Less than a week after Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that no, he in fact would NOT be taking Tesla private because the funding was not quite as “secured” as he said it was, you’d hope that he’d turn a new leaf, and settle down a bit. But no. No. Not at all. He’s on Twitter asking if anyone has happened to look into his “pedophile” accusations.
Our ongoing saga of Is This Hell? No, It’s Tesla began when a Woman, of all people, dared to say that Elon cried tears. That came in response to a story in Forbes by Riveter CEO Amy Nelson, who asked—rightfully so—what would have happened to a woman CEO had she been emotional and tearful about how hard her job was in a New York Times interview. (Spoiler alert: she’d be thrown out the same day.)
Well he will have you know that he was not, in fact, crying. Instead it’s you who is crying:
For the record, we reached out to Jordan Cohen, a spokesman for the New York Times, who said in an email that “we stand by our description. Mr. Musk’s emotion was audible. It is not true that his voice only cracked once.”
But that’s neither here nor there. We really don’t care about whether or not Elon cried big heaving blubbery sobs, wailing unto the heavens, cursing God, gnashing his teeth and forcefully grabbing the nearest reporter for structural support as his emotional torment turns into real, excruciating physical pain, for his great self-induced misfortune.
We don’t care whether or not, for instance, the entire interview had to be re-conducted because the first time they tried it, Elon just screamed awful, guttural wails for an hour and a half and rended his garments. Sometimes you just gotta let those things out, and I won’t judge for that, even if they did or did not happen (but to be clear, though, the Times says that the crying did happen).
What we do care about is that Elon is once again lashing out at the poor guy who dared to have the temerity to criticize his underwater child coffin, starting when a Twitter user by the name of Drew Olanoff, going by the handle @yoda, asked where his dedication to journalistic integrity was when he was, without any forthcoming evidence or basis, accusing Thai cave rescue hero Vern Unsworth of being a pedophile:
To which Elon retorted that his potentially horrifying allegation was supported by the fact that Elon, a billionaire with essentially unlimited financial and legal resources with which to defend himself against a guy mostly known for his cave diving, had not yet been personally sued by Unsworth:
It must be true if he hasn’t sued me yet, the genius reasons!
And Musk is right, that this whole thing is strange. But it’s strange for the reason that Olanoff pointed out, which is why the hell did Elon accuse a random guy of being a pedophile to begin with? Being an expat in Thailand, as Musk’s supporters are quick to argue, isn’t nearly enough evidence to back such an egregious claim.
Nobody really has a solid answer to that one yet, either, and it’s definitely a question that deserves some sort of answer.
To which Musk said that the burden of proof was not on him, to back up his wild claims. It was on everyone else, actually, to disprove the stuff Elon just spits out on Twitter from day-to-day:
Musk, a man who claims to deeply understand journalism and all that ails it, apparently thinks it’s on others to validate his late-night accusations, not on him to back them up. And, to be clear, there is absolutely zero evidence whatsoever that Unsworth is anything other than a genuine hero who helped rescue the 13 members of a Thai soccer team trapped in a cave. He’s just a guy who did the right thing.
Which, whatever, it wouldn’t be the first example of a lazy relationship with truth and integrity in Silicon Valley.
But what matters more is that through all the wacky shit that’s happened to him this summer, Elon appears to have learned nothing. For someone who has had so many self-induced wounds lately, there appears to be a lack of an ability to heal from them, learn from them, and move on. The “funding secured” tweet? No. Azealia Banks? No. Calling a critic’s boss to complain about him? No. Baselessly calling a random person a pedophile?
Elon had even made a bit of a show of “apologizing” to Unsworth after he attracted the ire of investors, which we now know was completely hollow:
But the best entrepreneurs and public citizens always make a big show of learning from their mistakes. Elon Musk? Hell no. Doubling down on the pedo thing.
We’ve emailed Tesla to ask if they would like to further add to Elon’s renewed allegations, and if Musk himself has launched an investigation into his own claims. We’ll update if we hear back.