Media Matters weekly newsletter, November 22

Due to the holiday, this is a special edition of Media Matters’ weekly newsletter. We will be back to our normal schedule and format next week. If you want this delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here.

Elon Musk Free Speech

Citation Molly Butler / Media Matters

Last week we reported that X Corp. owner Elon Musk endorsed the same antisemitic conspiracy theory that motivated the Tree of Life mass shooting in 2018. His endorsement was subsequently praised by a white nationalist Holocaust denier along with other far-right personalities. The natural conclusion of this, as Media Matters’ Matt Gertz wrote, is that Musk is “boosting white nationalists because he agrees their views are ‘the actual truth.’”

We also reported that X (formerly known as Twitter) has been placing ads for major brands next to pro-Nazi content. Media Matters' Eric Hananoki discovered that corporate advertisements have been appearing on pro-Hitler, Holocaust denial, white nationalist, and neo-Nazi accounts.

After all of this, many companies, such as IBM, Apple, Lions Gate Entertainment, Disney, and several others, have suspended advertising on X.

In response to this accurate reporting, Musk threatened to sue Media Matters. X filed the suit in Texas on Monday.

Media Matters’ President Angelo Carusone wrote this in response: “This is a frivolous lawsuit meant to bully X’s critics into silence. Media Matters stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court.”

The tantrums, threats, and frivolous lawsuits of a rich bully aside, this latest reporting does not come in a vacuum. We’ve been reporting that ads for major brands have appeared next to pro-Hitler, Holocaust denial, white nationalist, and neo-Nazi accounts for months. Last week, we reported that a pro-Hitler Holocaust denying account has received $3,000 through X’s ad revenue sharing program.

To be clear, the proliferation of hateful content on X is the result of choices Musk has made. Since he took over at the platform, X has reinstated various previously banned anti-Muslim bigots, white nationalists, and antisemites. During Musk’s tenure, X has become a friendly place for extremist, hateful, and dangerous content.

Fox News talks to turkeys

Read more

  • After Donald Trump reposted a Truth Social post calling for the citizen’s arrest of Judge Arthur Engoron and Attorney General Letitia James (who are overseeing and prosecuting the civil trial against Trump), several major print and broadcast news networks failed to cover it.
  • Nexstar’s NewsNation is just another right-wing cable network. Read this great piece by Media Matters’ Beatrice Mount to find out more.
  • A Fox News vice president accused of making Islamophobic comments in the newsroom oversaw the network’s anti-Muslim coverage of numerous terror attacks.
  • A TikTok trend about Osama bin Laden’s “Letter to America” went viral and received significantly more media coverage than any of Donald Trump’s recent extreme statements.
  • Univision hosts and guests are whitewashing Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant extremism. Read more in this great piece by Media Matters’ G. Capuano.
  • Right-wing media figures cheered as soccer legend Megan Rapinoe suffered an Achilles tear during her final match.
  • Fox News is continuing its longstanding push for war against Iran.