It is totally legitimate for you to gather information in this forum when writing your article about the Model S or Tesla. Unfortunately some of your colleagues have used this resource in an unprofessional way, sifting through the posts to find what supported their bias. So, when using our conversations as a source, please remember what you learned in journalism school:
1. Mention the good with the bad! Note that under most circumstances, mostly complaints motivate someone to jump on a forum and post. Here, you find as many or more positive posts as negative ones. That alone is an unusual phenomenon that should not escape a reporter's attention - and should not be left out of a balanced article.
2. Do your Due Diligence by visiting forums related to other manufacturers and draw comparative conclusions. No car maker has a production line that churns out 100% of its cars perfect. And whenever a new car owner finds something unexpected, they're bound to look for answers in a forum. This is presumably more prevalent with Tesla considering its target audience. So when someone finds something wrong, it is, in itself, not newsworthy. What is, is how *little* is found wrong with a brand new first generation car with such advanced technology.
3. Note that one complaint with hundreds of responses does not equal hundreds of complaints. It equals a vocal, helpful community identifying what might be an issue or what might just be user error. And please also mention that when something is identified as an issue, it is usually addressed by Tesla immediately.
4. Make the effort of actually driving the car. If you can't find one near by, post here. I'm sure one of the owners will be happy to meet with you and let you have a closer look.
As Mr. Broder has learned, Tesla is not an easy target for careless reporting. Elon fights like a bull, and those of us, who have bought a Model S, have his back.