Elon Musk and the Media's Institutional Agenda

Ever since Elon Musk criticized the media (a foolish act for a man whose corporate career was built on the media turning his press releases into stories), the media has had it out for him. The latest shocking story about Musk donating to Republicans (Musk donates to both parties) is marked with the same petty score-settling as the previous rash of media hit pieces.

Despite the Republican framing, the attacks on Musk have little to do with his politics. And a lot to do with the institutional agenda of the media.

Apart from its political biases, reporters have an institutional agenda the way that members of many other professions do. This agenda is rarely acknowledged. And it's often submerged with the media's larger political agendas. But it is clearly there. And it can be as simple and straightforward as, "Criticize us and we will come after you."

Musk, perversely, proved his point. The silly clickbait attacks on him (from a media usually eager to print fawning clickbait press releases about Tesla) are a petty demonstration that the media is obsessed with its own power and privilege. And that it will lash out viciously against anyone who threatens it. 

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