Tesla's Elon Musk bashes media, proposes credibility check

Tesla's Elon Musk Takes on the Media

In the wake of the series of "fake news", Musk found it "extremely" important to stand against the media, who roll it out, according to the South African-born American business magnate.

Elon Musk, barely a month after his behavior on an earnings call shook investor confidence, hit out on Twitter with a series of combative posts this week, leaving many scratching their heads at best and prompting scrutiny from US labor regulators at worst. "It is how they define themselves", he continued.

Musk's latest attacks on media outlets which he views as unfriendly were seemingly prompted by Tesla-friendly comments by the very Tesla-friendly site Electrek.

Molly Roberts at the Washington Post says Musk's anti-media "meltdown" is unsurprising in light of recent reports on issues with the Tesla Model 3, unionization efforts at Tesla factories, and crashes of self-driving cars.

He added that he was thinking of calling it Pravda, which is the Russian word for truth and is the name of a newspaper for the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. Plans for the site appear to have been under way since October.

"Why pay union dues and give up stock options for nothing?" he said about workers at the plant.

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Some five hours later, Musk tweeted: "For some reason, this is the best I've felt in a while".

Work on "Pravda" seems to have begun months ago.

The 46-year-old billionaire has been particularly sensitive about negative coverage of recent Tesla crashes that have made headlines, including a fiery March wreck that saw the driver of a Model X die after hitting a concrete median while in Autopilot mode. Is it just another Musk prank, or is he actually serious about the idea?

Tesla's Model 3 sedan is behind schedule and analysts have questioned whether Tesla can meet production targets.

The odd tweets were interpreted by some as trying to soften up Musk's credibility - if one is tweeting about starting a candy company amid skirmishes with journalists on Twitter and promises to bring back Pravda, then Musk's promises regarding Tesla Model 3 production targets should not be taken literally either, thus letting Tesla off the hook a bit.

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