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Elon Musk managed to claw his way into the news again this week, suspending a number of high-profile journalists while yucking it up with fringe right-wing accounts like “CatTurd.”

On Thursday, Musk suspended a number of high-profile journalists, claiming that they had “doxxed” him. The banned reporters had all covered a previous suspension of the accounts, ElonJet and its owner, Jack Sweeney, who were tracking Musk’s private jet using publicly available data. Journalists in a Twitter space subsequently pressed Musk about what the internet would dub the “Thursday Night Massacre,” but the mercurial Twitter owner left abruptly and briefly shut down spaces altogether.

Then, on Saturday, Musk suspended Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz for unspecified rule violations. After the suspension, Musk tweeted that journalists believe that they are “better than everyone else.” He would later say Lorenz was suspended temporarily because she had previously engaged in doxxing — ostensibly a reference to false right-wing smears against her for her reporting.

The speed with which Musk has spiraled from “free speech absolutist” railing against censorious “woke” culture and its impact on comedy to out-of-control despot attempting to silence critics and legitimate reporters is whiplash-inducing. For more:

Elon Musk Is Really Good At Being Bad
Musk has only owned Twitter for a month but has failed to deliver on nearly every innovative promise in the past—is proving to be a disastrous CEO.
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His mismanagement of the platform is also impacting Tesla’s stock price. Read more:

How Much Did Tesla Lose Since Last Tuesday?
Taking the bait.
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Twitter is a platform with a unique cultural relevance. It is used by politicians, activists, whistleblowers, journalists, celebrities, and regular people. It is a place where news and media narratives are shared and shaped. As such, Musk’s actions are dangerous — an assault on the free flow of information.

But they are not unexpected. For years now, the far right has been waging an escalating war on journalism in the service of creating an alternate reality where factual wrongness is framed as mere differing opinions. Donald Trump once called the press the “enemy of the people.” The vilification of the press is essential to insulating powerful men like Trump and Musk, and powerful business interests, from public accountability.

What we are trying to do at OptOut is provide a counter to those who would weaponize disinformation, conspiracy, and hate. Factual reporting is the foundation of resistance.

For more on Elon Musk’s purge, check out these articles by OptOut participating outlets:

Elon Musk Is Taking Aim at Journalists. I’m One of Them.
The tweet — and the journalism — that got me suspended from Twitter.
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Elon Musk Goes on Banning Spree, Gets Rid of Journalists and Twitter Spaces
Elon Musk goes on a banning spree on Twitter, starting with the account that followed his publicly available flight information, followed by a host of journalists. Finishing off with the removal of Twitter spaces. Reporter Louis DeAngelis goes over all the information, and why this is an argument fo…
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With that, please enjoy this week’s selection of stories from OptOut’s participating outlets:


Potentially good news for climate advocates this week as scientists announced a breakthrough in nuclear fusion. THE DAILY MONTANAN had the story.

Scientists announce a fusion breakthrough with big implications for clean energy – Daily Montanan
American scientists announce they’ve achieved the breakthrough in which a nuclear fusion experiment created more energy than it took to produce.
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Of course, not everyone is optimistic. There are drawbacks to fusion energy as COUNTERPUNCH noted in a piece this week.

Fusion. Really?
There was great hoopla—largely unquestioned by media—with the announcement this week by the U.S. Department of Energy of a “major scientific breakthrough”
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THE MINNESOTA REFORMER had a good piece this week about the potential detrimental impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act on native lands. The spending bill included incentives for domestic mining to facilitate the production of EV batteries.

Don’t let Natives end up paying the cost of Biden’s EV goals - Minnesota Reformer
The conversation about decarbonizing our economy must include Indigenous voices.
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Amazon is wasting a whole lot of plastic according to a new report from GRIST.

Amazon’s plastic packaging waste grew 18% in 2021
A new report says the retail giant is “in denial” about its plastic problem.
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EARTH ISLAND JOURNAL reported on Shell Oil’s efforts to expand its offshore operations.

Shell Persists with Effort to Explore for Oil Off South Africa’s Wild Coast
Oil giant is appealing cancellation of permit to conduct seismic explorations in the ecologically rich waters.
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Did you read our latest climate-focused newsletter? OptOut Climate Editor Cristian Salazar rounds up the best independent reporting about climate change, energy, and the environment every other Wednesday.

Fossil Fuel Companies Fight Climate Action 🌏 California’s Ailing Salton Sea 🌏 Eric Holthaus on Meteorology and Climate Change
The best of independent climate news from the OptOut network.
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To get next week's climate newsletter in your inbox, sign into your account and click "Manage" to subscribe to OptOut Climate!


With COVID cases on the rise again in many parts of the country, and the holidays fast approaching, the Biden administration is resuming its free delivery of rapid tests through the United States Postal Service. States Newsroom reported.

White House resumes handing out free COVID-19 rapid test kits - Virginia Mercury
The program will allow each household to order four free COVID-19 tests amid a nationwide increase in coronavirus, flu and RSV.
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Despite the continually mounting COVID toll on our country, Elon Musk has restored the accounts of several prominent spreaders of pandemic-related misinformation, including convicted Capitol insurrectionist Simone Gold, of the group America’s Frontline Doctors, which made millions hawking quack cures for the virus as vaccine alternatives. Now, Gold wants to help Musk weed out what she deems to be misinformation about COVID. The Intercept covered the inmate takeover of the asylum.  

Covid Disinformation Doctor Wants to Help Elon Musk Do Medical Fact-Checks on Twitter
Convicted U.S. Capitol insurrectionist Simone Gold offered her vaccine disinformation group America’s Frontline Doctors for the job.
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The Biden administration is reportedly looking at ending the state of emergency declaration for COVID. When that happens, however, there will be serious consequences. SOURCE NEW MEXICO covered how such a decision could impact tens of thousands in the state who rely on Medicare.  

85,000 New Mexicans or more could be kicked off Medicaid this winter - Source New Mexico
More than one-third of the people in New Mexico are covered either by Medicaid or CHIP, the highest proportion of any state in the country.
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Labor News

In the wake of COVID, labor has more energy and leverage behind it than it has in decades. OptOut supports organized labor unequivocally. Our participating outlets covered some of the big actions this week.

JACOBIN reported on the fifth week of a massive university strike taking place in California.  

The Massive University of California Strike Is Now in Its Fifth Week
The historic strike by student workers in the University of California system just entered its fifth week. Jacobin spoke with striking workers about the state of the strike and how union members are feeling at this contentious and pivotal moment.
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This week, Starbucks workers held their biggest action yet. Workers from roughly 100 stores staged a three-day walkout. IN THESE TIMES covered the demonstration.  

The Biggest Strike in Starbucks’ History Is Underway
Starbucks workers at around 100 stores have begun a national three-day walk out, the union campaign’s largest action yet.
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Did you see our first LGBTQ+ newsletter by Liana DeMasi? Sign up for free now!

Other News

Airplane manufacturer Boeing is lobbying to get a critical deadline for cockpit safety pushed back, THE AMERICAN PROSPECT reported this week.

Boeing’s Lobbying Blitz
The airplane maker is scrambling to get a deadline for improving cockpit safety systems on all planes pushed back.
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Introducing New OptOut Original Content and Perks!
Today OptOut News announces new original content, a Discord community, and many other perks for recurring donors.
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