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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Elon Musk attacks ‘holier-than-thou’ media, says will start a website to keep credibility score

Taking aim at reporters, Musk said their stories are a “disinformation campaign”, aimed at harming his business.

business Updated: May 24, 2018 16:22 IST
Asian News International
Asian News International
Asian News International
Elon Musk speaks at a Boring Company community meeting in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, US.
Elon Musk speaks at a Boring Company community meeting in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, US.(REUTERS File Photo)

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk lashed out against what he called the ‘holier-than-thou’ hypocrisy of the media, following critical coverage of his electric car company Tesla. He proposed setting up a website named Pravda, which in Russian means “truth”, to track the ‘credibility score’ of journalists, editors, and publications.

The billionaire said “big media companies” only “lay claim to the truth”, but publish sugar-coated lies instead.

Tesla has faced a number of challenges in recent months, including missed production goals, questions about the company’s financial health, concerns about working conditions at the factory in California’s Fremont, where the company makes its cars and tests the safety of their vehicles.

Taking aim at reporters, Musk derided their stories as a “disinformation campaign” aimed at harming his business. The billionaire then said reporters are under constant pressure to produce work to attract advertising dollars from “fossil fuel companies” and “other carmakers”, who, unlike Tesla, advertise their companies heavily.

Musk’s tweet received a reply from Verge reporter Andrew J. Hawkins, who called Musk a “media-baiting Trump figure.”

“Musk continues his slow transformation into a media-baiting Trump figure screaming irrationally about fake news. Hope it works out for you dude!” Hawkins wrote.

“Thought you’d say that,” Musk replied. “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.”

Further, Musk wrote that he would start a website which would evaluate “the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication.”

Musk said he would consider naming the website “Pravda”, a name shared by the former, official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

“We welcome constructive criticism, but those who care for journalistic integrity should strive for truth above all. Unfortunately, the writers at Reveal paint a completely false picture of Tesla and what it is actually like to work here,” the company said in a statement to Reveal.

First Published: May 24, 2018 16:22 IST