Fact Check

Did Elon Musk Punch CNN Anchor Don Lemon During an Interview?

The "news story" was labeled as satire.

Published March 17, 2023

In February 2023, Elon Musk punched CNN Anchor Don Lemon in the face during an interview.

On Feb. 19, 2023, the website Chimniii published an "article" claiming that Twitter CEO Elon Musk punched CNN anchor Don Lemon in the face during an interview:

Elon Musk's Attempt at Boxing Demonstration Goes Awry During CNN Interview, Accidentally Hits Don Lemon.

In a shocking turn of events during a recent CNN interview, Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, accidentally hit anchor Don Lemon while attempting to demonstrate a boxing move.

After readers reached out to us asking about the claim, we investigated the claim and found the article wasn't real. It was posted under "satire" on the website. If you read to the bottom of the page, it says:

Note: This is satire, not real news.

On the same day the article was published, it was announced that Lemon would not be appearing on CNN after comments he had made about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley not being "in her prime." He returned to work on Feb. 22.

False information has spread involving the two before. In November 2022, Musk himself tweeted a fake CNN post claiming Lemon said on air that content-moderation changes made on the platform under Musk's leadership would "threaten free speech."

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.



"Don Lemon to Return to CNN, Undergo 'Formal Training.'" AP News, 21 Feb. 2023, https://apnews.com/article/don-lemon-nikki-haley-344670aba56c09e97b60df2469735bf8.

Spangler, Todd. "Musk Tweets Fake CNN Headline About Musk Threatening Free Speech on Twitter." Variety, 28 Nov. 2022, https://variety.com/2022/digital/news/musk-fake-cnn-headline-threaten-free-speech-1235443144/.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.

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