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The MRC Flips Over Elon Musk, Part 18: An Anti-Semitic Meltdown

The Media Research Center decided that the best person it could find to defend Elon Musk's rage that the Anti-Defamation League showed how anti-Semitism has grown on Twitter since he bought it was ... racist cartoonist Scott Adams.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 1/12/2024

Elon Musk had a bit of an anti-Semitic meltdown in early September, lashing out at the Anti-Defamation League for pointing out how anti-Semitism has increased on Twitter since he took it over (while, of course, insisting that he's "against anti-Semitism of any kind") -- even bizarrely claiming that the ADL promotes anti-Semitism -- and threatening to sue the ADL over it. This, of course, is not a surprise to anyone who has seen Musk similarly attack George Soros, portraying him as the Jew right-wingers are allowed to hate. Needless to say, the Media Research Center -- which also hates Soros and anyone who points out how hate has increased on Twitter since Musk's takeover, helped Musk attack Soros and also argued that anti-Semitism isn't hate speech -- absolutely loved this. Luis Cornelio gushed in a Sept. 5 post:
The Anti-Defamation League may be in deep trouble as social media platform owner Elon Musk has threatened to take legal action against the group’s latest anti-free speech activism.

Musk, the owner of X (formerly known as Twitter), announced on Monday his intent to slap ADL with a whopping “$22 billion” defamation lawsuit following the group’s dubious claims that X allows anti-Semitic content. Musk’s threats follow ADL Director Jonathan Greenblatt's dual tirade against podcast host Tucker Carlson and ad revenues on X.

According to Musk, ADL “has been trying to kill this platform by falsely accusing it & me of being anti-Semitic.” The X owner also drew attention to ADL's aggressive work to drive advertisers away from X. “Our US advertising revenue is still down 60%, primarily due to pressure on advertisers by @ADL (that’s what advertisers tell us), so they almost succeeded in killing X/Twitter!” Musk added, before admitting that a lawsuit could ensue.

Cornelio made sure not to mention that there is plenty of documentation to support the ADL's contention that anti-Semitism has increased on Twitter since Musk's takeover. He also failed to note that Musk has yet to prove evidence to the contrary, or that he was roundly mocked for his lawsuit threat. Instead, Cornelio pushed the idea that Tucker Carlson should join Musk's would-be lawsuit:

In a June 9 tweet, Greenblatt shared an op-ed he wrote for Forward in which he advocated for X to deplatform Carlson and called for more censorship of free speech. “Twitter should not give those who promote extremism and conspiracy theories a free platform to amplify their inflammatory views,” he claimed in the op-ed, before accusing Carlson of spreading alleged hate and “offline violence.” In a separate tweet, Greenblatt echoed his op-ed and took a jab at X’s ad revenues. “If @lindayacc wants to attract Fortune 500 advertisers and @elonmusk wants to create a genuine public square, it might be wise not to give this obvious antisemite such a huge megaphone. Let Tucker and his ilk push their hate somewhere else.”

Musk responded to those tweets, saying, “Tucker is welcome to join our suit.” Musk also hinted that if the lawsuit is successful, he will demand that the ADL drops the “anti” from its name. “If this continues, we will have no choice but to file a defamation suit against, ironically, the ‘Anti-Defamation’ League,” he alleged. “If they lose the defamation suit, we will insist that they drop the the ‘anti’ part of their name, since obviously ....”

Note that Cornelio avoided the details Greenblatt cited in his Forward op-ed, where he wrote:

If you happened to miss the first episode [of Carlson's Twitter videos], consider yourself lucky. The show was rife with antisemitism, conspiracy theories about 9/11 and UFOs, and truly revolting rhetoric sprinkled with antisemitic tropes about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Carlson referred to the Jewish head of state as “sweaty and rat-like” and a “persecutor of Christians.”

These remarks are antisemitic, vile lies. And they come at a time of rising antisemitic incidents and attitudes worldwide, making them all the more problematic and dangerous.

For years, Carlson slyly wove anti-Jewish conspiracy theories into his show on Fox News – attacking billionaire philanthropist George Soros, slandering Paul Singer, and promoting white supremacist ideas like the “great replacement theory.” ADL wrote to the network on numerous occasions calling for Carlson’s ouster for the offenses listed above and much more.


In January 2021, Carlson offered his viewers a full-throated defense of the antisemitic QAnon conspiracy theory. Just days after the mass shooting attack in August 2019 at an El Paso Walmart at the hands of an avowed white supremacist, Carlson suggested that white supremacy in America was “not a real problem.” In December 2018, Carlson suggested immigrants make the U.S. “dirtier.”

Since Cornelio censored this information, he was also silent about whether he endorses Carlson's views. The MRC has previously gone on record defending replacement theory and dubiously insisting it isn't racist or a conspiracy theory.

(In June, MRC intern Peter Kotara raged against the ADL as "a partisan organization dedicated to demonizing right-wingers and labeling them “anti-semites” based solely on their opposition to woke ideology." You will not be surprised that no evidence was presented to support that hyperbolic description or why opposing anti-Semitism is apparently "woke ideology.")

Afterward, Musk retweeted an account that touted an old screed attacking the ADL from a publication put out by anti-Semitic-adjacent conspiracy theorist Lyndon LaRouche; the MRC censored that, as well as white supremacist Nick Fuentes cheering Musk's anti-ADL campaign. Instead, a Sept. 8 post by Cornelio and Catherine Salgado touted "prominent Jewish voices" endorsing Musk's attack on the ADL:

Prominent authors are chiming in on the growing criticism embroiling the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) amid the group’s latest assault on free speech.

Mark Levin and Scott Adams, both pro-free speech authors and podcast hosts, minced no words when each responded to ADL’s accusation that Elon Musk’s promotion of free speech is antisemitic. “If the ADL takes down X, free speech is gone,” Adams said. Levin echoed Adams’s remarks, directly slamming a Los Angeles Times op-ed that dubiously claimed Musk was attacking Jews. “No, Musk did not blame the Jews, assh*le,” Levin added.

In recent months, Musk has accused ADL of attacking X for its promise to protect the First Amendment. But Musk had had enough. He announced earlier this week his intent to file a potentially “$22 billion” defamation lawsuit against the ADL. As expected, the news triggered the radical left into a frenzy, with ADL Director Jonathan Greenblatt taking to CNN to whitewash his reputation.

But Adams didn’t buy Greenblatt’s excuses. “A promoter of the Fine People Hoax tries to rehabilitate the most destructive organization in America,” Adams said about Greenblatt’s softball interview. “If the ADL takes down X, free speech is gone. You'd only have regime liars like CNN and the ADL. An end to free speech is an existential threat to civilization. We're treating it like a disagreement.”

Wait. Scott Adams? The guy who blew up his cartooning career last year after going on a racist tirade? Yep -- that's who Cornelio and Salgado think is a good character witness for Musk. The MRC was a longtime fan of Adams' increasing right-wing tilt but has been silent about his racist tirade (though Musk effectively approved).

Salgado and Cornelio went on to cite more "prominent Jewish voices" who are at least somewhat less racist than Adams:

Another Jewish legal expert, America First Legal founder Stephen Miller, agreed that the ADL is in the wrong. “Speaking as a Jew: ADL is NOT a Jewish organization. It is an ultra-left activist org,” he posted. He added that ADL “pushes radical transgenderism, border erasure, police dismantlement, and the demolition of free speech—deploying rank slander, bullying and character assassination to achieve its aims.”

Rabbi Michael Barclay chimed in, “Thank you Stephen for making it clear that the ADL does not represent most Jews.”

Miller, of course, is the notoriously anti-immigrant former Trump adviser. Barclay is a right-wing pastor who fought against COVID-era restrictions on large gatherings. Salgado and Cornelio made no attempt to fact-check anything any of these people said.

Around the same time, Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino rushed to post a policy on anti-Semitism that 1) had to be edited several times and 2) was posted late on a Friday night, when many Jews are observing the Sabbath. The MRC censored this, of course, as well as growing evidence of how Twitter has continued to place ads from major advertisers next to anti-Semitic content. It also refused to tell readers how Musk has said not only that he will continue to cozy up to China -- behavior the MRC once criticized -- but that he thinks there are two sides to China's ongoing repression and alleged genocide of the country's ethnic Uyghur population.

Fanboyism, excuse-making continues

Instead, the MRC is a Musk fanboy and will excuse pretty much anything he does. Gabriela Pariseau hyped another "Twitter files" thing in a Sept. 11 post, claiming that "Twitter employees worked with a Saudi Arabian social media “spy ring” to “unmask” accounts critical of the government. When the DOJ exposed the operation, Twitter executives helped cover up the platform’s role." Pariseau also claimed that the writer of it, Lee Fang, is an "independent investigative reporter" despite the fact that given Fang is writing what Musk told him to write -- like all the other "Twitter files" reporters -- he cannot possibly be "independent."

The MRC's tunnel vision over Twitter holding right-wingers accountable for their hate and misinformation -- which the MRC likes to dishonestly portray as "censorship" -- kicked in again as Pariseau whined in a Sept. 13 post:

Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter) has once again embraced silent suppression and has begun placing sensitive content filters on nearly every original media post from a government watchdog organization.

The American Accountability Foundation reported on Substack Monday that Twitter has begun censoring much of its content. The group has worked to expose the President of the American Library Association Emily Drabinski as a leftist activist dimissing parental concerns and pushing wild LGBT ideologies in libraries.

AAF says they immediately saw apparent backlash via X censorship. “[A]fter we posted images of the LGBTQ books they are pushing on our children, X (Twitter) hit our account with a ‘sensitive content’ warning on ALL OUR MEDIA POSTS, and shadowbanned our account so that you won’t find us in a search on X.”

A content warning is not "censorship," however much Pariseau wants you to believe otherwise. By contrast, the MRC refused to call Musk adding a needless delay when a user clicks on a link in a tweet that went to certain websites Musk hates was somehow not "censorship."

The next day, Catherine Salgado was back to Musk PR mode:

X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk says the platform should be for moderate Americans, not just leftists.

The All In Podcast, which is hosted by David Sacks, Chamath Palihapitiya, Jason Calacanis, and David Friedberg, posted an interview they did with Elon Musk at the All In Summit. During the interview, Musk noted that, in the past, social media has all been “very left-leaning to far left-leaning,” suspending Republicans far more than leftists. He also expressed his goal of changing that online monopoly. The X owner and billionaire said that “The suspensions of several Republican candidates, interests, or voices were at least ten times the rate of—suppression of left-wing voices.” He also expressed his goal of changing that online monopoly and allowing free speech for people of all political stripes. His comments, however, come amidst new censorship policies on X, including an increased emphasis on freedom of speech, not reach.

Musk specifically addressed the accusation that he is somehow making Twitter a right-wing conspiracy morass. “[Our goal with] the X platform is really meant to be a level playing field, a public square that is supportive of…most of the country, the middle 80%,” he said. Musk noted that before he bought the platform “Social media ha[d been] very left-leaning to far left-leaning, and really Twitter was far-left leaning.”

He continued: “The suspensions of several Republican candidates, interests, or voices were at least ten times the rate of—suppression of left-wing voices on, you know, [the] old Twitter.”
Musk offered no proof to back up this claim, and Salgado apparently made no effort to ask for any. She also did not disclose that Sacks is a pro-Musk loyalist who helped run Twitter after Musk bought it, so there was never going to be any tough questioning here. Instead, she huffed that right-wing hate was still being moderated as she groused that Musk "did not address the fact that anti-woke individuals are still censored on Twitter."

When the Washington Post reported how Twitter is cooperating with German authorities in providing information on accounts linked to hate crimes -- which tracks with reports that Twitter has regularly complied with similar data reports from other countries, even more so than it did prior to Musk's ownership -- Tom Olohan ran to Musk's defense in a Sept. 19 post, again repeating the MRC dishonest mantra that trying to address hate and lies on Twitter is "censorship":

X owner Elon Musk gave a warning to any X (formerly Twitter) employees who bow to outside pressure and censor free speech.

Musk responded harshly to a Washington Post article that claimed his social media platform was cooperating with German censorship requests. In a Sept. 17 X post, Musk wrote, “At the risk of stating the obvious, I don’t know what’s going on with every part of this platform all the time, but our policy worldwide is to fight for maximum freedom of speech under the law.”

While this statement left room for X to censor content that is violative of local laws, Musk warned his employees not to go farther. “Anyone working for X Corp who does not operate according to this principle will be invited to further their career at any one of the other social media companies who sell their soul for a buck,” Musk added.

Musk’s statements coincide with many of his previous commitments to free speech. However, since Musk purchased the social media platform back in 2022, his choice to reinstate prominent accounts such as Christian satire website The Babylon Bee and Canadian professor Dr. Jordan Peterson and his allowance of honest discussion on social issues have apparently been met with internal resistance.

Olohan whined that Twitter cooperating with Germany was somehow Germany's fault because it does not have "freedom of speech":

But Musk’s commitment to allowing legal speech, although heartening news for those who live in the free world, may provide little relief for those in Germany and countries with similar laws. The Post claimed that X “is complying with requests to turn over more information about its users to prosecutors in online hate-crime investigations.”

The liberal rag added that Germany “has strict hate-speech laws forbidding certain defamation of politicians and promotion of white supremacy, and the company under Musk has turned over reams of user data to prosecutors to help identify those who break the law, according to three prosecutor offices who spoke with The Washington Post.”

German “citizens” do not have freedom of speech or the right to make choices about their child’s education. The Post article even mentioned a case against a man for being rude to a politician. Absurdly, this article ended with a quote attempting to distinguish Germany from authoritarian governments.

Olohan didn't explain why hateful white supremaicsm and Nazism should be allowed to spread unchecked, or why it's "censorship" to try and stop something so obviously sickening and evil.

Cheering harassment of ex-Twitter exec

Yoel Roth, former head of trust and safety at Twitter, wrote an essay for the New York Times about how Donald Trump and Elon Musk targeted him for harassment -- which included Musk maliciously suggesting that he was a pedophile -- the result of which was that "I’ve lived with armed guards outside my home and have had to upend my family, go into hiding for months and repeatedly move." The point of his essay, according to Mediaite, was that "The central premise of his argument is that Twitter, and other platforms, are under attack from forces that wish to weaponize them to spew hate and division while recruiting for authoritarian causes."

Naturally, the Musk-fluffers at the MRC thought this was absolutely hilarious. They believe Roth deserves to be harassed -- unto death, apparently -- for the sin of trying to protect users from hate and harassment. Gabriela Pariseau wrote a hateful Sept. 21 screed headlined "WHINER":

Twitter’s former head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth wrote a New York Times op-ed that can only be described as one long whiny self-victimizing rant.

From the headline to the last word, Roth pathetically begged readers for pity from while complaining about being attacked for censoring former president Donald Trump. “I Was Attacked by Trump and Musk. It Was a Strategy to Change What You See Online,” the headline read before The Times edited it to be something less laughable.

Yes, the man who quite literally led the department at Twitter that changed and controlled “what you see online” now does’t like the taste of his own medicine. “Backed by fans on social media, Mr. Trump publicly attacked me. Two years later, following his acquisition of Twitter and after I resigned my role as the company’s head of trust and safety, Elon Musk added fuel to the fire,”. he wrote.

Roth noted being harassed by internet trolls after Trump and his staff called attention to him and the censorship he and his team relentlessly carried out against users who bucked leftist narratives. “I’ve learned that what happened to me was’t an accident,” Roth claimed. “It was a strategy — one that affects not just targeted individuals like me, but all of us, as it is rapidly changing what we see online.” The lack of self-awareness is deafening.

But Pariseau's lack of awareness that she's endorsing threats and violence against someone who helped run a social media website appears to be even greater. Imagine how giddy Pariseau and the rest of the MRC will be if someone actually murders Roth after being incited by Trump and Musk. She also curiously failed to mention that Musk falsely and maliciously smeared Roth as a pedophile, and she failed to explain how, exactly, it was "laughable" for Roth to point out that his dehumanization was part of a strategy by Musk to make Twitter more chaotic and hate-filled.

Pariseau's own hate-filled reinfest continued as she complained that Roth pointed out that lies and hate are spreading more aggressively on Twitter:

Roth spent the majority of his complaint lamenting that the so-called “safety” structures he and his team built to censor content are being dismantled.

“Universities are cutting back on efforts to quantify abusive and misleading information spreading online,” he wrote. “Social media companies are shying away from making the kind of difficult decisions my team did when we intervened against Mr. Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.”

With dramatic flair, Roth added “These attacks on internet safety and security come at a moment when the stakes for democracy could not be higher.”

It would be remiss not to mention Roth’s dismissal of The Twitter Files which repeatedly implicate him. “The files were hyped by Mr. Musk as a ground-breaking form of transparency, purportedly exposing for the first time the way Twitter’s coastal liberal bias stifles conservative content.” Citing Decreet journalist Mike Masonic he responded claiming “in the end ‘there was absolutely nothing of interest’ in the documents, and what little there was had significant factual errors.”

Well, Mr. Roth, if the Twitter Files are significantly inaccurate, please enlighten the public.

Mu, Gabriela, you just quoted Roth doing exactly that -- and you didn't disprove him.

Pariseau closed by ranting: "While the U.S. government working with Twitter to silence Americans’ discussion, memos, genuine concerns, and questions may be of no interest to you, to many Americans it is an egregious violation of the First Amendment that should never happen again." She didn't explain why trying to stop lies and hate on Twitter is an "egregious violation of the First Amendment that should never happen again" -- or just how happy she will be if somebody murders Roth.

Pro-Musk book

The MRC continued to lash out at anyone who won't uncritically blindly repeat the pro-Musk narrative. Clay Waters spent a Sept. 16 post complaining that PBS asked tough questions of Walter Isaacson, author of a new, largely favorable biography of Musk:

Two shows that air on tax-funded PBS, the NewsHour and Amanpour & Co. (which also airs on CNN) invited journalist and Amanpour regular co-host Walter Isaacson to discuss his new biography of entrepreneur Elon Musk, who now owns X (formerly Twitter).

This was not the usual journalist-to-journalist validation, with the reliably liberal Isaacson getting testy over some of the questions and feeling the need to defend his treatment of Musk, a figure loathed among journalists and the left -- or is that redundant? Over the two interviews, Musk was accused of racism, sexism, and even supporting Vladimir Putin.

On NewsHour, host Amna Nawaz unloaded on Musk:
Elon Musk is one of the most famous people on the planet, for the tech companies he's founded and acquired, and he's one of the wealthiest. But Musk is also among the most controversial public figures because of his behavior, including the spread of misinformation, racist and sexist remarks, and his political ideas....
After a squabble over Isaacson’s reporting about the details of Musk refusing to let Ukraine use his Starlink satellites to guide their submarine drones to attack Russian forces, Nawaz hurled a pro-Putin accusation at Musk.


Isaacson discussed Musk being bullied as a child and how it may have shaped him. Nawaz was merciless.
Nawaz: Walter, a lot of folks have traumatic childhoods, right? And they don't always turn into people who are abusive towards their staff, or, as he has done, tweeted racist, or sexist, or offensive things. He has a very huge platform. He's a very powerful man and a very, very wealthy man. And I wonder if you think he's also a potentially dangerous man because of those combinations.
Isaacson actually pushed back a bit: Well, I won't agree with all of the characterizations you put on some of the tweets....

Isaacson also appeared with Christiane Amanpour on Thursday. Amanpour called Musk “a villain to some and a genius to others,” and brought up criticism from lefties who found Isaacson’s book had insufficient” pushback” and didn’t “make judgments” against Musk.

By contrast, Luis Cornelio was in full stenography mode, spending a Sept. 21 post touting a Republican congressman spouting right-wing pro-Musk narratives at aGOP-led House hearing:

A defiant Attorney General Merrick Garland stumbled over his words Wednesday when faced with tough questions about his alleged targeting of X owner Elon Musk.

In a contentious five-hour-long hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Garland endured scorching criticism related to the motives behind two investigations against Musk.

Specifically, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) pressed Garland over allegations that the Department of Justice is targeting Musk as a result of the politically damning evidence revealed in The Twitter Files. “These look like mafia tactics,” a fired-up Massie said.

“Elon Musk was a Democrat who admittedly supported Biden but then he became a critic of the administration and exposed the censorship regime,” Massie continued, likely referring to the Twitter Files, which exposed a disturbing web of censorship collusion between the social media company and the federal government. “Now, per public reports, the DOJ has opened, not one but two investigations of Elon Musk.”

The Kentucky lawmaker made reference to a Wall Street Journal report alleging that federal prosecutors in New York are scrutinizing perks Musk received during his tenure as the owner of electric car company Tesla. As reported by The Journal on Sept. 19, the DOJ probe, led by the U.S. District Attorney for the Southern District of New York, comes in addition to a Securities and Exchange Commission civil investigation into the same matter.

Cornelio did not note whether there is anything beyond mere coincidence to the conclusions Massie is leaping to -- perhaps because there is no substance to the attack. Cornelio's stenography continued:

Massie drew attention to the disparate treatment of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose financial involvement in the 2020 presidential action triggered the ire of Republican lawmakers and numerous governors. “Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, spent $400 million in 2020, tilting the elections secretly for Democrats—no investigations whatsoever,” Massie remarked.

Cornelio refused to fact-check Massie, so we will (with a little help). Money was made available by a Zuckerberg-funded nonprofit to government election offices across the country to help them conduct the 2020 elections, affected by the COVID pandemic. Some of that money was used by governments for get-out-the-vote efforts, but there is no evidence of political favoritism in how the money was distributed or spent, and the giveaway did not violate election laws.

In other words: Massie is basically lying that Zuckerberg's money "tilted" the election to Democrats, but Cornelio won't call it out because the lie serves pro-Musk narratives.

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