Elon Musk freaks out following unflattering Tesla headlines

I get it, I get it: creating things is hard work. And after you’ve spent hours or weeks or years building something from nothing–whether that something is an electric car or an oversized ego–it’s frustrating to watch other people criticize it.

But that doesn’t mean that such criticisms are unwarranted, untrue, or part of a sinister deep-state plot to bring you down.

Case in point: earlier this week, Reveal published a very thorough article about a worker who was seriously injured at Tesla’s manufacturing plant in Fremont, California last June. The author, Will Evans, makes pains to point out that although the worker himself blames Tesla for the incident and is suing the company, investigators found Tesla innocent of wrongdoing. Instead, they blamed the contractor that employed the man:

Tesla, in a statement, blamed Nguyen’s employer, Mark III Construction, for having “not followed proper safety protocols and regulations.”

“We have extensive protocols to prevent electrical safety injuries, and these protocols must be followed by everyone in the factory, including third-party contractors,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, that did not happen in this case. We have since imposed even stricter controls, and no similar incidents have occurred.”

Safety officials cited Mark III Construction – and not Tesla – with violations following the accident. However, Nguyen’s suit states that Tesla “controlled” the contractor and safety on the worksite.

Tesla made Nguyen work on energized equipment, the suit states, “with the knowledge of the probable dangerous consequences of prioritizing production numbers over the safety of workers in order to meet (Tesla’s) aggressive production schedule.”

The suit asks for punitive damages because it says Tesla acted in “conscious disregard for the rights and safety of others.”

The article goes on to cite a previous Reveal article (which we mentioned last month) that questioned safety conditions at Tesla. All in all, though, it’s a fairly unbiased piece of reporting.

But as we’ve seen over the years, Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, doesn’t appreciate criticism at all. And so, the man went on a Twitter rant yesterday, vowing to create a new website where media outlets could be rated on their credibility.

Who would do the rating? Why, readers, of course. What could go wrong?

Oh, and just for fun, he’s going to call this website Pravda. (For those who’ve forgotten your Cold War history, Pravda was the Soviet Union’s official propaganda newspaper.) That’s a little too on-the-nose for my tastes, but hey, what do I know?

I suppose he beat Trump to the punch. Or Kanye.

I wonder how Musk will respond to the more recent news about consumer groups asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Tesla’s marketing of Autopilot?

For more on this lunacy, check out this sobering, short read at Fast Company.

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