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Tesla Exposes The Soft Journalistic Underbelly

 February 19, 2013 03:31 PM

It's not often that you get to catch a newspaper such as the New York Times in intentional falsehoods.

Oh, we know the "media" often stretches the truth, right?  They bury stories they should cover, and trumpet those that suit their agenda.  We all expect this behavior, having experienced it all through our lives.  After all everyone has a bias, even your dear author here -- and I freely admit to that.

But there comes a time when you catch a media outlet lying outright about what happened -- that is, manufacturing alleged "news."  This is happening on an increasing basis, and is one of the reasons is that people are becoming less and less willing to trust "reporters" to report rather than invent.

[Related -Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA): How Tesla Fares Against Upcoming Electric Cars]

Such an incident appears to have happened recently with an alleged "test" of the Tesla Model S.

Unfortunately for the New York Times the car in question has a very detailed data recorder inside it.  Tesla maintains those for a couple of reasons, with the largest being the fact that they want to monitor for warranty purposes and be able to detect issues that might require correction.

But in this case what they seem to have detected were a gross number of outright falsehoods, including what appears to be intentional acts that were undertaken to try to get the vehicle to "fail" during the test.

[Related -Tesla Motors, Inc.'s (TSLA): Is It Time To Buy?]

The most-egregious of these appears to document disconnecting the charger when the range display showed available energy to travel only one half of the distance of the reporter's final leg.  That's almost exactly like putting a gallon of gasoline into a car that has placarded "30 mpg" on the window and then trying to drive 60 miles, being surprised when you run out.  Indeed, instead of traveling the projected 32 miles the car actually made it 51 miles on the energy available.

I'm no fan of electric vehicles.  They suffer from realities of physics, specifically energy density limitations and simply move the production of energy from where you see it (out the tailpipe) to where you don't (out the smokestack, nuclear cooling tower, etc.)

But whether my bias is identical to the writer's doesn't matter.

What matters is that The New York Times appears to have engaged in publishing a flatly false and invented story and despite being challenged almost-immediately by Tesla has refused to back down.

The problem isn't that the paper slammed an electric car manufacturer unfairly.  It is that this sort of conduct must now be presumed for each and every article that The New York Times publishes, as they have been caught and rather than immediately firing the reporter in question, apologizing and correcting the record in a loud, plain voice, making clear that this was both an unauthorized and despicable act they are instead saying nothing.

Mr. Musk has done much more than defend his brand, as some may assume.  He has exposed what all of us have suspected and many have had anecdotal evidence of for quite some time, laying it bare upon the table with facts that are very difficult to refute:

Everything the media does and "reports" must be presumed to be dishonest until proved otherwise.

Now shall we discuss Benghazi, Newtown and other alleged "reporting"?

That's what I thought.



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