Charged Debate

A Tesla review sparks a battle between data and news

Illustration by Todd Detwiler for TIME

Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur, gave us SpaceX rockets and the Tesla battery-powered roadster. His latest innovation is a project that has long been as elusive to certain companies as private spaceflight or the electric car: a way to hit back at scathing reviews on equal footing.

On Feb. 10 the New York Times published a review by John M. Broder, who drove Tesla's Model S sedan from Washington, D.C., to Connecticut. It was a bad trip for all involved. After a fine start, in which Broder admired the Tesla as a "technological wonder," he noted that the car's dashboard estimate...

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