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    “Free Speech Absolutism Doesn’t Apply When It Comes To Questions About Him”: Don Lemon Claims Elon Musk Cancelled His Contract With X After An Interview

    Elon Musk, though a billionaire and one of the most influential businessmen in the world, is infamous for taking criticism personally. It is no secret how he has made huge business-related decisions based on who offended him on social media.

    Adding to the series of such impulsive decisions, Elon Musk has yet again terminated a partnership with a renowned interviewer after something he said did not go well with Musk. Here’s what happened.

    Related: Elon Musk Brutally Roasts Meta After Instagram And Facebook’s Global Outage

    Don Lemon Claims Elon Musk Terminated A Deal Because Of Mutual Disagreements

    Don Lemon (Credit: X)
    Don Lemon (Credit: X)

    Don Lemon, who formerly worked for CNN, joined Twitter to launch a new talk show on the platform after bidding adieu to his company of 17 years last year. However, Lemon recently said that Elon Musk terminated his partnership with X (formerly Twitter) shortly after he interviewed the tech mogul.

    Taking to Twitter, Lemon revealed the news via a statement expressing disappointment over Musk’s decision. “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,” Lemon said in a statement posted Wednesday on X.

    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,” he added.

    In a video on X, Lemon said, “Elon Musk is mad at me… This does not change anything about the show except for my relationship with Elon and X, and there’s a whole lot that went down, and I’m gonna tell you about it in the coming days.”

    Lemon’s team indicated that they expect compensation for the canceled deal and are prepared to pursue legal action if necessary.

    Further speaking about the interview with Musk, Lemon said, “Throughout our conversation, I kept reiterating to him that although it was tense at times, I thought it was good for people to see and hear our exchange, and that they would learn from our conversation. Learn more about him, learn more about me. But apparently, free speech absolutism doesn’t apply when it comes to questions about him from people like me.”

    X also issued a statement on the matter, asserting that Don Lemon’s talk show is a creator platform and has the freedom to post content. “‘The Don Lemon Show’ is welcome to publish its content on X, without censorship, as we believe in providing a platform for creators to scale their work and connect with new communities. However, like any enterprise, we reserve the right to make decisions about our business partnerships, and after careful consideration, X decided not to enter into a commercial partnership with the show,” the statement read.

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    Word War Between Don Lemon And Elon Musk Takes Over Twitter

    Elon Musk (Credit: X)
    Elon Musk (Credit: X)

    Musk also explained his reasoning for the decision in a post on X, criticizing Lemon’s approach as resembling CNN’s “unsuccessful” model. “Lemon’s approach was basically just ‘CNN, but on social media,’ which doesn’t work, as evidenced by the fact that CNN is dying. And, instead of it being the real Don Lemon, it was really just [former CNN president] Jeff Zucker talking through Don, so lacked authenticity. All this said, Lemon/Zucker are of course welcome to build their viewership on this platform along with everyone else,” Musk wrote.

    Lemon’s written statement read, “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.”

    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,” it stated.

    Lemon also said that the interview with Musk will be available on YouTube, “wherever you listen to podcasts” and on 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.

    Other than cancelling deal with Lemon, X also announced deals for shows hosted by Tulsi Gabbard, the former Hawaii congresswoman, and sportscaster Jim Rome.

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    Aishwarya is a Senior Sub-Editor at First Curiosity. Working as a news writer for over 3 years, she has written on an array of things for a couple of media houses in different capacities. With writing as her outlet, she is now exploring the world of art and glamour. She has previously been associated with ETV Bharat and India Today as part of national editorial teams. With a fair share of work done covering national and international issues, she is now navigating through her abilities in the field of films and art. A movie and TV show buff, Aishwarya at First Curiosity tries to bring forth what a layman's eye might easily miss out on. Her flair for words and ability to convey what's between the lines are her biggest strengths. Her love for films and writing stems from her fondness for words and all things artsy. An avid reader and writer alike, Aishwarya likes to delve into any and all forms of art. When not tapping on her keyboard churning out articles, she can be found staring at books or screens, trying to find stories that'll help her explore the world and its portrayal through art better.

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