Elon Musk on New York Times, Tesla controversy: 'I have a problem with false reviews'

TechCrunch | Forbes

During his SXSW talk Saturday, Elon Musk said his biggest regret following the New York Times/Tesla controversy was not posting “the rebuttal to the rebuttal.”

There were a lot of rebuttals after the Times published John Broder's scathing review of Tesla. Musk wrote a rebuttal to the review, and Broder responded to that rebuttal. (Musk never responded to that rebuttal.) Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan also wrote about the controversy, saying the review "had problems with precision ... but not integrity." Sullivan had tried reaching Musk for an interview, to no avail.

Musk, co-founder of Tesla and PayPal, recently said that Broder's review cost Tesla $100 million.

During his SXSW talk, Musk called Broder's review a “low-grade ethics violation” that “was not in good faith.” He added, “I don't have a problem with critical reviews. I have a problem with false reviews.”

Musk also offered a leadership lesson. The biggest mistake he’s made in his career, he told the SXSW crowd, was hiring talented people over kind people: “It matters whether someone has a good heart."

  • Mallary Jean Tenore

    As managing editor of The Poynter Institute’s website, Poynter.org, I report on the media news industry, edit the site’s How To section, and moderate the site's live chats. I also help handle the site's social media efforts, and teach social media sessions on the side.


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