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Jimmy Kimmel Was Right About Elon Musk

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Elon Musk and Jimmy Kimmel

On Sunday, Twitter boss Elon Musk sparked a widespread backlash after sharing a bonkers conspiracy theory on Twitter about the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul last Friday. He then attempted to laugh off criticism by attacking the New York Times as “fake news.”

“There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye,” Musk tweeted Sunday morning while sharing a link on Sunday to a news article claiming without evidence that Mr. Pelosi had met his attacker in a San Francisco gay bar that night.

His tweet sparked an avalanche of criticism, including from comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who wrote: “it has been interesting over the years to see you blossom from the electric car guy into a fully formed piece of sh*t”

In the face of mounting backlash, Musk deleted his tweet on Sunday night, and then posted a screenshot of a New York Times headline reporting that he had shared content from a website “known to publish false news”, with a joking rebuttal: “This is fake – I did not tweet out a link to The New York Times!”

Musk did not give any reason for deleting the tweet.

Jimmy Kimmel tweet

San Francisco authorities said that Pelosi’s attacker was a stranger who broke into the family’s home at around 2 am on Friday searching for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is a major hate figure for the far right.

Police identified the attacker as a 42-year-old man named David DePapes, and said officers had witnessed him “violently” assaulting Paul Pelosi with a hammer.

Prosecutors added that DePape was carrying zip ties and duct tape, while the San Francisco Examiner uncovered a blog in DePape’s name full of extreme right-wing propaganda, including support for QAnon.

But Musk was apparently swayed to believe there “might be more to this story” by an opinion article on a California news website called the Santa Monica Observer, reportedly run by former city council candidate David Ganezer.

With a headline that began “The Awful Truth…”, the article, posted as “opinion,” claimed that DePape was a male sex worker brought home from a San Francisco gay bar by Mr. Pelosi – citing only “rumor”, “a theory related to me by a source”, and “my humble opinion”.

Previous articles by the Observer have falsely claimed that sunlight can treat Covid-19, that Hillary Clinton was dead, and that Kanye West had been appointed to a government position by Donald Trump.

Musk has previously pledged not to turn Twitter into “a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences”.