So far, the only decent summary of the whole thing is, surprisingly enough, a Quora answer:
- There is a dedicated smear campaign against Musk. Which is unsurprising, given how many toes he walked on, starting with that giant taxpayer-theft operation that was US government satellite launch those last decades.
- He also have a giant fanbase, of which a non-negligible fraction is rather rabid
- That submarine is a rather good design, and the Thai Navy is interested for further rescues attempts. It could have been useful in parts of the operation. And definitely not a PR stunt.
- However, there was simply no time to deploy it, as the cave was about to be flooded.
- Musk went out of his way to congratulate the team, including the support and pump teams, who often are the unsung heroes of this kind of operation.
- The diver was instrumental in the efforts
- He did call the guy a paedophile, with no evidence whatsoever as far as we can tell, in front of his 22 million Twitter followers. (Remember, shady journalists were able to cause an Internet lynching against a world-class aerospace engineer and a Nobel prize with crudely faked accusations of sexism, what do you think that kind of accusation can do to such a guy?)
What seems to have happened:
- The diver bought into the PR stunt false narrative. Sad, but understandable, given how many media hit pieces showed it that way. From there, such a comment would be to be expected.
- Musk probably snapped (that’s Twitter for you!) and overreacted. Understandable, sure, but that’s still the equivalent of replying to an insult to many with, well, a flamethrower.
Musk should very publicly apologize. If he doesn’t, then the diver should indeed sue, if only to protect his (now very imperilled) public image. There are few accusations more grave than this one, and most are impractical for people not running their own dictatorship. And Musk has enough wealthy enemies that the thing would then be used as a weapon against him, so he should really publicly apologize.
He should also slow down on Twitter. That stuff is Internet bad moonshine. It makes you drunk and stupid. More than a sip, and it corrodes the brain.
News outlets will sell you stories, not facts.