Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt spoke out about Elon Musk and X during a podcast appearance, explaining his criticism and praise of the social media site’s owner.

Musk and the ADL have had a contentious relationship in the past, with Musk threatening legal action against the group in a Sept. 4 post on X after the ADL claimed the social media site formerly known as Twitter allowed antisemitic groups to spread propaganda. Musk said that the ADL could be on the hook for $22 billion in a follow-up post.

sued Media Matters for America in federal court Monday, accusing the left-wing non-profit of manufacturing images that showed ads for major corporations next to posts by neo-Nazis. Journalist Michael Shellenberger, who previously reported on the Twitter files, said in a Monday afternoon post on X that he was unable to replicate what Media Matters claimed it observed on Twitter.

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“We are living in perilous times, and that’s why it was so deeply problematic and dangerous when the owner of X validated an awful anti-Semitic conspiracy theory to his 160 million followers or so and that’s why I called that out right away when that happened,” Greenblatt told co-hosts Aidan McLaughlin and Diana Falzone about a Wednesday post on X during the appearance on Mediaite’s “The Interview,” “Then two days later, it’s important that he made a good policy decision and announced that he was no longer going to tolerate language, genocidal language, that called to eradicate the state of Israel.”

Musk announced Friday that use of terms like “decolonization” and the phrase “from the river to the sea” would result in a ban, drawing praise from Greenblatt, who took on critics of the praise, calling it “totally baseless and wrong.” Musk later explained that a “‘United Nations rule’” did not allow for banning Iranian leader Ali Khameni, who used “from the river to the sea.”

“I don’t think one negates the other. I don’t want to give you the wrong impression. I’m not saying, ‘Oh, he’s off the hook because he said this on Friday’ or ‘Oh, he’ll always be bad because he said this on Wednesday.’ It’s my job to call it as I see it,” Greenblatt said.

Harold Hutchison on November 21, 2023

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