The interviewer David Faber noted that he seems to have learned by accident that Elon Musk is a rope to hang himself and is now forced to watch as the tycoon slowly makes a noose .
the wonderful exchange on CNBC revealed how a talismanic CEO can give his own investors as much risk as a benefit.
Moments earlier, Faber asked Musk: Will sharing his deeply personal opinions with 140 million followers on social media harm his vast business empire?
Looking away for a few seconds, Musk paused in silence as he searched for an appropriate way to address himself.
Eventually, he begins to remember a scene from the classic 1987 film The Princess Bride where Iñigo Montoya, after defeating the man who killed his father with a sword, now the villain Count Rugen is dead by rights..
“He’s saying: ‘Give me the money, give me the power,'” Musk almost paraphrased, as the scene played through his mind. Fixing Faber in his gaze, he slowly and deliberately sank in the next words. “I don’t care.”
A stunned Faber could only turn the words back to him as the full weight of what he had just heard dawned on the interviewer—”You just don’t care.”
Musk, his gaze not wandering one bit this time, declared: “I’m going to say what I want to say—and if the result of that is losing money, so be it.”
Silence followed as Musk let his words sink in.
It’s one thing to be a star athlete or Hollywood actor who makes a tasteless and insensitive gaffe. Worst comes to worst they might just lose their job and their fame.
By comparison, Musk runs a company that relies on many suppliers, employing 110,000 workers in Tesla stand alone and serve millions of customers.
In addition, he bears a fiduciary responsibility to his own shareholders. There was more riding on the line than the loss of his own vast fortune.
Musk under fire for Soros tweets
Earlier in the day, the Israeli government warned of his fiery remarks about the Jewish billionaire and philanthropist. George Soroswhich Musk compared to a comic book supervillain, threatened to incite anti-Jewish bigotry.
Jonathan Greenblatt of the Jewish advocacy group Anti-Defamation League called out his comments dangerous.
“This will embolden extremists who are already creating anti-Jewish conspiracies and trying to attack Soros and Jewish communities as a result,” the ADL CEO said.
CNBC’s Faber tried a second time to throw Musk another softball. Surely he doesn’t want to get sucked into an online debate about whether or not the Allen, Texas killer was a racist?
“Yes,” Musk replied, perhaps unaware that Texas police had confirmed that Mauricio Garcia was hiding the shooter. neo-Nazi sympathies from his clothes and tattoos. “Because we shouldn’t attribute things to white supremacy when it’s wrong,” the Native of Pretoria said.
Nothing can stop Musk from expressing his views, however controversial they may be. And while he may be a darling among those sick and tired of today’s cancellation culture, investors expecting a return do their peril.