back to article Elon Musk actually sits down and talks to 'government-funded media' the BBC

"I said BBC could come [to] Twitter, then, to my surprise, a reporter shows up," Chief Twit Elon Musk announced this morning. The result was an hour-long retrospective on Musk's first six months at the helm with the BBC's North America technology correspondent, James Clayton, which was broadcast live on Twitter Spaces as well …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    to quote father jack:


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: to quote father jack:

      He may be gobby, but if you've only seen and heard the clip of the BBC interview which they have been playing on bbc news web site, you should definitely take a listen to this Spaces call...

      Where he totally roasts the BBC journalist.

      Strange, they aren't playing that one. Well worth a listen and 4 minutes of your time. Funny how it tells a completely different story, depending on how you frame it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: to quote father jack:

        To be fair to The Reg, they do actually have a link to that part of the interview in the middle of the article. I skimmed it first and then went straight to the comments, which are often far more entertaining / enlightening. I might watch the whole interview on iPlayer (link in the main article), but honestly who's got time for that?

      2. a pressbutton

        Re: to quote father jack:

        I wish our BBC interviewers were as firm as Musk on this

        (looking at R4 Today / Laura K and others in many interviews with leading politicians from all parties over the last few years)

        The simple line

        "you made an assertion, back it up with citations / facts pls"

        would simplify / shorten a lot of interviews

        ( looking at you, Mr Johnson - and many of his friends )

        or some basic maths

        40,000 people arrive at Dover, It used to take 0 seconds to not check a passport, it now takes 30s, there are 12 staff, so you can only process 30,000 in a day

        What is the backlog at the end of the day?

        1. Ashto5 Bronze badge

          Passport was always checked

          The delay is going out of the UK

          We have always as to show our passports when leaving the uk

          Delays are because the French have dropped the ball on purpose

          1. arctic_haze

            Re: Passport was always checked

            You left the EU, including the single market and you still expect to be treated as if you were part of it? You no need to pass an external border of the EU which is also a customs border which was not the case before Brexit. Blame only yourself.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: to quote father jack:


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    `With apologies to the Pythons...

    'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This social media company is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN X Corp!

  3. wolfetone Silver badge

    "The BBC is, and always has been, independent. We are funded by the British public through the licence fee," it said.

    Which the British public are forced to pay for to watch broadcast television, even if they never consume BBC content, and have zero say on who governs the BBC or what it broadcasts. That's left to the government and appointed staff.

    Even today there's a Tory politician who's been recorded saying that there's nothing wrong with skin colour, but that black people are inferior to whites. Where's that on the BBC? And all through COVID, countless Tory MP's being wheeled on and allowed to spout inaccurate bullshit to the masses without being questioned. How is that independent?

    It simply isn't, and long may the "government-funded media" tag last on their Twitter accounts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Any chance of a link to that bit of news about a Tory polititian?

      From a personal point of view, the BBC does seem to annoy the Daily Mail some of the time, so it must be doing something right, although speaking for myself, I perceive BBC news as having a slight conservative bias... The thing is, if we didn't have the Beeb, whatever we had instead would almost certainly be worse, even if it was a privatised BBC.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Sure, this is where I saw it: Instagram

        If it were more honest about what it actually is then I wouldn't have a problem with the BBC. They do annoy the Daily Fail lot, but then most of us breathing tend to annoy them.

        1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            Thank you.

      2. RegGuy1 Silver badge

        Well I'm struggling to find this story on the beeb: Essex pub landlady replaces golliwog doll collection that was seized by police, which includes this paragraph:

        Ryley denied that she or her husband were racist. “I’m not a racist in any form.” She confirmed that her husband had been photographed in a T-shirt from the far-right group Britain First. She said: “I don’t think Chris is a supporter of Britain First, he was just wearing that shirt because it was convenient at the time.”

        But perhaps a story that targets a key section of the British electorate who are sympathetic, lets say, to this Conservative government is just an oversight.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          >he was just wearing that shirt because it was convenient at the time

          I just went to the Bar Mitzvah dressed as a Nazi cos all my other suits were in the wash

          1. Bebu Silver badge


            "I just went to the Bar Mitzvah dressed as a Nazi cos all my other suits were in the wash."

            One of the current crop?

            I believe Prince Michael of Kent's father in law was the real deal.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Ah yes, definitely not a racist:

          Evidence 1

          Evidence 2

          Evidence 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8:

          "Months before, Mr Ryley had shared several propaganda images created by the white nationalist Generation Identity group, which inspired the 2019 New Zealand mosque shooter.

          “It’s time to rise up,” he captioned a Generation Identity poster reading: “Keep calm and defend your country.”

          Mr Ryley later shared a recruitment poster and a photo of group members holding a banner over a bridge carrying the slogan: “Defend London. Stop Islamisation.”

          Other posts include footage of far-right political commentator Katie Hopkins discussing Channel crossings and videos claiming that “indigenous white Brits” are becoming a minority in the UK and white people need a “safe haven”.

          Mr Ryley appeared to call for a “white history month” and posted the slogan “white lives matter” during the global reaction to the 2020 killing of George Floyd by American police."

          More evidence:

        3. NeilPost Silver badge

          Will this do instead ...??? however putting some critical thinking over the Police Golliwog Raid. Surprised they never sent an armed response unit to attend. Huge over kill from Essex Police - they learned nothing from COVID, Sarah Everard protest over-reach etc.

          Considering for theft, assault and all manner of other non-offence crimes you can’t get a copper for love nr money … hardly surprising the red-meat brigade have Junes on this wokeness.

        4. prandeamus

          The odd thing is that this stuff IS on the BBC news site.

          The "racist pub owner" thing: and

          The "every white bloke deserves a black slave" thing:

          That was a just a few minutes of searching, but of course I did know what I was looking for. A better discourse would be to look at the publication times and relative prominence of these stories compared to other media & there's a whole PhD thesis waiting to be written there. Countless times I've seen people complain that story X doesn't appear on the BBC news home page or that the Beeb is silent on some issue or another, only to find the said stories on, say, the UK home page. The BBC's reputation for bias-free journalism has taken a knock in recent years. It feels timid when put against the establishment. But it's not Fox or GB news, thank $DEITY, so far.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            > The odd thing is that this stuff IS on the BBC news site.

            I took his post to mean the parts *defending* the guy, not the story in general.

          2. Inkey

            Aye prandeamus....

            I've noticed this weired thing with radio station news how they seem to lack conviction about what narrative they are following ... it takes the teeth out of a story about A and followes it about story B which implicates another race, gender identity,political or religious group.

            For example a muslim refugee gets robed or beaten or wronged and wins a law suit and following story is about how a asian man is court for raping a white woman.

            Several police are brought up on all sorts of corruption and ot battery following story is about a suspected terriorist caught with bomb making stuff...

            Like the over simplification of "not biased" skews and creates a non verbal "leane" in a right thinking

            narrative.... newspeak?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'long may the "government-funded media" tag '

      Yeah, sorry but that's just not the case. They may have gone along with everything that the government did re: Covid, apart from asking "Why didn't you lock down sooner prime minister?"... for which I think I will never forgive them.

      However, they also played a large part in bringing down Boris (who was sort of running the government at the time) by banging on about bottles of wine and crisps at "parties" every day for 5 months or more. So, hardly "government-funded media" in the sense that they go along with everything the government does.

      I think when Labour get in next year (shudder), the label will be a bit more appropriate as they are more ideologically aligned most of the time. (although I wonder how long that honeymoon will last)

      However, I think the BBC does what the BBC likes. Which is kind of a good thing, except that most of the BBC employees are lefty liberal elite types who don't give a fig about normal working class people. So, we should all freeze in our homes with inefficient heat pumps and get rid of gas boilers, and we should all turn vegan and use public transport (which outside of London is mostly shite).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well you are all wrench wielding, golliwog knitting, Watney's Red Barrel swilling troglodytes, and damn lucky to have your betters to think for you.

      2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Do you realise that Boris and those before and after him are just puppets?

        Puppet broke and got replaced.

        That's how it works.

        If BBC was really independent, we wouldn't have this corrupt government in the first place.

      3. ChoHag Silver badge

        It's pretty much shite in London too.

      4. NeilPost Silver badge

        I guess you view the BBC as having historically ‘misrepresented’ Hitler and Stalin too ?

        BoJo was a bad-un.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not government funded but government run

      The BBC is not government funded, it's just government run. Until the government removes its cronies from the management of the BBC, and stops pushing for people critical of the government to be fired from the BBC, or allows non-party members to become Politics Editor, I think the label 'Government affiliated media' is most apt.

      I have, at times, thought it would actually make a lot more sense to have the BBC management appointed by the biggest opposition party instead of by the government. Just to make them critical and independent. The downside, however, would be that the BBC would still be run by the Conservative Party after the next elections.

      1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

        Re: Not government funded but government run

        What Government cronies? It seems to mostly be infected by Whitehall cronies - not the same thing at all.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Not government funded but government run

          >What Government cronies? It seems to mostly be infected by Whitehall cronies

          1, Give £400,000 to Prime Minister

          2, Get appointed boss of BBC

          3, Profit

          1. NeilPost Silver badge

            Re: Not government funded but government run

            The appointment of the BBC Chairman was outside the BBC’s control.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not government funded but government run

          Are serious?

          Tim Davie, the Director General of the BBC

          Richard Sharpe, the Chairman of the BBC

          Robbie Gibb, non-executive director on the BBC Board

          All of them are active Conservative Party apparatchiks. None of them could have gotten that role if they hadn't been member of the Party, not on merit and not without the active intervention of the Ruling Party. Their job is to make sure the BBC tows the Party line and fires people that may be critical of the regime.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Not government funded but government run

            I suppose that in the (late) Soviet Union, being a land power one, must "toe the party line", while in a naval power one "tows the line"

        3. Scott 26

          Re: Not government funded but government run


          Lord Monty : You know, it's a rotten shame. I went to see the careers officer in Big College yesterday and he said that all he'd got left was Chairman of British Rail. Well, I wanted to be Director-General of the BBC.

          Lord Snot : Yes, it's rotten. They gave it to Scapper just because he directed our world tour of Hamlet and wrote our hilarious revue "What Ho, Darkie". Honestly, chairman of a nationalised industry. I'd rather be a cabinet minister!

    4. JamesTGrant

      Nope - no one is forced to pay

      For many years I didn’t have a TV license because I didn’t watch any telly - or have an aerial. I do now and so I pay attention he license fee because I use the service. No one is forced to pay the license fee if they don’t use the service - and a lot of terrestrial broadcast infrastructure has roots in the BEEB and some of that fee goes towards that part that all terrestrial broadcasters use. In today’s Internet connected world, if you don’t watch real-time broadcast telly or use iPlayer then you don’t have to pay the licence fee. I’d happily just pay a radio licence but that option went a way a little while ago (can’t get a black and white only licence anymore either…). Anyway - you only pay if you use the service.

      1. ChoHag Silver badge

        Re: Nope - no one is forced to pay

        If you wish to watch television as it is being broadcast, modulo a little bit of time-shifting, you must pay the BBC's license fee. It doesn't matter if it's the BBC doing the broadcasting or not.

        1. NeilPost Silver badge

          Re: Nope - no one is forced to pay

          You also pay Commercial TV’s ‘licence fee’ with an advertising tax slapped on anything in a commercial viewed. Even if you skip forward (ITVX … grr shite platform).

          Unless you live and shit in the woods, on solar and using Starlink and don’t consume food, goods or services.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nope - no one is forced to pay

        That's just plain wrong. If you watch any live streaming, even if it's just football on Amazon Prime, then you are legally bound to pay the licence fee

        1. NeilPost Silver badge

          Re: Nope - no one is forced to pay

          You could always watch it on catch-up.

          I’m sure there is a grey area even if you are +1 minute on chaseplay.

    5. Thought About IT

      Musk does have a point, to be fair. The government decides who the DG and chairman are and how big the license fee is. They then threaten to cut it further into the bone whenever the BBC broadcast anything unfavourable to them, while getting their pals at the DM and Telegraph to denounce the BBC as lefties. An alien observer could easily be forgiven for concluding that it's government controlled.

      1. NeilPost Silver badge

        You would have thought the Government would be *increasing* the BBC’s funding in this favourable scenario.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Because they know their time in power is limited. They want to kill the BBC. They are scared of any press that doesn't have corporate interests.

          They want people to hate the BBC so they can privatise it - same M.O. as with the NHS.

    6. NeilPost Silver badge

      Probably they are checking the story out and putting some journalism into it as opposed to repeating any old incoherent, incorrect and bigoted shite like GB News /Fox News do.

  4. RegGuy1 Silver badge

    Musk, the man who has...

    * shook up the finance industry, by letting you use small payments on the Internet[1] when all the big boys said it couldn't be done, as they couldn't make massive amounts of money.

    * pissed off those large corps like Boeing and Mcdonall Douglas, who were annoyed that he could do what they do, but cheaper, better AND faster.

    * made the enormous global car industry collectively shit itself, because some startup could come along and offer something quite amazing and have enormous public demand.

    * MAY shake up local transport if his ideas about the Boring Company work out.

    Now he's set his sights on Twitter. He may fail, but at least he's trying. I for one are prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. He's made so many other industries shit themselves. He may be unconventional, but he's clearly not an idiot.

    [1] The Internet needs a capital I. It is a proper noun. (Or do you know of another Internet?)

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Musk, the man who has...

      "* shook up the finance industry, by letting you use small payments on the Internet[1] when all the big boys said it couldn't be done, as they couldn't make massive amounts of money."

      By all accounts he was failing at it VERY hard and it wasn't until they kicked Musk OUT, stopped working on his idea and limited Paypal to doing only those small payments that it became succesful. Paypal worked DESPITE Musk trying to create X the first time, not because of him.

      "* pissed off those large corps like Boeing and Mcdonall Douglas, who were annoyed that he could do what they do, but cheaper, better AND faster.". Again, Musk mostly seems to be the big wallet making it work, not so much the brains. SpaceX has/had an entire team dedicated solely to handling him when he was there. Also, McD-D doesn't exist, it's wholly owned by Boeing since 1997 (more accurately it's the other way around for some reason, but they stuck with the name Boeing). And so far this is limited only to space launch vehicles/capsules. Most of Boeings income is still passenger jets.

      "* made the enormous global car industry collectively shit itself, because some startup could come along and offer something quite amazing and have enormous public demand."

      offer something quite shit and of poor quality but showing a public demand that car makers had been hesitant to step into. It remains to be seen how well Tesla can do in the long term because quite frankly they're kinda shit and the "old boys" are fast catching up.

      "* MAY shake up local transport if his ideas about the Boring Company work out." They won't. The Boring Company and Musks ideas on such can't work out. Geology fights it in every way, tunnels with cars running in them with no easy access aren't efficient and the one tunnel that they've made is AT BEST a novelty.

      Musk has failed at making before, but got lucky and made billions because other people made Paypal work after they kicked him out with a golden parachute of lots and lots of shares.

      Musk isn't an idiot, but he's not NEARLY as smart as he thinks he is and far less smart than some people make him out to be.

      1. MrDamage Silver badge

        Re: Musk, the man who has...

        Apartheid emeralds and dumb luck have made him think he's smarter than he actually is.

        1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

          Re: Musk, the man who has...

          1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

            Re: Musk, the man who has...

            Interesting. Downvoted for posting a link to a piece of long-form investigative journalism, by a writer who offers actual cash rewards for factual corrections.

            Well, I guess we've found our level. Well done.


            1. imanidiot Silver badge

              Re: Musk, the man who has...

              There's no point in worrying about downvotes on an internet forum. Some people just downvote anything that goes against their world view in any way. Think of them as people drunkenly slurring "well I think you're a doo-doo head" at you. That's about the level of them.

              1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

                Re: Musk, the man who has...

                For sure. I do find it amusing to call it out when it happens, however.

                (Apologies for the delayed response, I was on holiday.)


        2. Ciaran McHale

          Re: Musk, the man who has...

          Snopes claims you are wrong about the emerald mines:

          1. MrDamage Silver badge

            Re: Musk, the man who has...

            Snopes can claim what they like. We have it from Elon's own mouth.



            So, either they had an emerald mine, and he is trying to whitewash his apartheid past, or they didn't, and he thought it would be "cool" to claim to have been part of an apartheid emerald mining operation. No matter which, he shows himself to be an absolute fuckwad that cannot be trusted.

            1. Ciaran McHale

              Re: Musk, the man who has...

              "Snopes can claim what they like. We have it from Elon's own mouth." If you bother to read the Snopes webpage, you will see that it provides lots of links to articles and interviews, including the ones you cite. It is the most comprehensive collection of information on the emerald mine issue that I have seen.

              Of particular relevance is that the mine was in a non-Apartheid country, so your repeated claim that it was associated with Apartheid is just plain wrong.

              The emerald mine story tends to get increasingly exaggerated and inaccurate as it works its way around the internet, until it ends up containing some of the following falsehoods:

              1. Elon *family* owned (or perhaps still owns) the emerald mine. No, it was his divorced father who had a 50% share of the mine, while Elon's mother lived in near poverty (due to her abusive ex-husband harassing her in ways that made it hard for her to improve her financial situation).

              2. Elon Musk is an heir to the emerald mine. According to Errol Musk (Elon's father), Errol bought a 50% share of an emerald mine when Elon was about 13 and the mine closed down 5 years later. Elon cannot be an heir to a mine that no longer exists.

              3. The mine was in an Apartheid country. No, it was in a non-Apartheid African country.

              4. The vast wealth generated from the mine meant that Errol was able to give millions or billions of dollars to Elon, and this money enabled Elon to buy his way into companies such as PayPal and Tesla. This is incorrect. According to Errol, he made a few hundred thousand dollars from his 5-year 50% ownership of the mine. Errol did not financially support Elon, and later his siblings and his mother, when they moved from South Africa initially to Canada and then to America. With limited finances, they lived a relatively poor lifestyle until they were slowly able to bootstrap themselves financially. Elon got a partial scholarship for university and finished university with about $100,000 in student loans. Then he and his brother Kimbal set up a company called Zip2 with very little angel investor funding (some of which was from their mother). After they had an initial version of their product working, they managed to get about $200,000 in first round funding, and it was only at this stage that Errol Musk invested $28,000 in the company. The first round of funding would have succeeded without Errol's investment. After more work and more investments, the company was eventually sold for about $300 million to Compaq, and Elon used the majority of his share of the money from this sale to start, which later merged with Confinity, and later still was renamed to PayPal. When PayPal was sold to eBay, Elon's share of the sale was about $180 million.Then Elon used this money to fund SpaceX and Tesla. Eventually, Errol Musk squandered whatever wealth he had, went bankrupt, and has been financially supported by his two sons for the past two decades.

              5. Elon used his vast inherited wealth to buy his way into already successful companies such as PayPal and Tesla and then falsely claimed that his skills and intelligence played a vital role in making those companies succeed, when in fact his only role in the companies was as an investor. Since Elon did not inherit a massive fortune, this narrative is clearly false. Also, biographies of Elon Musk contain numerous third-party anecdotes that confirm Elon is a polymath (that is, he has in-depth knowledge of many subjects), a workaholic, and has played a very hands-on role in his companies.

              I'm not claiming that Elon isn't a jerk. Merely that your claims about an apartheid emerald mine are 90%+ bullshit.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Musk, the man who has...

        To say Teslas are low quality is just bollocks, I used to have a model s and the quality was incredible, by far the best car I've ever owned. Have you ever actually been in one?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Musk, the man who has...

          I find your sample size of one unconvincing when a quick google shows they are - by far - the least reliable car on the market, based on industry numbers. Do some research.

          For what it's worth I considered an S, then an X, then a 3. Testdrove them all. Bought a Kia EV6 - it has a 7 year warranty and the doors close properly.

        2. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: Musk, the man who has...

          Yes, I have. They're shit. They have all sorts of weird issues unless you get lucky and happen to get on built just right. I've yet to encounter a Tesla with 100% even and straight (by eye, no need for Toyota "break out the micrometer" levels). Their service when your car does have (common) issues is just bad.

          1. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: Musk, the man who has...

            "100% even and straight" --> 100% even and straight panel gaps...

            Typing and proofreading is hard sometimes, apparently.

      3. NeilPost Silver badge

        Re: Musk, the man who has...

        Fortunately Compaq Computer Corporation gave him a pile of money for Zip2 local guides aspiring to use its tech in Alta Vista… enabling the merger and ultimate sale to PayPal.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Musk, the man who has...

      Musk was fired from paypal. Peter Thiel (spit) made it profitable. Musk got his first fortune by selling out of paypal after Thiel (vommit) did all the real work.

      McDonnell Douglas died before SpaceX was born. They had some excellent money men with no clue how to run an engineering company. They sold out to Boeing and became their management team, sending Boeing in the same direction that they had taken McDonnell Douglas. Long before SpaceX reached orbit, Boeing got caught cheating on government tenders. The "solution" was to merge Boeing's and Lockheed Martin's rocket businesses into a single company: United Launch Alliance. The US government got completely screwed with monopoly launch pricing. They went out of their way to fund competitors (and they still do). Musk was in the right place at the right time. Space is hard as demonstrated by Rocketplane Kistler and Blue Origin. SpaceX succeeded because they had far more money the Kistler and more than Blue got in its early years. ULA and SpaceX measured success very differently: by ULA standards ULA were the obvious winners because they charged far more for doing far less. ULA still have lucrative US government contracts because the US government wants to assure access to space by having two independent suppliers. They know the end is near and are looking for a buyer because they know they cannot survive in a competitive market. Boeing is the lead contractor for SLS. The are very happy with that business: cost plus, $4B/launch and protected by politicians from both sides of the country. With Musk busy with Twitter for the last 6 months SpaceX has made excellent progress on Starship.

      Tesla looks amazing when you look at the share price but if you look deeper their business is a tiny fraction of what that price would suggest. Musk has demonstrated exceptional ability at being found not guilty of securities fraud and when found guilty, of convincing the jury to award damages of $0. The law suits are piling up (at the glacial pace of the legal system). Even Musk has spotted the problem and has responded by hiring a hard core legal team team of streetfighters. Tesla is on its way to becoming a litigation company while the old motor industry are finally pulling their fingers out of their arses and setting up to build electric vehicles in quantity. When they do, they will stop paying Tesla for EV credits. Tesla is already reaping the rewards of lousy fit and finish, actively hostile customer support, broken FSD, and becoming the status symbol equivalent of a MAGA hat.

      Boring company looks good on Musk's tunnelling rate figures. When you actually start comparing prices, Musk quotes for narrower tunnels and does not include lighting, ventilation or fire suppression in the costing. Digging the hole is only one part of the problem. Site surveys and permitting are sufficiently expensive to smother the cost benefits of a reusable tunnelling machine that makes fragile bricks.

      Demanding to pay $44B for Twitter without doing due diligence demonstrates his business ability. Twitter was marginally profitable until he gave it $13B of debt. Any of his talk about making Twitter profitable can be thrown in the bin where it belongs because of the litigation building up from non-payment of bills. By all means, give him all your money in return for a promise of the highest interest rates in the world. Watch us laugh at you when you find you cannot withdraw your cash.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        This is a vastly underrated long term risk for Tesla

        becoming the status symbol equivalent of a MAGA hat

        The biggest fans and buyers of EVs have been those on the political left, but Musk bedding down with the extreme right has caused many to cancel orders. Tesla has lowered prices FIVE TIMES this year, i.e. since after Musk took over Twitter and with his every tweet and action made owning a Tesla increasingly undesirable for those on the left.

        Tesla used to have a huge order backlog so if you placed an order you might hope to take delivery in a year. You don't lower prices when you have a big order backlog, you do it when the backlog has evaporated and you don't want to have to cut production. If Tesla is forced to announce production cuts after years of doing all they could to increase production to meet demand, the stock will go into freefall. I'm sure Musk will frame it as somehow being Biden's fault, but Wall Street will see through that ruse and he'll have to go back to blaming short sellers.

        As traditional carmakers convert to EVs increasing options for EV buyers, Tesla is going to suffer massively. An EV from Ford or Audi might not promise "full self driving", but at least what promises are made for it will be kept unlike Elon's backtracking and "wait til next year" ing.

        1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: This is a vastly underrated long term risk for Tesla

          The traditional carmakers have also been doing it for 100 years, while Tesla has been working out how to design and assemble a car as it goes along. It's learning quickly, sure, but by many accounts it still has a lot of catching up to do.

        2. NeilPost Silver badge

          Re: This is a vastly underrated long term risk for Tesla

          Who wants FSD, other than companies looking to replace taxi/truck/delivery driver wages with a robot.

          Little robot “swing wide, it’s a friggin’ trailer”

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: This is a vastly underrated long term risk for Tesla

            I would love to have it on my car. Have a few too many drinks? No problem, car will take me home. Need to be somewhere 800 miles away tomorrow morning? No worries, I'll leave after sunset and sleep in the car during the night and avoid airport hassles and hotel bills. Get too old so my reflexes suck and my eyesight isn't that good even with correction? At least I won't have to add giving up my independence to the list of bad things about aging.

            The only people whining about not wanting self driving cars are the people who think driving is a pleasure. You know, the same people who are whining about manual transmissions going away. The same people whose great grandfathers whined about horse drawn carriages going away. Driving can be fun...maybe 1% of the time though. I'm perfectly willing to give that up for the advantages of an AV.

            It will be years before they are ready, and yes people will die due to software bugs. Just like people die today due to mechanical failures in their vehicle, issues with the road surface, cargo breaking loose from vehicles in front, etc. etc. So maybe no one except a few nutty Tesla owners want FSD today, but approximately everyone is going to want it in a decade, give or take. The advantages will be far greater than the disadvantages.

        3. Ciaran McHale

          Re: This is a vastly underrated long term risk for Tesla

          The suggestion that Elon making controversial/political statements on Twitter is costing Tesla sales sounds plausible, yet Tesla's sales keep increasing and are at their highest level ever.

          Tesla's original master plan (dating back to 2006) states the company's goal as initially creating a desirable, expensive car (the Roadster) and then figuring out ways to bring out a succession of ever-cheaper cars. So far, the company has been able to do this (today's base model Tesla car costs less than 1/3 of the base model Roadster), and although the company was in the "be prepared to make a loss while growing as quickly as possible to capture lots of market share" stage for most of its existence, it reached consistent profitability in 2019 and is profitability has been growing exponentially since then. In particular, Tesla's growth in profitability has increased much faster than its growth in sales, which indicates it has found ways to lower manufacturing costs. Tesla changing prices (sometimes up and sometimes down, but typically down in recent months) has been done partially in an attempt to balance production rate with demand, and partially to reflect changes in manufacturing costs; in particular, supply chain issues drove up costs for a few years when COVID hit, but those supply chain issues seem to be over now. As manufacturing costs come down, it is not unexpected for Tesla to pass on some of those cost savings to consumers. I don't know how much this is going to impact Tesla's profitability; we will have to wait for the Q1 2023 financial results, which I think will be announced on 19 April.

          As for "the competition is coming" from legacy auto makers... Ford recently disclosed that they make something like 30% or 40% loss on each EV they sell and they have an ambitious plan to get into (small) profitability within the next few years. GM have also said they are unprofitable with their EVs, though they haven't indicated what their per-unit losses are. So it seems to me that Tesla offering price cuts on their cars (while continuing to grow sales exponentially) is likely to result in Tesla still remaining profitable (due to reaping increasingly large economies of scale) while simultaneously causing increasing pain for legacy automakers.

          Hint: cognitive dissonance can make it difficult to simultaneously believe "Elon is a jerk" while also believing "Elon's companies are likely to be increasingly successful", but it worthwhile learning to cope with such opposing thoughts rather than let either one of those thoughts crowd out the other in your mind.

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: This is a vastly underrated long term risk for Tesla

            The suggestion that Elon making controversial/political statements on Twitter is costing Tesla sales sounds plausible, yet Tesla's sales keep increasing and are at their highest level ever

            With only one quarter's worth of data since he took over Twitter that's hardly proof. Tesla had a huge order backlog, if a lot of those orders were canceled and/or new orders were coming in a rate well below previous trends they'd still be fine for a quarter or two.

            The smoking gun is the price cuts. There is absolutely no reason that a company selling every car they can make and which believes they will continue to do so to cut even $1 off the price. You only do that if you see the demand outlook for your product falling belong your production capacity in the very near future.

            1. Ciaran McHale

              Re: This is a vastly underrated long term risk for Tesla

              "The smoking gun is the price cuts. There is absolutely no reason that a company selling every car they can make and which believes they will continue to do so to cut even $1 off the price. You only do that if you see the demand outlook for your product falling belong your production capacity in the very near future."

              Consider the following two scenarios...

              Scenario 1. Tesla's production rate plateau's at, say, 1.3 million cars annually. Could Tesla continue selling 1.3 million cars annually at current prices? Probably. In such a scenario, Tesla reducing the price of its cars could be seen as a sign of weakness and decreased profitability for the company.

              Scenario 2. Tesla's production rate is 1.3 million annually and is expected to increase to about 1.8 or 2 million annually this year. Just because Tesla could sell 1.3 million cars at current prices this year does not mean Tesla would be able to sell 2 million cars at the same prices this year. Why? Because research indicates that the number of potential car buyers deceases exponentially as the price increases. As such, it is unsurprising that Tesla might need to reduce prices to increase sales from 1.3 million to 2 million.

              Tesla's original master plan (2006) stated the intention to drive down the cost of EVs over time so that more and more people could afford to buy them, and by doing this Tesla aims to speed up the ICE-to-EV transition. Tesla's current base model car is less than 1/3 the cost of the base model Roadster (Tesla's first car released in 2008), so Tesla has made progress on the intention stated in its master plan. As such, Tesla decreasing the price of its cars is NOT a smoking gun indicating that Tesla's business is in trouble. Rather, the price decreases are compatible with Tesla's master plan and arguably is simply a matter of "business as usual" for the company.

              The non-obvious issue is how Tesla might be able to maintain healthy profit margins while significantly reducing prices. My (educated) guess is that a few factors will play into this.

              1. Wright's Law states that the cost to produce a particular kind of product will decrease by X% (the percentage will vary from one kind of product to another) each time the cumulative number of that kind of item has doubled. Tesla has been achieving a cumulative doubling of its cars approximately every 2 years, and people who have applied Wright's Law to EVs have conclude that the cost of manufacturing EVs drops about 17% for each cumulative doubling. This suggests that Tesla's cost of manufacturing is reducing about 8% annually (8% compounded over 2 years is about 17%). If Tesla is willing to pass on those cost savings to customers, then that will partially explain why Tesla is able to reduce prices without hurting its profit margin.

              2. Elon has stated several times that COVID-related issues resulted in inflation in the cost of supplies required for making EVs, but that the inflation had abated and he was starting to see deflation in the cost of supplies. This will reduce the cost of manufacturing, and again partially explain why Tesla is able to reduce prices without hurting its profit margin.

              3. In a Twitter Spaces discussion a few months ago, Elon said there were basically two strategies a car company could use during a recession. One strategy is to maintain prices, which will reduce sales and hence reduce profits (and possibly see market share decline). The other strategy is to reduce prices to maintain/increase sales, while still seeing profits decline. He suggested Tesla would adopt the second strategy if needed and he would even consider selling cars at or below cost as long as it wouldn't reduce the company's cash pile. To sell cars below cost while not hurting the company's finances would be possible if Tesla is able to simultaneously increase the profitability of another part of its business. As it happens, Tesla's megapack (grid-scale stationary battery storage) is currently growing faster than its EV business, so perhaps Tesla will use increased profits from its megapack business to compensate for losses (or decreased profits) on its cars, at least until a recession ends.

              You might be familiar with the practice of a start-up company prioritizing growth at the expense of profitability for a few years in an attempt to gain as much market share as possible. Tesla aggressively reducing the price of its cars might be such a strategy. I know that GM and Ford have both stated they make a loss on their EVs (both companies hope to reach profitability over the next few years) and I am not aware of any legacy car companies claiming to make a profit on their EVs. So if Tesla's strategy is to sacrifice some profits to grab as much market share as possible in the next few years, then that seems like a reasonable strategy to me.

              1. DS999 Silver badge

                Re: This is a vastly underrated long term risk for Tesla

                That's a lot of words to build a poorly constructed strawman that's already on fire before you hit "submit". I get that you are either a Tesla owner or investor or Musk buttlicker so you're trying to defend them, but it doesn't matter how much you expect sales to increase in the future you don't raise prices when you can't meet current demand. If you plan to make more cars next year that will exceed what you believe demand will be at your current price you will lower your prices then. Lower them now does not increase market share it just gives away money and would increase the order backlog if they still had a backlog.

                And you sure as hell wouldn't drop prices FIVE TIMES before the middle of April. That's not Musk playing 4D chess trying to shoot for market share, that's desperation caused by a massive exodus of potential buyers due to Musk getting political in a way that's the exact opposite of the politics of the vast majority of Tesla owners. The recession has had very little effect on automotive sales so far. In fact used cars prices reversed the price drops seen in the latter part of 2022 in February. Thanks to SVB maybe banks will tighten up financing for car loans but that didn't happen until the end of March - Tesla had FOUR price increases before that while the used car price index was increasing by around 8%.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: This is a vastly underrated long term risk for Tesla

                  It does show really nicely that people are not buying a Tesla because it is environmentally friendly (far from) or that it is a good car (equally far from) but as a status symbol to show off to their peer group to indicate that they have money and pretend to be green.

                  It was hilarious when Alyssa Milano tried so hard to virtue signal and ditched her Tesla for a VW and then got schooled on the origin of VW.

                2. Ciaran McHale

                  Re: This is a vastly underrated long term risk for Tesla

                  One thing I forgot to mention in my previous comment is that most cars are not bought with cash, but rather are purchased via interest-bearing loans. As such, a rise in interest rates means it becomes more expensive for a consumer to buy a car (via an interest-bearing loan) even if the sticker price of the car remains unchanged. In the UK, base interest rates have risen significantly over the past 16 months (from 0.1% to 4.25%), as you can see in the chart in this article: The chart in this other article shows a similar trend for US base interest rates:

                  So, when rising interest rates means it gets more expensive for people to buy a car via an interest-bearing loan, deciding to decrease the price of the cars to compensate for the increased costs of the loans so you can maintain/increase sales seems like a reasonable thing to do. My point is that there are several possible reasons why Tesla might be lowering the prices on its cars, so your insistence that lowering prices is a "smoking gun" proving there is only one possible reason for lowering prices is incorrect. It is *possible* that Tesla is lowering prices for any (or some or all) of several reasons, and you insisting there is only one possible reason for lowering prices is irrational.

                  Elon has been making controversial remarks on twitter for many years; the "pedo guy" accusation springs to mind. Despite this pattern of Elon's controversial behaviour, the general trend for sales of Tesla cars has been to continue growing exponentially. You appear to be claiming that Elon expressing political opinions in recent months/years is fundamentally different to his earlier controversial tweet and is, or will, cause Tesla to lose many possible sales. You *might* be right, but the fact that sales have continued to increase exponentially means there is little evidence (yet) to support your claim. There are two points to consider about your thesis.

                  First, Elon's political opinions might cause upset to some Americans who have different political opinions, but most people outside of America don't care much about Elon's political opinions since most of those opinions are about US politics. This is important because Tesla's sales outside of the US are larger than its sales in the US. Put simply, if Elon's political views about US politics cause sales of Tesla cars to decrease significantly in the US, it is unlikely to have a similar impact on Tesla sales outside the US.

                  Second, if an American declares, "I am deeply offended by Elon's political opinions so I am not going to buy a Tesla car", I would assume this means "I will not buy a Tesla car, even if they come down in price". Yet, we have seen that Tesla decreasing the prices of its cars has maintained/increased demand for them. This suggests the possibility that "I am deeply offended by Elon's political opinions so I am not going to buy a Tesla car" people may be a small, albeit vocal, minority.

                  Regarding the frequency of price changes... The US government's IRA tax credits for EV purchase that took effect in January had price limits that meant several cars in Tesla's range were ineligible for the $7500 tax credit. (Some people have claimed that this was intentional in an attempt to put Tesla at a disadvantage, but whether or not that is true is irrelevant to the point I want to make.) Tesla reduced the prices of its cars and doing so made most of its cars eligible for the $7500 tax credit. So it is reasonable to assume that that price reduction was, at least partially, done out of necessity to avoid Tesla facing a competitive disadvantage. For the other price cuts since then... I don't have any insider information about what motivated them, but Elon has stated that Tesla likes to tweak its prices (sometimes by relatively small amounts) in an effort to find a sweet spot in which there is continued demand for its vehicles but the order backlog does not become excessively large, so perhaps some of the price cuts were due to that. Tesla is rare in selling its cars direct to customers; most other car manufacturers sell their cars to dealerships, which in turn sell to customers. I have heard the claim (but not conducted any google searching to verify/refute it) that dealerships rise and lower prices relatively frequently (without generating media attention), so perhaps Tesla's price changes are no more frequent than those of dealerships of other car makers; rather, they are simply more likely to be reported by the media.

                  Ultimately, I think the absolute certainty with which you have expressed and defended your thesis demonstrates a logical fallacy: "If I can't think of a benign reason for [such-and-such], then there is no benign reason for it." It is entirely possible that there is a benign reason for [such-and-such], but you are unaware of it because, being human, there are gaps in your knowledge.

                  You are right in guessing that I own Tesla shares. I do due diligence by reading biographies about Elon Musk and keeping up-to-date by reading news articles and subscribing to numerous Tesla- and EV-related YouTube channels. Then I try to resist confirmation bias as I dig through all the information and determine whether the anti-Tesla or pro-Tesla claims about a particular issue are more likely to be insightful.

                  Finally, you wrote, "The recession has had very little effect on automotive sales so far." The general trend since about 2016 has been for ICE car sales to decrease < 10% per year, while EV sales have been increasing about 50% per year, and the overall effect has been that overall car sales have been decreasing most years. I don't know whether the recession has been accelerating the decline in ICE car sales, but it doesn't seem to have slowed the 50% annual increase in EV sales. I have read the claim (but not done any google searching to verify/refute it) that Ford and GM have decided to abandon some of their cheaper, low-profit-margin cars and instead focus on selling their more expensive, high-profit-margin cars, and this has resulted in those companies maintaining reasonable profitability despite declining sales. I mention that not to argue "I'm right and you're wrong", but rather to provide some food for thought that you might have been unaware of.

      2. Ciaran McHale

        Re: Musk, the man who has...

        "Musk got his first fortune by selling out of paypal after Thiel (vommit) did all the real work.". Incorrect. Musk made his first fortune from Zip2. He then used the majority of money from that to start, which later merged with Confinity. The result of the merger was initially called and later changed its name to PayPal. Both and Confinity employees contributed significantly to the success of the PayPal product. To claim that Musk played no role in the success of PayPal is incorrect, as you will discover if you read the book "The Founders: Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and the Story of PayPa" by Jimmy Soni.

        Musk started SpaceX initially with $50 million of his own money, and later put in about another $50 million. Some other investors also put in money, but the budget of the start-up SpaceX was relatively small for the space industry. SpaceX became a success due to numerous factors, but a key one was that its culture was pretty much opposite of established space companies, and this resulted in SpaceX being able to attract skilled people who were frustrated at the glacial slow pace of other space companies, and develop technologies (to be used in its rockets) sometimes 10 times cheaper than other companies, sometimes 100 times cheaper and occasionally 1000 times cheaper. SpaceX passed on some of these cost savings to customers, and this resulted in SpaceX being able to get cargo/satellites into space significantly cheaper than most/all other space companies worldwide (source; Ashlee Vance's warts-and-all biography of Elon Musk) and by 2018 had achieved 65% global market share (source: Wikipedia). Trying to downplay those achievements by claiming that merely "Musk was in the right place at the right time" suffers from an extreme lack of insight.

        "Tesla looks amazing when you look at the share price but if you look deeper their business is a tiny fraction of what that price would suggest". Perhaps, if you believe that Tesla is only a car manufacturer. But Tesla is actually in several businesses: (1) car manufacturing (with industry-leading profit margins), stationary battery storage at both home- and grid-scale (its grid-scale battery storage business seems to have recently started an exponential growth that will see it contribute very significantly to Tesla's profitability); (3) autonomous driving, which if it matures will likely provide dominance in robotaxis; (4) humanoid robots (too early to know if this will be a success, but if it is, then it will create a very large new market); (5) car insurance; (6) energy arbitrage (via software such as Autobidder, and also via virtual power plants) in which Tesla might earn a commission on each transaction; (7) charging stations for electric cars (Tesla's supercharger network is the largest in the world). There are synergies across some of these Tesla-owned businesses. For example: (a) data collected by the FSD hardware in cars gives Tesla the ability to develop a personalized safety rating for each driver and, when justified, offer insurance rates that are cheaper than other car insurance companies; (b) Tesla's Dojo hardware and the AI training software running on that was initially developed to train FSD (for use in cars), but is now also being used to train its humanoid robots; (c) Tesla has started to deploy its megapacks (battery storage) at some of its supercharger stations. Solar panels may be able to provide a subset of charging capability for these, but it is likely the megapacks will get most of their charge by buying cheap, off-peak power at night and then selling these for a hefty profit to cars that charge during the day. Will all of Tesla's businesses succeed? I don't know. But three of them (cars, supercharger stations, and stationary energy storage) already have, and is certainly possible that some of the other ones will mature enough to succeed.

        "Demanding to pay $44B for Twitter without doing due diligence demonstrates his business ability." I would have thought that being heavily involved in several start-up companies that obtained billion dollar valuations---PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, NeuraLink, StarLink (part of SpaceX) and The Boring Company (also part of SpaceX), hell even his first start-up company, Zip2, was sold for $300 million---would demonstrate his business ability. Instead, you have focused on his purchase of, and attempt to turn around, Twitter. He bought that company less than 6 months ago, and it is unreasonable to expect a company turn-around to be complete in such a short amount of time (source: I have read biographies/histories of many business leaders and companies). I don't know if Elon will succeed or fail with Twitter, but you are foolish to use Twitter as strong evidence that Elon Musk has poor business ability.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Musk, the man who has...

          The fact that illustrates his lack of business acumen isn't whether Twitter turns a profit someday, it is the fact he was stupid enough to make an unconditional offer when he wasn't in a bidding war, which put him in a position where he had no choice to buy Twitter at his proposed price because the lawsuit forcing him to pay the agreed price would have been a slam dunk win for Twitter's shareholders. There was no reason why he couldn't have made the $1 billion breakup fee without cause, but he suffers the hubris of one who falsely believes he's the smartest one in the room at all times so clearly ignored legal advice, or moved things along so quickly their advice came too late.

          Then he tried to complain he wasn't allowed proper due diligence after his offer was accepted when he didn't make that a condition of the offer? Not sure if he's stupid or his brain has become addled from too much Ambien or whatever it is he supposedly is overly addicted to.

        2. DryBones

          Re: Musk, the man who has...


    3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      The Boring Company

      "Build subways, but fill them with traffic jams instead". What problem does that solve exactly?

  5. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Did you buy it because you thought a court would make you do that? "Yes. Yes, that is the reason."

    No, the reason you bought it is because you voluntarily signed a takeover agreement that you yourself had negotiated, because you wanted to own it. The court was only ever going to hold you to the contract you signed, which is why you didn't back out of the deal, preferring instead to whinge and act like some kind of victim to try and save face with your fanbois.

    The only "hard hitting" question he should be facing is "You lost 10s of billions of dollars on this because you behaved like an asshole - how does this make you any kind of genius at all?".

    1. Zola

      Re: "Yes. Yes, that is the reason."

      He's lying, as a court ruling was absolutely NOT the reason - he could have walked away from the entire deal as it included a $1Bn breakup fee (plus unquantifiable amount of lost face). But he didn't, presumably as the loss of face is worth more to him than any amount of money.

      A truly smart person would have run away from the Twitter deal thinking they'd got off lightly with "only" a $1Bn loss, but not Elmo who will likely lose every penny and more of the $44Bn (not all his money).

      And dumb people will still claim he's a "genius".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Yes. Yes, that is the reason."

        That's not correct. The breakup fee was only applicable in a separation with mutual consent and with finely defined conditions. For instance if Musk couldn't get the finance together in time.

        The point beyond the $1B breakup fee was reached about a month before he got sued. And once he got sued there was obviously no chance the shareholders of Twitter would let him get away with it. The maths are a bit vague but many calculations suggest that a breakup fee would be north of $20B (including to compensate shareholders for the devaluation their stock and to compensate the company for damages to their reputation) and without him owning anything.

        I think the reality is that Musk couldn't afford having more text messages between him and his comrades read out in court. It would make him look bad, and I bet some billionaires were fuming that Elon had their dirty linen aired in court documents. Now he's been found out as a poor businessman and looks bad to people with some experience in business but at least he can spin it well to his Musk Militia of fifteen year old boys who think you become a millionaire by renting Lamborghinis by the hour and making TikTok videos. They still believe he plays some 4D chess and not desperately clutching at straws in a business hurtling towards bankruptcy.

  6. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I don't know about the current stance of the beeb leaning toward the conservatives, but they certainly were quite pro remain during the whole cluster fsck that was Brexit. And considering Brexit was dreamed up by the Tories as a way to stop voters voting for that bell end Farrage, id say the beeb were not conservative leaning back then.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Wasn't bell-end Farrage the one pushing FOR Brexit? How would the Tories dreaming up Brexit stop people voting for him?? That theory makes no sense.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That's not too difficult. If you're worried about losing votes to an adjacent party you copy the policies of the adjacent party so your voters stay with you (and perhaps some of their voters move to you). It even works that way in systems that aren't two party systems, though it's slightly more complicated and risky.

        The Brexiters inside the Conservative Party managed to convince the party that Farage could steal all their votes and presto, Ukip ideology took over the Conservative Party.

    2. breakfast Silver badge

      Direction of travel

      They did platform Farage every few days for most of the 2010s, in spite of the fact he had consistently been losing elections for years, which resulted in pushing the entire conversation towards the hard right. There was certainly nobody on the left who got anything like the same coverage.

      I suspect they only had a handful of people deliberately pushing an agenda by calling him in - mostly they kept calling because he was happy to be a controversial voice on almost any topic and he always showed up on time. In a way it doesn't matter whether the intent was stupidity or malice, the outcome was the same.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Honestly, I can't think of anyone I know who uses Twitter, so who cares.

    1. ChoHag Silver badge

      Not you, obviously?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This is how it works.

    Musk and twitter tell you the BBC is government funded.

    BBC complains. No we aren't. We are independent even when the government forces our funding through taxation.

    Que all the clowns with the "without the BBC what would we have?", "Where would our news be?" without looking at all the articles attacking striking workers who want fair pay like every other news outlet. Where is the independence from government on that one? When does the BBC go against other news outlets? If it was independent then why does it only report the same news in the same way every single day like every other news channel?

    Musk has a sit down with the BBC totally unscripted, last minute after their announcement and not planned at all. The people rejoice. The BBC really is independent because some shithole social media website said it was.

    Why am I the only one that sees this? We do not have real news anymore. The main stream media is fully controlled and geared up to tell you migrants are coming in their thousands while making sure you don't look at the people getting extremely rich off Covid or the cost of living crisis. Where are the BBC articles about what the real price of petrol and utilities should be? I don't drive so I don't care in part. You get the point though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Propaganda

      Who could have seen this coming?

      That's right, it was me. Wow, I am absolutely shocked I tells ya. Who could have foreseen this chain of events? The BBC is once again a bastion of independent news and absolutely not a government mouthpiece that has been threatened for the last 20 years with having it's only form of income removed by the very government that is now dictating it's news reporting.

      There are a lot of computer programmers and clever people on here. Please, please, start to use that ability to see round corners to life in general. Maybe you just don't care? I have no idea. I'm no better than anyone else and a lot of you are much smarter than me but come on. This was obvious from the very start.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Propaganda

        Politicians can neither survive and prosper nor pimp and pump their nonsense to a greater general public without the likes of a BBC presenting their pontifications to provision the masses with something to worry about and ponder endlessly on being unable to fix ???????

        They, politicians, are totally dependent upon a tame and lame media partner for their continued gilded existence, and the BBC certainly provides them with that facility/utility. The evidence of it is presented you clearly enough every single day.

        Or do you see it another way and disagree that it is effectively a government minded and funded media operation?

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: Propaganda and its Future IT Directorship and AI Mastery

          Oh, and furthermore, just to be perfectly fair, the same applies to any idiot or genius wanting to get on with their thing on Earth. In space though, there be other much more effective platforms and channels to master and utilise/experience and experiment with/employ and enjoy for the opportunities available delivered from there.

    2. RobDog

      Re: Propaganda

      Worth a read

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Propaganda

        That's an interesting article. What I would say in that though is who do we want controlling this "free speech"? Musk talks like twitter is free but it's not and that's the same for all other social media and search engines. Someone controls the algorithms. So you may be able to say what you want but what does that matter when no one sees it? What happens when they want to push a narrative? Who stops them? It's the same with the main stream media. They are owned by the same billionaires and millionaires who push their own narrative through the editors. These people are all intertwined with governments through money so now we are the position that governments can pretty much do what they like as no one is going to hold them to account. Free speech in my mind is a myth. Maybe it's always been like that? Won't end well though.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: Propaganda and Winners and Losers

          Free speech in my mind is a myth. Maybe it's always been like that? Won't end well though. ..... Anonymous Coward

          Won’t end well though for whom and/or what, AC? Who and/or what be thoroughly deserving of trashing and crashing?

    3. markr555

      Re: Propaganda

      "Que all the clowns"

      Is that you Manuel?

  9. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Independent as long as it doesn't stray

    > "The BBC is, and always has been, independent. We are funded by the British public through the licence fee,"

    Although you cannot be jailed for not paying the licence fee, you can be jailed for not paying the fine for not paying the licence fee.

    So while the BBC is not (technically) state funded, it is certainly funded with the power of the state behind it (and a state that sets the Ts & Cs of the licence fee, and the BBCs operating conditions too)

    And if the BBC is so independent, why are they so scared spitless worried about public opinion?

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Independent as long as it doesn't stray

      So while the BBC is not (technically) state funded, it is certainly funded with the power of the state behind it (and a state that sets the Ts & Cs of the licence fee, and the BBCs operating conditions too)

      Technically, the Bbc very much is. It's a pretty simple process. Communications Act gives the Bbc the responsibility to sell TV Licences. along with the conditions where you legally require one. The Bbc then acts totally independently and decides that everyone needs a TV Licence. Or else. You will be fined £1,000. Fresh investigations are started pretty much every month. The money collected is then paid into the government's Consolidated Account. So there is no direct connection between an individual paying for a licence and paying the Bbc.

      Government then decides how much the Bbc's licence should be, how much of this should be given to the Bbc, and bungs them a jacuzzi or three's worth of cash. The Bbc doesn't get all the money, and the Government gets to decide what the Bbc's PSB budget will be, along with some programming priorities. Hence why a few years ago, HMG had to restate it's accounts going back pretty much to the Bbc's inception because the EU pointed out that thanks to it's 'unique form of funding', it's a central government body for accounting purposes.

      The only way to have an independent Bbc would be to wean it completely off the public teat and let it succeed or fail on it's own merits, ie fund itself via subscription. The Bbc's had many opportunities to do this, yet despite being the World's Greatest Broadcaster, it's refused and obstructed this process. The government's also missed a few tricks, like not putting up the Bbc's subscription fee in line with inflation, especially not tobacco and booze inflation because then it'd have gone up by something like 16%. The Bbc of course whined about this and bangs on about having to endure budget cuts in surreal terms because it didn't get an RPI+ bung.

      And if the BBC is so independent, why are they so scared spitless worried about public opinion?

      Because they don't give a.. Musk's favorite emoji about public opinion. The only thing they're interested in is public money, and know damn well that if the public had a choice, it's revenues would go much the same way as CNN's have.

      As for why certain sections of the MSM all look the same? Tha's by design-

      Together, TNI members work together to build audience trust and to find solutions to tackle challenges of disinformation. By including media organisations and social media platforms, it is the only forum in the world of its kind designed to take on disinformation in real time.

      And as Musk pointed out wrt Covid, the Bbc certainly stepped up to the task of providing disinformation in real-time. Twitter is also a member of the Totalitarian News Initiative, at least for now. Minitruth is alive and well. Sadly. Of course the more that people realise that the MSM is the conduit for mis- and disinformation, the less trust there is in the MSM. At least for now, the Bbc keeps swimming in it's jacuzzis of cash, unlike it's ad and subscription dependent fellow travellers in the TNI club.

    2. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: Independent as long as it doesn't stray

      "Although you cannot be jailed for not paying the licence fee, you can be jailed for not paying the fine for not paying the licence fee."

      You also cannot be jailed for parking on a yellow line, but you can be jailed for refusing to pay the fine for parking on a yellow line. This is how fines work, they are set by the court - call that "the power of the state" if you like, most people simply call it the legal system. Before you slate it, please consider the alternatives.

  10. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "he would have walked away from the takeover deal if he could"

    Hey, genius, if you had read the terms you could have avoided signing a contract that locked you in.

    Instead, you just signed it and then tried to use your name as an excuse when it all went pear-shaped. At the rarified level of your circle, that is simply not excusable.

    No pity here. Pay attention next time.

    If there is a next time.

    1. ElPedro100

      Re: "he would have walked away from the takeover deal if he could"

      It's always going to be the way when the lunaics take over the asylum.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "he would have walked away from the takeover deal if he could"

      Did he actually put his own money into it or was it some kind of way to silence people checking where he was flying to or calling out other rich people? I seem to remember a huge socialist movement a year or so ago that gained a lot of traction. Who hates socialism? I wonder? Rich people. So lets kill it. He knew exactly what he was doing.

      1. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: "he would have walked away from the takeover deal if he could"

        "Who hates socialism?"

        Anyone with a brain.

        1. DryBones

          Re: "he would have walked away from the takeover deal if he could"

          Oh please.

          That line is trotted out too often by those unwilling to actually consider complicated situations, nor the simple fact that the rich people don't actually have their best interests in mind.

  11. First Light Silver badge

    Poor-quality journalism

    I'm not surprised, but am saddened, that the journalist facing Musk was unprepared. I have been watching BBC World News from various time zones and the low journalism standards are depressing. Whether or not it is government-funded, the interviewers and anchors are not that smart, not prepared and leave important questions unasked. It's actually cringe-inducing sometimes to see what interviewees can get away with. I'm not surprised he agreed to an interview. He knows how shoddy their journalism is now and he would never allow someone like Amy Goodman to interview him.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Poor-quality journalism

      Well to be fair, 20 minutes isn't much time to do a great deal of research.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        I disagree. The amount of research needed does not depend on how much time you have to show it.

        1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          You've misunderstood, BBC was reportedly given 20 minutes notice.

          1. First Light Silver badge

            Then they should have declined. He set the parameters of the interview in a way that is anathema to proper journalism.

          2. Ciaran McHale

            It would have been better for the folks at the BBC to say, "Sorry, but 20 minutes' notice isn't enough time to make pre-interview preparations (research, deciding upon a list of topics to discuss and so on). Give us [such-an-amount-of-time] to prepare and then we can reschedule for some time at your convenience." That might seem obvious with the benefit of hindsight, but I think it should also have been obvious in advance. I mean, I don't work in journalism, but it seems blindingly obvious to me that some about of preparation should be conducted if you want to increase the chances of an interview going well.

  12. Winkypop Silver badge

    In conclusion

    Big knobs run the BBC and Musk is a bell-end.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Twitter is doing well

    The fact Twitter keeps erroring shows how BAD the underlying code must be.

    In the end Elon has access to some brilliant minds at SpaceX pretty sure he can get one of them to fix the release / CI / CD pipeline.

    Ex Twitter coders should be ashamed and the managers should hold their heads in shame.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Twitter is doing well

      Who would've thought that firing most of the engineers could create operational problems.

      Oh well, I'm sure that the engineers who are used to programming rocket algorithms are more than capable of adapting to building massively used websites instead.

  14. Bebu Silver badge

    From the horse's mouth

    To be honest it was the other end of the animal that came mind.

    Inescapable I suppose given the subject.

    Was surprised at the el reg readers general antipathy to the BBC but I have to admit AU's ABC which is tax funded is becoming rather irritating by its one eyed peddling of issues with which I probably mostly agree. Still I prefer to hear all sides to any question up to but perhaps not including those posed by the raving lunatics in our midst.

    I assume the story alluded to about the arrest or detention of a woman's golliwog collection is a beat up - the picture it conjured in my mind is pure Python.

  15. FlamingDeath Silver badge

    What is a middle kingdom? Is that a made up name? Is it intended as an insult? Is it a media term?

    I’m not sure what interview El Reg watched, but I saw something totally different, I watched one of BBCs multitude of idiot media personalities they regard as journalists, getting roasted, and it was great

    “Do you like BBC?” hahaha

    As to the BBC being respected, not any more, it hasn’t been a viable source of truth for a long time now, it is a mouth piece of the state and this has always been the case.

    I like the saltiness of all the AC posts who hate Musk but don’t dare put their handle in front of their utterances, grow a spine, and as to your prejudices, I would not underestimate Musk and what he can accomplish.

    True fact, most actual journalists either end up going missing or end up hiding in embassies as a political prisoner.

    I don’t think any BBC media personalities have ever gone missing suddenly while investigating a story.

    No doubt some will accuse me of being a russian bot or a fanboi, to help with their cognitive dissonance.

    This BBC / Musk interview was basically Cathy Newman / Jornan Peterson interview all over again, and its really cringey what constitutes a journalist these days

    Question, did any of you ever think of Youtubers or twitch streamers, as influencers? No… me either

    Thats the MSM who made that correlation , because it’s what THEY (attempt) to do daily, they’re not in the game of informing

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