Following significant criticism of mainstream media publications for a lack of journalistic integrity in reporting on FTX executives, Tesla CEO Elon Musk called news website Semafor because former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was a key investor. Musk took to Twitter and let Semafor know that he believes Semafor has a “massive conflict of interest” when it comes to “journalistic integrity.”
Semafor hits Elon Musk, Tesla manager calls the company’s journalistic integrity rubbish
On November 23, 2022, news website Semafor, founded in 2022, tweeted a message about the company’s newsletters, and Tesla executive Elon Musk gave some criticism to the news release. In response to Semafor’s tweet, Musk wrote: “Semafor is owned by SBF. This is a massive conflict of interest in your reporting. Journalistic integrity is [trash].”
Musk, who is also the new owner of Twitter, also shared an image from Crunchbase showing Semafor’s top five lead investors. At the top of the Semafor investor list is former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.
Semafor is a fairly new news publication that launched in 2022 and was co-founded by former New York Times (NYT) columnist and former Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith and former Bloomberg LP CEO Justin Smith.
Axios called the two Smiths “media disruptors,” and in the same article, Justin Smith claimed Semafor will “reinvent global quality journalism” after the Semafor demographic aims to have “lost trust in all news and information sources.”
Semafor’s Crunchbase page shows that the top investor is SBF and the news outlet raised $24.6 million in a single funding round. Semafor has written about FTX and SBF on a number of occasions and the articles highlight that SBF was an investor in the news publication. Semafor’s other investors, like SBF, have also shown affection for Democratic leaders and donated to the Democratic Party.
Jorge Paulo Lemann’s academic interests include, for example, political theory and democratic theory, and Lemann was once described as “the world’s most mysterious billionaire”. In 2008, Semafor investor David Bradley donated funds to Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton.
Musk’s criticism of Semafor follows a string of abuse from a number of mainstream media publications received for publishing “puff pieces” about executives at FTX and Alameda Research. For example, the New York Times published a story that was condemned by crypto supporters after reporting that SBF was sleeping better and playing video games.
The NYT story wasn’t the only article to be rapped, as people slammed Washington Post, Forbes and Wall Street Journal (WSJ) editorials after reporting on executives from FTX and Alameda Research in an article “nuanced” way.
Musk’s response to Semafor’s tweet has been retweeted a few thousand times and has more than 22,000 likes at the time of writing. The news outlet’s Twitter account didn’t respond to Musk’s criticism, but a number of people were pleased that Musk called the news outlet.
“Yes, really, excellent call”, one person answered to Musk’s statement. Another person wrote: “Any platform [Sam Bankman-Fried] involved has the same aesthetic as his wardrobe.” Musk’s comment comes at a time when many people don’t trust mainstream media outlets and, despite Semafor’s intentions, people believe The “corporate skeletons come out”.
“Time to block anyone paid by SBF,” one person wrote in response to Musk’s tweet about Semafor.
What do you think of Musk’s comment on the Semafor news outlet? Let us know what you think about this topic in the comment section below.
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