Many Have Concerns With How Tesla Is Constantly Misrepresented By The Mainstream Media

Many Tesla owners and supporters are highly concerned with how the media is misrepresenting Tesla in the news, and two recent articles published by the New York Times have really done a “great” job at this. I’ll quickly go over both of them.

In the first one, the author pointed out a feature that is a concern, but instead of pointing out solutions as to how this problem could be solved, the article was more focused on how bad Tesla is. That feature is allowing passengers to play video games while the car is in motion. The safety concern is that a driver can easily manipulate this. The solution is to simply put some type of fail-safe in place.

Instead of recommending this, the article went on a Tesla bashing spree, and wasn’t alone. Also, towards the very end of the article, the author admitted that this was a feature for the passenger, yet the headline itself says, “Tesla Drivers Can Now Play Video Games Even With The Car Moving.”

Coupled with intentionally leaving the part where this is a feature for passengers at the very end of the article, I think that the author did a really great job at writing a hit piece on Tesla. If someone is glancing through the article, they may miss this critical piece of information. Most will only see the headline and think that now Tesla drivers are playing video games while driving.

He called attention to the fact that there are YouTube videos on how to play games while driving and included an interview with Jennifer Homendy, the National Transportation Safety Board Chair who takes issue with Tesla’s terminology while overlooking its safety features that are set in place.

Constructive Feedback For Tesla From Me

As a supporter of Tesla’s and yes, a shareholder (2.5 shares), I have some constructive feedback right here. Tesla needs to find a way to ensure that only the passenger is playing a game.

Earl Banning, a Tesla FSD Beta tester, told me that beta testers can not get away with lying since Tesla tracks their eye movements as a part of the beta testing program. A beta tester could play the game but then would be locked out of FSD. Perhaps a similar system can be implemented, and when Tesla realizes a driver is playing a game, the system can shut it down while alerting the driver it’s doing so and to pay attention to the road.

The article also noted that Tesla and Elon Musk didn’t respond, and considering how often mainstream media is adept at sensationalizing things in order to gain clicks, I don’t blame them. There are several Tesla owners who the author could have reached out to who may have helped answer some questions.

Painting Elon Musk As A Mad Visionary

The second article painted Elon Musk as some type of mad scientist type of visionary who is sacrificing safety for his vision. For those of us who are close to Tesla, meaning that we study it, we often forget that others don’t study it as closely as we do and sometimes get caught up in the trend of vilifying Elon Musk.

Kim Paquette, another Tesla FSD Beta tester, pointed out that Andrej Karpathy, Tesla’s Director of Artificial Intelligence, wasn’t even mentioned in the article. “It’s like they’ve never heard of him.”

The author of the article quote-tweeted her stating that they emailed Elon, left messages, and talked to people who are in contact with Elon. Perhaps Elon isn’t the right person to talk about artificial intelligence. I’m not saying that he’s not knowledgeable on the topic, but he’s the CEO, and naturally, isn’t always available for questions that can easily be answered by others with the same knowledge or who work closely with a topic. That article Kim was referring to claimed that according to a former employee, Elon Musk is undermining safety in designing its Autopilot driver-assistance system in order to fit his vision.

As Kim correctly pointed out, there’s no mention of Andrej Karpathy or his work in artificial intelligence, but instead, the focus was all on Elon Musk and his goals of achieving full autonomy.

The article addressed Tesla FSD Beta testing program and really just focused on the fearful side of things. Homendy also contributed to the article and told the NYT that she just doesn’t like the language used to describe the capabilities of the vehicle.

Additional Thoughts

I agree with my friends in the Tesla community here. The mainstream media, in general, is more focused on misrepresenting Tesla to the masses than actually sharing how Tesla is building a product that could save millions of lives.

Although I agree that there is a concern with drivers manipulating the system to play games, I think that instead of wailing about how Tesla is unsafe, we should be constructive with our feedback. In addition, vilifying Elon Musk is a trend that many in the media fall into and they tend to let some of their bias come in.

Both articles complained that Tesla wouldn’t talk to them, but Tesla doesn’t talk to us either.

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