Author Walter Isaacson took to social media to try to “clarify” an excerpt from his upcoming book, “Elon Musk.” The excerpt received swift backlash after it described how Musk thwarted a Ukrainian attack on Russian warships.
Isaacson’s book claims that Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, ordered engineers to shut off Starlink’s satellite network over Crimea last year in order to disrupt a Ukrainian military initiative. Musk’s Starlink terminals arrived in the early days of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine as Western governments worked to supply Kyiv with artillery and air defense systems. ( CNBC )
“Based on my conversations with Musk, I mistakenly thought the policy to not allow Starlink to be used for an attack on Crimea had been first decided on the night of the Ukrainian attempted sneak attack that night,” Isaacson added in a follow up post. “He now says that the policy had been implemented earlier, but the Ukrainians did not know it, and that night he simply reaffirmed the policy.”
The correction has cast a pall over the biography from Isaacson, a highly respected author who has written acclaimed biographies on historic visionaries, including Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein. Isaacson, a professor of history at Tulane University and former head of CNN, has for years enjoyed such a sterling reputation in the media industry that newsrooms have often taken his reporting to be fact. ( CNN )