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The Washington Post Fact Checks Meme Elon Musk Tweeted

The Washington Post wrote an article critiquing a cartoon meme about political polarization Elon Musk shared on Twitter Thursday.

The Post article spent more than 700 words arguing that the meme mischaracterized American political polarization, claiming that the Left had remained consistent in its views while conservatives dramatically shifted rightward. “The unsubtle point is in keeping with most of Musk’s other non-rocket-related tweets” the article said, adding that the Tesla CEO’s point is “simply wrong.”

The meme showed three stick figures who were on the political left, center-left and the right in the years 2008, 2012 and 2021. The figure on the left moves gradually further left, then calls the figure who was initially on the center-left a “bigot” by 2021. The lines defining left and right shift over the years so that the center-left figure is on the right side of the illustration at the end of the graphic despite not having moved.

The article included charts that purportedly demonstrate this point, using VoteView data to show elected Republicans shifting further to the right based on an “ideological score” while Democrats barely moved, using a metric called DW-NOMINATE.

It also featured charts of Americans’ political identification to argue that, while Democrats may have moved further Left, Republicans “were far more polarized in the first place.” The charts used General Social Survey data on how Americans identify their own political views.

The article later acknowledged a leftward shift for Democrats, but attributed it to white Democrats, arguing that President Joe Biden won the 2020 Democratic primary by appealing to moderates.

It also claimed Musk has engaged with “right-wing trolls” on Twitter and expressed that the social media site is influenced by far-left ideology.

Twitter’s board agreed to sell the social media site to Musk Monday for about $43.4 billion.

The Washington Post did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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