– The Sun News
ELON MUSK

Musk takes Trumpian turn, menaces major media

Toks David, Lagos

One of the odd effects of the Trump presidency and phenomenon in general has been how it has unleashed the inner Trump in nominally “conscientious” public figures. At least those public figures who are supposed to be, by received wisdom, non-“deplorable”. Elon Musk, billionaire inventor and founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, is the latest of such people to enter into the fray and unleash on Trump’s favourite target of scorn: The Media.

The last couple of weeks might have given us Kanye West being the contrarian du jour, what with his declaring his independence from a mainstream overly hostile to the President of the United States. West went about it on Twitter, a forum where the big battles and blood sports of our age are taking place. He drew as much support as he attracted hostility to himself for his tweets. Now the same treatment is being meted out on wunderkind Musk, who – until a series of back and forth tweets taking issue with popular media narratives – would have been considered a safe bet not to wander “off the reservation”.

But wander off he did – setting his sights on a media which seem to have arrogated to itself the mantle of inviolability. And understandably, the “high priests” of their common confession (also known as journalists), most notably of the paper of record, the New York Times, took notice, and have, like Kanye and Trump before him, all but declared him an hostile.

It all started simply enough last week, when Musk, who is pretty active himself on Twitter, bantered about major media losing credibility, and suggested he’d be starting a website trollishly called ‘Pravdhuh’ (he intially planned on calling it ‘Pravada’ but couldn’t buy the rights to Pravda.com, already owned by Ukraine) for people to track and rate the credibility of news sources and journalists. The targets of his scorn didn’t like the idea and his opinions one bit, given the amount of outrage he inspired from the anti-Trump media class.

And just like that, Musk seemed to have transitioned into yet another Trump-like figure taking glee in poking and prodding major media for their evident fails and hysterics.

If that was his intention, the troll seems to have worked, having stoked debate on media credibility in the age of Trump, this time coming from one of the world’s most respected visionaries who, until he spoke his mind, would have been considered on “their” side on the big issues – media righteousness being one of them.

Here’s an extensive run down of Musk’ most interesting tweets on the topic and how people have been engaging with his own improbable declaration of independence:

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/999591624521940993?s=19

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Tokunbo David
Tokunbo David

Writer and editor.

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