Billionaire Elon Musk embarrassed himself at The New York Times DealBook Summit after he told journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin that the only reason he agreed to sit for an interview was that he considers Sorkin a "friend"—only to call him by the wrong name in the process.
Musk said rather firmly that he would not "pander" to the audience and suggested that connection was why he accepted a loweer speaking fee only to then make the following statement in reference to Sorkin:
"Jonathan, the only reason I'm here is because you're a friend. Look, what was my speaking fee?"
Sorkin chuckled and responded:
"You're not making any ... First of all, I'm Andrew."
Musk apologized, and the good-natured Sorkin moved past the very obvious error.
You can see their exchange in the video below.
Musk was swiftly mocked following his speaking gaffe, which many said offered evidence that he is not the authentic human being he pretends to be.
Musk's interview was noteworthy for his unapologetic response to his critics as X, formerly Twitter, faces considerable financial problems.
Musk responded with profanity—saying "Go f**k yourself"—to companies that withdrew their advertisements from his social media platform amid a controversy over his posts, which were criticized as antisemitic.
Musk had agreed with Jewish conservative Charles Weber, who, addressing Israel's campaign against Hamas and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, said that "Jewish communities have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them."
Musk responded that Weber was speaking "the actual truth" when he said he doesn't care that "western Jewish populations [are] coming to the disturbing realization that those hordes of minorities that support flooding their country don't exactly like them too much."
Disney is among several firms, including IBM, Apple, and Lionsgate, that have withdrawn ads from X due to Musk's controversial tweet and reports from Media Matters highlighting their ads alongside offensive content. Musk has taken legal action against Media Matters over the report.
Musk said he "should in retrospect not have replied to [Weber] and should have written in greater length what I meant." He said he was "sorry" but claimed his "clarifications were ignored by the media and essentially I handed a loaded gun to those who hate me and arguably to those who are antisemitic."
Reports suggest X may face financial repercussions, with estimates ranging from $11 million to as much as $75 million in potential losses from the advertiser pullout.