Drudge Report slammed Elon Musk over his ban of a half-dozen left-leaning journalists from Twitter — and appeared to speculate that the billionaire might lately be under the influence of drugs.

Matt Drudge led his popular news aggregation site on Friday morning with several news stories about Musk’s controversial clampdown, which the tech billionaire claimed was over concerns about the personal safety of his family.

Two of the stories that Drudge prominently featured on his site detailed Musk’s past use of the anti-insomnia sedative Ambien as well as the psychoactive substance MDMA, or “ecstasy,” and the recreational drug psilocybin mushrooms.

“Is he tripping on drugs?” the headline on Drudge Report read. It linked to a story from the Futurism tech news site which summarized a New York Times article from October detailing how Musk “on occasion” was known to dabble in recreational drug use.

In October, the Times reported that Musk would attend parties during which he and his friends would embark on “mild exploratory journeys” that would include recreational drug use.

According to the Times, Musk would often show his peers a chart explaining why MDMA and mushrooms are healthier for human consumption than alcohol.

The top of the Drudge Report featured an unflattering image of Musk as well as links to news stories about his past drug use.
The top of the Drudge Report featured an unflattering image of Musk as well as links to news stories about his past drug use.

Drudge also linked to a 2018 story posted by CNBC headlined: “‘Ambien tweeting’ is becoming a popular excuse — because it actually can cause bizarre side effects.”

The CNBC story linked to a New York Times interview with Musk in which he admitted to relying on Ambien to fall asleep.

“It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien,” Musk told the Times in 2018.

During that interview, Musk was reportedly on the verge of tears as he described the previous year as “the most difficult and painful” of his career.

Musk’s famous 2018 tweet about taking Tesla private contained a marijuana reference.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

At the time of the interview, Musk was under fire from investors in his electric car company, Tesla, who were upset over a tweet about possibly taking the company private at $420 a share.

The number “420” is often used to reference marijuana use. Musk’s penchant for mischief generated concern among Tesla investors, particularly after he appeared on Joe Rogan’s popular podcast and smoked marijuana.

His tweet about taking Tesla private also prompted legal action by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ambien, the anti-insomnia drug manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis, “may cause some people, especially older persons, to become drowsy, dizzy, lightheaded, clumsy or unsteady, or less alert than they are normally, which may lead to falls,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Matt Drudge led his news aggregation site with links to stories about Musk's past drug use.
Matt Drudge led his news aggregation site with links to stories about Musk’s past drug use.
Disney General Entertainment Con

The National Institutes of Health says that those who use MDMA “regularly experience confusion, depression, anxiety, paranoia, and impairment of memory and attention processes.”

Psilocybin mushrooms, or magic mushrooms, are hallucinogenic substances that are grown in tropical and subtropical parts of South America, Mexico, and the US.

While the drug has shown benefits for those suffering from depression, there is a risk that excessive doses could cause a “bad trip” that may induce paranoia, loss of boundaries, and a distorted sense of self, according to Canadian health officials.

Musk, who terminated Twitter’s media relations department upon taking over the company in late October, could not immediately be reached for comment.

He has claimed that the decision to ban journalists stem from their alleged “doxxing” of his exact location. Musk has also banned Jack Sweeney, the Florida college sophomore who ran the @Elonjet Twitter handle that monitored the tech mogul’s private jet flights.


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Tyler Cowan