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Oracle of Delphi

A letter to Michael Moore

21 posts in this topic

John Cortez

Automotive News

November 24, 2008 - 3:34 pm ET

Dear Mr. Moore:

Let me start by stating upfront that I'm a lifelong Michigander and a contract employee of General Motors. I should also add that, unlike many at GM, I have long been a fan of your work, the work of a man I had considered to be about truth, and truth-telling, even when it hurts, and hurts so bad it's funny in a pathetic sort of way.

On "Larry King Live" last week, you didn't tell the truth, and it left me flabbergasted. In your defense, I think you did it out of ignorance, not malice. But it was an untruth nonetheless, and one that will have very damaging ramifications for Detroit and for the nation.

When is the last time you were in a showroom of new GM products? Or Ford or Chrysler for that matter? I'd guess years, if not decades. And yet, you felt comfortable going on CNN and disparaging the current roster of cars and trucks from GM, calling them "crap," "the wrong vehicles," and implying that they're the same old garbage that no one wants to buy!

It was hugely irresponsible and couldn't have come at a worse time for our home state.

Yes, many of the products of the past were in fact garbage. I was a journalist for AutoWeek magazine through most of the '90s, and I drove every car and truck from every manufacturer on the planet, and the GM products were, with the exception of the Corvette, largely lousy.

However, Mr. Moore, this is 2008. Have you been in a new Chevrolet Malibu? It's better than anything Toyota or Honda has, gets better mileage, won North American Car of the Year, and is built by the UAW in America. Have you seen the Buick Enclave? Gotta be the best-looking crossover on the market, is selling like crazy, even though "no one" wants GM products, and is built by the UAW in Lansing. Have you driven a Cadillac CTS-V? Even the highly discriminating German press says it's the best-performing luxury sports sedan on the global market today. It's built by the UAW in Lansing.

The point is, whether you care to admit it or not, right now GM's product house is IN ORDER. It has the best lineup of cars and trucks, top to bottom, it has ever had. Honest to God. The influential automotive press, across the country and around the world, has realized it, and it is only a matter of time until the public does as well. The newest models had been selling well, and the restructuring already under way had been taking hold, and Wall Street had noticed. The stock price was $43 just a year ago. That's a sure sign that Wall Street approved of the changes in progress.

Then the credit market collapsed, and GM could get no financing to continue business, and most of its customers could get no loans to buy vehicles. And that is where things stand now.

Is the weak balance sheet at GM as compared to Toyota and others the fault of past mismanagement, poor products and legacy burdens, and at least partially self-inflicted? You betcha, as the governor of Alaska might say. Absolutely. The company, with an assist from the federal government (national health care, anyone?), bears some of the blame for putting itself in this precarious position. Is it to blame for the catastrophic events of THIS year? No. Wall Street is, and it's getting $700 billion in handouts, no questions asked. Wall Street executives flew down there in their own jets to get it and no one batted an eye.

Now the auto industry is in D.C., with its collective hand out, asking for a pittance by comparison -- $25 billion, in LOANS, not bailout money -- and getting hammered left and right and criticized on national TV because of it.

Your irresponsible comments will only fuel the fires of hatred that burn for the Big 3 and for Detroit. And since we all know that politicians don't put cream in their coffee without first consulting the polls, we know how this is going to go down. America doesn't want to lend money to the auto industry, so Congress won't. And we'll all go down in flames here in Michigan. The UAW you claim to support so strongly will be SOL. Downtown Detroit, which has worked so hard at coming back, will be a literal ghost town, instead of the after-5 p.m. ghost town it largely is now. Restaurants, salons, shops, everything in southeast Michigan will close, and the ripple effect will begin, and spread across America, and it will be horrific. I don't see how to avoid it, if we don't get this bridge loan.

But I know what I'd like to see, and that is for you to go on TV or write a blog or say something somewhere that indicates you've seen GM's new vehicles. Test drive a Cadillac CTS and tell the UAW workers in Lansing what you think of the vehicle they work so hard to build. It may be the last one they get a chance to make.

It's that bad. And for the life of me, I can't figure out why the rest of America is so indifferent to the fate of our home state. Drop dead, they are telling us. Do you have any idea why? This isn't about helping the three CEOs you saw sitting on the witness bench on Capitol Hill; this is about keeping this region -- and ultimately this nation --from economic apocalypse.

I apologize for the long letter. This is fairly important stuff. The city and state I love are on the brink of becoming a wasteland. America can help us, but doesn't want to and doesn't care. Any idea how that feels?

Sincerely,

John

John Cortez is a former reporter for AutoWeek, a sister publication of Automotive News. He now is vice president of executive communications for Hass MS&L Public Relations, which does contract work for General Motors.

Link: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti...paign_id=alerts

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Excellent letter, thanks for sharing this PCS. I am beginning to think our biggest problem as Americans is that we no longer are all that concerned about our fellow Americans.

Chris

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Excellent letter, thanks for sharing this PCS. I am beginning to think our biggest problem as Americans is that we no longer are all that concerned about our fellow Americans.

Chris

I saw the Moore interview two times (why the hell was it so "good" to repeat?) and I gotta tell you Michael Moore is the biggest idiot to ever roam the land.

I find it disgusting that he is as successful as he is.....

IMHO, during the entire interview, he came across to me as big of a bumbling loon as he looks like he is.....I can't believe anyone can take this doofus seriously at all.....

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Well written letter although I disagree with some of it, something has to happen to GM. OC I agree Michael Moore is a total idot he wouldn't know a damn thing unless it bit his f*t a$$. The man wants to see the industry burn to the ground totally with or without restrucuturing or a loan. Moore is an idot who always has and always will hate this great nation. Democrate or Republican alike should find this mans comments disgusting and it is people like this that don't inspire healthly debate but dump on our pride and our product that need to eat grass. Moore try to get your big mouth around my Bonneville's large oval exhaust tips I'll be sure to give you some extra carbon and gas. Smug b*stard, I bet he is driving a Toyota. :unitedstates:

I would go one step futher to insure this won't happen again the UAW/GM need to make adjustments in wages/perks and do some restructing if they are allowed the bailout, in order to ensure long term sucess of these vital American Compaines. Just throwing money at them no strings attached as far as restructuring/adjusting is just plain foolish. Personally GM screwed up letting the UAW get to big and kept saying yes to unresonable things, part was the Union wanting to clean GM's clock (more for the Union boys), the goverment with unfair trade policy (a little protectionism would have gone along way not that I am fan of it), and add in to the Goverment in Japan always kicking in and sliding Toyota a few more bucks so they can keep getting bigger in the US. I think they need money but if they get it they must restructure and prove they won't burn it on silly things, they also need to repeal CAFE it kills the compaines and reduces the demand from consumers for efficent cars. It also then takes away fun ones. :angry2: The goverment saying this is how it should be never works it failed once it will fail again do you recall the 70's and 80's. CAFE solves nothing but strangles ever company even the do no wrong "GREEN" Toyota hates it. My last comment is have you ever seen how hard it is to sell a GM car in Japan? But yet it is so easy to sell a sh*t-box Toyota in the USA? Sickening this is where society has taken us. I think many can agree despite our politcial leanings where we our today with Toyota being so acceptable in this country for crummy product is crazy. At least if you buy from Japan get a Honda or Nissan.

Edited by gm4life
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Every time I see Michael Moore I can't help but wonder which one of his parents had sex with a buffalo. Was it his mom, or was it his dad? It's truly one of life's great mysteries.

Michael Moore has been exposed time and again as one of the world's largest hypocrites and virtually every argument he's ever made has been shot full of holes till there's nothing left to shoot. It baffles me that any so-called credible media source would even consider giving him the time of day.

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People like Michael Moore love attention, and this is a sure fire way to get it. The popular sentiment is that that the Big 3 sucks, and he's just living it up on those sentiments. Frankly, I liked Bowling for Columbine, I thought it was thoughtful and interesting, but this guy needs to really pull his ass out of his head and start talking positively about the auto industry.

Edited by gmcbob
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I saw "Roger and Me" and his whole rant was to 'keep the plants open'. Yet, when he looks at the new cars, he dismisses them as 'overpriced junk'. WTF? he expects GM to make cars, yet he refuses to buy them.

Also, I always liked AutoWeek, and the letter is more proof. Car and Driver can go to $!#!#

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I think Michael Moore tends to tell the "truth" in his documentaries. What I mean by that, is he's careful to tell the facts, but he'll leave things out, or tell them in a way to serve his own interest. I understand from a box office perspective why he would do this. I have to laugh though, when he's interviewing people in CUBA about their health care system. Of course they're going to say it's great! I'm so sure they feel free to speak what they really believe, because we all know the Castro brothers are just full of grins and giggles.

I think he honestly believed the comment he made. But let's be real. GM's market share has been spiriling for a long time, so it kind of goes without saying, that "Yeah, they do have the wrong products". If they had the right products they'd be in great shape. Now they have some nice products that have done very well, but for the most part they're still not selling the best products and they should be if they want to remain the leader, not to mention profitable.

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M.M. is and always was a scumbag... just because

he's on the right side of the argument on rare

occasion is nothing but coincidence.

Hate is a strong word, but I HATE Michael Moore.

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M.M. is and always was a scumbag... just because

he's on the right side of the argument on rare

occasion is nothing but coincidence.

Hate is a strong word, but I HATE Michael Moore.

Hate is a strong word. I definately don't like Michael Moore's documentaries or his political ideas or ignorance. I definately do not Hate him.. Besides the Big Guy upstairs considers hate to be murder and I have enough bad thoughs already.

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Hate is a strong word. I definately don't like Michael Moore's documentaries or his political ideas or ignorance. I definately do not Hate him.. Besides the Big Guy upstairs considers hate to be murder and I have enough bad thoughs already.

I understand what your saying but still, HATE is the word I would use too sorry. :suburban:

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I saw Roger & Me, and I have refused to watch anything else that waste of protoplasm has made.

I only have one thing to say to MM: Jenny Craig!

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Is Micheal Moore a blowhard? Yes.

Is Bill O'Reilly a blowhard? Yes.

I agree more with Moore's opinions than O'Reilly's, but that's only slightly less ridiculous than picking Stalin over Hitler.

However, America has had far more Hitlers as of late (O'Reilly, Coulter, etc...) so it's nice to see somebody push back.

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michael moore is an example of the pandemic of this country.

criticize and offer no workable solutions. promote negativity and hatred when the real positive thing would be to promote solutions, team building, and hard work.

quite franklly I've had it up to my ass with people in this country lately. You are either on board or your not. If you have nothing to contribute or if all you are going to do is bitch then get the f@#k out of my country. If you want to be a part, shut the f@#k up and start offering POSITIVE contributions on how to get us out of this mess. No more waiting for Obama to fix it. No more relentless press attacks. Everyone SHUT THE f@#k UP AND GET STARTED ON CLEANING UP THE MESS.

to me, michael moore is one of the premeire examples of what's caused this problem to begin with. ABUSING THE PULPIT. His time is gone. Get his self hating fat ass off the screen and get him in therapy.

By the way Michael, as a person who has lost 72 pounds in the last 7 months, IT'S NOT THAT DIFFICULT if you TRY. Discipline and score keeping and every day dedication is what it takes. Even 20 pounds could ya try?

Edited by regfootball
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I always enjoy hearing how "the previous" models were so bad and the current are so good. I've been hearing that for many years now. I don't recall what I was watching but they put together a nice clip of GM execs saying this very thing over many decades... right up to Lutz I believe. So I have to ask why it is in fact true this time? Talk about the "Boy who cried wolf". It might be true this time. But there sure is a whole lot of crap for the few bright spots.

"It has the best lineup of cars and trucks, top to bottom, it has ever had. Honest to God."

No doubt. It reminds me of elementary school when they gave the "most improved" award to the class idiot. He was still one of the worst students, but he sure had improved.

"LOANS, not bailout money"

When you give money with no reasonable expectation that it will be repaid it is a bailout, and a REALLY dumb one at that. I guess we will see the plans shortly.

Poor Moore. He has consistently been on the right side of so many issues and he seems to get pretty much nothing but grief from the very people that he is trying to help.

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michael moore is an example of the pandemic of this country.

criticize and offer no workable solutions. promote negativity and hatred when the real positive thing would be to promote solutions, team building, and hard work.

quite franklly I've had it up to my ass with people in this country lately. You are either on board or your not. If you have nothing to contribute or if all you are going to do is bitch then get the f@#k out of my country. If you want to be a part, shut the f@#k up and start offering POSITIVE contributions on how to get us out of this mess. No more waiting for Obama to fix it. No more relentless press attacks. Everyone SHUT THE f@#k UP AND GET STARTED ON CLEANING UP THE MESS.

He is trying to help. For example he is trying to get the US universal health care so you can join the rest of the 1st world.

When pretty much the entire freaking world saw what ignorant dicks the US was being about 9/11-Iraq and watching as the US media rubber stamped every stupid word that came out of Bushes' mouth Moore was one of the few with the courage to speak out.

The problem is PEOPLE LIKE YOU that have no clue that criticism is the basis of a strong democracy.

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I always enjoy hearing how "the previous" models were so bad and the current are so good. I've been hearing that for many years now. I don't recall what I was watching but they put together a nice clip of GM execs saying this very thing over many decades... right up to Lutz I believe. So I have to ask why it is in fact true this time? Talk about the "Boy who cried wolf". It might be true this time. But there sure is a whole lot of crap for the few bright spots.

"It has the best lineup of cars and trucks, top to bottom, it has ever had. Honest to God."

No doubt. It reminds me of elementary school when they gave the "most improved" award to the class idiot. He was still one of the worst students, but he sure had improved.

"LOANS, not bailout money"

When you give money with no reasonable expectation that it will be repaid it is a bailout, and a REALLY dumb one at that. I guess we will see the plans shortly.

Poor Moore. He has consistently been on the right side of so many issues and he seems to get pretty much nothing but grief from the very people that he is trying to help.

Are you still here?

Clearly, you know less about marketing than you do about the auto industry. Even Tide commercials will declare they are 'new and improved.' Never had a haircut where your friends (you do have friends, don't you?) declare, 'wow, you look better,' implying that you looked 'worse' before?

Most of the improvements GM and Ford have made in the past few years have been cosmetic ones to make the jaded auto press stand up and pay attention. I've never once, in 11 years in the 'biz, had a customer say, 'Gee, I wish my dash had softer plastics,' but this is something the press likes to harp on.

In talking to a previous customer yesterday (who loves his '01 Intrigue still), he remarked that 'GM should build interiors more like BMW.' I replied, 'that's, fine, but then you will have a Cobalt that costs $30k. Is that what you want?'

MM is a blow hard who exists only to self-promote so he can afford to keep shovelling those twinkies into his face. Nothing more, nothing less. To even dignify his assertions with this discussion is granting him more than he deserves.

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He is trying to help. For example he is trying to get the US universal health care so you can join the rest of the 1st world.

When pretty much the entire freaking world saw what ignorant dicks the US was being about 9/11-Iraq and watching as the US media rubber stamped every stupid word that came out of Bushes' mouth Moore was one of the few with the courage to speak out.

The problem is PEOPLE LIKE YOU that have no clue that criticism is the basis of a strong democracy.

Wow, you really believe press clippings, don't you? Both Germany and France had initial reports that Hussain had WMD. And you do know that he did, in fact, use them a couple times on the Kurds in the north? Bush may have needed little excuse to go into Baghdad and remove a dictator, the real fault is with his father for not doing so in '91 when he had the chance.

GXT, please keep posting, I haven't laughed so hard over breakfast in a while.

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He is trying to help. For example he is trying to get the US universal health care so you can join the rest of the 1st world.

When pretty much the entire freaking world saw what ignorant dicks the US was being about 9/11-Iraq and watching as the US media rubber stamped every stupid word that came out of Bushes' mouth Moore was one of the few with the courage to speak out.

The problem is PEOPLE LIKE YOU that have no clue that criticism is the basis of a strong democracy.

oh, so you think universal health care is the CURE ALL?

are you ready to pay for the POPULATION EXPLOSION when select people realize 'hey i can have as many babies as i want and not care about who takes care of em because national health care will cover all of it'? And how many of those will be illegals?

Covering that could be just as bad or worse then the government having to take over those pensions for 30 years of autoworkers when the the big 3 go bankrupt.

Edited by regfootball
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where is michael moore's business plan to resurrect the auto industry, including even the likes of Nissan who won't be at the auto shows this year?

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Is Micheal Moore a blowhard? Yes.

Is Bill O'Reilly a blowhard? Yes.

I agree more with Moore's opinions than O'Reilly's, but that's only slightly less ridiculous than picking Stalin over Hitler.

However, America has had far more Hitlers as of late (O'Reilly, Coulter, etc...) so it's nice to see somebody push back.

yeah, having an O'Reilly and a Moore keeps the idiocy balance.

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