Elon Musk lashes out at the media, again

Key Points
  • Elon Musk lashed out at reporters on Thursday.
  • The Tesla CEO accused reporters at Reuters and Business Insider of publishing false or misleading stories.
  • Musk also criticized CNBC.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk lashed out at the media again
Tesla CEO Elon Musk lashed out at the media again

Elon Musk had some choice words for reporters Thursday.

The Tesla CEO sounded off on Twitter at media organizations Reuters, Business Insider and CNBC. Musk accused both Reuters and Business Insider of publishing false or misleading stories. He also suggested that CNBC features analysts with poor prediction records.

Musk has criticized journalists in the past and has even said he plans to start an organization that rates reporters. The CEO has had a contentious history with the media and bristled at the amount of attention trained on Tesla from both reporters and investors.

@ElonMusk tweet: .@Reuters is relentlessly negative about Tesla. They just wrote a bogus article saying S production last week was low by 800 cars. S/X annual prod is set at ~100k, ie 1,900/week. Tesla built 1,913 S/X cars at our standard ~50/50 split last week, which is right on target

@ElonMusk tweet: .@Reuters, why did you mislead the people public about this number?

@ElonMusk tweet: Wow, so @sal19 of @Reuters wrote article that misled public about Model 3 production & followed that up with mean tweet to me on my bday. Nice work @sal19 & @Reuters

@ElonMusk tweet: Strange. @cnbc, is it true that you are putting on analysts with such low ratings & extremely bad prediction records? Are your viewers informed about an analyst’s track record before hearing their opinion

In response to Musk's tweet storm, CNBC's Phil LeBeau invited Elon Musk to call in and comment.

“If there is something that is being inaccurately portrayed or is wrong, by all means, call in today. We’d be happy to put you on the air," LeBeau said on CNBC's "Power Lunch."

Musk did not call in, but he did tweet in response.

@ElonMusk tweet: Am not attacking all media or even all of @CNBC. Just asked if you inform public about an analyst’s prediction track record about a subject when putting them on your show

Musk's harshest criticism was reserved for Business Insider reporter Linette Lopez, who he said published "several false articles" about Tesla and paid a former employee to give her valuable intellectual property on Tesla. Business Insider Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell responded to Musk on Twitter, saying the publication doesn't compensate sources and stands by Lopez's reporting.

@ElonMusk tweet: @lopezlinette has published several false articles about Tesla, including a doozy where she claimed Tesla scrapped more batteries than our total S,X &3 production number, which is physically impossible

@ElonMusk tweet: Sounds very sketchy if true. @lopezlinette, is it possible you’re serving as an inside trading source for one of Tesla’s biggest short-sellers? An ex-Tesla employee just went on record formally claiming you bribed him & he sent you valuable Tesla IP in exchange. Is this true?

@ElonMusk tweet: Indeed, very simple question. To be specific: @lopezlinette, did you compensate or promise to compensate Martin Tripp for inside information about Tesla? Did he, under that inducement, provide you with exaggerated negative info, which you printed, but turned out to be untrue

Musk berated Lopez for saying she sees "eye to eye" with Jim Chanos in a tweet with a link to a story she wrote about his tips for investing in China. Chanos is head of Kynikos Associates and a prominent short seller of Tesla.

@ElonMusk tweet: .@lopezlinette You stated publicly that you “see eye to eye” with Chanos, the most prominent short-seller of Tesla. Have you ever provided him with material non-public information about Tesla

@ElonMusk tweet: So @lopezlinette publicly stated she stans for Chanos, Tesla’s most prominent short-seller. In her words, he is “one of the greatest.” Her articles print Chanos’s view verbatim. This is not journalism

Reuters didn't respond to emails seeking comment. Tesla didn't return a request for further comment.

Tesla has struggled in recent months. Investors have criticized the company for burning through cash as it races to ramp up production of its Model 3 midsize sedan, which is months behind schedule. To keep pace, Tesla's added a production line in a temporary tent on its factory grounds in Fremont, California.

The rushed production schedule has worker safety under scrutiny. On Wednesday, auto blog Jalopnik reported that California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health has opened an investigation into the company in response to an unspecified employee complaint. This is the third such probe since April.

Tesla was not immediately available for comment to CNBC on the investigation, but has defended its safety record in the past.

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