Elon Musk has a message for The Washington Post’s technology reporters: “Give my regards to your puppet master.”
The quip, a reference to the newspaper’s billionaire owner Jeff Bezos, was the only reply given for a piece titled “Elon Musk moved to Texas and embraced celebrity. Can Tesla run on Autopilot?”
Technology reporter Faiz Siddiqui’s story published Tuesday covered a wide range of issues including Mr. Musk’s “questionable business moves,” use of the social media app Clubhouse, support for cryptocurrency, and his criticism of California officials and their coronavirus lockdown measures.
“Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors” author Ed Niedermeyer spoke of the Tesla Inc. chief executive’s “increasing isolation inside the company,” while anonymous sources within the company warned that Musk “doesn’t care about you; he’ll ruin you.”
“We’re seeing this with Elon Musk: a lack of impulse control,” added Jennifer Chatman, a management professor at the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
Mr. Musk’s apparent distrust of the technology reporters — and criticism of Silicon Valley billionaires in general — coincides with recent comments by The Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald.
The famous investigative journalist noted corporate media fixation on the Clubhouse app and invite-only platforms designed for privacy.
“A new and rapidly growing journalistic ‘beat’ has arisen over the last several years that can best be described as an unholy mix of junior high hall-monitor tattling and Stasi-like citizen surveillance,” Mr. Greenwalk wrote Feb. 7. “It is half adolescent and half malevolent. … Though its epicenter is the largest corporate media outlets, it is the very antithesis of journalism.”
Mr. Greenwald asserted that many technology writers do nothing more than play “character-assassinating, censorship-fostering games … [and] deserve nothing but intense scorn.”