Elon Musk Trashes Media, Says Trump Won Because No One Trusts Them Anymore

Tesla billionaire says the media's desperate pandering for page views has fueled dishonest reporting.

Mark Brake / Getty Images

Tesla billionaire says the media's desperate pandering for page views has fueled dishonest reporting.

Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of Tesla and SpaceX, trashed the media on Twitter, saying their desperate pandering for page views have turned them into dishonest shills of clickbait articles.

“The holier-than-thou hypocrisy of big media companies who lay claim to the truth, but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie, is why the public no longer respects them,” Musk tweeted, along with a link to yet another article that proclaimed the death of Tesla.

A reporter from the Verge responded by accusing Musk of being like President Donald Trump because Musk criticized a story he considered dishonest or fake news.

Musk: ‘You Lost Your Credibility A Long Time Ago’

Musk was anticipating this retort (he is a genius, after all), and quipped: “Thought you’d say that. Anytime anyone criticizes the media, the media shrieks “You’re just like Trump!” Why do you think he got elected in the first place? Because no ones believes you any more. You lost your credibility a long time ago.”

Musk followed up by tweeting that the media have increasingly become dishonest and sloppy because so-called journalists are under increasing pressure to write sensationalist, clickbait articles to deliver page views because their industry is flailing.

Cratering Industry Spawned Clickbait Mania

Not only are large newspapers continuing to lay off staffers before eventually folding, but even mega-media companies like the New York Times and Time Inc. are slashing staff and consolidating.

In 2017 alone, 10 major media companies, including BuzzFeed, Mashable, ESPN, Vice Media, Huffington Post, Condé Nast, Time Inc., and the New York Times Co. all laid off scores of staff.

Musk observed, “Problem is journos are under constant pressure to get max clicks and earn advertising dollars or get fired. Tricky situation.”

This is not the first time that Elon Musk has slammed the media. Earlier this month, Musk blasted reporters and analysts during a bizarre conference call to discuss his company’s first-quarter earnings.

Tesla posted a first-quarter loss of $780 million on revenue of $3.3 billion, which was slightly better than Wall Street expectations. But his impatience with analysts during the post-earnings conference call raised eyebrows.

Slammed ‘Bonehead, Boring’ Questions From Reporters

In response to a series of rote questions about Tesla’s finances, Musk replied, “Boring, bonehead questions are not cool. Next.”

When another analyst asked about his electric-car company’s capital requirements, Musk retorted, “These questions are so dry. They’re killing me.”

Naturally, Wall Street was abuzz after the conference call, where many complained about Musk’s demeanor. But former hedge fund manager and CNBC host Jim Cramer said that was the “best” earnings call he had heard in a long time because it was so brutally honest.

Cramer said many CEOs would love to tell off reporters now and then, truth be told.

“This was the best call I’ve heard in a long time!” Cramer said on Squawk on the Street. (see video).”If I were Elon Musk, I would have done the exact same thing. They’re all tired and boring, asking tough questions, and what he did do was the internal thinking of a lot of CEOs.”

Meanwhile, negative press coverage isn’t hurting the South Africa-born entrepreneur. Musk’s net worth tops $20 billion, according to Business Insider.