Elon Musk and journalist Kara Swisher traded barbs on Wednesday over the billionaire’s connections to FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried and his chaotic takeover of Twitter.
Swisher ignited the dispute on Tuesday with a tweet about a recent Semafor report on Musk’s texts with Bankman-Fried, the founder of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
As Musk appeared poised to acquire Twitter in May, the billionaire reportedly invited Bankman-Fried to contribute his $100 million in Twitter stock toward a privately held Twitter, according to Semafor. However, Musk has turned on Bankman-Fried in recent days, following the meltdown of his company.
“Of course Elon took the $ and then dunked on SBF, because it is all a game that you all aren’t supposed to see,” Swisher said in a tweet with a link to the Semafor article.
Musk hit back at Swisher the next day, tweeting, “There was a time when you cared about the truth. That is long gone.”
However, Swisher quickly snapped back at Musk, criticizing his recent takeover of Twitter.
“There was a time when you cared about the truth @elonmusk. That is long gone,” Swisher said. “I’ll add: Playing to the cheap (and dirty) seats is no way to live. You may be my greatest disappointment in 25 years of covering tech.”
“Last disappointment: Not taking all those jobs I was offered at Internet startups in the 1990s, so I could have had a pile of dough to buy Twitter & make it into the amazing place it could be,” she added. “Which is what I really thought you would do rather than this petty grievance freak show.”
Since Musk finalized his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in late October, the social media company has been embroiled in controversy and chaos. Musk laid off half of the company’s workforce in his first week and lost several hundred more employees last week who chose to resign rather than commit to Musk’s self-proclaimed “hardcore” work style.
The social media platform itself has also faced upheaval under Musk. His brief attempt to roll out a paid subscription service for Twitter’s blue check verification backfired when several users impersonated major public figures and brands.
Musk recently reinstated former President Trump’s account, nearly two years after he was permanently banned in the aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot, and indicated on Wednesday that he may restore other individuals’ accounts.
“In all seriousness, this is not the you I have known,” Swisher added on Wednesday. “While there have been lots of mistakes (me too), you had vision and drive and creativity and humor. Now it’s all thin-skinned ego and punching down … just like all the other boys. Long, prolonged sigh.”