President Joe Biden made a speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington on Saturday that included the obligatory jokes. But one joke in particular is likely to get under the skin on Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter.
“Not everybody loves NPR. Elon Musk tweeted it should be defunded. Well, the best way for Elon Musk to make NPR go away is for Elon Musk to buy it,” Biden joked.
“And that’s more true than you think,” Biden said to more laughter from the crowd.
Why did President Biden joke about Musk buying NPR? Perhaps because the billionaire bought Twitter for $44 billion back in October 2022, but it’s already worth about less than half that.
Musk has been sparring with NPR over the news outlet’s funding. The billionaire previously slapped NPR with a label that marked the radio station first as “state-affiliated media,” putting it on par with outlets like China’s Xinhua and Russia’s RT. Musk then switched the label to “government-funded,” which NPR took issue with because only about 2% of NPR’s funding comes from the government. The rest is from corporate sponsorships and fees charged to local radio stations.
In the end, Musk decided to scrap all “government-funded” and “state-affiliated media” labels for news outlets, a move that’s controversial among some Americans concerned about Russian and Chinese influence in the U.S. But Musk has previously expressed approval of Russian state media, which only came to light when his text messages were revealed in court filings, and there’s obviously Musk’s business interests in China.
Biden didn’t just pick on Musk on Saturday night. He also made jokes about his age and took a jab at Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican congresswoman from Georgia who often says unhinged things in the media.
“I want everybody to have fun tonight but please be safe. If you find yourself disoriented or confused, it’s either you’re drunk, or Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Biden said to laughter.
Biden finished his time at the podium with a joke about Dark Brandon, the meme that pretends President Biden is some kind of hardcore leftist.
“The podium is yours. I’m going to be fine with your jokes, but I’m not sure about Dark Brandon,” Biden said while putting on sunglasses.
The Biden presidential campaign even started selling Dark Brandon coffee mugs and t-shirts on the official campaign website.
Twitter responded to questions on Saturday with a poop emoji, an automated response set up by Musk to go to all reporters. Musk is obviously the king of comedy.