Fox News killed two birds with one stone on Wednesday when it combined mocking Elon Musk’s “disaster” of an online event featuring Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with promoting its own DeSantis interview — and simultaneously still mocking Musk.
On the homepage of the Fox News website, the event was deemed “amateur hour,” and a “disaster.” Directly below that, the conservative network dug the knife deeper with a bright red banner bearing this promotional message: “PROGRAMMING ALERT: Want to actually see and hear Ron DeSantis? Tune into Fox News at 8 p.m. Easter.”
Ouch. Or, if you prefer, “heartbreaking the worst person you know…”
See for yourself in a screenshot taken by NBC reporter Ben Collins.
The event, intended to launch DeSantis’ campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, took place on Twitter’s audio-only live-streaming platform Spaces on Tuesday. Musk was supposed to have a conversation with DeSantis, moderated by DeSantis donor David Sacks. And in fairness this did eventually happen (sort of). But only after an excruciating 20 minutes or so beset by technical problems and what critics compared to the experience of watching elderly people have trouble using new technology.
Musk tried to play it off by blaming it on the size of the audience, around 650,000 listeners, though critics noted that earlier in the day, Sony held an online PlayStation event with video that easily accommodated more than 2 million online visitors. Among the lowlights, Spaces went completely offline before DeSantis even had a chance to speak. “It just keeps crashing, huh?” moderator David Sacks could be heard asking Musk midway through, shortly before the conversation went dark.
As the New York Times put it, the event mainly served to illustrate the weaknesses that have bedeviled Twitter since Musk bought the site last year.
Fox News wasn’t the only one to highlight the fiasco. President Joe Biden was quick to counter DeSantis’ announcement with a 15-second montage clip (posted on Twitter, ironically) of the Florida governor that asked “can you launch a presidential campaign?” alongside a video of his Twitter Spaces profile giving some annoying audio feedback during the blundered announcement.
DeSantis’ primary obstacle to succeeding in the primary, the overwhelming GOP front-runner Donald Trump, also took potshots. He posted video of a rocket labeled “Ron! 2024” failing to launch, falling over and exploding — a jab at both DeSantis and Musk’s SpaceX.