Friday, June 22, 2018

Elon Musk Exposes the Oil Industry and the Media Monopoly It Has Maintained for Decades

Source: Collective Evolution

Published: June 1, 2018

By: Richard Enos

On the face of it, it is natural that Elon Musk would be somewhat of an opponent to gas-powered vehicles and the Big Oil cartel that fuels them. All he seems to be asking for, however, is a level playing field, where his electric cars can be measured against their gas-powered brethren based on actual customer experiences and objective reporting.

He contends that he is not getting a fair shake. He has argued that coverage of crashes involving Tesla cars have been disproportionately over-reported and negatively slanted by design, as a consequence of the undue influence of Big Oil.

In this tweet he refers to an Electrek article entitled ‘Tesla (TSLA) could rally as media negativity is ‘increasingly immaterial’, says Baird.’ The article quotes Baird’s auto analyst Ben Kallo in a note to clients about Tesla:

Negative headlines have increased substantially in the past month and, in our opinion, increasingly immaterial reports have dominated news cycles. We think we have hit a peak in negative coverage/sentiment, and believe shares could appreciate significantly with execution, which should coincide with an improvement in sentiment.

Later in the article Electrek puts their two cents in:

I have to agree with Baird here. I have been increasingly bummed out by the media’s coverage of Tesla.
* * *
Not only with the obsessive coverage of crashes trying to link what are mostly driver mistakes to Tesla Autopilot or risk of battery fires, but also a general increase of misleading clickbait.

Endemic Problem in Mainstream Media

Elon Musk, the quintessential innovator, sees the root of the problem not as personal leanings of the reporters and journalists, but in the business model of mainstream media itself and the undue pressure it puts on slanting the narrative a particular way:

It’s interesting to see mainstream journalists resist and take personally what Musk is condemning, as evidenced by some of the responses to Musk on Twitter. While some mainstream journalists may hold on to the illusion that they are completely free to report and analyze on the impulses of their convictions and conscience, the more conscious among them realize that their success is dependent on their efforts to proliferate a narrative that favors not only advertisers, but the controlling interests of the media establishment itself. Often they are one and the same.

In this case, a journalist’s condemnation and mockery of Tesla cars is likely fostered and encouraged by superiors and the overall culture, while outright advocacy for Tesla cars is covertly or overtly discouraged. It does not take long to subtly weed renegades out of an intellectual culture and assimilate/elevate those who are willing to follow the party line and be proponents of a controlled perception.

Selling a Narrative

Sometimes an advertiser has a bigger goal in mind than simply selling their product, as this article from the Free Thought Project points out:

One of the dark secrets of the advertising industry is the fact that commercials are not always intended to sell something, but are sometimes an undercover bribe, which corporations use to control the narrative on the sponsored news sources. An obvious example of this is how military arms suppliers like Boeing or Lockheed Martin will advertise on major networks despite the fact that their products are not available for sale to the people watching the advertisements.

It is no coincidence that international stories are covered with a pro-war slant on every major media platform when the arms dealers are advertising on each one—in fact, that is the very reason they advertise. The same goes for recruitment ads for the military, these serve the double purpose of recruiting and also controlling the narrative of the media outlet by becoming their sponsor.

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