NBC News Bars ‘Disinformation’ Reporter Ben Collins from Discussing Elon Musk On-Air

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NBC News barred “disinformation” reporter Ben Collins from discussing Elon Musk on its airwaves out of concern that Collins’s criticisms of the new Twitter CEO crossed the line into personal attacks, according to a new report that comes after Musk suspended a number of prominent reporters from the platform for reporting on his whereabouts.

Collins, who advocates banning disfavored public figures from major tech platforms in much of his writing and on-air commentary, has been barred from talking about Musk on the airwaves of NBC and MSNBC, Semafor reported. The ban comes after Collins spent weeks attacking Musk over his decision to restore the accounts of a number of right-wing influencers and provocateurs, such as Roger Stone and Laura Loomer.

The dictate from NBC executives reportedly came down after Collins ridiculed Musk for failing to realize that Twitter’s deputy general counsel, James Baker, had previously served as general counsel for the FBI.

Baker reportedly vetted the first installment of the “Twitter Files” — internal documents revealing the old management’s politically skewed content moderation regime — without Musk’s knowledge. Twitter then fired Baker earlier this month, according to Matt Taibbi, one of the independent journalists Musk enlisted to synthesize and share the “Twitter Files” with the public.

NBC did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Since Thursday, Musk has been banning the accounts of mostly leftwing journalists, including the Washington Post’s Drew Harwell, the New York Times’ Ryan Mac, and CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, arguing that they exposed the real-time location of his private jet, endangering him and his family. The suspensions will be lifted after seven days, Musk said.

Collins attacked the lock-outs on Twitter, keeping a running list of the journalists who were booted presumably for alleged direct or tangential involvement in the “doxxing” Musk alleged.

Amid the account freezings, NBC and other publications have been strategizing to combat Musk’s actions. The Times reported Friday that it would be “cancelling today’s Twitter Space on the best reads of 2022” in response.

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