Pacific: Elon Musk vs. the world

Elon Musk's frustrations with reporters and analysts are boiling over onto his Twitter feed and earnings calls, highl...

Posted: May 18, 2018 7:09 AM
Updated: May 18, 2018 7:09 AM

Elon Musk's frustrations with reporters and analysts are boiling over onto his Twitter feed and earnings calls, highlighting a shift in relations between the Iron Man and those who have historically afforded him hero status.

Musk has always been part visionary, part P.T. Barnum. He makes stunning promises and predictions about the future and doesn't always deliver. The tone of the media coverage oscillates accordingly, often depending on whether his most recent rocket launch was a success or a failure. February's Falcon Heavy launch was a high point.

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Like production of the Tesla Model 3, coverage of Musk has come down to earth. Every missed deadline, every staff change, every autonomous car crash is covered with intense scrutiny.

Musk clearly sees the coverage as both sensational and myopic.

In the last two weeks, he has criticized media outlets and Wall Street analysts.

"It's super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the ~40,000 people who died in US auto accidents alone in past year get almost no coverage," he tweeted about a Washington Post report.

"Ford has had 3 CEOs in 4 years & no one even knows, but hey Tesla hired some interns!," he tweeted about a Fox Business report.

On a recent earnings call, he interrupted analysts who asked about capital expenditures and Tesla Model 3 production: "Boring, bonehead questions are not cool," Musk said to one. "These questions are so dry. They're killing me," he said to another.

While Musk may be right that one Tesla crash pales in comparison to tens of thousands of fatal auto accidents, it doesn't mean it doesn't warrant coverage. As Jalopnik's Ryan Felton points out, "it'd be wholly irresponsible to avoid scrutinizing whether [autonomous] technology can perform in the real world."

Related: The 5 weirdest things that happened on Elon Musk's earnings call

Musk's dismissal of analysts' concerns is also hard to justify. Musk's visions can't be achieved without financing. Today, Goldman Sachs predicts Tesla will need $10.5 billion in new capital over the next two-and-a-half years to keep operating and meet targets.

Musk is a long-term thinker in a short-term world, but his runway is running out. Tesla needs to demonstrate real, tangible progress to convince everyone other than his most bullish investors that he's still a safe bet.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93556

Reported Deaths: 2810
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6974155
DeSoto541155
Harrison373272
Jackson338867
Madison320886
Rankin319075
Lee260667
Jones242078
Forrest239070
Washington217971
Lafayette208439
Lauderdale1999124
Bolivar179465
Oktibbeha175050
Lamar163134
Neshoba1536103
Panola144027
Sunflower141744
Lowndes139957
Warren138150
Leflore136980
Pontotoc123416
Pike121248
Monroe118865
Scott116425
Copiah116233
Coahoma112327
Holmes109258
Marshall107615
Lincoln106753
Grenada106135
Yazoo103829
Simpson101143
Union97824
Tate95137
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Adams91936
Wayne87721
Pearl River86550
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George74913
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Hancock56121
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Smith52314
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Tunica47913
Montgomery45520
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Lawrence42512
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Jefferson Davis32511
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Wilkinson30217
Kemper28615
Sharkey26312
Jefferson2429
Benton2191
Franklin1893
Choctaw1795
Issaquena1033
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 131405

Reported Deaths: 2292
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19015337
Mobile13066289
Montgomery8674173
Madison758375
Tuscaloosa7240114
Lee571359
Shelby568450
Baldwin506149
Marshall383543
Etowah335547
Calhoun333839
Morgan319726
Houston270822
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Walker222680
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Dallas174826
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Autauga169024
Lauderdale164633
Colbert160626
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Jackson150611
Chilton148527
Dale133043
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Chambers113042
Clarke104917
Marion94228
Butler90938
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Winston70912
Marengo69919
Lowndes64827
Pickens63514
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Hale61528
Randolph60812
Bullock58714
Lawrence58520
Monroe5758
Geneva5724
Cherokee56516
Washington54613
Clay5427
Perry5376
Wilcox53111
Conecuh52311
Crenshaw52331
Macon47720
Henry4724
Fayette4219
Sumter41819
Lamar3462
Choctaw34512
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Greene30015
Coosa1643
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