On a recent episode of CNN's "State of the Union," Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis talked about worries about Elon Musk's support for a racist conspiracy theory. Even though many big companies took their ads off of Musk's platform X, DeSantis said he hadn't seen the controversial post. DeSantis said, somewhat sarcastically, that Musk's ownership of Twitter has made him a target for people who like to be in charge of the story.
A user who said Jews were mean to white people and didn't care about racism was the target of Musk's tweet, which caused a lot of anger. In his answer, Musk seemed to agree with the user, saying, "You have said the actual truth."
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) November 20, 2023
Because of the controversy, big marketers like Disney and IBM have stopped giving money to X. This setback comes as the platform, which used to be called Twitter, tries to win back the support of big brands and their valuable advertising cash. Even though there was backlash, DeSantis announced his run for president on Musk's platform, which study shows has become a breeding ground for hate speech since Musk took it over.
When DeSantis was being interviewed, he made it clear that he didn't want to judge Musk before reading the whole post. He told them that he thought Musk supported America and that he had never seen the millionaire act in an anti-Semitic way. DeSantis also strongly opposed all forms of antisemitism, no matter where they came from.
The White House also didn't like Musk's post. A spokesman for the White House, Andrew Bates, said it was a "unacceptable" repetition of an antisemitic lie connected to a terrible act of violence against the Jewish people. Representative Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, was on the same show as DeSantis and asked how credible DeSantis's claim that he hadn't seen Musk's post was, given how much notice it had gotten. Raskin stressed how important it was to reject all kinds of racism and antisemitism, calling them "gateways to the erosion of liberal democracy."
Raskin and other House members are going to write to Musk to ask him to take back what he said and deal with the problem at hand. As the Musk post debate continues to play out, it's still not clear what it means for the X platform or DeSantis's presidential bid.