“Who will I believe now?” – GM Shocked! to find out that Conservative Media Lies
March 22, 2012
They were doing all the right things.
For some GOP members of Congress, the Chevy Volt, made by General Motors, is a fire hazard and a job loser, while Palo Alto’s Tesla Motors is a crony capitalist purveyor of toy cars for Silicon Valley millionaires.
The campaign has tainted Energy Secretary and UC Berkeley physicist Steven Chu and his agency’s renewable energy loan programs, rupturing a consensus under former President George W. Bush, who started the programs to end America’s addiction to oil.
But it may not stop the electric car. The assault has enraged General Motors. On March 1, the company opened an unprecedented campaign to re-introduce the Volt in California, the biggest U.S. auto market, even as it temporarily halted production because of slow sales.
‘It’s all on us’
GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson has complained about the political atmosphere that surrounds the Volt.
“Sometimes I feel bad for President Obama,” he said this month after an appearance at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. “This car was designed and committed to well before he was president, and it’s called the ‘Obamacar.’ It’s not the Obama car. I’m proud and I’m pleased that he thinks highly of it, but it’s all on us. It’s not a political issue.”
Showing photos of a charred Volt, a panel of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista (San Diego County), held a hearing in January called “Volt Vehicle Fire: What Did NHTSA Know and When Did They Know It.”
But no Volt has caught fire on the road. There are no recalls. The car was deemed safe by the National Transportation Safety Board. The fire occurred during testing and was likely the result of testers at the safety board failing to drain the battery of a mutilated test vehicle before storing it.
By comparison, 258,500 gasoline vehicles caught fire between 2004 and 2006, according to federal statistics.
Even Über-troglodyte Bob “global warming is a crock of shit” Lutz is having second thoughts on the Axis of Error. Writing in Forbes this week, he sounds surprised that right wing talking heads are dumping on GM and saying things he knows are untrue..
So, the latest update: two nights ago, the imperious, self-glorifying O’Reilly, unquestioned ruler of the “No Spin Zone,” once again kicked the “Volt” around and proclaimed “several have caught fire.”
Let me reiterate:
1) The Volt was largely my idea, and I was its undeniable champion. Work on it was started in 2006. Obama was elected in 2008.
2) No Volt in service has ever shown as much as a wisp of smoke. Not in normal service, and not in crashes. The three Volt battery fires all occurred under extremely destructive experimental conditions. Two of the fires were induced in batteries not mounted in in cars.
3) Those who know me will vouch for my credentials as a conservative and vocal global warming skeptic. I spent 11 years as a Marine attack aviator trained and ready to take out Communists during the Cold War.
That’s the truth, whether “no spin O’Reilly” likes it or not.
Meanwhile, the dastardly, communist Volt’s rebadged sister car, the Opel Ampera, was just selected as European Car of the Year by 59 of Europe’s leading automotive journalists. But what do they know? They’re only Europeans! (Incidentally, it’s the first time in history that an American-engineered and produced car has won European Car of the Year. A source of national pride? No … according to the Right-heads, a reason for shame!)
(Bob – they’re a bunch of surrender monkies eating brie and cheese – so there!)
I’ve expended a lot of effort trying to point out the truth about the Chevy Volt fires, knowing I might not reach a broad audience but might get the chief disseminators of misinformation (Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, et al) to say “Wow! I guess I didn’t realize that no Volt, (other than ones deliberately destroyed), ever showed as much as a wisp of smoke! I guess I had better retune my rhetoric!”
Such were the musings of my politically naive brain, especially since I knew O’Reilly has seen my writing because “his people” talked to me.
What happened, instead, was more cruel disappointment: In his nationally syndicated column Saturday, the intellectually gifted and highly respected Charles Krauthammer, my hero-figure on the Right, joined the rest of the prevaricators. The topic was Obama’s failed energy policy, and the litany of drilling bans and incomprehensible failure to approve the eminently useful Keystone Pipeline. So far, so good.
But, just as I was savoring Krauthammer’s prose, I see … WHAT!? … the Volt cited as yet another example of Obama’s misguided, interventionist energy policy. To make matters worse, Krauthammer could not resist attaching the adjective “flammable” to the Volt.
Now, Krauthammer is a smart, highly educated and well-informed individual. I have to assume he knows the truth. The fact that he persists in the myth of Volt combustibility and Obama-conception of the vehicle cannot be in error.
I am, sadly, coming to the conclusion that all the icons of conservatism are (shock, horror!) deliberately not telling the truth!
This saddens me, because, to this writer, conservatism IS fundamental truth. It only damages its inherent credibility with momentarily convenient fiction.
So, Mr. Krauthammer joins the list of right-wing pundits I no longer take seriously. After all, how do I know they’re telling the truth when the subject is one I’m not as familiar with as the Volt?
That does leave everyone’s trusted favorite, though. The disarmingly modest, low-key, warm, fuzzy, dependable, kind of your favorite uncle when you were growing up … the Reverend Huckabee! He wouldn’t unjustly attack the most celebrated example of American engineering of the last 30 years — or would he?
The other night on Fox, he, too, had his way with the Volt!
So who am I going to believe now? Good question!
Believe the scientists.