Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos And The Puppet Master: Fireworks Are Far from Over!

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The two titans that are Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, have sparred again. This time, over a ‘Post’, if you catch the drift…

The incident occurred two weeks back. Taking exception to a an article appearing in the Washington Post, Elon Musk responded by landing a scathing jab on the Amazon founder in turn!

Nearly 2 weeks ago, a widely read online journal The Washington Post published an article taking a dig at Elon Musk. The article in question was written by Faiz Siddiqui, titled – “Elon Musk moved to Texas and embraced celebrity. Can Tesla run on autopilot?”

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The digest of the report seemed to carry leading hints that Musk wasn’t as involved with Tesla’s operations as he was before.

The report extrapolated on how exceeding demands on the Tesla founder’s time, inclusive of his travel schedule, colourful personal life, and another focal point in SpaceX is contributing in a lesser attention time to Tesla. Further, offset from this, it went on to claim that these were front and centre of Musk making some critiqued management decision, which seemed to have invited such ire from the tech mogul.             

Well actually, the report, and the fact that Washington Post is owned by none other than Musk’s nemesis Jeff Bezos!

While reporting the story – which The Post claims is based on interviews with several Tesla employees, investors, and analysts, the publication daily also reached out to Musk for a quote, to which his now-famous brief response was – “Give my regards to your puppet master.”

Musk’s savage jab was clearly a reference to Jeff Bezos’ ownership of The Post, having bought the daily in 2013 for $250 million, that too in cash. There are enough hints there to suggest that Musk’s reply to the report hints at being motivated by intention from its owner, the e-commerce emperor no less.

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While this is the latest round in the Musk-Bezos bout, the duo, who have been swapping places for the #1 and #2 spot in the World’s Richest Man standing for some time, have intensified their spats on all corners. In January, Musk had dethroned Bezos after a surge in the price of Tesla shares, only for Bezos to wrested back the crown some weeks later.

The latest barb by Musk sees both entrepreneurs, Bezos and Musk continue a rivalry which has been in the public eye since at least 2004. Over the course of these eventful fifteen years, both the individuals have taken some vicious swipes at each other. Musk has openly mocked Amazon’s acquisition of a self-driving car company as ‘copycat’, called out Amazon as a monopoly, and even clashed with Bezos in space real estate.

Bezos has also traded the verbals in kind, describing Musk’s goal of sending people to Mars as “un-motivating” and shooting down SpaceX’s viability in the long run. While it is understandable that two of the foremost people having rival companies in SpaceX and Blue Origin only serves to add to the contest, there is clearly no love lost between the two men.

As goes for the Washington Post and Bezos, this is not the first time that critics have conflated the idea of the billionaire tech founder influencing pieces in the steeped publication to his end. During Donald Trump’s tenure as President, he frequently targeted Bezos and The Post, even tweeting how the paper allegedly spread “fake news”, branding it as Amazon’s “chief lobbyist.”

Whichever way you cut it, the fireworks are not stopping anytime soon. With Musk now seeming to imply that Bezos is manipulating his paper to do his bidding against him, the rivalry between the two richest men in the world is sure to go up a notch.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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