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Old 06-01-2009, 09:00 PM   #1
The_Blur
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Angry Roland Jones, I'm calling you out! (boo to media bias)

In your article on MSNBC's website, you make some pretty biased claims. I should preface my outrage by pointing out that MSNBC is generally a good source for news, and that news may contain some level of human error in the form of bias or typographical errors. In your case, you barely conceal your anti-GM bias with what I unfortunately must call good writing, even if your opinion is significantly flawed.

I take particular issue with your point that GM needs to "make cars that people want to buy," then calling this a "tall order" (paragraph 2). If you have any intention of rebutting this point in future articles or on this forum, do us the favor of test driving the following cars: Chevrolet Cobalt SS, Chevrolet Camaro V6, Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Trailblazer SS, GMC Sierra, Buick Lacrosse, Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, and the Chevrolet Cobalt XFE. I made sure to list cars that you could probably find with some ease. The Camaro will be the hardest, but I'm sure a local member here who picked up theirs will take it for a short ride with you to prove our point.

What is our point? GM builds cars that people want. The conclusion that you should draw in these test drives is that the GM of 2009 is not the GM that built that Metro you hated back in the day. I think the least favorite of cars that I've listed would be the Cobalt XFE, which represents the green car. You'll probably complain that it is not as responsive as the other cars. That might be because it has very little performance behind it. Most car buyers want a car that—if I may quote Cadillac—"turns you on." That generally requires a little bit of horsepower.

I want to add that you seem to favor Chrysler over GM when you discuss how Chrysler "has demonstrated that it is possible for a large enterprise [...] to move smoothly and rapidly through bankruptcy court" (paragraph 3). If Chrysler, a company built with a greater dependence on seemingly impossible to sell SUV and truck brands than any other in the US, then why is GM so doomed? I can see where GM has more to cut, but the company also has more awards, more successful brands, and better public perceptions when it comes to safety and build quality. It's not very journalistic of you to overlook the obvious when researching your articles. If they are so different, why bother mentioning Chrysler in your article at all? It would be like me writing an article on US foreign policy, but pointing out that my roommate's dog got heartworm at the dog park. You don't care about it because you're reading about a different issue. I'm shocked that your editor failed to notice this obvious Chrysler plug. Since I'm not seeing Chrysler ads all over MSNBC, I can only inquire as to which Chrysler you drive or why you like them so much. It's a good company, but stop damning GM to promote your company.

You go on to discuss the "ripple effect" that GM's layoffs and plant closures will have on suppliers (paragraphs 9-11). You act like Ford, Chrysler, and the international companies' slowing of production has no impact on suppliers, dealers, market prices, or buyers. Stop overlooking the obvious. Everyone has been affected by the credit market, which has led to a lack of financing, which in turned hurt the domestic car companies the most. The US companies pay more for American workers because they are American. They have less money to throw at saving their brands, and that money is in the pockets of our workers here in America, the best damned workers in the world who work for companies that produce the best products. If you don't believe me or those test drives I told you to take earlier, try riding around in some of the competitors to the cars I listed previously.

You wait until even later to point out, by journalistic obligation, that "GM could pay dividends for taxpayers and investors" if the bankruptcy proceedings go well (paragraph 12). It is clear that you have not considered the significance of content placement. If you place important information late in the article, most people will be too lazy to read it. Now, let us add to this equation the condition of the country. You do care about your country, I hope. If people continue to read that their companies are sinking, then they will be too scared to buy them. They will buy elsewhere. Markets are very fragile, and the press has terrified the American people away from stores. Those stores make money for corporations who pay for ad placement which allows you to receive a paycheck. I know this because I didn't pay to read your article. It was already paid by a bunch of ads from the likes of diet pills, insurance companies, movie rental companies, and retail brands. Feel free to support those companies if your boss so tells you, but also be sure to put the good stuff first when it comes to companies that give billions back to the American economy. That money pays for our government to operate, for roads to be fixed, for cops to protect you and your property, for Americans to keep their jobs, for the post office, for the military, and for everything else you love in America.

It is clear that you favor bankruptcy when you use such colorful adjectives to discuss how Rick Wagoner was "ousted" from his place at GM (paragraph 20). Perhaps you should elaborate on why bankruptcy is the best way to go. I particularly remember Dr. Francisco, a KU professor in political science, referring to the current policies of the US government as "socialism for rich people." You might not be so familiar because you only talk to professors so that you can get a good sound byte that matches the opinions you already hold. Anyway, the point is that bankruptcy allows a corporation to parasitically absorb taxpayer money while avoiding a substantial amount of responsibility for its mistakes. What you fail to point out in your article are GM's true mistakes. It is abundantly clear that GM supports America. No one remembers the GM that built planes during World War II, or the same GM that currently arms our military and police with transportation. I'd love to see a cop pull me over on horseback. Take a look at the GM that, even in an international marketplace, builds the vast majority of its products in North America. That's investment in America, even though it costs more than going to Bangladesh to build cars. You can't say that about many companies anymore. Maybe we should all be a little more grateful.

It's about time I finish this up. Most of the people reading this are probably drinking Red Bull, possibly with traces of cocaine if I remember correctly, to stay awake. Keep your biases as home. We do not appreciate that sort of garbage. Post something constructive on a news site. We already know that GM is in trouble. Tell it to us in a way that helps. Put the good first to keep buyers buying, and make sure that America is a company where we have the freedom to buy American products by companies that win quality awards all the time.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:07 PM   #2
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I take particular issue with your point that GM needs to "make cars that people want to buy," then calling this a "tall order"

I want to buy the Camaro, and so do lots of other people. Sad to say, but right now a lot of folks that would like to buy a new car, GM, Ford or whatever just can't afford it.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul SS View Post
I take particular issue with your point that GM needs to "make cars that people want to buy," then calling this a "tall order"

I want to buy the Camaro, and so do lots of other people. Sad to say, but right now a lot of folks that would like to buy a new car, GM, Ford or whatever just can't afford it.
Rarely can anyone truly afford the car they are buying. That is why we need financing. Financial markets locked up when too many toxic loans took over the market. I have a big problem with blaming GM's inability to sell you a car on GM. If you could get a good loan rate, then you would be placing your deposit right away.

The media has this awful tendency of blaming corporate failure on its own decisionmaking. While this might make sense to the widely uneducated masses, car and business experts, like many of the members on Camaro5, know better. Large corporations are heavily dependent on financial markets for success. The automotive industry is dependent in 2 ways. The first way is that stock market collapse devalues their companies just like it devalues every other company. The second way that makes them even more vulnerable to market conditions is that buyers usually cannot buy their products without financial assistance from institutions that specialize in automotive loans. If a financial company is doing poorly due to market conditions, you can bet that an automotive company is doing much worse.

Basically, your point, if I read it correctly, is that GM does make cars that you want, but you can't buy them due to costs. Costs cannot go down because no company can afford to make a car that is safe and fun to drive for less. The blame for this situation is not GM's. It belongs to the financial markets that crashed, the companies that gladly accepted TARP money without helping anyone, and the people who took out loans for things they could not pay off.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul SS View Post
I take particular issue with your point that GM needs to "make cars that people want to buy," then calling this a "tall order"

I want to buy the Camaro, and so do lots of other people. Sad to say, but right now a lot of folks that would like to buy a new car, GM, Ford or whatever just can't afford it.
I wonder if people would be able to afford these cars if they were devoid of all the government mandated safety measures and pollution controls and taxes on each owner every time the car changes hands, etc...


Also... I disagree with the comment that MSNBC provides generally accurate news. They have an extremely sickening bias that colors almoast everything they broadcast.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:41 PM   #5
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This sentence pretty much makes the rest of the article moot.
Quote:
It will be at least a couple years before sales rise back to the historic level of 15 million vehicles annually, which was the benchmark for more than a decade, he added.
If your business is setup, and rightfully so, for a 50% larger market than currently exists, it's kinda hard to scale back in the matter of months. The market plummeted from their old levels to the current practically overnight. And to make matters worse, the nature of the beast with the unions, and just the fact that it's a manufacturing business with material and labor costs making up the largest portion of your expenses, it's extremely difficult to scale down so dramatically in a few months. You would have to have tons of cash on hand in order to be able to weather the storm. Luckily for Ford, they just mortgaged everything including the kitchen sink so they had a ton of cash on hand. GM didn't have that kind of luck and now is paying the price.

But Blur, I think you might be overracting a bit. Most of the stuff you point out as being extremely critical of GM either are just factual or aren't really even critical at all. I think there's plenty of other articles you could find that are worse than this.

Oh how bout like this...

http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/20.../youdecide_gm/

Could you have a more biased and loaded poll question? I don't think it's possible.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Awesome View Post
I wonder if people would be able to afford these cars if they were devoid of all the government mandated safety measures and pollution controls and taxes on each owner every time the car changes hands, etc...


Also... I disagree with the comment that MSNBC provides generally accurate news. They have an extremely sickening bias that colors almoast everything they broadcast.
I tend to read the news, which oftentimes has better balance. Commentators have become entertainers on all networks. There are phenomenal exceptions, but the media presented on television is garbage.
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