TDOA visits Detroit

The media in Detroit has managed to fall prey to a remarkable marketing campaign created by the Big Three automakers.  Regretably (though not surprisingly due to TDOA) the people of Detroit have bought this bizarre concept and are blaming the failure of the auto industry on….Republican Senators who voted against the bailout.  This comes against the backdrop of a Tarp fund that didn’t have proper oversight.  Yesterday reports confirmed that the Bush administration inserted a line in the bank bailout program that doesn’t preclude excutives from receiving bonuses (courtesy of the Daily Kos).  With a ballooning budget deficit and an administration that can’t be trusted, it’s no surprise that Senators are leary of creating another bailout bill.  Nationally, the majority of Americans don’t favor an automotive bailout. (via CNN).  Nevertheless, Detroit media staions have begun campaigning for strange causes like “Boycott Alabama”, which divert attention from anything resembling the real issue.

Quietly, the automakers and the UAW have succesfully manipulated some members of Congress and the media to plead their case.  Senators who voted for the bailout bill received 44% more in campaign contributions from the UAW and automotive lobbyists than did those who voted against it.  Furthermore, the financially strapped automakers hired marketing firms in September to help “sell” their plight.  People like Mark LaNeve have been writing letters using doomsday language in hopes of generating public sentiment.  This comes against a backdrop of an auto industry that has been horribly mis-managed for decades.  The marketing campaign is critical to keep the public from blaming the CEO’s of these companies from being criticized or (more logically) foreced to resign.  After the uproar of taking private jets to their first trip to DC, they used their marketing departments to make the “driving to Washington” trip a media event.  Those same “outraged” Detroit media stations failed to report that the drivers of those cars (because of course the CEO’s couldn’t drive their own cars, but could afford to pay for drivers) took….private jets back and forth to Washington (via thetruthaboutcars.com).  How can the management of these companies not be held accountable for decades of mismanagement?  The failure to make fuel efficient cars has led to their demise.  If Sony Records had refused to make cd’s and continued to make vinyl records would we expect Congress to bail them out when they were on the verge of bankruptcy?  Do we feel sory for Sony because they let Apple create ITunes, thus benefiting from the national move to download music while Sony’s record sales went into the tank?  Of course not, we call Sony a dinosaur.  We critcize the managers of Fannie and Freddie and force them to resign.

If the automakers would stop the marketing campaign to save their CEO’s and instead focus on making changes in the way they run their companies, they would probably find the country and Congress more likely to accept their plea for help.

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~ by toddc2001 on December 16, 2008.

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