New York Times Automotive Editor Needs 3-Part Tweet to Rip into Tesla CEO Elon Musk

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 9

James Cobb, NYT Auto Editor, lashes out at Tesla's Elon Musk

James Cobb, NYT Auto Editor, lashes out at Tesla’s Elon Musk

Sometimes it’s advisable to just drop it.  Let the hoopla die down on its own.

That’s what we’d suggest the New York Times do in the case of the NYT versus Tesla Motors, but the path chosen by The Times seems to be the exact opposite.

Quiet until now, New York Times‘ automotive editor (the man who rules the automotive roost at NYT) James G. Cobb posted a 3-part Tweet aimed squarely at Tesla CEO Elon Musk.  Why?  Well, it seems Cobb is none too pleased with Musk calling out John Broder’s account of a recent Model S test drive a “fake.

So, Cobb Tweeted away (posted above with Musk’s first response at the bottom) and we’re utterly perplexed as to why.

Musk Tweets back.

Musk Tweets back.

It seems the proper action for the New York Times to take would be to let the words of public editor Margaret Sullivan be the last.  And Musk was more than fine with that, Tweeting “Appreciated thoughtful @Sulliview article.  Faith in @nytimes restored.”

But now the automotive editor at The Times seems to have relight the fire, which is why Musk fired back.

via AutoblogGreen

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9 responses to "New York Times Automotive Editor Needs 3-Part Tweet to Rip into Tesla CEO Elon Musk"

  1. kdawg says:

    Must be trying to sell more papers.

    Surprised no one has figured out a new way to light an EV on fire… it’s been a few months.

  2. Mister Cobb says:

    Yes…I am also a “fake”

  3. Teri says:

    I don’t think Broder intentionally “drove in circles” 0.6 miles to “kill range” like Tesla claimed.

    Looking at the photo of the charging station, it’s reasonable to me that Broder circled the parking lot looking for the charging station at night.

    For Tesla to assert that driving 0.6 miles was evidence of intentional behavior to kill range is absurd coming from a company.

    Tesla should withdraw their allegation about this point.

  4. Anon says:

    Teri: Ever SEEN a Tesla Supercharger station at night? They’re well illuminated, easy to spot. Dunno why you’re protecting a reporter who clearly got caught lying to make a story more interesting / anti-EV…

  5. Teri says:

    Yes I saw the photo of the charger in question and the reporters version is reasonable. Driving a whopping 0.6 miles didn’t run the battery down. For Tesla to claim driving 0.6 miles while in search of the charger was somehow a conspiracy is laughable. He drove 0.6 miles looking for the charger and then he found the charger and then he used the charger, wow, big deal.

    I found Tesla’s use of this 0.6 mile search for the charger as proof of something nefarious very illustrative of the corporate culture of Tesla.

    1. Mark H says:

      I can’t believe that once again I am taking the bait on this one but here goes. There is another way to look at what Elon did. Many of his touts were clearly over the top. That is plain. If you can not see that many of Broder’s comments were equally over the top, then there is not much point in continuing to read this response. Granted I am a huge Tesla/Musk fan. What I see is Elon taking the fight to their level. Broder set the rules of engagement when he wrote his article. I would go as far as to say that he had pictured the article prior to writing it. I don’t believe he considered his data to be false. I believe he expected a certain result based on his actions. I can not imagine someone having the gripping experience he described on the first day, followed by failing to charge on the second and failing to end his test by existing the highway and charging. That would however not have made the photo op that he was after. Border set the stage for misguided information. It is beyond most people’s comprehension that a corporate level CEO would respond in kind. Some would call it nefarious, I call it brilliant. If you were testing a new fuel additive and drove past a gas station for the photo op to act as if you were stranded, most would view the action as a cheap stunt in order to sell the news.

      I thought Sullivan’s response for the NYT was excellent, even with her intellectual jab in her closing sentence. Elon responded in kind with a nice courteous intellectual jab from start to finish which clearly called Cobb out to a write a not so intellectual response. People on both sides will argue Elon’s professionalism on this one. Again, I am a fan, but I think the NYT is no match against Musk on this topic.

      No technology is flawless. Yes, there are scenarios where the Tesla SuperCharger network can fall short. However, in the fast majority of scenarios, the solar powered Super Charger network is becoming a modern day reality. The technology works! As an engineer, I see this as a much more important story than the one Broder chose to deliver. I personally believe he could have wrote plainly of deficiencies without the drama and told the much bigger story. I would have expected more from a major publication like the NYT.

  6. Levi says:

    @Teri
    He punk had already run it down!!!! He wanted it to DIE. Dude is a FAKE. LIES. ANTI EV. OIL MAN.Just throw the sink……!!!!! He’s up to no GOOD..

  7. Peter Gorrie says:

    Why not just strap Broder and Musk into the car and have them do the run again, together.