John Oliver Roasts Elon Musk Over Power Trips, Antisemitism, Rocket Man Hits Back

Love him or hate him, the embattled CEO reminds us of the Lord Acton quote “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”

 John Oliver Roasts Elon Musk Over Power Trips, Antisemitism, Rocket Man Hits Back

In the long history of mankind, perhaps no individual has wielded the same amount of power and influence that Elon Musk does. Love him or hate him, the embattled CEO has proven to be a force unlike few others. Whether that force is for good or evil is the subject of a John Oliver monologue that lasts more than half an hour.

Oliver’s Last Week Tonight show on HBO is a mix of serious journalism, satire, and comedy wrapped up into a single package. It highlighted everything from grifter religious leaders to the broken prison system in the USA. This week though, the richest man on the planet was in the crosshairs.

Oliver calls out Musk’s alleged ties to antisemitism, his “bait and switch” tactics early on at Tesla, and his multiple product launch foibles like the glass that shattered in the Cybertruck and the person in an Optimus robot suit two years ago. He also highlights how Musk evidently has enough personal individual power to dictate matters of war between Ukraine and Russia.

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Most people with similar issues would be called out in a heartbeat and potentially “canceled” but as Oliver points out, many believe that Musk is a “net positive.” The good things he does like push for cleaner energy and advanced space travel technology have, in the opinion of some, given him a sort of ‘hall pass’ to behave badly otherwise. Like many others in Hollywood, Oliver calls to account Musk’s takeover of Twitter.

The comedian and host goes as far as to show a short clip of two white supremacists who openly speak about how much better things are for their movement since Musk’s takeover. That’s only a tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Musk ultimately controls. Over half of the active satellites in the sky are those of SpaceX.

Oliver quotes one report that states every day “Musk’s companies control more of the internet, the power grid, the transportation system, objects in orbit, the nation’s security infrastructure, and its energy supply.” In the end Oliver’s own feelings likely echo many in the population “I’m probably now more impressed by what he’s doing but more worried by the fact that he’s the one doing it.”

The Tesla CEO, in his usual Musk fashion, responded to Oliver’s takedown on his X platform, formerly known as Twitter, saying, “Oliver was great several years ago, but stopped being funny when he sold his soul to wokeness where humor is basically illegal”.

Historian Lord Acton once famously said, “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” That statement might apply to Elon Musk more so than any other human in history. Here’s to hoping that Lord Acton got it wrong but Oliver makes a case that perhaps he didn’t. 

Photo Last Week Tonight

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