Posts by Escapegoat

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    Trump threatens to shut down social-media platforms after Twitter put a fact-check warning on his false tweets

    Tom Porter
    8 hours ago

    Donald Trump insulin rose gardenPresident Donald Trump at a recent briefing at the White House. AP Photo/Alex Brandon


    • President Donald Trump has threatened to close down social-media platforms that "silence" conservative voices.
    • He made the threat Wednesday, the morning after Twitter tagged some of his tweets with a fact-check warning.
    • The platform had been under pressure to take action after Trump leveled a groundless conspiracy theory against the MSNBC cohost Joe Scarborough.
    • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

    President Donald Trump has threatened to close down social-media platforms that he argues censor conservative voices after Twitter on Tuesday tagged some of his messages with a fact-check warning.

    "Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices," Trump tweeted Wednesday. "We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016."

    kUuht00m_bigger.jpgDonald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that....
    101K 4:11 AM - May 27, 2020 Twitter Ads info and privacy

    52.9K people are talking about this

    Twitter had long been criticized for allowing the president to spread conspiracy theories and smears against opponents despite its policies against the promotion of disinformation.

    It recently came under increasing calls for it to take action against Trump after he spent weeks promoting a baseless conspiracy theory alleging that the MSNBC cohost Joe Scarborough was involved in the death of a staffer, Lori Klausutis, while he was serving as a US congressman.

    Twitter has declined to take action against the president for the messages about Scarborough, but on Tuesday for the first time it put a fact-check tag on some of Trump's tweets.

    The president wrote two tweets claiming "There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent."

    Twitter tagged each of the two messages with a blue exclamation mark and warning message, linking to articles in The Washington Post, CNN, and other outlets that debunk the president's assertion.

    Trump doubled down on his voter-fraud claims in a follow-up tweet Wednesday.

    "We can't let a more sophisticated version of that happen again," Trump wrote. "Just like we can't let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!"

    Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, Virginia, said that Trump was unlikely to be able to follow through on his threat against social media companies.

    "I think that it is mostly bluster. There are steps he might take, but they are likely to be slow, cumbersome and ineffective, although he does have the huge bullhorn of the presidency to persuade the voters that he is correct and deserves reelection," he explained to Business Insider by email.

    "He could issue executive orders or try to persuade federal agencies to regulate or take action against Twitter or convince Congress to legislate, but none will be fast or help him before November," he expalined. "Reelection might help him achieve some of what he wants in the longer term as agencies and Congress are investigating big tech and may consider legislation but nothing will pass soon."

    Trump has long accused social-media companies of bias against conservatives. In June 2019 he invited several far-right provocateurs and conspiracy theorists, some of whom had had hate speech removed by social-media platforms, to the White House for a social-media summit.

    He has also credited being able to communicate on Twitter as a key factor in his election to the White House, remarking that it allows him to communicate with voters directly, unfiltered by media organizations he accuses of partisan bias.

    I'm surprised that Amurican cuntservatives didn't get on the Elon train sooner. I mean we're talking about gifting billions of tax dollars to a billionaire. There's nothing cuntservatives love more, except possibly genital regulations and murderous gubmint thugs.

    I knew something was up when I saw that you right wing billionaire worshiping dipshits were getting on board. That means bloom is off the rose. The cult has gone to crazy town. Intelligent prosperous people who have options will move on to something better. In a few years the Elon Cult will basically be a megachurch. It's already heavily dependent on subsidies, now it's poised to tap in to Amurica's inexhaustible reservoir of gullible retards.

    https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news…ng/ar-BB14xuLw?li=BBr8Mkn



    The Cult of Elon Is Cracking

    Marina Koren
    2 days ago

    Jeepneys, a popular and uniquely Filipino mode of public mass transport, are seen at a major road in Manila, Philippines, 19 July 2018. (Photo by Richard James Mendoza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)'No buses, jeeps during GCQ'


    BB14FeEn.img?h=180&w=180&m=6&q=60&u=t&o=t&l=f&x=261&y=240'ABS-CBN used a tax shield'

    a close up of Elon Musk holding a sign© Yichuan Cao / NurPhoto / Getty / The AtlanticEditor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of Microsoft News or Microsoft.

    Elon Musk has famously devoted fans. They can be found buying Tesla cars, watching SpaceX launches, and praising Musk on Twitter. To his fan base, Musk is a visionary, an idol, even a climate superhero. Some of that reputation stems from Musk’s transformation from nerdy internet millionaire to suave manufacturing billionaire. According to Musk mythology, he’s even the inspiration for an actual superhero, Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of the charmingly brilliant Tony Stark in the 2008 Iron Man film. In the past 15 years since, Musk’s profile has risen, growing ever Starkian, as if prophesied. Meanwhile, his admirers have become only more notorious.

    A few months ago, it would have been nearly impossible to imagine Musk’s world-saving sheen wearing off in the eyes of his fans. But that was before the coronavirus pandemic. In the past few months, Musk has downplayed the dangers of the virus, offered unfounded predictions about how many Americans it will infect, and falsely claimed that children are “essentially immune” to COVID-19. He has called, over and over again, for rolling back the widespread measures put in place to slow the spread of the virus, a move that public-health officials believe could be lethal. Musk defied local stay-at-home orders and reopened his Tesla assembly plant in California, bringing thousands of employees into work. “I will be on the line with everyone else,” he tweeted last week, as operations restarted. “If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.” (Tesla and SpaceX did not respond to requests for comment.)


    📰 MORE ON MICROSOFT NEWS

    Twitter is Musk’s main mode of communication with the public, including his fans. During other moments of Muskian controversy—the tweet that led to fraud charges and cost him his Tesla chairmanship, or the time he got sued for calling a rescue diver a “pedo guy”—you could count on finding a chorus of support in the replies to Musk’s tweets, his admirers unwilling to consider any criticism of their hero.


    But now, for the first time, Musk appears to have alienated even some of his most devout supporters. Fans are voicing their discomfort, and even dissent, directly to Musk on Twitter, knowing that he might see it. Last month, the top tweet beneath Musk’s demand to “FREE AMERICA NOW” and let workers return to their businesses was a bite-size study in cognitive dissonance: “my first disagreement with my Idol. :/”


    The acerbic persona that once made Musk a cool renegade seems to have sharpened into something more alarming in this global crisis. Surviving a pandemic is rocket science only in the figurative sense, and some fans wish that Musk would let the experts handle it. The cracks in the cult of Elon are starting to show.

    Workers wait in line for a shuttle at Tesla's primary vehicle factory after CEO Elon Musk announced he was defying local officials' coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions by reopening the plant in Fremont, California, U.S. May 12, 2020. REUTERS/Stephen Lam© Thomson Reuters Workers wait in line for a shuttle at Tesla's primary vehicle factory after CEO Elon Musk announced he was defying local officials' coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions by reopening the plant in Fremont, California, U.S. May 12, 2020. REUTERS/Stephen LamI reached out to some of these fans. They were mostly men, ranging from 20-somethings to 70-somethings. They included those who drive Teslas and those who wish they did, those who describe Musk as their idol and those who just think he makes a great car. They all prefaced their remarks with praise of Musk’s brilliance, vision, and ability to do things that others had sworn were impossible. And besides, they said, nobody’s perfect. But. What the hell is he doing?


    “Sometimes it just seems like the smarter people are, the more vulnerable they are to overestimating how much they know about something outside of their specialty,” Ben Hallert, a longtime SpaceX fan and a Tesla stockholder, told me. “If I’m an expert in X, then why wouldn’t I be an expert in Y?


    Hallert loves talking about rockets. He talked about them all the way from Oregon to Texas last spring, when he took his wife and teenage sons to visit the place where SpaceX is building its biggest rocket yet, just off the Gulf of Mexico. Hallert’s grandparents worked on the Apollo program, and he has his pilot’s license. He can’t wait to see the SpaceX spaceship get off the ground, but he wishes that the man behind it would stop tweeting.

    VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA - APRIL 27, 2020: 60 of the Starlink Internet communication satellites of Elon Musk's SpaceX private spaceflight company seen in the night sky. On April 22, 2020, SpaceX successfully launched 60 Starlink satellites into orbit on the Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. The Starlink project is aimed at providing low-cost internet to remote locations; SpaceX is planning to launch into orbit about 30,000 satellites. Following the launch of the first batch of the Starlink satellites, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) expressed concerns about the satellites being too bright and forming a 'megaconstellation' and thus causing serious problems for astronomers.  Yuri Smityuk/TASS (Photo by Yuri Smityuk\TASS via Getty Images)© Getty VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA - APRIL 27, 2020: 60 of the Starlink Internet communication satellites of Elon Musk's SpaceX private spaceflight company seen in the night sky. On April 22, 2020, SpaceX successfully launched 60 Starlink satellites into orbit on the Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. The Starlink project is aimed at providing low-cost internet to remote locations; SpaceX is planning to launch into orbit about 30,000 satellites. Following the launch of the first batch of the Starlink satellites, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) expressed concerns about the satellites being too bright and forming a 'megaconstellation' and thus causing serious problems for astronomers. Yuri Smityuk/TASS (Photo by Yuri Smityuk\TASS via Getty Images)Musk’s early takes on the coronavirus were mild, if ill-advised, fans told me. In early March, for example, Musk declared that “the coronavirus panic is dumb.” Fans believed that Musk was only poking fun at the hoarding of toilet paper and Clorox wipes, not the dangers of a sickness that was cropping up everywhere. But as Musk’s rhetoric escalated, some of his fans tried to reason gently with him that research showed social-distancing measures could slow the spread of the virus. They resurfaced a quote Musk tweeted in 2017, from Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey—“If one day, my words are against science, choose science”—in an apparent attempt to remind him of his better impulses. Such is the understanding nature of Musk fans, who still want to help their hero see the error of his ways.


    Things escalated from there. About two weeks later, Musk tweeted that, “based on current trends,” the United States would have “probably close to zero” new COVID-19 cases by the end of April. The prediction turned out to be wildly incorrect, but Musk didn’t acknowledge his error. That irked some of his fans, who trusted him to get it right. “If he says, ‘Don't worry, guys. By April we won’t have cases,’ people are going to say, ‘This is Elon Musk. He must know the best doctors. He must know the best people. He must have done the best research before saying that,’” Luis Mireles, a college student in Texas, told me. Mireles has written about Musk and Tesla for school papers, and, like Hallert, has visited the launch facility where SpaceX is working on its Mars rocket.

    Pictures: Coolest images of SpaceX missions

    • Slide 1 of 39: A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket with the Israeli-owned Amos 17 commercial communications satellite lifts off from space launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
    • Slide 2 of 39: After a one day launch delay due to weather, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, carrying the Dragon spacecraft on the 18th resupply mission by SpaceX to the International Space Station on July 25, 2019 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
    • Slide 3 of 39: A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, carrying the U.S. Air Force's Space Test Program 2 Mission, lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center in a time exposure that also shows the two booster rockets landing back at Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., June 25,2019. REUTERS/Thom Baur TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
    • Slide 4 of 39  
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    • Slide 11 of 39: An unmanned capsule of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft is seen shortly after splashing down into the Atlantic Ocean as SpaceX recovery teams works on it, in this still image from video from NASA Commercial Crew, in the Atlantic, about 200 miles off the Florida coast, U.S., March 8, 2019.
    • Slide 12 of 39: The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule approaches in a photograph taken by NASA astronaut Anne McClain aboard the International Space Station March 3, 2019.  Anne McClain/NASA/Handout via REUTERS REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
    • Slide 13 of 39: TOPSHOT - SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard takes off during the Demo-1 mission, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 2, 2019. - SpaceX's new Crew Dragon astronaut capsule was on its way to the International Space Station Saturday, March 2, 2019, after it successfully launched from Florida on board a Falcon 9 rocket. With only a dummy named Ripley on board, the launch was a dress rehearsal for the first manned test flight -- scheduled for later this year with two NASA astronauts. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
    • Slide 14 of 39: In this image taken from NASA Television, the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft approaches the robotic arm for docking to the International Space Station, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018.  SpaceX delivery full of Christmas goodies has arrived at the International Space Station. The Dragon capsule pulled up at the orbiting lab Saturday, three days after launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It took two tries to get the Dragon close enough to be captured by the space station's robot arm. The hour-and-a-half delay was caused by trouble with the communication network that serves the space station.(NASA TV via AP)  
    • Slide 15 of 39: SANTA BARBARA, CA - OCTOBER 07: The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket (R) separates from the space craft (L) behind the rocket trail after launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base carrying the SAOCOM 1A and ITASAT 1 satellites, as seen on October 7, 2018 near Santa Barbara, California. After launching the satellites, the Falcon 9 rocket successfully returned to land on solid ground near the launch site rather than at sea. The satellites will become part of a six-satellite constellation that will work in tandem with an Italian constellation known as COSMO-SkyMed.    (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
    • Slide 16 of 39: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched just before dawn Friday, June 29, 2018 is captured during a time exposure at Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying supplies to the International Space Station. The Dragon spacecraft atop of a reused rocket core is packed with supplies that will be delivered to the International Space Station. This is a view from atop of the Vehicle Assembly building at the Kennedy Space Center. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
    • Slide 17 of 39: A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from historic launch pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Thom Baur TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
    • Slide 18 of 39: PAZ Mission-Feb. 22, 2018
    • Slide 19 of 39: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Feb 7, 2018
    • Slide 20 of 39: Zuma Mission
    • Slide 21 of 39: The twilight effect from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base carrying 10 Iridium voice and data relay satellites is shown in a view from U.S. Highway 101 and Padaro Lane in Carpinteria, California, December 22, 2017.  Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Dept/Handout via REUTERS    ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC1E37887E80
    • Slide 22 of 39: Orbital Test Vehicle 5 Mission Sept, 7, 2017
    • Slide 23 of 39: HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES Mandatory Credit: Photo by NASA/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9310309a) A handout photo made available by NASA shows the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft attached to the Harmony module of the International Space Station after it arrived on 17 December 2017 (issued 08 January 2018). After delivering more than 4,800 pounds of science and supplies to the International Space Station, the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft will depart the orbiting laboratory on 13 January 2018. NASA will provide live coverage of Dragon's departure beginning at 4:30 am EST. On 12 January,  flight controllers will use the space station?s Canadarm2 robotic arm to detach Dragon from the Earth-facing side of the station's Harmony module. After Dragon is maneuvered into place, a ground-controlled command will release the spacecraft as NASA?s Expedition 54 Flight Engineers Joe Acaba and Scott Tingle monitor its departure. SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft to deliver supplies to International Space Station, --- - 17 Dec 2017
    • Slide 24 of 39: VENICE, CA - DECEMBER 22: Many people in California got an amazing spectacle in the sky when SpaceX conducted its final launch of 2017 Friday, with a Falcon 9 lifting off from Vandenberg Air Force Base to deploy ten more Iridium-NEXT communications satellites.As the rocket went into space many people looking into the sky where amazed and curious about what was happening as the trail of the rocket morphed into an astonishing display. Photograph December 22, 2017 from the Boardwalk, Venice, California (Photo by Maxwell Harris/Getty Images)
    • Slide 25 of 39: HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES Mandatory Credit: Photo by NASA/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9310309a) A handout photo made available by NASA shows the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft attached to the Harmony module of the International Space Station after it arrived on 17 December 2017 (issued 08 January 2018). After delivering more than 4,800 pounds of science and supplies to the International Space Station, the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft will depart the orbiting laboratory on 13 January 2018. NASA will provide live coverage of Dragon's departure beginning at 4:30 am EST. On 12 January,  flight controllers will use the space station?s Canadarm2 robotic arm to detach Dragon from the Earth-facing side of the station's Harmony module. After Dragon is maneuvered into place, a ground-controlled command will release the spacecraft as NASA?s Expedition 54 Flight Engineers Joe Acaba and Scott Tingle monitor its departure. SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft to deliver supplies to International Space Station, --- - 17 Dec 2017
    • Slide 26 of 39: Formosat-5 Mission - Aug. 24, 2017
    • Slide 27 of 39: CRS-12 Mission - Aug. 14, 2017
    • Slide 28 of 39: EchoStar XXIII Launch March 16, 2017
    • Slide 29 of 39: Iridium-1 Landed - Jan 17, 2017
    • Slide 30 of 39: Falcon 9 with 10 Iridium NEXT communications satellites at Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. - Jan. 13, 2017
    • Slide 31 of 39: Raptor testing - Sept. 25, 2016
    • Slide 32 of 39: Landed rockets in hangar 39A May 14, 2016
    • Slide 33 of 39: Looking up from Pad 40 May 13, 2016
    • Slide 34 of 39: Falcon 9 first stage at LZ-1 - Dec. 22, 2015
    • Slide 35 of 39: Dragon 2 hover test - Propulsive hover tests of our Dragon 2 vehicle that can carry crew and cargo - Nov. 23, 2015
    • Slide 36 of 39: Crew Dragon Interior  Step inside Crew Dragon, our next-generation spacecraft designed to carry humans to the International Space Station and other destinations. Crew Dragon can carry up to seven astronauts, or a combination of astronauts and crew. The configuration seen here has five seats and two cargo racks.  June 11, 2015
    • Slide 37 of 39: Editorial Use Only : Mandatory credit 'NASA/Rex' Mandatory Credit: Photo by NASA/REX/Shutterstock (1727810h) Capturing the Dragon SpaceX Dragon approaching and docking at the International Space Station - 25 May 2012 With darkness, Earth's horizon and a thin line of atmosphere forming a backdrop, the SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft is grappled by the Canadarm2 robotic arm at the International Space Station. Expedition 31 Flight Engineers Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers grappled Dragon at 9:56 a.m. EDT and used the robotic arm to berth Dragon to the Earth-facing side of the stationís Harmony node at 12:02 p.m. Dragon became the first commercially developed space vehicle to be launched to the station to join Russian, European and Japanese resupply craft that service the complex while restoring a U.S. capability to deliver cargo to the orbital laboratory. Dragon is scheduled to spend about a week docked with the station before returning to Earth on May 31 for retrieval.
    • Slide 38 of 39: CRS-6 Splashdown  On May 21st, Dragon splashed down into the Pacific Ocean, carrying 3,100 pounds of cargo and science for NASA, completing SpaceX's seventh mission to the International Space Station-including six official resupply missions-and its longest stay yet at nearly 5 weeks.  May 21, 2015
    • Slide 39 of 39: ABS/EUTELSAT  SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket delivered the ABS 3A and EUTELSAT 115 West B satellites to a supersynchronous transfer orbit, launching from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 10:50pm ET.

    Slide 1 of 39: A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket with the Israeli-owned Amos 17 commercial communications satellite lifts off from space launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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    1/39 SLIDES © John Raoux/AP Photo

    Since it was formed in 2002, Elon Musk’s SpaceX program has been making headlines for its reusable rockets. Here are some of the most stunning images from its missions over the years.

    (Pictured) A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket with the Israeli-owned Amos 17 commercial communications satellite lifts off from space launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S. on Aug. 6, 2019.

    Several fans told me that they’re struggling to reconcile this version of Musk with his pre-pandemic persona. “Calling someone a bad name or insulting someone without evidence is obviously bad, but I think nothing compares to taking human life lightly,” Sun, a scientist in the Bay Area who asked to go by only his surname to protect his privacy, told me. Sun has watched countless Musk interviews over the years in which Musk says egregious but less dangerous things, but the pandemic tweets became so painful to see that Sun eventually unfollowed Musk. “It’s like one of those hero characters in movies where he works on a grand mission and then he loses sight [of it] and thinks that vulnerable people are expendable,” he said.


    I also heard from many fans that Musk is behaving less like humankind’s saviour and more like a ruthless industrialist. This uncomfortable truth seemed to crystallize when Donald Trump tweeted in support of Musk’s desire to restart Tesla operations and Musk thanked him. If Musk is supposed to be a climate hero, he’s suddenly fraternizing with a villain who doesn’t believe in human-caused climate change and has spent his time in office reversing dozens of environmental policies. Only three years ago, Musk removed himself from a presidential advisory council specifically because Trump withdrew the U.S. from international accords meant to address climate change.

    Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition in Washington, Monday, March 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)© ASSOCIATED PRESS Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition in Washington, Monday, March 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)“I really thought [Musk] could be hero material,” said Lisa Jacobson, an insurance salesperson in Wisconsin. “Let’s face it, we’re ruining this planet and here’s a guy that’s trying to find another place for us to go.” Jacobson misses the benevolent CEO who extended the battery life of Teslas for drivers across Florida—for free—so that they could evacuate during Hurricane Irma in 2017. She expected to see the same Musk swoop in during the pandemic. “Where’s that guy?”


    The answer: on Tesla’s factory floor in Fremont, California, as promised. He was there last week as the parking lot filled up with workers commuting for the first time in weeks. No one came to arrest him. Local officials eventually caved, telling Tesla it could stay open as long as the company added some safety measures.

    FREMONT, CALIFORNIA - MAY 13: An aerial view of the Tesla Fremont Factory on May 13, 2020 in Fremont, California. Days after Alameda County ordered Tesla's CEO Elon Musk to halt production at Tesla Fremont Factory, the county public health department said via Twitter that the Tesla plant will be able to ramp up operations this week and begin to manufacture vehicles this coming Monday with safety measures in place to protect workers. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)© 2020 Getty Images FREMONT, CALIFORNIA - MAY 13: An aerial view of the Tesla Fremont Factory on May 13, 2020 in Fremont, California. Days after Alameda County ordered Tesla's CEO Elon Musk to halt production at Tesla Fremont Factory, the county public health department said via Twitter that the Tesla plant will be able to ramp up operations this week and begin to manufacture vehicles this coming Monday with safety measures in place to protect workers. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Plenty of fans have stood by Musk in this moment. As for others, they are trying to disentangle Musk’s personal philosophy from his contributions to the world, separating the art from the artist—a difficult task when so much of the allure of SpaceX and Tesla is the man himself. Some Musk admirers say they’ve cancelled their Tesla orders. One fan in the Seattle area who owns two Teslas—and had a mild case of COVID-19 in March—told me that he believes Musk’s nonstop pronouncements have cheapened the electric-car company’s brand. But Hallert, the rocket lover from Oregon, said Musk’s recent behaviour won’t dampen his enthusiasm for SpaceX missions, nor will it stop him from buying one of Tesla’s boxy Cybertrucks someday. (“It’s so ugly, I feel like I have to have it,” he said.)


    Even though Hallert is still willing to support Musk’s companies, he’s feeling decidedly cooler about the man. “There probably was a time when I would have made any excuse [for Musk] just because my excitement over SpaceX was just that high,” Hallert said. “I’m less likely to make excuses about dumb s*** he says to my friends than I was before.”