Levin's piece, categorized as "news" on the gossip magazine's website, was entitled, "Report: Ron DeSantis Will Formally Announce His 2024 Bid With Elon Musk, Because Apparently David Duke Wasn't Available."
David Duke is a former grand wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan who ran for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination.
The article, which served to reveal more about its author than the intended subject matter, has attracted significant criticism online.
Levin, touted as a "politics correspondent" for the Condé Nast magazine, wrote that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis "is said to be planning to formally jump into the 2024 race during a conversation on Twitter with Elon Musk, because apparently other neo-Nazi sympathizers weren’t available."
The liberal writer's insinuation that that the South African Twitter CEO harbors sympathies with neo-Nazis hinges upon hyperlinked allegations that hate speech has increased on the platform since Musk's takeover.
After ascribing some but not all of the many views possibly presented on Twitter to Musk, Levin proceeded to accuse the tech magnate of saying and doing "terrible things," referencing a laundry list she previously put together detailing remarks that got under her skin. These include Musk's:
- claim that the COVID-19 vaccines have resulted in "quite a few negative reactions";
- circulation of a meme depicting Adolf Hitler with the caption, "Stop comparing me to Justin Trudeau" — shared around the time the Canadian prime minister declared martial law, had the bank accounts of peaceful protesters frozen, and applied statist force to crush dissenters in the nation's capital;
- suggestion that "Pronouns suck";
- tweet to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), which said, "I keep forgetting that you're still alive"; and Musk's
- proposal to move Tesla's headquarters to Texas after the state banned abortion.
The Vanity Fair correspondent concluded her "news" report with, "Anyway, just as a reminder, a DeSantis presidency is as terrible a prospect as a Trump one."
David Sacks, co-host of the podcast "All In" and co-founder of Craft Ventures, responded to Levin's rant, writing, "The media has lost its mind."
Elon Musk responded with another comment that might make Levin's list: "Looks like Babylon Bee has some competition for satire."
Responding to a suggestion from the Babylon Bee's Ashley St. Clair that "This is a mental illness," developmental and evolutionary psychopathologist J.D. Haltigan indicated that Levin's apparent meltdown "is a feature of an evolving pathocracy."
Haltigan referenced previous insights on his Substack concerning the "fear-based media ecosystem that drives a faux existential crisis" and "further polarizes the polity based on pre-existing latent vulnerabilities to emotional lability."
Journalist Katherine Brodsky wrote, "This article belongs in the 'Slander Op-Ed section,' certainly not the news section."
Brodsky, who has written for numerous publications, added that "to compare Elon Musk to an actual white supremacist and a former Grand Wizard of the KKK/neo-Nazi sympathizer—all for interviewing a Republican presidential candidate ... is not just bad journalism. It's outright slander. And it should be denounced by anyone who believes in actual journalism."
Christina Pushaw, the rapid response director for DeSantis' 2022 re-election campaign, tweeted, "They're losing their position as gatekeepers ... and they can't handle it."
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