Following the significant amount of criticism directed at mainstream media publications for a lack of journalistic integrity while reporting on FTX executives, Tesla’s executive Elon Musk called out the news website Semafor because the former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was a lead 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 Takes a Tongue Lashing From Elon Musk, Tesla Exec Calls Firm’s Journalistic Integrity Trash
On Nov. 23, 2022, the news website founded in 2022, Semafor, tweeted a message about the company’s newsletters, and Tesla executive Elon Musk gave the news publication some flak. 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, further shared a picture from Crunchbase, which shows Semafor’s top five lead investors. At the top of the Semafor investor list is the former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.
Semafor is a fairly new news publication that started in 2022 and it was co-founded by former New York Times (NYT) columnist and former Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith and the former CEO of Bloomberg L.P., Justin Smith.
Axios called the two Smiths “media disrupters,” and in the same article Justin Smith claimed Semafor would “reimagine quality global journalism” after the demographic Semafor is aimed at “lost trust in all sources of news and information.”
On Semafor’s Crunchbase page, it is seen 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 few occasions and the articles do highlight that SBF was an investor in the news publication. Semafor’s other investors, like SBF, have also shown affection for Democratic leaders and have donated to the Democratic party.
For instance, Jorge Paulo Lemann’s academic interests include political theory and democratic theory, and Lemann was once called the “world’s most secretive billionaire.” In 2008, Semafor investor David Bradley donated funds to Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton.
Musk’s criticism directed at Semafor follows the lambasting a number of mainstream media publications received for publishing “puff pieces” on FTX and Alameda Research executives. For instance, the New York Times published a story that was condemned by crypto supporters after it reported that SBF was sleeping better and playing video games.
The NYT story was not the only article that was knocked, as people slammed editorials published by the Washington Post, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) after they covered FTX and Alameda Research executives in a “nuanced” manner.
Musk’s reply to Semafor’s tweet was retweeted a couple of thousand times, and it has more than 22,000 likes at the time of writing. The news publication’s Twitter account did not respond to Musk’s criticism but a number of people were pleased with Musk calling out the news publication.
“Yes indeed, excellent call out,” one individual responded to Musk’s statement. Another person wrote: “Every platform [Sam Bankman-Fried] is involved in has the same aesthetic as his wardrobe.” Musk’s commentary comes at a time when a great deal of people do not trust mainstream media publications, and despite Semafor’s intentions, people believe the company’s “skeletons are coming out.”
What do you think about Musk’s commentary concerning the news publication Semafor? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.