Elon Musk Shares Take on ‘Individualist vs. Corporate Media’

by Jennifer Shea

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is ripping “corporate media” with a new tweet mocking legacy outlets for their skepticism toward Spotify podcaster Joe Rogan. The tweet follows news that 270 doctors, professors and scientists wrote an open letter to Spotify complaining about Rogan’s show. They say it spreads misinformation about COVID-19.

“It is heartening to see the rise of individualist vs corporate media,” Musk tweeted Sunday.

Elon Musk Recently the Subject of ‘Corporate Media’ Story

That tweet also follows a recent report in the Wall Street Journal that Musk had asked a law firm working for him to fire one of its lawyers – who was not working on Tesla-related cases – because the lawyer had previously interviewed Musk as part of a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation into one of Musk’s tweets.

In the problematic tweet, Musk, now the world’s richest man, had claimed that he’d secured funding to take Tesla private. It turned out he hadn’t. And the subsequent SEC investigation led to a settlement that took its toll on Musk. The CEO resigned as chairman and paid a $20 million fine. He also agreed to have a lawyer review his tweets about the company’s financial results, sales numbers and proposed business combinations in advance.

After the law firm, Cooley LLP, refused to fire that ex-SEC lawyer, Tesla began moving to replace Cooley in several cases for which the firm represents the company. And Musk’s other company, SpaceX, has dropped Cooley for regulatory work.

The Journal went on to report on other instances in which Musk has taken aim at individuals who he perceives as hostile to his business interests. And it noted his frequent use of Twitter to rally his followers to his cause.

Musk and Rogan Have Chatted on Rogan’s Podcast

Meanwhile, Musk has appeared on Rogan’s podcast before, famously getting high with the podcaster and meditating about horses with him.

And Rogan is no stranger to controversy himself. It was on Rogan’s podcast last year that Rogan argued that young, healthy people don’t need to get vaccinated against COVID-19. That brought a firestorm of criticism, including from Dr. Anthony Fauci, which prompted a disclaimer from Rogan.

“I’m not an anti-vax person,” Rogan protested. But “I’m not a doctor. I’m a f***ing moron and I’m a cage fighting commentator who’s a dirty stand-up comedian. We just told you I’m drunk most of the time and I do testosterone and I smoke a lot of weed. But I’m not a respected source of information even for me!”

That may be, but Rogan is apparently a trusted source of information for the world’s richest man. And Rogan himself claimed in 2019 to have reached 190 million downloads a month. So he’s not without influence, either.