'Reporter' Ben Collins Suspended by NBC News for Criticism of Elon Musk

AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File

One of the worst “reporters” in existence has been suspended by NBC News for their criticism of Elon Musk. Ben Collins, a self-proclaimed “disinformation” expert who often appears on MSNBC as a talking head, was placed on an involuntary leave of absence after comments he made about Musk that NBC News found inappropriate.


NBC News, meanwhile, has responded by suspending one of its journalists who has reported on Twitter and been harshly critical of Musk. NBC News temporarily suspended tech reporter Ben Collins from NBC and MSNBC airwaves. According to two sources, the network told Collins that his criticism of Musk, which included mocking Musk’s ignorance about the company’s general counsel, was not editorially appropriate.

Collins has said a lot of ridiculously unprofessional things covering Musk in his official capacity. That makes it hard to narrow down exactly what made the higher-ups upset, but according to Semafor, one example was a shot Collins took about Musk not knowing who the general counsel of Twitter was (the now-fired James Baker).

Collins made that post during his “coverage” of the Twitter Files, which he continually tried to downplay as old news despite the damning revelations put out by Matt Taibbi, Bari Wiess, and others. Collins was also at the center of another controversy recently when he baselessly painted the Q-Club shooter as a right-winger (there’s still no evidence of that) only to have to report later that the shooter was non-binary.


Journalists are finally bumping up against some of the boundaries they never used to respect. We saw that on Thursday evening when multiple bans of “journalists” were dropped on Twitter for doxxing Elon Musk and his family members. Unfortunately, that seems to have led to a lot of infighting on the right as to what is proper enforcement or not. As usual, the rules find a way of only being applied to one side, and conservatives are there to lend a helping hand.

Regardless, I suspect Collins will learn no lessons from his employment time-out. Instead, I expect him to keep flailing on Twitter until he’s allowed back on the air. Given his track record, real justice here would have been his firing, not a paid vacation. That would have sent a message. There is no reason for any major news outlet to keep allowing Collins to masquerade as an unbiased journalist. But I guess you take accountability where you can in this environment.


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