Michael Moore’s Detroit Fodder for Writers

[Republished from January]

The air is already thick from the smoke of backroom dealings with the Big Three and Congress, only to have further oxygen depletion thanks to Royal Green Weenie Michael Moore, aka the pseudo smartypants of the left wing freak show.

Magazine editors take note… here’s a great story to consume your readers’ attention. Moore has enough “brand recognition” to be a worthy target for rebuttal (AutoWeek, are you listening?). Put the mandate of the U.S. auto industry front page so to speak, and tell readers what might happen if that proven, reliable, efficient, and cost-effective internal combustion engine with no marketplace equal is forced out of production because one moron with a film career has NObama’s ear.

Moore’s current rant suggests that the U.S. automotive industry can be salvaged with a green initiative and government ownership of the Big Three. His contemplated end result? Zillions of new jobs, less global whining (sorry, I mean warming), reduced dependence on fossil fuels, and where everybody, everywhere, exists to coast in neutral through intersections.

Here’s just a sampling of Moore’s myopia:

“The new president and Congress must do what Franklin Roosevelt did when he was faced with a crisis (and ordered the auto industry to stop building cars and instead build tanks and planes): The Big 3 are, from this point forward, to build only cars that are not primarily dependent on oil and, more important, to build trains, buses, subways, and light rail (a corresponding public works project across the country will build the rail lines and tracks). This will not only save jobs, but create millions of new ones.

Ahem, Mikey, were you asleep during History 101 when the subject of the immense WWII production needs were placed upon American industry? As when the car companies all but stopped producing passenger vehicles to rejig for the war effort? Have you wondered why there’s an obvious gap in vehicle production from 1942-1946?

You wanna talk ice age, then suppress good ol’ pistons and Mobil 1 and watch the U.S. sink into the abyss of production never land while common-sense driven countries fill the void. OEM parts made offshore? If that cheapo NAPA fuel pump from Outer Mongolia is any indication, no thanks.

There’s no, I repeat NO, mainstream power plant ready for prime time able to replace the venerable four-stroke fuelie, let alone a fuel or energy source in sufficient quantities and delivery logistics to keep Americas on wheels. Oh, but Mikey, maybe sled dogs and Vespas will do the trick.

By definition, a “hybrid” is The offspring of genetically dissimilar parents or stock, especially the offspring produced by breeding plants or animals of different varieties, species, or races.

OR as I’m frequently known to proclaim: “hyrbirds are for people who can’t make a decision.”

And if we’re talking sound investments, long-term profitability, 401K, whatever, where would any sane investor put their money? Exxon sounds like a good bet.

Okay, here’s a solution for publishers who actually want to increase their newsstand sell thrus, create sticky pages, and boost advertiser response. It goes something like this:

  • The Big 3 do the Darwin thing. GM and Chrysler combine or disappear entirely with a few brands going to survivor Ford. Cereberus, Chrysler private bank, has enough cash to pull this off at firesale prices (nod to Moore, good idea). With Toyota, Nissan, and Honda each having U.S. based operations and competing for the same consumer, antitrust and monopoly issues are moot. No loans, no bailouts, zero. What’s the point? The mudslide has already begun and all the cash infusions won’t forestall the inevitable. Get the pain over with and put our resources into the mop up.
  • Fossil fuels are good. Let me say that again. FOSSIL FUELS ARE GOOD. They are good because we have a century of investment in effecient powerplants that rely on fossil fuels (see above). It heats our homes, propels our transportation infrastructure, lights our barbacues, and thins our paint. There’s plenty of natural gas and oil, and the Arabs, who take this matter very seriously, will ensure a steady supply for at least another century. Not to mention oil reserves residing in barren U.S. wastelands more than worth sacrificing for the greater good, that vast nothingness treasured by the Sierra club to be lovingly monetized from Sarah Palin’s backyard. Do I suggest there’s a pact with the devil? Perhaps, but what else is new, like when NObama chose Hillary as Secretary of State.
  • Speaking of timelines, I don’t give a crap about what happens to the planet in 500 years. As you get older, you realize how little control you have. Only the fringe believe we can alter the earth’s climate when 1.) there’s insufficient data to prove any adverse climate change has in fact occurred, that 2.) there’s any kind of trend based on adequate historical data, and 3.) no practical remedies to the alleged meltdown have yet to materialize. If you’re Al Gore without a job, you go out and make a film. Like Michael Moore.

What’s more, think of the advertising opportunities? Scores of aftermarket suppliers, shops, and retailers will likely go under, not for lack of bad management, but victims of the times. Their stuff needs to get sold so what place better than on the auction pages at publisher’s-website-near-you?

So there you have it. One man’s rant against another’s. Whether you take one side or the other, the point is to take advantage of the drama playing out in Detroit and Washington in a really big way. Because it is big. Not hidden in a column or blog post.  Your readers need guidance, hard facts, and a good dose of entertainment. Sure we like the dream scape of red cars and fast company, but we also crave involvement at the gut level.

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  1. Eric – very sleek – and fangy! Love your Michael Moore as Jabba the Hutt.

    Can’t wait to hear your take on ‘cash for clunkers’ as it might affect car pubs (or not): a program that drives revenues and income straight to Korea and Japan, near as I can figure out! And this is just after YOU become a shareholder in GMC! Edmunds.com seems to have a better handle than the pols on what the stats mean… anyway, that is just my issue du jour.

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