Saturday , January 23 2021

Elon Musk forced to defend "an amazing American success story" in 60 minutes – shame on you, CBS



December 10, 2018 by Carolyn Fortuna


60 minutesIrregular, unstable, reckless, operative. These are some of the descriptions that Leslie Stahl used to describe Elon Musk during his guest appearance on Sunday, December 5, 2018, episode of 60 minutes. Tesla CEO, who has led the all-electric company from ambiguity to profitability and higher valuation than any car company except Toyota and Volkswagen, spoke to Stahl about how this year was the most painful year in his career. The discussion included manufacture, twitter, robotics and childhood. It is important that Musk used the common media view as an opportunity to contest how business is performed in the US – from General Motors to the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).

To understand the give-and-take that Stahl and Musk experienced, let's zoom in on what they said and the media's power to hit language for specific purposes. That way we can uncover the methods that CBS used to put Musk on defensive instead of celebrating an American company that is positioned to lead the world to the all-electric transport future that is essential to fulfill the Paris agreement on the climate. Remember, also, established reputation as an iconoclast that trusts to adhere to "to some CEO template."

Musk as Person & Business Model: One & Same?

"Let me embrace you, angry adversity, for wise men say it's the wisest course."
– William Shakespeare –

60 minutes, according to the show's website, is "the most successful American television broadcast in history" and began its 51st season in September 2018. Planning, design and execution of each 60 minutes The episode is extensive, takes many months and costs to move the textual story from outline to broadcast. It is interesting to look at the language that Stahl has pronounced under this particular 60 minutes interview with Tesla CEO Elon Musk to understand CBS's intentional programmatic choices, including conscious persuasive and persistent effects on the audience from the context and the questions alone.

Each element of the Musk interview was deliberately designed and intended. Each element depicted a particular perception and explanation of how everyday life in the particular circumstances of today's American business is expected to live and act. Musk has clearly disturbed what does business in the US today look like. By identifying the roots of what the media portray as "normal", we can identify challenges for them.

Stahl, as an interviewer, put the storytelling to the 14-minute published interview. The conversation began with Stahl's remark that Musk "over the last year" began to act well, strangely "and moved into a question and answer conversation about its tweets.

Then they discussed the two Musk's removal from the chair position at the Tesla board of the SEC and his handpicked replacement, whose role Stahl caught as "like a babysitter."

She then left for a glimpse of Musk's childhood and used it as a metaphor for her adult herself as "a fighter, determined to succeed and prove all wrong." Stahl editored that Musk "bitterly complained about all the Naysayers and critics who benefited from his failure." Bitterly. Reviewing Teslas sometimes in 2018 financial trip and then taking a trip to a Tesla on Autopilot, the two expect how Model 3 might become what Stahl designates as "a car to everyman, which is what you want to build." The interview ended with an overview of the studies in the Tesla mills and notes about GM's latest business cuts.

  • Words that Stahl used to describe Musk in voiceover: "Genius, a visionary, self-inflicted wound, whimsical, guided by a dream, bleeding cash, strange, picking unnecessary struggles on social media, smoked weed fluid during a podcast, warzone tweeting, had to resign his position as chairman of Tesla board that is something bigger than Elon Musk's life, has a sense of humor, one of Silicon Valley's most successful and versatile entrepreneurs, built powerful rockets with recyclable boosters, digging a tunnel underground to handle traffic, at any rate, he started a company , struggling, determined to succeed and prove all wrong, led a fight this year, complained bitterly, naysayers and critics who had gone for his failure, mistakes were imminent, light bulb moment, pushed his workers hard, pushed even harder , should be a "wow" was the price, had to deal with complaints about conditions in Tesla factories left left, company is still billions of debt. "
  • Words that Stahl used to describe Musk during the interview itself: "The company can not survive without you, impulsive, un-CEO-ish, irregular, unstable, reckless, operator, tweet a lot, you're using your tweeting to kindly come back to critics. You have some little wars with the press, Tweets censored your tweets are not monitored, watched like you, like a babysitter, grew up in South Africa, a happy childhood, are you serious, bullied, emotionally offensive so you did not have a happy childhood, the story is how he set up and met the 5,000 Model 3s production a week, Tesla made profitable, almost bankrupted company, last minute push, automation master, robots held crash, infamous, naysayers say you're lying it's the way they interpret it on unreported injuries, excessive hours, violent conditions, nonsense, drummer, multiple investigations from the press and regulators you sleep at night. "
  • Words that Musk used in response to Stahl's statements / questions: "I'm a little impulsive, I do not know how to smoke something, honestly under understated stress, the system would have failed if I was really irregular, I use my tweets to express myself, Twitter is a war zone, no one is perfect, I do not respect the SEC, I do not respect the I respect the justice, I am not realistic, I am the biggest shareholder, horrible, violent, almost killed, if you would call it bullied, father has serious problems, merciless criticism, relentless, outrageous unjust, an incredible American success story, it's the story that really should tell you, you have to bet on the company, it was life or death, scary, beautiful miraculous effort, they just did not count on this unconventional situation, people are better to deal with unexpected circumstances than robots, but it was for them I would make it worse for me, quite wild, not like a promise, punctuality is not my strong suit because I'm just stupid – on its editing dates does not mean I'm unbelievable, never made a mass produced car that has been an aggressive campaign from UAW to definitely attack Tesla with a lot of nonsense in – To try to unionize the company, I do not think it's correct, anyone does some great cars. "

A media-analysis method commonly used is called "content analysis" in which terms are counted and qualitatively categorized. It's a pretty basic analytical approach, but it reveals some interesting first data. Using content analysis for the 3 discourse sections above with the descriptor configurations, we see the following content results:

Positive connotations that Stahl used to describe Musk / Tesla: 18

Negative connotations that Stahl used to describe Musk / Tesla: 47

Opportunities for muscle to react with positive connotations: 11

Negative connotations Musk used in response to Stahl: 26

As a ballpark percentage, about 9% of Stahls described about Musk / Tesla positive connotations, while approx. 72% were negative. Musk is known for brutal honesty, even when it comes to itself, and not to rewind stories in a typical corporate PR way. In response, the response of the mouse was 30% positive and 70% negative.

We can deduce as a result of this content analysis that CBS 60 minutes Musk interview was framed to put Musk on the defensive, to describe its leadership role as occasionally remarkable, but generally unreliable, and to place Tesla as a boot of the US automaker without gravitas.

60 minutes

"The story that really should be told:" Make sense of the muscle 60 minutes Interview

"You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say."
– Martin Luther –

Our social worlds rely on interpretations and explanations of events and the language we use to describe these events can transform our social lives in different ways. Musk and Tesla The Dream has broken traditional versions of how business is done in the United States. Electric vehicles, automation and renewable energy interfere with entire industries – and it happens faster than most people realize. The energy transition takes place in real time around us, not in a distant future.

Through critical discourse analysis as this article, we see social and linguistic practices as part of a larger rhetorical strategy where societal relationships are established and strengthened through language use. Given the socio-political contexts of a moment, we are investigating the language exchanges within 60 minutes Segment as political speech actions and highlight the importance used to persuade an audience.

60 minutesConsumerism as a social life: Focus on consumer societies is not only because capitalism is the dominant economic system in the Western world, but also because the character of the economic system affects all aspects of social life. Capitalism has changed over the last 30 years and has caused major changes in politics, in terms of work, in education and health care, in social and moral values ​​and in lifestyle.

Tesla in general and Musk have particularly disturbed the American automotive industry that does not cope with it. The California company was aiming to enter the high-end market with a premium sports car Model S, with a high price targeting a very narrow target. Then moved it step-by-step to Model X SUV and, lastly, to more mass market crash with Model 3 compact sedan, priced in accordance with the competition. The electric vehicles are marketed via the internet, from mouth to mouth and via media. It is important that Tesla does not introduce the customer through its non-intermediary galleries (shops) strategically located in high-end shopping areas and invites potential customers as part of their daily routine.

Stahl recognized none of these details in his interview, but asked Musk in various ways to respond to critics' demands.

Elon Musk (EM): "There has been relentless criticism, relentless and unrighteous and unfair. Because what actually happened here was an incredible American success story. All of these people work their ass from day to night to make it happen. They believe in the dream. And that's the story that really should be told. "

→ Related: Why Tesla American Success Story Has Not Been "No Love & # 39;

Tesla represents a blend of forces that pose an existential threat to traditional American automakers. Tesla leads a massive interruption of the automotive industry, and the industry is failing.

freedoms: Criticism looks at what is "normal" and steps back with focus on values ​​- especially view of the good community and the wellbeing of people and flourishing. It is based on evaluation of existing communities and possible ways of changing them. For example, many would agree that communities should be fair or reasonable, should ensure certain freedoms and should provide certain basic needs of their members. Many around the world claim that we must take drastic and immediate steps to combat climate change. For example, fuel efficiency standards for vehicles (like Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards in the US) save drivers money because the higher upfront price for a more efficient car is more than offset by all the years with less fuel consumption.

EM: "Tesla's whole point is to speed up the emergence of electric cars. And sustainable transport and try to help the environment. We think this is the most serious problem facing humanity."

People have very different ideas of justice, freedom and need. Tesla's ability to manufacture a fleet of electric vehicles sets the example and assesses what exists, what can exist and what should exist on the basis of a coherent set of values ​​about current emissions.

media platforms: Analysis of dialectic relationships can occur between discourse and other elements or moments as well as analysis of the internal relationships that people experience through language. Multimodal analysis of the various semiotic modes, including languages, visual images, body language, music and sound effects – and their articulation are useful in an era where YouTube, Twitter and Facebook consist of typical curricula where ideas for electric vehicles, especially Tesla, find place.

EM: "The only tweets that would be said would be if a tweet had a probability of causing a motion in the stock… I will be ready. I do not respect the SEC. I do not respect them. "

This is where ideology comes into play: Interpretations and explanations about Tesla marketing are as ideological, as Big 3 affects Michigan to prohibit Tesla from selling its vehicles directly there. CBS, by suggesting that the SEC censorship of Musk is not only inadequate but also necessary – maintains special power conditions. Tesla pushes transport to a clean, zero-emission, electrical future more than any other company. But we also need leadership from major automakers who were not born electrically and did not attempt to weaken Tesla's multimodal messaging.

GM vs Tesla: A social discourse event

The conclusion on the muscle 60 minutes interview is interesting to analyze specifically. It was the whole internet a few days before the segment even aired, whetting the appetite of Tesla fans as well as media hungry for All Things Tesla. We have a story that will come later this evening.

60 minutes

To have Musk go Stahl through the Tesla assembly line offered the audience a visual representation of American production that is both efficient and forward-looking.

Elon Musk goes Leslie Stahl through a Tesla electric car factory. He reaches palm trees outwards to demonstrate a facet of the tall and lively production line, while Stahl talks in voiceover. Tesla expands and adds to its workforce while rival General Motors announced that it plans to dismiss around 14.00 employees and idle plants. In the background young young colorful men leave Tesla door frames from a collector belt.

With GM's recent notice of cuts, Stahl Musk and Tesla gave a short knot that symbolized, yes, legacy car manufacturers have a dilemma on their hands. Transition to electric cars is difficult, but Tesla does it right here in front of us. They get so good that they might save some Detroit products by buying empty GM plants.

The scene refers to an exchange of speaking heads. Musk has removed his Tesla baseball cap and listened carefully to Stahl's questions. LS: Do you want to buy some of these plants, the factories? Musk nods twice before she finishes her question. That they shut down? He nods a bit again twice. You shake your head yes?

EM: It's possible we would be interested if they were selling a plant or not using it that we would take over it. He nods again.

60 minutes

Tesla has achieved what many said could never be, and now other car manufacturers invite to participate in the celebration of electric cars.

The scene changes to a helicopter flight shot of a GM tower with gold panel. LS: GM also announced that it will double its investment in developing electric cars. And Elon Musk celebrates. High metal-factor beams hit a claw as it moves a gold-hued car overhead. Next, we see a number of cherry-red Chevy Bolts ready to move from the factory. A white-front bolt bumper fills the next screen, its charging portal prominent. Why do you want the competition?

Some companies move fast and innovative in the automotive industry, but others are stuck in the past. Tesla builds Gigafactories all over the world and makes itself the role model for fully electric automated vehicles.

EM: The whole point in Tesla is the advent of electric cars (break) and sustainable transport. He shakes his head from left to right. We try to help the environment. This is the most serious problem facing humanity.

The Tesla website claims its patent infringement policy: "Tesla Motors was set up to accelerate the emergence of sustainable transport. If we remove a road to the creation of convincing electric cars, then intellectual property reminders put behind us to inhibit others act We are in a way contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent rights against anyone who in good faith wants to use our technology. "

Stahl is watching now, while Musk speaks. I'm not sure if you know, but we opened all our patents. So if anyone who wants to use our patents can use them for free. LS: Your patents are open? Her eyes grow wider and her head nods forward. EM: Yes. If anyone comes and makes a better electric car than Tesla and it's so much better than ours that we can not sell our cars and we go bankrupt, I still think it's a good thing for the world.

Final thoughts

This has not been the only one 60 minutes interview that Musk has had. In 2008, an episode, "The Race for the Electric Car", the now famous Musk, described the reasons why electric cars were not only a good investment but transport of the future. Like now, Tesla has acknowledged that other companies are and should make electric cars, and the world will all benefit from a common, fast-developing ideology that electric cars are needed for a sustainable future.

If only mass media channels like CBS would give Tesla its fault so that it can speed up its ability to transform aspects of environment and life. This is what this article of purpose intends to do – to make the dialectic relationships between discourse and other social elements transparent in relation to the purpose of criticism not only to interpret the world but to help change it.


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tags: CBS, Elon Musk, GM, Tesla


About the author

Carolyn Fortuna Carolyn Fortuna, Ph.D. is an author, researcher and teacher with a lifelong dedication to eco justice. She has won prizes from the Anti-Defamation League, The International Literacy Association and The Leavy Foundation. She forms a scholarship for digital media literacy and learns to spread the word about sustainability problems. Please follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Google+




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