Elon Musk Shares Tweet Falsely Claiming ‘Media Blackout’ in Death of Georgia College Student

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Elon Musk shared a tweet Sunday claiming the recent murder of a college student in Georgia was being subjected to a “media blackout.” But the killing, allegedly committed by a 26-year-old Venezuelan national in the U.S. illegally, has been covered extensively by just about every media outlet in the country.

“The main way legacy media lies is by controlling the narrative,” Musk tweeted on Sunday night.

Musk’s tweet shared an article by Zerohedge, a pseudonymous right-wing influencer, that was published on Sunday with the headline, “Media Blackout Over Illegal Immigrant Who Murdered GA Student.”

What evidence does Zerohedge present for the assertion that mainstream media outlets are ignoring this murder? None, if you actually read the article. The author simply claims it’s true:

Although the tragedy of Riley’s murder is befitting of a true crime mystery series that Netflix would capitalize on in a heartbeat, her death has received little attention by their mainstream media cohorts.

The article goes on to falsely insist “the media establishment remains silent about the murder of Laken Riley,” despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary. All anyone has to do is type the name of the victim or the suspect, Jose Antonio Ibarra, into Google News and they’ll see dozens of articles about the murder.

A small sample of mainstream news outlets that have covered the story, with some covering it with multiple articles in the past few days, appears below:

But, again, you don’t need to take our word for it. Just head over to news.google.com and check for yourself. If there’s a “media blackout,” whatever that’s supposed to mean, it’s a terribly executed one.

Musk has seemed obsessed lately with crime and illegal immigration, two topics that have energized the billionaire on his social media platform X in recent months. And these issues are evidence, in his eyes, that Joe Biden shouldn’t get a second term as president in the upcoming 2024 election.

Musk obviously has incentives as the owner of a social media company to insist his platform is the place to find the “real story.” And with other large platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Threads abandoning news content, the X owner has said repeatedly that his site is the best way to know what’s really going on in the world. While there’s some truth to the fact that social media has given a more prominent voice to previously marginalized communities and smaller publishers, it’s intellectually dishonest to claim X is where most news breaks first.

“Newspapers basically just report on what they read yesterday on X lmao,” Musk tweeted on September 29, 2023, expressing an idea he’s repeated many times.

Nine times out of ten, anyone who’s complaining “why isn’t the media covering this?” on social media is referring to a story they learned about through mainstream media outlets. And the tragic murder of Laken Riley is no different, as we can see with how many news sites have written about the story.

It’s great to have social media as an alternative way for smaller voices to get amplified when necessary. But if you really think this particular murder isn’t getting enough coverage, you may need to learn how to use Google better.

Musk didn’t respond to questions email to X on Sunday night. We’ll update this post if we hear back.

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