Tesla’s having a tough time of late, and the spate of negative stories in the media seems to have finally taken its toll on the company’s enigmatic founder and CEO, Elon Musk. At a conference call with investors Wednesday evening, the celebrated entrepreneur minced no words while airing his views about how he thinks journalists have reported on his company in the recent past. In a scene that wouldn’t have been totally out of place in the Game of Thrones, Musk channeled his inner Cersei Lannister and, yelled out ‘Shame’ while referring to the journalists who have been reporting about the Model 3 production delays, the $619 million quarterly loss, the mass layoffs and the subsequent lawsuit. “Low integrity” is another phrase that stands out from Musk’s reported outburst.
It may be the sign of times that even smart, suave and educated tech entrepreneurs are bashing journalists for stating the truth. Which, in this case, meant reporting about Tesla failing to meet its own internal production targets for the Model 3. He didn’t quite accuse reporters of spreading ‘fake news’, but he might as well have, given how he made no bones about his feelings towards the media. The news of Musk’s outburst against the media has been reported widely over the past few hours, but the man at the center of it all has maintained a studied silence on the subject so far. It will be interesting to see if he wants to have the last word in his battle against the press or if there will be an olive branch extended after all.
While Tesla has grown by leaps and bounds both in size and market value over the past few years, the company has been in quite a bit of turmoil of late, and has been accused by detractors of trying too many things too quickly. From the mass-market Model 3 to the ambitious SpaceX, Tesla’s founder has dipped his fingers in almost every tech pie over the years, with the media at large generally playing along as his biggest cheerleader. However, now that the company is seemingly in a spot of bother, Musk seems to be taking a leaf out of president Trump’s playbook, blaming reporters for doing their job at a time when the public’s trust in the media is at an all-time low.