New York Times, Tesla, Oil and Lies

Usually, we like the New York Times. They’re a no-nonsense news outlet, with good writers and great photographers. Usually. Today, however, we came across something that was disheartening. While this has little to do with security, it’s still serious enough to warrant our attention. Ladies and gentlemen, it seems that the previously venerable NYTimes has committed the ultimate sin, and lied on behalf of big industry. That’s right. NY Times writer John M. Broder recently took the new Tesla Model S out on an extended test drive, and found it a good idea to slaughter the much anticipated electric vehicle.

Broder‘s claims? The car can’t take cold weather, won’t go the distance, and won’t even keep him warm. So what’s the deal?

Whoring for the oil companies?

Being someone’s bitch can be a drag, and it usually doesn’t end well. In fact, it usually ends up pretty catastrophic for the bitch, and that’s possibly what’s going to happen to John M. Broder. The article he wrote about the Tesla Model S is riddled with outright lies, according to Tesla, who has analyzed logs of the car’s journey (did Broder not know that the car has an advanced “black box”?), and they say they’ll be publishing the car’s data as soon as they’re available. So what happened?

Broder says he started out with a full charge.

John M. Broder. Image:

According to Tesla, the car’s logs say he started with a 70% charge, in violation of the agreement between the NY Times and Tesla, which were that the journalist would start out with a full charge.

Broder says he had to stop “keeping up with traffic” in order to keep the car from draining its batteries too quickly.
Interestingly Tesla says the logs show the man was  “speeding excessively”, when they had clearly informed the journalist that they would not recommend he exceed the speed limits. Advice that the police would agree with, we assume. You’re not above the law, Broder.

The NY Times writer goes on to say that after temperatures went down 10 degrees overnight, the car lost 2/3 of its range. While that’s disturbing, Tesla says it’s not true, either. As anyone who has ever had a more than passing interest in cars would tell you, even regular fuel vehicles will lose range if the temperature goes down – take a glance at your car’s range readouts and compare in different temperatures, and you’ll see for yourself. It seems Broder has never driven any car. Which would account for most of his problems, too, if this is the case…

Broder further broke the parameters of testing by taking a long detour, Tesla says, which he made no mention of in the article, and which the paper further denied. In writing. This is going to be interesting.

Our guess? The NY Times is running its owners’ errand. If you don’t know who owns the paper, or what other industries they’re involved with, we invite you to dig a little deeper. Seeing the logs from Tesla’s own little black boxes is going to be extremely interesting, and might cut deep into what used to be a massive public confidence in a formerly trustworthy newspaper, now devoted to smearing the most advanced and useful electric vehicle manufacturer out there, on behalf of big oil.

Oh, and by the way… Broder is a political correspondent…

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