In the wake of last week's bruising hearing on Capitol Hill about the safety of the Chevrolet Volt, which itself followed an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that concluded plug-in vehicles do not "pose a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles," former General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz has written a column for Forbes that strikes back against the media (especially conservatives) who are attacking the car he thought would be one of his most important legacies.
Politicians and members of the media on the right, from Mitt Romney to Neil Cavuto, have talked smack about the Volt, and Lutz says this "has attracted my attention and ire." In typical Lutz fashion, he doesn't mince words, writing:
Don't let Lutz's words make you think he's taking a left/liberal stance. He's still a self-declared "conservative Republican" who hates that right-wing talking heads are spiraling downward into this sort of "deliberate misstatement of facts." They "have managed to make me embarrassed to describe myself as a conservative," he writes, adding, "Let's leave the 'invention of facts' to the left-wing climate-change alarmists." There, that should offend pretty much everyone who's not in the dead political center.
The Oscar for totally irresponsible journalism has to go to The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News, with, as its key guest, Lou Dobbs. Amid much jocular yukking, the Volt was depicted as a typical federal failure. ... Boiled down to the subtext, Dobbs' message was this: "All Volts catch fire, and therefore all Volts have been recalled." That simply isn't the case. ...
To top it off, these two media pros lamented the fact that the same government that had forced GM to produce the Volt was now extending $7,500 tax credits towards its purchase, thus squandering even more of "our taxpayer" dollars on this failed Socialist-collectivist flop. Truth? The $7,500 tax credit was enacted under the Bush administration!