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November 20, 2008

Detroit Story Descends To Perp Level

The hammering of auto industry executives grows more punitive by the day. Here, ABC News uses archival footage shot at long range, enhanced by a “highlight spot,” to emphasize how bailout-hungry Big Three honchos all flew to Washington this week on their corporate jets. The sighted target is Ford CEO Alan Mulally.
  • NoContest

    You imply that the hammering is a bad thing. To me it is more fun than watching the class bully take the beating he has deserved since 6th grade. I am proud of the crazy Republicans. Shelby of Alabama, Wow! Ford and the Model T, any color you want as long as it’s black. I am ready to buy an Accord type vehicle, made by GM or Ford that gets 50mpg, lasts 200,000 and costs 14k. I think every family in America is. SO MAKE ‘EM!!! Nobody wants a high-tech, glitzy hybrid that costs $38,000. Sell 200,000 of those a year and go bankrupt, sell 2,000,000 Accords a year and put America back to work.

  • Dan

    Um, that doesn’t like look any Ford vehicle to me. I think Ford’s CEO is either a Lexus or a Mercedes Benz driver. These guys don’t even use their own products, what does that tell you about what’s wrong with the US auto sector?

  • nutcrackersweet

    “we’re just three little nosee/hear/speak dummies of the crash: clearday not our fault.”

  • Antonio

    The Scapegoat was not invented for nothing.
    Although, I suspect some of the original members of that cadre had probably pooped inside the tents and maybe even some VIP’s sandals, the poor creatures, as a species, certainly could not be blamed for all the sins of the people, you think?

  • Karen

    They don’t do humble very well. Almost McCainian in their denial of the internet or video…
    I’m very concerned that solutions/alternatives for the automakers veer from one extreme to another. No mention of the effect of bankruptcy on pensions or vendors or health care plans. No discussion of Big 3’s 2010 models. No suggestion from the automakers on flexibility or willingness to sacrifice. With no plans or proposals or acceptance of responsibility, it plays out in the media; plays out visually. That’s working out well.

  • bystander

    Someday, this will be a textbook example of union busting. One could ask why the CEOs of the Big Three are any more, or any less deserving, or culpable than the CEOs of the hedge funds/investment non-banks. Targeting the real economy (that’s a technical term, folks) for discipline is/will be a tragic error.

  • jonst

    “. These guys don’t even use their own products, what does that tell you about what’s wrong with the US auto sector?”
    Piercing logic.

  • mo

    The vehicle in the shot is a Ford Fusion. These guys do drive their own products. For example, GM executives…from manager level on up … are required to drive GM products and complete an evaluation. Vehicles are rotated regular basis.
    Thanks to Congress, the plane, which takes center stage in this shot, has become a symbol of excess. What you don’t see in the photo, however, is how much more it would cost these companies to move their CEOs around the world via commercial planes. Time is money and these fellows work internationally. Travelling from one city/country to another by private jet is cost-efficient.

  • thomas

    That’s exactly right. A two hour flight takes an entire day to accomplish. The punchline that the story depends upon is what a truly punitive hell commercial air travel really is. Most reasonable people would rather crawl backwards over broken glass than take a commercial flight, so how could anybody be expected to give up a private jet for one? Seriously. Also, ask them if they would be willing to put their children in public schools.

  • thomas

    “Thanks to Congress, the plane, which takes center stage in this shot, has become a symbol of excess”
    Ha! Why, if it weren’t for Congress, we could see corporate jets for what they really are: necessary and logical cost and time-saving devices. Thanks alot, stupid Congress!

  • arty

    On the other hand, if the likes of Wagoner were stuck on commercial flights more often, they might get a lot less work done, and GM might be in much better shape.

  • David H.

    Congress is clearly using the planes as symbols with which to bash the executives. They certainly know why the planes are used, but in today’s media environment a long, boring committee meeting talking about what plans the Big 3 have (or in this case, don’t have) for the bailout money they want ain’t gonna lead the evening news.
    But making them look stupid, greedy & callous leads ’cause it bleeds. Bravo to Congress for using the media to pin the Big 3 in a corner. Maybe they’ll actually come up with a plan now. Though they really should all be fired (minus golden parachutes) & their companies sold, perhaps to a Japanese or Chinese buyer, someone with the foresight to plan for the future, not just the next quarterly report.

  • yesterdaygone

    on another issue, yglesias makes an argument for consumer excess.
    but in this case, there is no defending 3 separate jets.
    curious; why wasn’t the lifestyle of wallstreet ceos highlighted before their bailout?

  • yesterdaygone

    should i read any significance in the fact that the congressman who asked the detroit ceos why they couldn’t have jet pooled was from new york state?

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