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4 things to know from Elon Musk’s interview with Don Lemon

Business4 things to know from Elon Musk's interview with Don Lemon


SAN FRANCISCO — Former CNN reporter Don Lemon mixed it up with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in an interview Lemon posted on Musk’s X social network Monday. The interview was supposed to kick off Lemon’s new talk show on X, formerly known as Twitter, at least until Musk canceled the show shortly after the interview was recorded.

Over the course of slightly more than an hour, the two men jousted over subjects ranging from the political consequences of immigration and the benefits and harms of content moderation to Musk’s symptoms of depression and his use of ketamine to alleviate them.

Here are some of the more notable moments.

THE X GAMES: PLAYER VS. PLAYER

Musk said he thinks of X as the “player versus player platform,” using a term for video games that pit players against one another, typically in fights to the pixelated death. While he wasn’t particularly clear about what he meant by likening X to a death match, he did bring it up in the context of the occasional late-night posts in which he appears to be spoiling for an argument.

The subject arose when Musk described how he relaxes by playing video games and his preference for these PvP contests — what he considers “hardcore” gaming. It’s one way to blow off steam, he said — and agreed, at least to a point, when Lemon suggested that taking on X opponents served the same purpose. Though not always, he said.

“I use it to post jokes, sometimes trivia, sometimes things that are of great importance,” Musk said of his X posts.

MUSK USES KETAMINE TO TREAT POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION

Musk is “almost always” sober when posting on X late at night, he told Lemon. “I don’t drink, I don’t really, y’know….” he said, his voice trailing off. Then Lemon asked about a subject Musk has previously discussed publicly — his use of the drug ketamine, a controlled substance that is also used in medical settings as an anesthetic and for treatment-resistant depression.

When Lemon asked, Musk said he has a prescription for ketamine, although he pushed back, calling it “pretty private to ask someone about a medical prescription.” He described “times when I have a sort of a negative chemical state in my brain, like depression, I guess,” and said that ketamine can be helpful for alleviating “a negative frame of mind.”

Asked if he thinks he ever abuses the drug, Musk said he doesn’t think so. “If you’ve used too much ketamine, you can’t really get work done,” he said. “I have a lot of work.”

MEETING WITH TRUMP

Musk said he met with Donald Trump in Florida recently — totally by chance. “I thought I was at breakfast at a friend’s place and Donald Trump came by,” he said. “Let’s just say he did most of the talking.” The conversation didn’t involve anything “groundbreaking or new,” he said. And Trump didn’t ask him for a donation, he added.

“President Trump likes to talk, and so he talked,” Musk said. “I don’t recall him saying anything he hasn’t said publicly.”

Musk has said he isn’t going to endorse or contribute to any presidential candidate, although he suggested he might reconsider his endorsement later in the political system. He’s not leaning toward anyone, he said, but added that “I’ve been leaning away from Biden. I’ve made no secret about that.”

IMMIGRATION AND THE GREAT REPLACEMENT THEORY

Musk said he disavows the so-called “ great replacement theory,” a racist belief that, in its most extreme form, falsely contends that Jews are behind a plot to diminish the influence of white people in the U.S. But in his interview with Lemon he did argue, on shaky evidence, that a surge of immigrants lacking permanent legal status has skewed U.S. elections in favor of Democrats.

Lemon pointed out that immigrants living in the U.S. without legal permission can’t vote and thus can’t really favor either political party. Musk replied that such people are included in the U.S. Census and thus boost the recorded population of U.S. states with large immigrant populations. In some cases that could theoretically increase the number of congresspeople those states can send to the House of Representatives in Washington, although such reapportionment only occurs once a decade.



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