Elon Musk, never one to let criticism of him go without a response, took a shot at tech journalist Kara Swisher over her recent podcast on Twitter’s future. Swisher responded to that shot with a shot or two of her own in a tweet barrage.
On Thursday, Swisher posted a new episode of her New York Magazine podcast “On With Kara Swisher” titled “Will Elon Musk Turn Twitter Into Yahoo Mail?” in which she and a panel of guests tore into Musk and his impact on Twitter, from growing tech glitches after a slew of layoffs, suppressing links to Substack and other social media platforms, and blocking content in India despite his professed commitment to free speech.
“I don’t use it as much because I only use it to tease Elon really, pretty much,” Swisher said on the podcast. “Now I’m not even marketing our stuff on it because what’s the point? What happens is I’ve had to turn off comments because if I don’t, the name-calling and the crazy people are just quantumly. You don’t want to deal with it. It’s like having a bunch of people who you don’t like screaming outside your house.”
In a reply on Twitter, Musk dismissed the podcast, saying, “Kara has become so shrill at this point that only dogs can hear her.”
“Better than being the actual dog whistle of exhaustingly toxic nonsense and a professional adult toddler,” Swisher replied in a series of snarky tweets. “Also: Shrill? If you can’t do better than that with your tired misogynistic metaphors, I am worried for your career as a troll to anyone who even slightly disagrees with you.”
The barbed exchange, which has now become part of Swisher’s Twitter profile intro, comes after a week in which Musk tweeted about multiple conspiracy theories, including claiming that Jewish billionaire George Soros wishes to “erode the fabric of our civilization” and spreading a false claim that Washington Post journalist Taylor Lorenz is related to the creator of The Wayback Machine, whom he believed “deleted information for nepotism.”
When asked on CNBC whether his tweets were harming Twitter’s relationship with advertisers, Musk was defiant. “I’ll say what I want to say, and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it,” he responded.