Well, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has responded on Twitter. You can see the tweets above (and we'll link to the more detailed blog post when it's available); basically, Tesla now turns on the logging feature on its EVs when it allows media to borrow them, and the logs on Mr. Broder's Model S tell a different story from what is in the NYT review.
the logging feature on its EVs
I am going to need a detailed and impartial explanation of just what the fuck that means before I am ever going to consider buying a Tesla.
Tesla data logging is only turned on with explicit written permission from customers, but after Top Gear BS, we always keep it on for media. --Elon Musk
It will be very interesting to see how The Times responds to Musk’s claims. It’s possible that the logs were fabricated, but when you consider Broder’s love of Big Oil and his public distaste for electric vehicles, I am fairly certain that retractions will be made and heads will roll.
In the end, I made it -- and it wasn't that hard.
There were some differences with my ride and the one from the New York Times. The weather for mine was about 10 degrees warmer. And I did mine in one day; the reviewer from the Times split it into two.
That need for public charging stations has been obscured by other issues in the discussion of electric cars, which it seems to me have been focused more on range than anything else. Tesla is not unwise to create it’s own charging infrastructure for its customers because the simple fact is that if you could recharge an EV as quickly and as conveniently as you can refuel a gasoline or diesel powered vehicle, and if you could find a charging station within your EV’s range, range becomes more of a non issue. Let’s face it, how many owners of gasoline cars really consider range on a single tank of gas when buying a new car? As long as you can get ~300 miles between fill ups, the vast majority of car consumers don’t really care about range. Gas mileage yes, but I’d bet that total range is only important to a minority of gas/diesel drivers.
My own findings are not dissimilar to the reader I quote above, although I do not believe Mr. Broder hoped the drive would end badly. I am convinced that he took on the test drive in good faith, and told the story as he experienced it.
Did he use good judgment along the way? Not especially.
I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge “facts” that are asserted by newsmakers they write about. [An] example: on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney often says President Obama has made speeches “apologizing for America,” a phrase to which Paul Krugman objected in a December 23 column arguing that politics has advanced to the "post-truth" stage. As an Op-Ed columnist, Mr. Krugman clearly has the freedom to call out what he thinks is a lie. My question for readers is: should news reporters do the same? ... How can The Times do this in a way that is objective and fair?
My inquiry related to whether The Times, in the text of news columns, should more aggressively rebut “facts” that are offered by newsmakers when those “facts” are in question. I consider this a difficult question, not an obvious one. To illustrate the difficulty of it, the first example I used in my blogpost concerned the Supreme Court’s official statement that Clarence Thomas had misunderstood the financial disclosure form when he failed to report his wife’s earnings. If you think that should be rebutted in the text of a story, it means you think a reporter can crawl inside the mind of a Supreme Court justice and report back. Or perhaps you think the reporter should just write that the “misunderstanding” excuse is bull and let it go at that. I would respectfully suggest that’s not a good approach.
Yes, you absolutely should put great(er) effort into determining the truthfulness of your subjects' statements. Especially when they're making assertions, and especially when those assertions are about other people. That info is part of the story, not separate from it.
This is called research. I used to assume that journalists were trained in it.
The New York Times‘ Public Editor Arthur Brisbane unwittingly sparked an intense and likely enduring controversy yesterday when he pondered — as though it were some agonizing, complex dilemma — whether news reporters “should challenge ‘facts’ that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.” That’s basically the equivalent of pondering in a medical journal whether doctors should treat diseases, or asking in a law review article whether lawyers should defend the legal interests of their clients, etc.: reporting facts that conflict with public claims (what Brisbane tellingly demeaned as being “truth vigilantes”) is one of the defining functions of journalism, at least in theory. Subsequent attempts to explain what he meant, along with a response from the NYT‘s Executive Editor, Jill Abramson, will only add fuel to the fire.
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