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US Senator confronts reporter about “vitriolic” anti-Elon Musk tweets

Steve Jurvetson from Los Altos, USA, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

During a remote taped interview, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) confronted the political editor for St. Louis’ KSDK News, Max Maxwell, about his anti-Elon Musk tweets, which the official described as “vitriolic.” The US senator took issue with Maxwell’s negative posts which were not only about Musk but about the CEO’s supporters as well. 

The interview, which was obtained by Fox News Digital, featured Hawley sitting down for an interview with Maxwell. Before the journalist could ask questions, however, the senator inquired, “why all the hate for people who like free speech on Twitter?” 

When the journalist responded that he did not understand the reference, the senator read out Maxwell’s tweet from March 6, which dubbed Musk’s supporters as “bootlickers.” “Does anyone still think Elon buying this site and firing all the experts was a good idea? It’s been awhile since I’ve seen any of his bootlickers brag on how efficient the site is now that Sir Galaxy Brain is in charge,” Maxwell wrote. 

After reading the tweet aloud, Hawley noted that the message “seems kind of vitriolic.” 

Maxwell explained his stance, though he also noted perhaps his words were indeed vitriolic. “Yeah, I suppose it was. It was a moment of frustration when the site went down, and there were a lot of folks in my mentions who had quite a cultish adoration for him,” the journalist noted. 

“Going to bat for him, defending him at every turn even when he was banning journalists from the site for no apparent reason. Yeah, I felt like the industry and journalism, a part of the First Amendment, has come under specific attack at times from Mr. Musk,” Maxwell added, also hinting that he never said he was sober when he posted his tweets. 

After the senator brought up other tweets that were equally negative towards Musk’s supporters, Maxwell noted that “I refer to it as satire” and that it’s “protected under the First Amendment.” Hawley, however, noted that journalists such as Maxwell get a lot of access, and thus his tweets were concerning. 

“When journalists or so-called journalists refer to people they don’t like as ‘bootlickers’ on a public platform, when they attack folks and then say they don’t necessarily do stuff sober, it does tend to get my attention. I mean, we give you a lot of access. I just want to make sure that you’re actually sober and taking this seriously, Good Lord in Heaven,” Hawley said. 

Hawley and Maxwell’s exchange can be viewed here.

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US Senator confronts reporter about “vitriolic” anti-Elon Musk tweets
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