,” she wrote.

“Well, it’s again clear who is actually in charge: A thin-skinned rich dude who operates via petty whims and exhausting grievances and who calls every fair question a hit piece. Who does that remind you of?”

The canceled deal is an embarrassment for Twitter/X CEO Linda Yaccarino who had touted it.

“Btw X will have to pay out, so another unnecessary cost to a business going in the wrong direction. [Twitter/X CEO Linda Yaccarino] was jazz-handsing video efforts yesterday, knowing full well this had happened. It’s another embarrassment for which she will not blame her meddling boss, but everyone else,” Swisher wrote.

While Lemon will make the interview available elsewhere and double down on his free speech commitment, the cancellation highlights concerns about one person like Musk having outsized control and influence over a platform.

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