CNN has reported that Tesla fans are “crying foul as the Biden administration moves toward Autopilot regulations.” This isn’t the case at all. Tesla supporters and owners are upset over the treatment of Tesla by the Biden administration and are demanding that Tesla be treated fairly.
It’s too bad CNN and others don’t get that. The article noted that Cummings’ potential new role has triggered a backlash and that attacks on her have been personal. I do not encourage personally attacking someone. Let’s hold them accountable properly, not be verbally abusive. In the spirit of doing this, I want to point out what CNN did not mention in its article, and if it was to have brought this up, that would have been fair and balanced.
Cummings Blocked Many Tesla Owners & Supporters
I don’t blame her for blocking people who have harassed her, but she has also blocked Tesla supporters who haven’t interacted with her at all. At first, I thought she was using the well-known TSLAQ blocklist, since I am also blocked. However, I think she blocked me for calling out her bias when she initially wrote a misleading report on Autopilot and didn’t disclose that she was a well compensated board member for Voeneer, which is a software and hardware competitor of Tesla. That’s a major conflict of interest.
If she was open to fair criticism, she wouldn’t hit the block button on those who didn’t interact with her at all. I know she blocked others who didn’t interact with her as well.
Her Interactions With “TSLAQ”
For those who don’t know, “TSLAQ” is a small group of anti-Tesla conspiracy theorists who want to see Tesla fail. The group used to be much larger when shorting the stock was much more common and they called themselves “TSLAQ” to represent Tesla going bankrupt.
The recent actions from @NHTSAgov appeared politically motivated and strongly biased against Tesla. This appointment of Missy Cummings appears to confirm that theory. Thoughts @elonmusk? https://t.co/sfGMRM78iF
— Matt Smith (@MatchasmMatt) October 19, 2021
Sawyer Merritt shared a screenshot and Matt Smith reshared it tagging Elon Musk, who said that, objectively, her track record was certainly biased against Tesla. I agree. This is an incredibly nasty bunch she’s been following.
Statement From The NHTSA
One thing CNN was able to do was get a short statement from the NHTSA. The article noted that spokesperson Lucia Sanchez said that any possible conflict of interest would be resolved before Cummings begins working for the agency.
Does this mean she will leave Veoneer? That’s really the only conflict of interest that matters. She currently serves on the board of a company that makes ADAS software and hardware and is about to take a job at the same government agency that is investigating Tesla.
The NHTSA Owes Tesla Fairness
The NHTSA owes it to Tesla to be fair and not biased. Now, Cummings she leaves Veoneer and opens an actual dialogue with Tesla supporters with the goal of moving forward together, I’m down.
I suggest Missy go on a podcast with Rob Maurer or Dave Lee. She offered Elon Musk a sit-down (before she deleted her account). Elon Musk may not have time for this, but Dave Lee and Rob Maurer are great alternatives and both are very fair and will debate the FUD in a respectful manner while also seeking to educate her and their viewers. I think this would be good for Tesla, the Tesla community, the NHTSA, Cummings, and anyone trying to learn more about autonomous driving, AI, and those trying to sort through the FUD to get to the truth of things.
We are not crying foul over Biden’s wanting to regulate autonomous driving — that is actually expected. We are crying foul over how unfairly the administration is treating both Tesla and its customers. Making them out to be crazed zealots instead of seeing them for who they are: customers who love their cars and support Tesla’s mission, people who want to make the future a better place for their families and descendants.