Tesla CEO Elon Musk appeared to fire back Wednesday at proverbial fake news and attacks on him from the press, sharing an adjusted version of a popular meme featuring the human brain.
Musk has been the target of criticism, largely from left-leaning outlets, in the weeks since he announced his bid to buy Twitter for about $44 billion, and bring the social media platform more in line with free-speech principles.
Earlier Wednesday, Musk shared the enlightened-brain meme, featuring three levels of proverbial enlightenment through increasing neural firings.
“Publishing factual, accurate news,” read the caption on the first, average-brain level.
“Publishing articles that use clickbait and out-of-context quotes,” read the second, with the brain in question growing brighter.
“Publishing articles that are inaccurate, slanderous, and include at least one accusation of being a nazi,” read the final evolution, which according to Dictionary.com is to show a brain “exploding with enlightenment.”
Last week, the New York Times published a story about Musk’s upbringing in South Africa, describing the nation he left as one “rife with misinformation and White privilege.”
The article claimed Musk might have been “insulated from the harsh reality” of the Apartheid system, growing up in suburban Johannesburg, quote, “where black people were rarely seen other than in service of white families living in palatial homes.”
The suggestion, observers claimed, was that that experience during Apartheid could cause the mogul to be dulled to hate speech if he progresses with his plans for the site.
The Times story was derided as a “hit piece” on Musk, including in an analysis by the New York Post.
Additionally, MSNBC host Joy Reid went so far as to claim Musk “missed” the Apartheid system, in a segment where she and Morgan State University Professor Jason Johnson roundly criticized the mogul’s Twitter aspirations.
More recently, Musk’s consideration of potentially reversing President Trump’s longtime ban from the platform drew the ire of mainstream press and late-night comics.
ABC comic Jimmy Kimmel — a Trump critic — ripped the suggestion, calling Musk a “part-time DJ who makes flamethrowers.”
In a response to the New York Times’ racially charged criticisms, Musk’s mother Maye took the paper to task on the platform her son hopes to purchase, comparing the authoritarianism of the South African government at the time to that of Russia today.
“In South Africa, if you publicly opposed apartheid you went to jail. In Russia if you publicly oppose the war, you go to jail,” Maye Musk said.
“NY Times, are you going to blame children for decisions made by governments?” she asked.