Tesla is heading towards the end of what could very well be another historic quarter, and as the company engages in its final Q4 push, some of Elon Musk’s longtime critics are starting to take a friendlier stance on the Tesla and SpaceX CEO. Among these is Fox Business host Stuart Varney, a longtime critic of Musk, who recently went on air and issued a defense for the serial tech entrepreneur.
Stuart Varney is hardly an Elon Musk fan. Prior to his recent statements, the Fox Business host has taken a critical stance against the CEO. Back in 2014, for one, Varney engaged in a debate with colleague Liz Claman over the subsidies being given to Tesla and SpaceX. During a conversation after the debate, Varney remarked that “Elon Musk is addicted to tax breaks.” Just this past July, at a time when Tesla was still struggling to hit its Model 3 production targets, Varney stated that the “writing is on the wall” for Musk, and that “If (he) want(s) to run Tesla effectively, (he has to) calm down and maybe close (his) Twitter account or retire to a nice corner office and let an adult run things.”
In a recent segment, though, the veteran host admitted that it might be time to re-evaluate Elon Musk. Addressing his viewers, Varney stated that it is difficult to deny that Musk is a “brilliant” entrepreneur, in the way that he has the vision and the dream, and he actually acts on them and makes them into reality. Following are some excerpts from the Fox Business host’s recent segment on the CEO.
“I think it’s time for a re-evaluation. I think it’s time to look at the man’s achievements, rather than his public image. Like him or not, Elon Musk is surely the prime example of a brilliant entrepreneur.
“He makes state-of-the-art electric cars. OK, he leaned heavily on green tax credits, but the Tesla is a stand-out vehicle. He had the vision. A lot of people talk about their “vision,” but he went out and did it. You’ve heard of SpaceX. That’s an Elon Musk company. He had a vision for reusable rockets, and he went out and did that, too… That’s an achievement.
“You’ve heard of the Boring Company… This is Musk’s contribution to future mass transit. The point is, he did it. He just offered a tour of the tunnel he’s already built in southern California. It’s not just talk.
“In the age of social media, we tend to fixate on the negatives. It’s easy to pour scorn on someone who behaves like Elon Musk. But step back, and look at what he has actually done: He’s in the car business, the space business, the mass transit business. He’s got a product in all three industries. That is tangible success. Give the man credit.”
Varney’s 180-degree turn on Elon Musk bodes well for the CEO and his well-documented brushes against mainstream media. Musk has clashed with several notable publications and journalists this year, and he is never one to miss a chance to call out what he believes are incorrect or dishonest reporting. Just recently, Musk specifically called out CBS for misrepresenting his statements in a 60 Minutes segment. As such, nods of acknowledgment from personalities such as Stuart Varney tease what could very well be a shift in the media’s sentiment towards Tesla and Musk himself.
Tesla, after all, has started attracting a more positive outlook for Wall Street. While the stock (NASDAQ:TSLA) has experienced a steep dive since seemingly coming within striking distance of its all-time high, and while some firms like Goldman Sachs still hold a bearish view on the company, Tesla has still received some support from Wall Street in the form of optimistic outlooks from firms such as Oppenheimer and Jefferies Financial Group nonetheless.
As for Elon Musk, it is undeniable that he experienced what could only be described as an incredibly difficult year. Despite all the pressure and stress, as well as instances of overwork that saw the CEO render 120 hours of work every week, Musk was nonetheless hailed by SpaceX and Tesla employees as one of the best CEOs of 2018.
Watch Stuart Varney’s defense of Elon Musk in the video below.