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7 Jan, 2024 16:59

Musk responds to WSJ ‘hit piece’

The US news outlet claimed influential figures at the billionaire’s companies were concerned about his illegal drug use
Musk responds to WSJ ‘hit piece’

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk hit back at the Wall Street Journal in a post on his X platform (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, a day after the paper published a lengthy article detailing company executives’ purported concerns over his use of illegal drugs.

Referring to an infamous 2018 interview with podcaster Joe Rogan, during which Musk smoked marijuana on camera, the Tesla tycoon explained: “after that one puff with Rogan, I agreed, at NASA’s request, to do 3 years of random drug testing. Not even trace quantities were found of any drugs or alcohol.

@WSJ is not fit to line a parrot cage for bird,” he concluded, adding a “poop” emoji.

In its article, headlined: “Elon Musk Has Used Illegal Drugs, Worrying Leaders at Tesla and SpaceX,” the Journal claimed multiple company executives and board members at both companies were concerned that what they viewed as Musk’s erratic behavior was caused by the use of illegal drugs. These supposedly included not only the cannabis he was seen smoking with Rogan, but also ketamine – for which he has claimed to have a legal prescription – LSD, cocaine, ecstasy, and magic mushrooms.  

Musk’s brother Kimbal and at least one current SpaceX board member reportedly took drugs with Musk, though it was not stated whether they were among those supposedly concerned about the billionaire’s habits. Musk has allegedly used drugs at “private parties around the world,” where attendees were made to sign non-disclosure agreements or turn in their phones.

While “people close to Musk” were said to be “concerned [his drug use] could cause a health crisis,” the Journal focused more on the potential implications for his businesses, specifically the fate of $14 billion in government contracts enjoyed by SpaceX. “Drug abuse” – the use of controlled or illegal substances “in a manner that deviates from approved medical direction” – could jeopardize Musk’s security clearance and would violate federal contractor requirements.

Following the Rogan incident, SpaceX randomly deployed drug-sniffing dogs on company property and executives “began warning employees to follow company rules at all times, including to not use illegal drugs even outside of the office,” insider sources told the WSJ.

Despite focusing on drugs, the report acknowledged that even those concerned about Musk’s behavior were not sure whether to attribute it to substance use or other issues like his “consistent lack of sleep,” being on the autism spectrum, or (self-diagnosed) bipolar disorder. Few investors complained about his behavior when his companies were performing as well as they were in recent years, it admitted.

Musk fans on X have condemned the “hit piece,” which think-tank director Jeffrey Tucker decried as “the kind of vicious thing you would expect to see in East Germany or the old Soviet Union.