The drama with National Public Radio continues.
The executives decided to leave Twitter after Musk tagged the account as “state-affiliated”. Nevertheless, a few members have active accounts. One of them is Bobby Allyn who has some breaking news and made dubious allegations of retaliation.
Allyn reveals in a recent article that Elon Musk contacted him to ask if NPR would be active again on the website, and if they weren’t, he suggested another option. Allyn revealed that Musk had sent him an unannounced email regarding the status of NPR on Twitter.
Musk sent an email unprompted on Tuesday asking: “So, is NPR going back to posting tweets again? Or should we assign @NPR to a different company?”
Allyn spoke to a professor and a former Twitter executive about the implications of this perceived threat.
Emily Bell, professor of social media at Columbia Journalism School, said that if this is an indication of what’s to come, media organizations and brands may soon retreat even further. It’s a really extraordinary threat.”
Maybe we should save the hysterics until he does something. Musk is known to send provocative emails, and he has managed to get a response from the outlet. The press, just like during the Trump presidency, is more likely than not to be fooled by a trolling attempt and react as it was intended. As we’ll see, some media members overreacted to this story.
Bobby Allyn, after typing furiously, went to Twitter to post his report. This is when the situation took a comical turn. Allyn, after failing to post his article, sent out a series of tweets as he made another proclamation regarding Musk.
He shared his entire work over a series tweets and appeared to skirt the targeted ban. Several journalists noticed this development and rushed to defend Allyn, NPR and Musk. Judd Legum was the leader of this charge.
Aaron Rupar, a so-called “journalist” (with thanks to Rep. Stacey Plaskett), also piled on. This outrage could not stand! In truth, the tweets were not true. The reporters quickly put down their pitchforks, and instead rushed to the DELETE keys on their keyboards. This problem was not caused by an angry owner of a social media platform, but rather what techies call a PICNIC default error. Allyn is to blame.
It follows a pattern in which various members of a publicly-funded media outlet have displayed questionable judgement. Steve Inskeep declared recently that he was a reliable source of information while criticizing those “inaccurately,” who said NPR had quit Twitter, despite reports to the contrary. NPR. In the recent Lie Able Sources podcast, I discussed how current WHCA president Tamara Keith was a former NPR employee. While the station loudly denied being beholden, there she was at the podium of Saturday’s Correspondents dinner, gushing about President Biden and VP Kamala Harris both being in attendance, and that they are enthusiastic supporters of journalism.
It is still unclear how serious Musk meant his comments about redistributing @NPR. The news outlet only needs to log in at least once per month for the system to be active. We know that Musk didn’t block the article. This is another fact to add to the humor. Bobby Allyn is NPR’s Technology Reporter. He was the one who couldn’t load the link correctly, but jumped to the conclusion that Musk blocked the article.