Taylor and Elon, sitting in a tree?

Plus: Acts of sexual Congress

Elon Musk speaks at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, on May 6, 2024 (Getty Images)
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Elon Musk has often clashed with members of the tech press — irritated by their “targeting” of him over minor matters such as how he runs his businesses and who he fires. He has a longstanding feud with contentious Washington Post tech columnist Taylor Lorenz — but is that all for show? That’s the astonishing claim of self-described “investigative journalist” Nicole Slaski, @coolndizabled on TikTok. In a video this week, Slaski talked about how she’d been speaking to a Thiel Fellow, John H. Meyer, who alleges he has been “falsely” imprisoned for arson — and says…

Elon Musk has often clashed with members of the tech press — irritated by their “targeting” of him over minor matters such as how he runs his businesses and who he fires. He has a longstanding feud with contentious Washington Post tech columnist Taylor Lorenz — but is that all for show? 

That’s the astonishing claim of self-described “investigative journalist” Nicole Slaski, @coolndizabled on TikTok. In a video this week, Slaski talked about how she’d been speaking to a Thiel Fellow, John H. Meyer, who alleges he has been “falsely” imprisoned for arson — and says that Meyer had told her that Lorenz and Musk were in fact romantically involved with each other. 

@coolndizabled

Replying to @user29513683205 I HAVE BEEN WAITING TO DROP THIS TAYLOR LORENZ TEA. THIS IS FOR EDUCATIONAL AND ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES

♬ Suspicious, slow and simple song – Kohrogi


Slaski says she has “Taylor Lorenz tea” and talks about how the Post columnist “feels like planted opposition,” before, in an “allegedly”-punctuated screed raises Meyer’s assertion that Lorenz “pretends to hate Elon Musk” when in fact they “canoodle” and “hang out in a way that is not just friends.” Her video also highlights deleted tweets from Meyer that assert that Musk and Lorenz “secretly fuck and make babies.” Slaski says she attempted to reach out to Lorenz via Twitter to seek confirmation on the scandalous allegations, but never heard back — perhaps because the rumor appears to be single-sourced by a convicted arsonist? 

Cockburn, dogged hack that he is, did manage to get a hold of Lorenz, in an attempt to set the record straight. “The idea that women journalists sleep with the powerful men they cover is a long running sexist trope,” Lorenz told Cockburn. “Elon Musk and I have never even met IRL and I do not comment on my personal life. I’d encourage everyone spreading this false rumor to log off and touch grass.” Lorenz also replied at length in her own TikTok.

@taylorlorenz

#stitch with @coolndizabled | hghh media 📰 I’m dying lmaoo

♬ Suspicious, slow and simple song – Kohrogi

Where Elon goes, controversy follows. This isn’t even the first salacious rumor Cockburn has heard about Musk’s intimate relationships with former New York Times staffers this year…

Acts of sexual Congress

The United States government can resemble your local high school, complete with parties, petty rivalries and sex — lots of it. Georgia congressman Rich McCormick is facing a searing allegation from his soon-to-be ex-wife that he has been cozying up to Texas congresswoman Beth Van Duyne. 

The relationship between the two Republicans has been long-rumored, but it was all but confirmed earlier this week when Van Duyne’s name was unsealed in court records. Originally, she had been referred to solely as McCormick’s “colleague” by his wife. 

The McCormicks have seven children together, but that didn’t stop the fifty-five-year-old congressman from being spotted “reach[ing] over to gently squeeze Van Duyne’s arm in a tender moment between the pair captured on camera,” per the Daily Mail, which first scooped the split. How very Jane Austen. 

But according to the Georgian’s staff, this isn’t particularly shocking, since the lawmaker and his spouse have been “separated for quite some time. He has kept that private and will continue to keep his personal life out of the media spotlight.” While McCormick is married, for now, Van Duyne has been single for over a decade. 

When historians cover this particular Congress, the sexual conquests of its members may last longer than any actual pieces of legislation. There was, famously, the Senate sex tape scandal first reported by Cockburn, but who can forget how Lauren Boebert reached across the aisle in a movie theater?

Scott free?

The world of golf was rocked Friday morning after news that world number one and two-time Masters champion Scottie Scheffler had been arrested on his way to the PGA Championship. According to reports, there was a misunderstanding regarding traffic flow surrounding an earlier accident — and Scheffler was detained after trying to drive past police officers. He has been released and sent out a statement about the situation. A source close to Scheffler tells Cockburn that everyone in his circle is praying for the police officer who arrested him, as they understand he was “probably stressed and in a difficult situation.”

Mediaite at fifteen in NYC

Loyal readers will know that Cockburn loves a party, particularly any prone to free-flowing Champagne and gossip. So, of course, Cockburn found himself rubbing elbows with a bevy of media celebs at the fifteenth anniversary bash for Mediaite, the site that covers the broadcast media industry’s coming and goings. 

These parties are always a parade of well-coiffed talking heads greeting you with “Good to see you” rather than a “Nice to meet you,” even though you’ve never laid eyes on them outside their nightly news slots. It’s a charming ritual, really, with Cockburn getting at least three such greetings from the likes of Joe Scarborough, Bill O’Reilly and Geraldo Rivera. 

The evening’s fashion memo? Lots of khakis and blazers. The identical outfits and unintentional twinning must have been mildly mortifying for the media titans. 

Aidan McLaughlin, Mediaite’s editor-in-chief, stood guard near the bar to make sure his drink was always replenished as he held court and received congratulations from the main characters of his site. 

Founder Dan Abrams worked the room and even made time to stop to say hello to your intrepid correspondent. Asked what he’s going to do now that he’s sold one of his companies, true crime network and film production company Law & Crime, in a nine-figure deal, he hinted at no sign of stopping. Why does he keep going? “For the love of the game,” he confided. Some just can’t resist the lure. 

Abrams’s latest venture is a drinks review site slash events company, no less, called Bottle Raiders, which sponsored the bash. Alongside the full bar, guests sipped tastings of Pappy Van Winkle and other unattainable liquors. 

And adding a touch of familial warmth, Cockburn watched a line of Mediaite employees pay their respects to Abrams’s parents, who were also in attendance. The dutiful son frequently checked on them — “Dad, do you want some wine?” — making sure they were well-hydrated. 

Elsewhere, Maxwell Tani from Semafor, Sara Fischer from Axios, Tara Palmeri from Puck and Shawn McCreesh, newly of the New York Times, worked the room, hunting scoops. 

On the other side of the room, the NewsCorp folks congregated, with the likes of Charlie Gasparino, Lydia Moynihan and Kat Timpf huddled in various conversations with well-wishers. 

As Cockburn left he watched CNN’s Jim Acosta walk out with a backpack slung over his suit jacket, like a college student out hunting for jobs.

Bob Menendez, husband of the year

If you’re in a hole, stop digging — and tell everyone that your wife is being treated for breast cancer. That is, at least, what Senator Bob Menendez seems to be doing, as his bribery trial steadily progresses. Until his team issued a press release regarding his wife’s ailments, her medical problems had been undisclosed. 

“She will require follow up surgery and possibly radiation treatment,” Senator Menendez said, additionally referring to the “advanced stage” of the disease. In addition to rolling out this sensitive information, Menendez’s actual legal strategy has been introducing his wife to the underside of a bus. 

From the start of his trial, Menendez’s legal team insisted that Mrs. Menendez had financial dealings of which he was unaware. 

But hey, Menendez still shows that he’s not a completely awful husband, making sure to at least say that he is “of course, concerned about the seriousness and advanced stage of the disease.” 

The Menendez family Thanksgiving dinner may get even more awkward when considering that his nepo-baby son is being primaried, in large part due to his father’s alleged misdeeds. Bob Menendez is accused of accepting absolutely absurd bribes from Egypt — including, infamously, gold bars.