The other day, while I was crossing the street, I watched as one of those big ole diesel trucks ran a red light and crashed into another car. This is actually a pretty common occurrence — people simply don’t pay attention behind the wheel. However, unless someone dies or the crash is notable enough, it doesn’t make national news. It may make the local papers, but CNN, CNBC, Business Insider, and other mainstream news outlets — especially those that cover finance and stocks — don’t report on accidents unless it’s a Tesla accident.
Today, I saw an article in The Hill about a car accident — it was a Tesla that crashed into a police car in Michigan. Apparently, it was on Autopilot. The driver involved in the accident was also driving with a suspended license and claimed that the vehicle had Autopilot engaged. Break the law, but blame Tesla.
You would think that any well-grounded reporter or writer would have thought to ask or try to understand why the 22-year-old driver was illegally driving, and how that might also relate to misuse of Autopilot. Most of these headlines implicitly blame Tesla for the crashes, not the humans involved. One example is Lansing’s WLNS 6, which had a headline stating: “Tesla on autopilot crashes into state police patrol car in Lansing.”
The claim was that a Tesla on Autopilot by itself drove into a Lansing area trooper’s patrol car. This takes the blame and responsibility off of the driver, even though the driver was driving with a suspended license for some reason. The driver didn’t slow down or move over when faced with the emergency vehicle sitting in the path of the Tesla vehicle.
Yo CNBC how about reporting on every single ice vehicle that crashes into police car or every single ice crashes a day. Oh no you only cover it when Tesla’s crash. https://t.co/m9HNEksZwl
— Young Investor 2 (@investor_2) March 18, 2021
Why Do Financial Media Outlets Report On Tesla Crashes But Not Other Crashes?
I’ve had this conversation with a few friends, and some told me that it could be because Tesla is listed on the stock market. That may be, but so are the other automakers, yet we don’t see Bloomberg reporting on every single Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, or other legacy automaker car crash, or every crash with cruise control enabled.
My friend, popularly known as “Teslatino,” was a victim of road rage and he managed to get footage of the entire incident. Raphael was driving 35 mph in a 35 mph zone in the slow lane. Around 150–200 meters from where he needed to take a left turn, he changed to the left lane. Right after this, someone came from a perpendicular street on his left. Raphael slowed down to let them through, and as they continued, the other person seemingly went insane. “He stopped+swerved onto my car and started screaming threatening me cursing and said he was going to f**k up my car and me,” Raphael said in his Twitter thread about the incident.
There were no CNBC, Bloomberg, or other articles about what happened to him or how Tesla’s advanced technology recorded the entire thing, even as Raphael had a clear picture of the assailant’s face.
What’s The Real Issue?
Tesla is a game-changer and humans hate change. Tesla is a direct threat to the auto industry as we know it, to the energy industry as we know it, in fact. That shakes people up, and is hard for many to imagine. Tesla represents change, so it catches their eyeballs, even when the actual story is as mundane as a dog chasing a cat.
They don’t report on every single accident involving ICE vehicles (tens of thousands a year). They don’t care about that because 1) there are too many, and 2) reporting on them won’t generate the type of clicks that a Tesla-involved accident does. Also, some appear to have either hatred, contempt, or utter disdain for Elon Musk and Tesla. The change they represent, and sometimes the atypical approach they take, irritates some people. That disdain also sometimes includes those of us who support Elon Musk and support Tesla.
Many people, reporters included, simply hate the idea of change as much as some people hate changing their underwear.
If a UFO crash-landed to Earth and hit a Tesla while the Tesla was on Autopilot, Tesla would probably get the blame from the mainstream media and its critics.
There’d be a full NHTSA investigation.
NASA might even want a piece of that pie $tsla
— Johnna Crider (@JohnnaCrider1) March 18, 2021