Ben Collins has made a name for himself around the media cool kids table as NBC News’s disinformation reporter. Except that Collins is actually an opinion writer.
His work doesn’t focus on breaking news stories nearly so much as it does on spreading naive disinformation. Collins’s intent appears to rest with scoring cheap Twitter hits and accruing the associated endorphin release gained when his sympathetic colleagues then praise his hot takes. Take what happened on Thursday when the SpaceX Starship rocket lifted off and shortly thereafter exploded over the Gulf of Mexico. This was a result predicted by SpaceX founder and Twitter owner Elon Musk and by engineers on the massive project. Still, Collins couldn’t help but weigh in on his Twitter feed, saying, “The kid gloves we in the press give this man is unbelievable.”
To be sure, Musk isn’t perfect. His commitment to free speech is flexible, for example. But again, Collins’s rhetoric isn’t exactly reporter-style rhetoric. It’s clearly a statement of loaded opinion. Of course, this isn’t the first time Collins has prioritized scoring cheap points against Elon Musk. Indeed, he was reportedly suspended by NBC News for a brief period for his rabid hyperventilating surrounding Musk’s purchase of Twitter.
Just a day prior to Collins’s foray into rocket science, he reacted after Twitter suspended a journalist from Wired for soliciting hacked information pertaining to conservative commentator Matt Walsh. That solicitation was a violation of Twitter’s terms of service. But Collins instead offered his familiar hyper-partisan glibness, tweeting, “Fun fact: This is the very same rule that was used to block distribution of the New York Post story about Hunter Biden, the greatest First Amendment violation in American history.”