Elon Musk has been on a furious anti-media Twitter tear this week, pledging to create a Soviet-style site to scrutinize journalists, suggesting oil companies and other automakers help fuel critical coverage of Tesla, and even suggesting that employees might lose their stock options if they form a union. He also announced a date to unveil the Model Y electric crossover.
The man who says he's been sleeping at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., to work on Model 3 production problems, who recently trolled Warren Buffet over candy and who recently dismissed as "boring" questions from Wall Street analysts, began his latest Tweet storm Wednesday following a report about a recent string of critical coverage of the electric carmaker and its effect on Tesla's stock price. Tesla has suffered a brutal run of media coverage about problems with the Model 3 production ramp, the company's widening financial losses and cash burn, and crashes involving drivers who were using Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot technology and took their hands off the wheel.
"The holier-than-thou hypocrisy of big media companies who lay claim to the truth, but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie, is why the public no longer respects them," Musk tweeted.
That set in motion a long string of Tweets and replies, of which we offer a hand-picked curation below.
Thought you'd say that. Anytime anyone criticizes the media, the media shrieks "You're just like Trump!" Why do you think he got elected in the first place? Because no ones believes you any more. You lost your credibility a long time ago.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2018
Problem is journos are under constant pressure to get max clicks & earn advertising dollars or get fired. Tricky situation, as Tesla doesn't advertise, but fossil fuel companies & gas/diesel car companies are among world's biggest advertisers.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2018
Going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication. Thinking of calling it Pravda ...— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2018
Create a media credibility rating site (that also flags propaganda botnets)— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2018
You'd think Musk would be too busy trying to salvage Model 3 production, fix the sedan's braking issues that Consumer Reports highlighted, plan for the Model Y electric crossover, run SpaceX and chart the future of underground transportation in Los Angeles, but apparently not. In fact, he seems to find this Twitter screed therapeutic.
For some reason, this is the best I've felt in a while. Hope you're feeling good too 🚀♥️🌏— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 24, 2018
Musk also found time to lambaste the United Auto Workers this week, tweeting that the union was responsible for driving General Motors and Chrysler into bankruptcy in 2009 and destroying 200,000 jobs. The UAW is trying to organize Tesla's Freemont plant, and Musk in a Tweet said there's nothing stopping workers from voting to unionize. "But why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing?" he added. That could invite a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board for unfair labor practices, Bloomberg reports.
Lastly, regarding the Model Y, Musk announced March 15 as the release date. "I just made that up, because the Ides of March sounded good," he tweeted in a reply to others in a reference to the date of Julius Caesar's murder in 44 BC. He later added, "But consider it real. We could unveil Model Y anytime from late this year to mid next year, so March 15 is about right."
- Twitter still smoldering after Elon Musk gets it all out originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 May 2018 10:45:00 EDT.