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Elon Musk Wants To 'Bury The Hatchet' With The New York Times

Alex Davies

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is ready to stop arguing with the New York Times over the newspaper's controversial review of the electric Model S, he tweeted this afternoon:

Enough sour grapes from @nytjamescobb (auto ed) and a few others to start a winery. Can we just bury hatchet & move on?

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 20, 2013

The tweet was addressed to James G. Cobb, the Automobiles Editor at the NYT. In a four-part response, Cobb was cordial, but indicated he is still annoyed by Musk's aggressive criticism of the John Broder's review. Musk called the article "fake" soon after it was published.

Here's Cobb's guarded reply:

@elonmusk Three-parter: Elon, I admire your vision & respect what you have built. You promised a game-changer & Model S appears to be one.

— James G. Cobb (@NYTjamescobb) February 20, 2013

@elonmusk 2 of 3: NYT had had many positive pieces about @teslamotors, as you know, and until this month had a good working relationship…

— James G. Cobb (@NYTjamescobb) February 20, 2013

@elonmusk 3 of 3: …but calling @jbrodernyt’s account “fake” was over the line & impugned reputation of a good man and a consummate pro.

— James G. Cobb (@NYTjamescobb) February 20, 2013

@elonmusk Nobody here wants @teslamotors to fail. Quite the opposite, as we've demonstrated: ow.ly/hTwoh

— James G. Cobb (@NYTjamescobb) February 20, 2013

In a blog post published Monday, New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan said the Times' February 8 review of the Tesla Model S was flawed by "not especially" good judgement and imprecise note-taking.

That may have prompted Musk's peace offering:

Appreciate thoughtful @sulliview article. Faith in @nytimes restored.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 18, 2013

Whatever his motivation, Musk is smart to stop fueling the controversy, which started with a genuine shortcoming of electric vehicles: limited range. The longer Musk questions how Broder's review car ran out of power, the more he reminds the media and the public that it did, in fact, run out of power.

Tesla wants people to think about the game-changing, planet-saving nature of the Model S, not the likelihood of the car rolling to a stop in the middle of a winter roadtrip.

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