Once again, Elon Musk can’t keep himself off Twitter at 3:30am.
As the most recent bizarre (and potentially unhinged) behavior from Musk has unfolded – reportedly calling the boss of a Tesla critic blogging negatively about the company, with threats to have him silenced and sued – Tesla had remained relatively quiet about the incident, despite it getting picked up by numerous mainstream media news organizations like Fortune and MarketWatch, after we were first to break the story.
After the incident occurred earlier this week, most major news media organizations reported a “no comment” from the company and it looked as though Musk himself was going to stay quiet about the incident and let it blow over.
That was, until Wednesday night and about 3:30am PST Thursday morning.
On Wednesday night, Jalopnik, in their aptly titled story “Get a Load of This Ridiculous Story About How Elon Musk Called a Tesla Critic’s Boss to Complain About Him” reported that Tesla had given them a statement – using blogger Montana Skeptic’s real name – that “seemingly confirmed some of the situation” that Elon Musk did in fact call his boss to threaten legal action and to try to silence him.
Tesla spokesperson Dave Arnold sent along a statement, seemingly confirming some of the situation and, using Skeptic’s real name, said Skeptic’s employer “is a longtime Tesla supporter and was one of the first to purchase a Model S.”
Even more bizarre were the tweets that came through from Musk himself at about 3:30am local time on early on Thursday morning.
In response to a Tweet where Musk lopped praise on a Wall Street Journal reporter that gave the Model 3 a favorable review, somebody asked Musk directly whether or not he had reached out to Montana Skeptic‘s boss. Musk responded “Never heard of this girl. Was probably her mom.”
Then, in response to a follow up question, Musk – the man who recently accused of international Thai rescue hero Vern Unsworth of being a “pedo“ – responded with a sarcastic remark, writing “They grow up so quickly…” under a famously lewd photograph of Miley Cyrus.
As we noted earlier this week, Elon Musk has joined the ranks of infamous CEOs who have pursued, or at least threatened, legal action against prominent critics (in addition to threatening shorts in his stock with “untold carnage“). That was the revelation in a statement by well-known Tesla bear Montana Skeptic.
Montana Skeptic took to Seeking Alpha earlier this week to release what he said would be his final statement. He confirmed our report earlier this week – claiming that Elon Musk did in fact call his boss – without making an attempt to first contact him directly – and that he told a colleague of his he would “engage counsel and sue” if he did not stop writing about Tesla.
The text of the letter, as posted on Seeking Alpha, states the following:
Yesterday, July 23, I decided to cease writing about Tesla (TSLA) here at Seeking Alpha web site. I also deactivated my Twitter account, where I was @MontanaSkeptic1. Here is what prompted those decisions.
Yesterday afternoon, the principal of the family office in which I am employed received a communication from someone purporting to be Elon Musk. Doubtful that Elon Musk could actually be attempting to contact him, my employer asked one of my colleagues to investigate and respond.
My colleague then spoke by phone with Elon Musk (it was indeed him). Mr. Musk complained to my colleague about my writing at Seeking Alpha and on Twitter. Mr. Musk said if I continued to write, he would engage counsel and sue me.
My colleague then spoke with me about the phone call. We both agreed that Mr. Musk’s phone call and threatened lawsuit were actions that would tend to involve our employer in matters in which he has had no part. To avoid such a consequence, I offered to immediately cease writing at Seeking Alpha and to deactivate my Twitter account.
How did Mr. Musk learn my identity, and that of my employer? It appears to me his information came thanks to the doxing efforts of some of his followers on Twitter.
Neither Mr. Musk nor Tesla has ever attempted, at any time, to contact me. Instead, Mr. Musk determined to go directly to my employer.
I do not know what Mr. Musk’s precise complaints are about me. I do not believe he has any valid legal claim, and I would have no trepidation in defending myself vigorously were he to bring such a claim. My response to his threats were simply to protect my employer and preserve my employment.
And so, you might say, Elon Musk has won this round. He has silenced a critic. But he has many, many critics, and he cannot silence them all, and the truth will out.
I am proud of everything I wrote at Seeking Alpha, and have immensely appreciated the extraordinary support of so many SA members and contributors.
Montana Skeptic has been one of the most vocal critics of Tesla and Elon Musk for the better part of the last couple of years. The “skeptic” recently appeared on the Quoth the Raven Podcast to voice his skepticism of the company in a debate with HyperChange TV’s Galileo Russell, a well known Tesla bull and investor in the company:
Tesla’s Board of Directors continues to be asleep at the wheel. Musk’s online conduct on Twitter gives us the impression that there are no real adults pulling the strings the company. Watching the whole thing unfold, our only thought is that we are thankful we are not the company’s D&O insurance carrier.
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Author: Tyler Durden