Elon demands disgraced ex-NYT media reporter reveals if he has a financial interest in collapsed FTX
Self-proclaimed “Chief Twit” Elon Musk slammed an ex-New York Times media reporter who accused him of allowing failed FTX chairman Sam Bankman-Fried to invest in Twitter, while SBF itself was in the media venture. had invested.
Musk has repeatedly distanced himself and mocked Bankman-Fried since FTX filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11, the same day SBF stepped down as CEO.
However, in a story about the media upstart Semafor, reporter Liz Hoffman alleges that Musk texted Bankman-Fried just after closing the deal for Twitter, inviting him to roll his share to Twitter.
The story claims that Bankman-Fried “owns a significant portion of a now private and debt-laden Twitter, according to an FTX balance sheet prepared after the acquisition closed.”
Musk took to Twitter to deny the story, writing that Bankman-Fried “owns no stock in Twitter as a private company” and “neither I nor Twitter have taken any investment from SBF/FTX.”
Self-proclaimed ‘Chief Twit’ Elon Musk denounced an ex-New York Times media reporter who accused him of allowing failed FTX chairman Sam Bankman-Fried to invest in Twitter, while SBF himself was in the media venture. had invested
Semafor editor and former New York Times media writer Ben Smith accused Musk of involving Bankman-Fried in the deal
Musk has repeatedly distanced himself and mocked Bankman-Fried since FTX filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11, the same day SBF stepped down as CEO
After the text message was published on Twitter by Semafor editor and former New York Times media writer Ben Smith, Musk went on the offensive.
He tweeted, “All Twitter public holders were allowed to roll their shares in Twitter as a private company, but he didn’t. Your reporting falsely made it sound like he did when in fact he owns 0%. For the last time, how much does SBF own of you? Stop dodging the question.”
Smith — who also served as editor-in-chief at Buzzfeed and leaked the discredited Steele dossier — broke away from the paper earlier this year and now runs Semafor, which launched Oct. 18.
When reporting for the timesdid he also suggest that the since-proven Hunter Biden laptop story was an attempt by the Trump campaign to sell a story to the press.
Smith has extensively defended the website’s editorial choice to publish the Steele dossier.
In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Smith writes, “News organizations should instead consider this reality: Our audiences live in a complex, polluted information environment; our role is to help them navigate it – not pretend it doesn’t exist.”
Bankman-Fried was one of Semafor’s first investors in an initial increase $25 million – expected to last through early 2024.
Other backers include David Bradley, owner of The Atlantic magazine, and Jessica Lessin, founder of the technology website Information.
At launch, Semafor said 75 percent of revenue will come from advertising and 25 percent from event sponsorship.
Despite being a free platform at the moment, the company eventually plans to charge for subscriptions.
Semafor is set up to address the public’s problem with trust in the press. By sharing facts and analysis in their writing, the platform hopes to differentiate between hard truths and opinions in an easy-to-read manner.
In addition to Smith and Smith, Semafor has hired a slew of top U.S. media editors and reporters, including Gina Chua of Reuters as executive editor and Wall Street veteran Hoffman.
revealed that last spring he turned down crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried’s offer to help fund his Twitter takeover, saying the now-disgraced FTX founder had activated his “bulls**t meter.”
“Honestly, I had never heard of him,” Musk said of the embattled crypto magnate, speaking in a Twitter Spaces audio chat room early Saturday, according to CoinDesk.
“But then I got a lot of people telling me [that] he has, you know, huge amounts of money that he wants to invest in the Twitter deal,” recalled Musk, who secured billions in outside funding to support his $44 billion Twitter buyout.
“And I talked to him for about half an hour. And I know my bulls**t meter was redlining. It was like this guy is bulls**t – that was my impression,” he added.
Bankman-Fried resigned as CEO of FTX on Friday, as the crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy and reports emerged that up to $2 billion in client funds had disappeared from the company’s books.
Elon Musk has revealed that last spring he turned down crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried’s offer to help fund his Twitter takeover.
Musk also shared a crude meme portraying Bankman-Fried as the star of a porn movie titled ‘Man F***s 5 Million People At Once’
Musk added, “Then I thought, man, everyone, including big investment banks — everyone was talking about him like he’s walking on water and having a billion dollars.”
‘And that [was] not my impression… that guy is just – something is wrong, and he has no capital, and he can’t get through. That was my prediction,” Musk added.
Musk tweeted late into the night and also shared a crude meme portraying Bankman-Fried as the star of a porn movie titled “Man F***s 5 Million People At Once.”
Musk’s text messages, previously exposed in court cases, support his recollection.
They show that on April 25, when Musk first revealed his agreement to buy Twitter, his personal banker Michael Grimes shared Bankman-Fried’s offer to fund the venture.
Musk appears skeptical in the text messages, dismissing Bankman-Fried’s plans to use blockchain technology for Twitter and questioning whether he had the money to back his financing offer.
Meanwhile, collapsed crypto exchange FTX on Saturday said it had seen “unauthorized transactions,” with analysts saying millions of dollars worth of assets had been taken from the platform.
FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly funneled $10 billion in funds to his trading firm Alameda Research, with about $2 billion now missing
Bankman-Fried denied the secret transfers to his crypto trading company, which is run by his girlfriend, Caroline Ellison (above)
Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic said about $473 million worth of crypto assets were “taken from FTX wallets under suspicious circumstances early this morning,” but it could not confirm that the tokens had been stolen.
FTX US general counsel Ryne Miller said in a tweet shortly after 0700 GMT on Saturday that the company had “speeded up” the process of moving all digital assets to cold storage to limit damage when it observes unauthorized transactions.
Cold storage refers to crypto wallets that are not connected to the internet to protect against hackers.
Earlier on Saturday, Miller said in a tweet that he was “investigating anomalies with portfolio movements related to the consolidation of FTX balances across exchanges.”
What is Semafor?
Semafor is a new global news platform founded by Justin Smith and Ben Smith.
The platform was launched on October 28, 2022.
Articles on the site have been described as a “Semaform” – where the stories are broken up into separate sections that contain the news, the reporter’s opinion of the news, and the counterargument to that opinion.
Semafor will also contain newsletters from journalists.
The platform said it has so far raised $25 million from investors, which it expects to deliver to the company in early 2024.