The Daily Beast Launches a "Your Twitter Followers Hit a Girl" Attack on Elon Musk

FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2016, file photo, Tesla CEO Elon Musk listens as President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with technology industry leaders at Trump Tower in New York. Musk, who’s been known for his quirky behavior, came under scrutiny after the conference call for Tesla’s quarterly earnings Wednesday, May 2, 2018 went awry. He was criticized for cutting off two analysts that asked about the electric vehicle and solar panel company’s cash needs and orders for its Model-3. Musk called the questions “dry” and “not cool.” (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

FILE – In this Dec. 14, 2016, file photo, Tesla CEO Elon Musk listens as President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with technology industry leaders at Trump Tower in New York. Musk, who’s been known for his quirky behavior, came under scrutiny after the conference call for Tesla’s quarterly earnings Wednesday, May 2, 2018 went awry. He was criticized for cutting off two analysts that asked about the electric vehicle and solar panel company’s cash needs and orders for its Model-3. Musk called the questions “dry” and “not cool.” (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

 

Let me preface this by saying I’m not an Elon Musk fan. I think he’s a smart guy and has an incredible work ethic and would have succeeded most anywhere had he decided not to make his fortune in government subsidies. NTTAWWT. But, let’s face it, without Uncle Sugar shelling out billions in subsidies and incentives, Tesla would be a gimmick you saw at trade shows because without those subsidies and incentives the electric car business becomes something used by rent-a-cops at industrial parks.

Now Musk has fallen out of love with the media. This is the genesis:

The media has been having a field day with Tesla crashes and Model 3 delays lately, which has affected the company’s stock.

Now Baird is out with a new note claiming that those reports are ‘increasingly immaterial’ and that the stock could rally as the market gets over it.

Baird’s auto analyst Ben Kallo wrote in a note to clients today:

Negative headlines have increased substantially in the past month and, in our opinion, increasingly immaterial reports have dominated news cycles. We think we have hit a peak in negative coverage/sentiment, and believe shares could appreciate significantly with execution, which should coincide with an improvement in sentiment.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently criticized the media on how they report on Tesla crashes.

Here is Musk’s response to the article:

And he got this from someone who styles himself “senior transportation reporter” (really? they have a junior one?) at some place called TheVerge.com.  It is useful because it mirrors a lot of the political discourse today where the ultimate insult is “you’re just like Trump.”

And from there we go to a heady media troll-fest:

This is true everywhere. No matter how smart and talented you are, if you can’t attract eyeballs you don’t have a job.

That is a huge problem. Many in the media, particularly in the punditocracy, get their grins from insulting and trolling their readers. People aren’t dumb. They know that. And what you get in outrage clicks you pay for downstream in diminished credibility.

Then this exchange took place:

Erin Biba is a freelance “science writer.” I put science writer in scare quotes because Biba goes to some lengths to obscure what her credentials are. The science writers who have worked for me were PhDs with bench science chops who had decided that tenured faculty positions were unlikely to materialize. They were very good writers but they were actual scientists who understood what they were writing about. Biba got pushback from a lot of people and did what journalists do: retaliate in print.

And she turned it into an “I’m a poor little girl and everyone is picking on me” moment that The Daily Beast lapped up:

Female journalists who cover Elon Musk have the same personal rule: Mention his name on Twitter at your peril.

That’s because there is an army—mostly young, mostly white, almost entirely men—that marches behind him. These MuskBros, as we call them, make it their mission to descend on women who criticize Musk, and tear them to pieces. I know, because it has happened to me. More than once.

You can start counting assertions unsupported by evidence at this point. I count at least four.

Musk’s tweet turned into a singularity of hate against currently targeted institutions in our country. The MuskBros had a lot of opinions about me being a woman criticizing their hero. And the MAGA set were thrilled that someone with such a big following was on their side against science and journalism.

And then she starts describing random tweets she received that offended her.

Biba is either a moron or dishonest in the extreme…or possibly both. She criticized Musk to get attention. Why did she do that? Because attention on Twitter increases mentions and follows and builds your social media platform. If she didn’t think she was going to get abusive comments then she really is dumb because virtually anyone with a social media following has a number of unhinged followers. And they all aren’t white and male. If you want to experience wrathful, stupid, and unhinged white female comments, criticize one of the prominent Twitter accounts that cover arms control and nuclear disarmament. For that matter, criticize Jake Tapper. But Twitter created “block” and “mute” buttons just for those people.

This silly attack on Musk underscores one of the dichotomies of the SJW variety of feminism. These women want to be treated as equals…except when they want to be treated as special. As Clint Eastwood’s Harry Callahan character said in The Enforcer, “if you want to be a lumberjack, you have to hold up your end of the log.”

Why is this worthy of attention? Because Musk is worse than a conservative, Musk is an apostate. Musk, who should intuitively recognize the greatness of journalism, has declared that not only does the journalistic emperor have no clothes, but the emperor’s schwanz is rather under-developed. The easy way of going after Musk is not on the merits of his arguments but by attacking him. As a direct attack could be expensive, they are resorting to the same tactic they use with conservatives by associating them with the alt-right; they are painting all of Musk’s supporters at abusive, misogynistic putzes.

I think this course of action for the media will prove to be unwise. Musk is, like many very rich men, thin-skinned and unaccustomed to being challenged or having to put up with idiots.

For my part, I’m buying popcorn.