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‘Stupid A--hole': Elon Musk Slams Don Lemon After Release of New Interview

X users criticized the former CNN host for his conduct during the interview

‘Stupid A--hole': Elon Musk Slams Don Lemon After Release of New Interview

Billionaire Elon Musk aimed sharp criticism at Don Lemon after the former CNN host posted an interview with the X owner on Monday.

The hour-long interview, which was published on X, YouTube, Spotify, and iHeartRadio, featured tense exchanges surrounding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the medical field, Musk’s use of prescribed and recreational drugs, and the challenges of running X.

In one viral clip, Musk explained his view of how DEI implementation in medical schools could have harmful outcomes.

“Let’s say a surgeon-in-training is asked to do a series of operations under the supervision of a senior surgeon and they get a bunch of those operations wrong,” Musk said. “If that happens, and yet they are still approved to be a surgeon, the probability that someone will die, I think, at some point, is high.”

“I understand that, but that’s a hypothetical and that doesn’t mean it’s happening,” Lemon replied.

“I didn’t say it’s happening,” Musk said.

“You didn’t say it was happening?” Lemon asked.

“I said it will. If we lower standards, people will die,” Musk said.

Lemon laughed in response, before asking, “But why respond to something, or put something out there, that has not happened?”

X users pointed out that Lemon appeared to struggle to understand a hypothetical proposition.

Users also took issue with a portion of the interview where the former CNN host asked Musk why he is prescribed ketamine.

“Well, I mean, that’s pretty private to ask somebody about a medical prescription, you know,” the X owner replied, before referring to an intermittent “negative chemical state in my brain, like depression, I guess.”

At another point in the interview, Musk told Lemon to "choose your question carefully, there's five minutes left."

In response to X user Ian Miles Cheong, who suggested Lemon “fails to grasp very simple concepts,” Musk wrote, “On a chart that measured personality and intelligence, [Lemon] would be in the worst quadrant – stupid a--hole.”

Musk’s experience in the interview reportedly led to the cancelation of a deal with Lemon to create a show in partnership with X.

"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 wrote in a statement shared to X on March 14. "He informed me of his decision hours after an interview I conducted with him on Friday."

However, at the beginning of his interview with Musk, Lemon claimed, "Contrary to what you might have heard, we weren't canceled by X. Yes, after months of begging me, wooing me to offer some exclusive content on his platform, Elon Musk decided to scrap the deal."

Lemon, a 17-year veteran of CNN, had initially announced he was launching a new show on X in January.

"I took Elon and his management's team's word that they, for the first time, were interested in working directly with new and diverse voices," he said in his original statement. "My questions were respectful and wide ranging, covering everything from SpaceX to the presidential election. We had a good conversation. Clearly he felt differently."

One X user asked for clarification on X's decision to cancel their partnership with Lemon, to which Musk directly responded.

"His approach was basically just 'CNN, but on social media,' which doesn’t work, as evidenced by the fact that CNN is dying," Musk wrote. "And, instead of it being the real Don Lemon, it was really just 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," he added.

The New York Post reports:

The ex-CNN anchor sent over an astronomical wish list to Elon Musk during contract talks to host a show on the billionaire’s social media platform X – including a free Tesla Cybertruck, a $5 million upfront payment on top of an $8 million salary, an equity stake in the multibillion-dollar company, and the right to approve any changes in X policy as it relates to news content, according to a document reviewed by The Post.

As of Monday afternoon, Lemon’s interview with Musk has about 250,000 views on X and over 77,000 views on YouTube.

Christopher Bertman contributed to this report

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