This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Rocco: Will Musk Get a Free Pass After His Parenting Comments?

AUSTIN, Texas (TheStreet) -- I had an excellent seat for Tesla Motors (TSLA) founder, SolarCity (SCTY) Chairman and SpaceX CEO/CTO Elon Musk's keynote interview at the South By Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin on Saturday.

This is my first SXSW. I wanted to go last year when Bruce Springsteen gave a keynote, but I couldn't make it happen. Musk received rock star treatment from the gaggles who showed up to watch him answer questions from TED curator Chris Anderson.

Something happened during Musk's Q&A that likely will -- from a comparative standpoint -- go largely ignored by the media. In the middle of Anderson's gushing over Musk's accomplishments (and, clearly, they're amazingly impressive) and his desire to land on Mars, Musk made comments about fatherhood that we would have immediately pulled as the front page headline had Yahoo! (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer dared utter them about being a working Mom.

We would have ridiculed Mayer without mercy -- as "we" did over her misunderstood and inaccurately reported work-at-home decision -- yet Musk gets a free pass.

This merely reinforces the long-standing double standard I wrote about last week: If Marissa Mayer Was a Man We Wouldn't Be Talking About This.

Right around the middle of the talk, Anderson pointed out that Musk has five children. Musk replied in the affirmative, saying that "kids are awesome" and everybody in the audience "should have kids." Musk then said, however, that he doesn't see his kids much, adding, "I do email while I'm with my children. And I keep a nanny around -- so they don't kill each other." He also made the absurd claim that his kids are at an age where they do not require his undivided attention.

According to Musk, if he didn't multitask in this way with the help of a nanny, he "wouldn't be able to get [his] job done."

As I write this Saturday night, this exchange is absent from both Forbes and The Wall Street Journal's accounts of the interview.

While it's not possible for me to crawl the entire Web, I found only two sources who brought up what Musk said before I did: The always on-top-of-it Business Insider and the 100% spot-on Virginia Heffernan at Yahoo! News.

This lack of coverage comes as no surprise.

To their credit, both Business Insider and Heffernan were critical of Musk in their own ways. BI, for example, noted that the audience didn't take well to Musk's thoughts on how he interacts with his kids. And, it's true, you could feel -- though not really hear -- a groan in the crowd. I did notice a considerable number of people leave the room at this point, though I can't be sure it was because Musk turned them off. And Heffernan likened Musk's comments to his desire to be on Mars.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,920.85 -64.76 -0.38%
S&P 500 1,967.45 -5.38 -0.27%
NASDAQ 4,408.0330 -11.0010 -0.25%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs