The Detroit News was recently involved in a controversy surrounding a negative Chrysler 200 review by auto critic, Scott Burgess. Jalopnik.com reported that after receiving a complaint by an advertiser identified as a Chrysler dealership, the Detroit News softened the criticism on an online version of the review. Mr. Burgess displayed journalistic integrity by resigning over the incident. Since that time, the Detroit News has apologized and Burgess has returned to his position. This affair may just be a small scale indicator of a much wider flaw in the quality of journalists' coverage of the auto industry, particularly regarding General Motors.
Last night, NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm appeared on Fox Business Network to describe political favoritism by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that benefited Harbinger Capital, a hedge fund headed by billionaire Phil Falcone.
As if General Motors did not have enough challenges to contend with, the UAW is now offering up some bellicose talk regarding upcoming labor contract negotiations. I discussed this issue last night with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Network.
McDonald's Corporation is no stranger to threats from the Left, especially environmental activist groups. The nanny-state obesity fighters' attacks (think Super Size Me) are well-documented, and Green groups like Rainforest Alliance, Greenpeace and Environmental Defense have extracted their pound of flesh over things like coffee bean suppliers, Amazon rainforests, and styrofoam packaging.
The mortgage foreclosure crisis in this country may have been superseded by events in Japan, Libya and elsewhere for now, but in its own way it's taking a heavy toll. And it's likely to get worse, given the context of evidence that an Obama-initiated homeowner subsidy program to stem the tide isn't working and of a new federal agency poised to extract $20 billion from lenders on behalf of heavily delinquent borrowers.
Last week, ex-car czar Steven Rattner seemed to pre-emptively blame rising gas prices for problems at bailed-out General Motors. Now AP reports that GM says that it will cut unnecessary spending in the wake of the Japan disaster. Here's a novel thought for GM executives, you shouldn't be spending taxpayer money unnecessarily in the first place! Beyond that, I get the sense that the crisis in Japan will be the next excuse for the continued underperformance of GM stock since its IPO.
Two weeks ago, we asked whether Interior Secretary Ken Salazar considered himself above the law by ignoring court orders to resume the permitting process for deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Now we learn that Salazar may have misled Congress and the public on the number of drilling permit applications he is ignoring.
Appearing today on CNBC, Steven Rattner, the former head of President Obama's auto task force, made some surprising observations that undermine his previously articulated optimism about the future of bailed-out General Motors. Although he cleverly tried to lump Ford in with GM, he acknowledged GM's recent reliance on incentives to sell autos:
Well, the second-largest banking city in the nation won the rights to host the Democratic National Convention in 2012, so you think the big TARP beneficiaries based in Charlotte might be the ones to step up to guarantee the funds for DNC to do its thing. You know, maybe Bank of America, which is the largest financial institution by assets in the country. Or Wachovia, now Wells Fargo, which has a lot of civic pride and survived thanks to the government intervention.