It's been hard to miss, this brouhaha that's been boiling over between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and The New York Times -- specifically with reporter John M. Broder. Broder published a piece over the weekend called "Stalled Out on Tesla's Electric Highway" in which he panned the Model S for inaccurate range estimates and drastically reduced range in cold weather. In fact, about the only thing he didn'thate was the tow truck driver who was ultimately dispatched to pick up he and the charge-depleted Tesla he had been driving through Connecticut.
Musk, likely still stinging from an even more vitriolic 2011 takedown by Top Gear, was quick to take to Twitter and call the article "fake." He later backed that up with comprehensive data logs recorded, apparently, without Broder's knowledge. That data, at least at surface value, shows the Times piece is at best misleading -- at worst libelous.
Case closed? Oh no, this is just beginning. In posting this data, and in chastising Broder's driving habits, Musk inadvertently refocused the situation onto himself. Instead of asking how the Times allowed this piece to be published, many are instead asking whether it's right for Tesla to be placing any sort of expectations on reviewers. And then, of course, there's the disconcerting Big Brother aspect of the whole case. Who's in the right? Who's in the wrong? Let's try to find out.