Flybrian

Thomas Friedman is 'rubbish'...and likely on crack

37 posts in this topic

Flybrian    0

New York Times editorialist Thomas Friedman's recent piece attacking and accusing General Motors as being a major contributor to our dependence on foreign oil by analogizing that, among other things, the automaker is like a "crack dealer." These inflammatory comments have raised the ire of many here and on web communities like ours elsewhere. If that weren't enough, the Times refuses to print a rebuttal from General Motors unless it tailors it to the Times' wishes, removing among other things, the word 'rubbish' and 'irresponsible' as they are "not the tone we use in Letters."

Really?

20th Century Fox, producers of The Omen, may have a bone to pick with you as another editorialist, Stephen Holden, described that horror film as "rubbish." Don't take my word for it, click here and scroll towards the bottom to see for yourself.

But more on point, I would come to understand the pretense of Mr. Friedman's argument a bit more if it weren't so contrived. Where, Tom, were you in September of 2005 when Mitsubishi began their Gas Comes Standard program that provided buyers of new Mitsubishis with gasoline cards worth between $1500-2500 depending on the vehicle's EPA mileage rating; the higher amount, of course, would be for the gas-guzzling V8-powered Raider pickup truck.

Perhaps in your search for his-and-her Toyota hybrids, you passed by a Chrysler dealership and noticed large banners advertising their Free Gas for Two Years on select 2005 and 2006 models, or maybe listened to a Ford ad earlier this month promoting their Drive on US incentive that offers free gas for 6 months on nearly all Fords, including their very thrifty Expedition and Explorer.

And car dealer franchises have been running free gas deals for years. I could surely scan and show you ads from Clearwater Toyota, Kuhn Honda/VW, Autoway Lincoln-Mercury, Crown Eurocars, Ferman Nissan-Hyundai-Suzuki, Lokey Kia, Stadium Toyota, Saturn of St. Petersburg, Lexus of Sarasota, and dozens of other lots in my neck-of-the-woods that have been giving away gas in amounts from tankfulls to 100 gallons to 1000 gallon gas cards. But as an esteemed journalist, I'm sure you're aware of it.

And your assertion that a Toyota buyout of GM would be a saving grace must be tongue in cheek because there's no other way to take it. We'd be better off driving 14mpg Sequoias instead of 15mpg Tahoes? Even if all of this nation's automobiles were miraculously switched to 40-50mpg hybrids, it would temporarily slacken the rope around our collective necks, but it wouldn't untie it and set us free.

Our continued dependence on imported petroleum is not the fault of one company, nor any one body. It is merely the result of decades of American lifestyle, poltics, and foreign and domestic policies that have led us up to a point where many in this country cannot handle the rising costs any longer.

So, I look forward to reading a real, thought-provoking editorial by you, Mr. Friedman, that outlines the causes that led up to our troubles today and real solutions we can all work towards to see a way out. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening, at least not from you, especially in light of the piece you wrote yesterday as a rebuttal to a rebuttal that wasn't ever printed. I haven't read it yet because I feel a $49.95 annual subscription charge to TimesSelect could be better spent on 93 octane, but more so because I think it will just be another pile of rubbish.

Oh. I probably shouldn't say that. How about 'crap'?

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tama z71    0

Definitely enjoyed the letter. Proofread it before you send it to NY Times, though. Lot of grammar errors, and I can see those jagoffs ignoring your argument and responding that fact instead.

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pow    106

Definitely enjoyed the letter. Proofread it before you send it to NY Times, though. Lot of grammar errors, and I can see those jagoffs ignoring your argument and responding that fact instead.

Posted Image

Yeah, slander is oral. Libel is written.

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LTB51    0

At the risk of being unpopular, he does have a bit of a point.

Sure, other companies have offered limited free gas deals, that is nothing new.

But isn't it the role of GM, an American company, to help lead America away from needless consumption of oil? If Japan were sending their troops to die in Iraq in an attempt to secure oil so that the Japanese could drive vehicles much larger than what they needed and buy (relatively) cheap fuel, then I would expect it to be the job of the Japanese media... and a vocal portion of their public... to point out that fact. And if the Japanese were not building hybrids while GM was, so much more deserving is the criticism.

Personally, I think you are right. The consumer is rubbish for demanding such vehicles (and I am one of them!), but clearly GM fills the roll of the pusher (as do other manufacturers). But at least the Hondas and the Toyotas can make excellent small cars. GM cannot. And at least the Hondas and the Toyotas started making hybrids years ago while GM spurned them

It would be nice for GM to be a leader in this area, but I don't know why we should expect then to be when the rest of their business is such a mess.

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BuddyP    0

But isn't it the role of GM, an American company, to help lead America away from needless consumption of oil? 

But at least the Hondas and the Toyotas can make excellent small cars.  GM cannot.  And at least the Hondas and the Toyotas started making hybrids years ago while GM spurned them 

Why is it GM's role? Shouldn't that be the role of the Gov't??? GM didn't put us in a war. Now after saying that, I must add, have you completely missed the fact that GM offers multiple vehicles that run on E85? Industry leading SUV fuel milage? Multiple cars that get 30mpg or better? Most of those are cheaper and getting practically the same mpg as the Accord Hybrid.

I also beg to differ in regards to small cars. I would much rather drive a G6 than a Civic. Your statement sounds like an opinion to me.

And why spend an extra $5k for a hybrid that get's 35mpg when you can buy a GM car that get's 34mpg? How long have the Silverado hybrids been out now. Honda and Toyota don't have them beat by much when it comes to hybrids.

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Guest buickman   
Guest buickman

Mr Friedman is entitled to his opinion although his points aren't well taken. Unfortunately some will lend credence to his viewpoints. However most intelligent folks will find disagreement with his unfounded perspective. Furthermore, the damage done by this whole escapade will not be so much to GM's reputation but rather to the image of the NYT for their blatant and irrational censorship.

Buickman

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evok    0

Mr Friedman is entitled to his opinion although his points aren't well taken. Unfortunately some will lend credence to his viewpoints. However most intelligent folks will find disagreement with his unfounded perspective. Furthermore, the damage done by this whole escapade will not be so much to GM's reputation but rather to the image of the NYT for their blatant and irrational censorship.

Buickman

Friedman's automotive insight is about as irrational as yours. I think you should learn a thing or too from the whole Mr. Friedman escapade.

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blair1118    0

why has no one brought up the rebuttle of the fact that all the hybrid gm busses have saved more gas in one year than all the priuses have since they hit the roads??

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Guest buickman   
Guest buickman

Friedman's automotive insight is about as irrational as yours.  I think you should learn a thing or too from the whole Mr. Friedman escapade.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You are a very bright and informed individual, but sometimes silly.

Buickman

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CARBIZ    1

The New York Times has always been a puffed up rag and should go the way of Dan Rather.

I just came across a piece that when the world famous father of rocketry, Robert Goddard, declared in the late teens that man would one day walk on the moon, the New York Times declared that he was in imbecile and that every grade school student KNEW that rockets could't fly in a vacuum.

Three days before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, the New York Times published an apology, saying that they had been wrong.

Some things never change.

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dfelt    1,774

New York TImes like our current Idiot administration could not find a cure let alone lead any real change.

GM on the other hand attacked the bigger poluting vehicles first. Our Hybrid buses in Seattle have clearly cleaned up the streets and as some one else already mentioned saved more fuel than those Coffin on Donuts Prius toy's that only get 3/4 of their advertised gas milage.

Course GM has built more E85 auto's than anyone else.

Reality is that if GM, Ford and Chrysler got together and stated in 5 years they would have us off Oil but using synthetics only to lubricate and cool and then have all vehicles on E85 and BioDiesel only, we could and would shake the Arabs to their knees. With out the Big US consumption machine, they are nothing more than a desert area with no real way to make money.

We could gain on our own fuel dependance if the Government would stop paying Farmers to NOT farm their land and clearly state that X amount of land if ro public consumption so that prices stay steady and X amount of land is to be used to produce the right kind of Alternative fuel plants that are needed. We could clearly get off Arab Oil and be self sufficiant. Look at www.BioDiesel.com This company has 2 plants in Hawaii, 1 in Oregon where you can purchase BioDiesel up and down I5 freeway and two plants in Texas. Given time, we will be off Arab OIL. Just need to draw a line in the sand as we did with going to the moon, the cold war, etc. We can win this war of oil dependancel

8)

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daves87rs    329

Nice... 8)

I didn't think that highly of the New York Times before....but now I won't let this newspaper grace the curves of my large butt.

I didn't even the part about the NYT's idea to "edit" GM's part. After a horrible article, I think GM should say whatever they feel like. :angry:

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch-I mean Mr. Friedman.....

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toesuf94    0

<_< This is the problem with America any more, and frankly I am worried about it. Mr Friedman is entitled to his slanted position just as we are all entitled to our views and opinions of the world we live in. What bothers me is the tone that people have that somehow it is the responsibility of the Government to mandate what is built by whom, or that it is GM's responsibility to build cars that are 'environmentally responsible'. No. It is GM's responsibility to build what it feels is the product that the buying public wants, and to repay it's shareholders a return on thier stock holdings. THAT IS IT! If GM feels that the public will buy a Tahoe over a Prius, then that is the business decision that they make. Companies live and die on the decisions made in a board room table, not by government mandate. Government mandates sometimes interfere with boardroom decisions, but that is the way of life in the US these days.

What is bothering me about all of this is that GM does build great cars that do really well on mileage and we never hear about them. There are cars out there that run on 87 octane that do better or equal to the Prius - and yet we hear nothing about them - why? Why is there not a campaign explaining the busses saving more fuel than all of the Prius' combined?

And, Mr Friedman: Our dependency on foriegn oil has more to do with Liberals stopping oil production in the US than it has to do with over consumption. We have to import it because people on your side of the fence are more worried about caribou and owls than people dieing in a dessert thousands of miles from home in order to secure the oil we need to feed a thriving economy. And - this is important here - the oil that we use on a daily basis is more for production of goods than it is for the automobile. Plastics, paints, solvents, cosmetics, polymers, the Polyester liesure suit you are wearing - all are oil derivitives. So in your never ending quest to protect the environment, we are slowly mandating ourselves out of business. And when you attack one of the largest employers in the country who is producing a product as an environmental killer, you are attacking our very manufacturing foundation. And then you bitch when GM moves plants to Canada or Mexico or China, and how that hurts the U.S. Worker. And when you complain that GM is building cars that are less efficient than their Japanese counterparts - you are being caught up in the myth and hype of the foreign brands. The Nissan Titan and Armada, both built in the US, gets worse fuel economy than the Silverado and Tahoe of which they compete - yet you pick on the GM cars. Why? Because it is a fasionable bandwagon right now? Do you expose the fact that most of the Jap brands of cars require premium unleaded to achieve the mileage you so tout, while the American brands do as well or BETTER on regular unleaded? And that many of the GM cars are equipped to burn alternative fuels such as E85 while the Japanese cars do not?

Your reporting has been examined by the masses, and for those of us with a brain in our heads - it has been exposed as what it is: Rubbish. Now. You go get into your little Jap tin-can and I will get into my Buick wagon - a car that gets near 30 on the highway and weighs as much as an entire Japanese household by the way - and let's go head to head in a 'vehicular debate' - and then we will not have to deal with any more of your libel attacks on GM or the hard working men and women who supply us with the cars we love.

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Very eloquent, very interesting. You have a way with words, Fly.

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