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.

Cases: 297651

Reported Deaths: 6808
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19829231
Hinds18966395
Harrison16899283
Rankin12851265
Jackson12754234
Lee9722163
Madison9522204
Jones8042148
Forrest7295138
Lauderdale6879228
Lowndes6062140
Lamar593982
Lafayette5768114
Washington5235130
Bolivar4632124
Oktibbeha443295
Panola433798
Pearl River4219132
Warren4145115
Pontotoc411071
Marshall406595
Monroe3998129
Union397074
Neshoba3857171
Lincoln3630104
Hancock353378
Leflore3402122
Sunflower321386
Tate304674
Pike302797
Scott296771
Alcorn292763
Yazoo292266
Itawamba290775
Coahoma283169
Tippah280265
Copiah280159
Simpson277881
Prentiss271258
Marion258878
Wayne255741
Leake254572
Covington250480
Grenada248978
Adams235978
Newton233353
George232845
Winston222579
Jasper214545
Tishomingo213266
Attala210571
Chickasaw202054
Holmes183470
Clay179452
Stone173529
Tallahatchie171839
Clarke170773
Calhoun158728
Smith154333
Yalobusha146036
Greene128133
Walthall125441
Montgomery123540
Noxubee123431
Perry123335
Lawrence121621
Carroll119725
Amite112435
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102931
Tunica99824
Claiborne99130
Benton94024
Humphreys93128
Kemper91523
Quitman77514
Franklin76520
Choctaw70317
Jefferson62927
Wilkinson62727
Sharkey49217
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 499819

Reported Deaths: 10148
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson720331403
Mobile36423741
Madison32708469
Tuscaloosa24457422
Montgomery22805523
Shelby22276219
Baldwin19935289
Lee15083161
Calhoun13963296
Morgan13801255
Etowah13419327
Marshall11460215
Houston10130264
Elmore9515190
Limestone9440139
St. Clair9057228
Cullman9000183
Lauderdale8630214
DeKalb8509175
Talladega7647165
Walker6601260
Jackson6552104
Autauga634792
Blount6256128
Colbert6010121
Coffee5261104
Dale4685107
Russell408134
Franklin400879
Covington3999107
Chilton3922104
Escambia379573
Tallapoosa3637143
Clarke344553
Chambers3434111
Dallas3428142
Pike293173
Marion288996
Lawrence286287
Winston258668
Bibb246558
Marengo245357
Geneva240670
Pickens226357
Barbour213951
Hale212969
Fayette202857
Butler201666
Henry183741
Cherokee178240
Monroe166739
Randolph165441
Washington157136
Macon147845
Crenshaw146955
Clay146254
Cleburne140341
Lamar133933
Lowndes133151
Wilcox123125
Bullock117736
Conecuh107224
Perry106427
Sumter101032
Coosa90324
Greene88932
Choctaw56123
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