Don Lemon Tells Elon Musk X Replies Are Not ‘Fact’

Estimated read time 3 min read

Elon Musk is not letting up on the idea that non-white male pilots are getting special advantages — and is even citing replies on X to bolster his argument.

In one clip, shared on “The View,” Lemon asks Musk about his posts about airline pilots, which he made along with other conservative commentators in response to an incident in January, in which a Boeing aircraft lost a part of its fuselage during a flight.

Boeing has taken responsibility for the incident, and aviation experts have pointed to production pressures and quality control issues, not diverse hiring. This hasn’t stopped conspiracy theorists from claiming that the cause was underqualified pilots put in place for the sake of diversity.

Lemon asks Musk if he thinks non-white or non-male pilots are inherently unqualified for pilot roles. Musk replies no — he just thinks the standards shouldn’t be lowered.

“There’s no evidence that standards are being lowered when it comes to the airline industry,” Lemon said in response.

Musk then told Lemon to “watch the replies” on his social media for evidence.

“Replies so on social media or on Twitter are not necessarily fact and evidence,” Lemon said.

Musk doubled down, though, saying that his replies cited evidence that there are “significant cases where standards are lowered” for pilots of color and female pilots.

The sentiment echoes those made by voices like Tucker Carlson, who last year decried an incident of a Black man lying to his employer about his failed flying tests to secure a job as a pilot.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the Federal Aviation Administration’s poor system of logging records was the reason the man could secure the job undetected — not because he was given a pass for being Black. Carlson, nevertheless, determined that his case was not an “outlier” of the dangers of DEI.

Fellow billionaire Mark Cuban has taken Musk to task for his opinions on DEI.

Following the January Boeing incident, Musk decried goals set by United Airlines’ pilot training academy, United Aviate Academy, to have “50% of enrolled students who are women and/or people of color.”

Cuban noted that the diversity requirement didn’t mean that the standards had been lowered. Musk replied by calling him a racist.

In response to Musk’s comments to Lemon, Cuban told Business Insider in an email that it’s “his platform. He can say what he wants.”

Musk did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.