We really just have to laugh at the absurdity of the coverage of Tesla lately. While the Tesla Model 3 is the 5th best selling car in the US in terms of unit sales (1st in terms of revenue), it poised to climb the ladder even higher. Nonetheless, rather than cover these tremendous milestones, the old media is largely creating dozens of stories about Musk smoking weed while ignoring the current success of the Model 3.
As you must know by now, Elon Musk went on The Joe Rogan Experience, a very popular podcast (it currently ranks #2 on iTunes and has over 3.2 million subscribers on YouTube). It was a 2½ hour interview, but the headlines largely capture one blip of it (and not the takeaway message that “love is the answer.”)
Joe Rogan is a comedian well known from his role on NewsRadio. He is also the main UFC mixed martial arts commentator. Rogan commentates during the entire fight and conducts most fight interviews with the greatest combat fighters to ever live. The Joe Rogan Experience is a unique podcast where Joe has long-form discussions with famous people. He has had guests ranging from scientist Neil Degrasse Tyson to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Neil De Grasse Tyson has been on the podcast 3 times over the years, and the most watched interview was viewed 7.5 million times on YouTube alone. This does not count the many other platforms that The Joe Rogan Experience is on.
In my opinion, this type of podcast is the future and cable television is going to be dead. Sorry for ya, CNBC. Rogan has an uncanny ability to get along with everyone. While frequently wrong, I would consider Rogan an intellectual of sorts, based upon his curiosity to understand a wide range of topics. Moreover, he has incredible ability to get an average Joe to think deeply about important or intriguing issues.
Rogan is usually buzzed or stoned for his podcast and often his guests join in. Occasionally, guests like Jay Leno (who was pressed for time) will only stay for an hour. However, most guests, including Musk, talk for close to 3 hours with no interruptions of any sort. Its a brilliant format that not only allows for in-depth discussion, but allows time to get lost traveling down tangential rabbit holes.
Rogan has an assistant to google any topic that comes up. Just imagine old media doing something as simple as that. They have people come on their shows over and over again and talk the same nonsense without live fact checking, when your average Joe could quickly do an internet search to prove a number of their fragrant lies.
So, now, to the much talked about Elon Musk smoking marijuana. He took a baby puff of a joint mixed with tobacco and marijuana, but he did not inhale. You can tell he did not inhale because the smoke barely stays in his mouth for a brief moment, and it then exits his mouth in a dense, white cloud. If you compare this to Rogan, who breathes it it, speaks a few words, and exhales it to create a larger, more diffuse gray cloud.
Musk’s puff is like a girl who puffs a cigar on New Year’s Eve for shits and giggles. Musk then went on to say he did not feel the effect, and I am not surprised because clearly he was not trying to get high. He was being a good sport. During the interview, he also babysat a glass of whiskey. (Babysitting a drink is when you drink it slowly over a long period of time.)
Musk reiterated comments he made about marijuana being a drug that makes people unproductive, and that he almost never uses it.
Overall, I really enjoyed the interview. I have watched every video of Elon Musk that I could find. It was a hobby for me before I started writing. They covered some of the world’s most important topics, from climate change to AI. It was illuminating that Rogan really pushed Musk into describing his thinking. Understandably, Musk was hesitant to answer questions about being a rare genius, but thankfully, a buzzed Rogan remained determined to get Musk to open up about what we all want to know.
Musk’s mind seeks out the most pressing problems and solutions to them. Constantly. Musk described it as “a continual explosion” of thoughts that cannot be controlled. He is often portrayed as a mad scientist, when in fact it is the vast majority of the world that is actually in complete or partial denial of the numerous existential threats that the human species faces at present, and will increasingly face in the near future. The truly rationale response to understanding these threats is for one to altruistically devote their life to helping solve these issues. This is what Musk is doing
Musk’s mind is incapable of tuning out the dangers of nuclear war, climate change, deadly AI, etc. On the latter two issues, it is arguable no one has had a higher profile than he in addressing these issues with practical solutions.
Personally, I am adamantly against trying to pigeonhole Musk into doing only one thing. Musk is not that type of person. I really wish Tesla could go private and that the public was better informed about his many efforts. There are pros and cons to him having numerous ideas and at times being a bit grandiose. However, his genuine genius and unparalleled drive are desperately needed in this world.
The con of going on this podcast is that the stock dropped afterward (how much of that is related to the podcast and how much to other matters is unknown). However, in the long term, this is the type of exposure that will bring numerous customers to Tesla. Rogan will probably buy two Teslas and you can be sure he will provide continual free advertisement for years to come to his listeners. He frequently brings up Musk and his efforts on the show.
During the interview, Rogan agreed to buy a top-of-line Model S (P100D), and I would guess after owning that he would not be able to resist getting the new Tesla Rodster. Joe Rogan knows virtually every world class fighter, many celebrities, and other important figures. He will be showing his Tesla to many of them. Each one is a great potential ambassador for Tesla.
The old media has spun this interview into hyperbole and lies. Tesla’s stock price has taken a hit in the short term, but in the long term, we will see what smart media appearances like this create. The full interview has already been viewed 7.4 million times on YouTube alone. (It was 3.3 million when I started writing this article.)
The Joe Rogan Experience also divides the full interview into smaller segments which will get millions of views each. On top of that, there are hundreds of fan pages that will be allowed to use footage of the interview. These videos will be spread by social media for years to come. Musk is reaching a key audience. He is reaching future customers, most of whom will not own his cars but will be ferried around in them for a fee.
To a degree, I do not really care about what the stock ends up at. Of course, I understand it will play a role allowing Tesla to scale rapidly, and thus press competitors to spread rapidly, but I am against Tesla and Musk walking around on eggshells worrying about how every tweet or appearance is going to be spun into some false dramatic upheaval. The fact is this appearance and others like it are a big reason why Tesla has the best brand in the world, which has been achieved without advertising. Musk is that genuine geek that many people end up loving. He has a rare authenticity we humans appreciate.
So uniformed individuals might be duped into thinking Musk is off his rocker, but anyone who watches the full video would understand this is not the case.
In case you do not want to take my word about Musk not inhaling, below is comedian Jimmy Dore explaining how Musk did not inhale. Dore and his two co-hosts explain so at the two minute mark.