The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN are speaking out after Twitter owner Elon Musk suspended the accounts of several prominent journalists on Thursday night.
Among those whose accounts were suspended include CNN correspondent Donie O'Sullivan, New York Times technology reporter Ryan Mac and Washington Post reporter Drew Harwell. After a period of confusion and chaos, Musk eventually claimed the accounts violated his "doxxing" policy by reporting on, or tweeting about, an account that posted information on the location of Musk's private jet in real time.
Musk, who has long described himself as being a free-speech absolutist, was quickly scolded by angry journalists from both sides of the aisle. Fourth Watch editor Steve Krakauer, a frequent critic of liberal media, slammed Musk in a series of tweets.
"Musk’s ‘free speech’ veneer has been exposed has been exposed as a fraud unless he reverses these frivolous suspensions immediately," Krakauer wrote. :Do you have principals, or do you really only want to accrue power so you can punish the other side in the way you feel you’ve been wronged?"
While media watchdogs such as Krakauer called out Musk, media organizations that employ some of the high-profile journalists at the center of the ordeal also spoke up.
"The impulsive and unjustified suspension of a number of reporters, including CNN’s Donie O'Sullivan, is concerning but not surprising. Twitter’s increasing instability and volatility should be of incredible concern for everyone who uses Twitter," CNN said in a statement. "We have asked Twitter for an explanation, and we will reevaluate our relationship based on that response."
The New York Times called Musk’s decision "questionable and unfortunate," and called for a thorough explanation.
"Thursday’s suspension of the Twitter accounts of a number of prominent journalists, including The New York Times’s Ryan Mac, is questionable and unfortunate. Neither The Times nor Ryan have received any explanation about why this occurred. We hope that all of the journalists' accounts are reinstated and that Twitter provides a satisfying explanation for this action," the Times said in a statement.
The Washington Post was equally peeved and executive editor Sally Buzbee issued a statement of her own.
"The suspension of Drew Harwell's Twitter account directly undermines Elon Musk's claim that he intends to run Twitter as a platform dedicated to free speech. Harwell was banished from Twitter without warning, process or explanation, following the publication of his accurate reporting about Musk. Our journalist should be reinstated immediately," Buzbee said.
CNN, The New York Times and Washington Post all told Fox News Digital their statements stand as of Friday morning despite Musk’s "doxxing" claim.
Musk later posted a poll asking users if the suspended accounts should be reinstated "now," or "in 7 days," but the poll doesn’t conclude until late Friday evening.