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After getting in so much trouble over co-signing antisemitism that he had to go on an apology tour to Israel, noted tech weirdo Elon Musk tweeted a Pizzagate meme — and then deleted it, seemingly realizing that once again he had self-inflicted a terrible self-own.
In a post made on the social network he owns that's still visible via the Internet Archive, Musk shared a years-outdated meme featuring characters from NBC's "The Office" having a back-and-forth exchange about the thoroughly-debunked Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which improbably alleges that ranking Democrats including Hillary Clinton ran a child sex trafficking ring out of a pizza parlor in Washington, DC.
The since-deleted meme revolves around the latest iteration of the conspiracy theory that suggests the recent jailing of former ABC reporter James Gordon Meek for possession of child sexual abuse imagery is somehow part of a Pizzagate coverup. In doctored screenshots of an old New York Post story, that same reporter was accused of being involved in debunking the theory — but as Reuters reports, Meek never wrote about Pizzagate except to mention it once in passing in a story about Russian disinformation.
In spite of all the evidence that the conspiracy theory is nothing more than social media contagion, Musk — whose father has had children with his own step-daughter — posted the meme on X-formerly-Twitter and claimed that it "does seem at least a little suspicious."
It's unclear why the tweet was deleted, but it's not the first time Musk has dirty-deleted a controversial post. There were at least two such instances amid Tesla's longstanding Securities and Exchange Commission investigation (which, lest we forget, also began with a dumb tweet), and over the years he's deleted a handful of other embarrassing posts. Perhaps most pertinently, his deletion of a post last summer that contained misinformation about the shooting of Nancy Pelosi's husband showed that sometimes, Musk either realizes — or, at least, is able to be convinced — that the stuff he incessantly posts is wrong.
In this case, if we had to wager a guess, we'd say that Musk figured out that it probably isn't a great look to post something as conspiratorial as Pizzagate in the midst of a shitstorm that has to do with conspiracy theories in the first place.
The hubbub all began when Musk first agreed with an overtly antisemitic conspiracy theory about Jewish people promoting "hatred against whites," a sentiment tied to the deeply bigoted "great replacement" theory suggesting that Jewish people want to "replace" white people. The X owner called the claim "the actual truth," which along with a report from Media Matters for America (which, full disclosure, this writer used to work for) about major brand ads appearing next to white supremacist content on X, led to the site's advertisers dropping like flies.
After suing Media Matters for allegedly doctoring its findings, Musk, in an apparent effort to fend off accusations of antisemitism, flew to Israel and met with the country's embattled prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu — whose son once posted his own antisemitic memes and who has himself been accused of rubbing shoulders with antisemites for political clout — amid its controversial bombardment in the Gaza Strip as it fights Hamas.
While we can't say for sure what message Musk is trying to send with his visit the Holy Land during a fraught war and humanitarian crisis — or with his Pizzagate tweet, for that matter — it seems like someone over at the site formerly known as Twitter talked the tiniest bit of sense into its bombastic owner.