Elon Musk, the embattled billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, recently silenced a journalist for speaking the truth about his government-subsidized products — most of which have never made a profit despite receiving billions in taxpayer funding.
In a July 23 post, Seeking Alpha contributor Montana Skeptic told readers that rather than reach out to him directly, Musk personally contacted his employer. This occurred after a disturbing “doxxing” effort by Tesla fans uncovered Skeptic’s true identity and personal details.
Musk told Montana’s boss that if the critical commentaries were to continue, he would file suit against the company. Fearing for his employment, the writer decided to pull the plug entirely, even deleting his personal Twitter account.
“Elon Musk has won this round. He has silenced a critic. But he has many, many critics, and he cannot silence them all, and the truth will come out,” Montana Skeptic wrote.
The truth will prevail unless Elon has more tricks up his sleeve. Sadly, he seems to have plenty. Recognizing that the only way he can continue to enjoy taxpayer support for his oft-delayed, unprofitable electric cars and exploding, under-delivering rockets is by blacking out the free press in Soviet-style fashion, Elon seems poised to do just that.
Via Twitter, Musk has announced his intent to create a “journalist-rating site” called Pravda, borrowing the name from the former Soviet Union’s primary propaganda outlet. State filings suggest that Musk has already begun developing the corporation.
Using the words and voices of Musk’s all-believing army of sycophants, this is intended to strong-arm the media into submission. They have previously done this to the inboxes and Twitter feeds of other reporters and editors. If successful, Pravda will eliminate a significant number of critical voices, further bolstering the fawning coverage Musk currently enjoys.
That’s bad news for taxpayers.
They have so far provided the Musk Empire with over $5 billion in funding. However — save for the wealthy Tesla purchasers, who benefit from government rebates on electric cars — taxpayers have received nothing in return.
Pravda’s disruption of the free press could affect the American public’s safety as much as it hurts the public’s pocketbooks. In April, Musk seemingly attempted to use his influence to produce headlines to his advantage in fending off a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation into a fatal accident concerning a self-driving Tesla Model X. The NTSB bluntly stated its unhappiness with Tesla’s premature release of accident data. Tesla claimed the deceased driver, as opposed to the car itself, was to blame. Jumping the gun meant making this assertion before the feds could release their own analysis.
Just a month before, a NASA investigation found that a SpaceX rocket explosion three years earlier was caused by the company’s decision to implement a lower-grade rocket part “without adequate screening … without regard to the manufacturer’s recommendations … and without proper modeling or adequate load testing of the part.” This runs contrary to the narrative that Musk’s personal “investigation” concluded, which seemingly transferred all blame onto an outside supplier.
If Pravda succeeds and Musk silences the free press even more successfully, crony capitalism could win at the expense of the safety and security of the hardworking men and women of this country.
Musk’s cash-strapped empire, which took the unprecedented step of recently asking its suppliers for refunds in a desperate attempt to fill its coffers, appears to be on the verge of imploding.
However, a plunge in media reporting of Elon’s many shortcomings induced through brazen press manipulation could very well lead to government bureaucrats throwing him yet another expensive round of taxpayer-funded life support.
Sensing the need for a new charm offensive, Musk changed his tone during the company’s August 1 quarterly conference call. Musk apologized for another recent incident: his disgraceful “pedo” Twitter attack on a leader of the successful Thai cave rescue operation. Analysts on the call say Musk filibustered his way through more difficult questions regarding Tesla’s future, effectively evading them.
Tesla’s cash burn rate is now $8 million per day. Yet Musk still claims he can get through the year without a major cash raise that almost everyone on Wall Street assumes will be necessary. Should he expect a fresh round of taxpayer subsidies and support?
Government officials must wake up and end the giveaways, anti-competitive tactics, and preferential treatment.
As one congressional candidate who has experienced the wrath of the Musk mob said, “a billionaire does not need to be shielded from critique.” Indeed — wealthy Silicon Valley elites are not exempt from playing by the same rules as everyone else.
Well, they shouldn’t be.