Gary Witzenburg: Professional Detroit Apologist

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
gary witzenburg professional detroit apologist

Back in the day, I mistakenly asked Gary Witzenburg to write for TTAC. The aftermath was… intense. To this day, Witzenburg remains the only [non-spam] person I’ve ever banned from my email account. Even though I knew Gary was wrapped a little tight on the whole stop picking on the domestic automakers deal, I never suspected that the former GM spinmeister would make an entire career out of defending the indefensible. Nor would I have predicted that he would make Autobloggreen his spiritual home. But there he is, and his most recent rant could well be his magnum opus. Witz begins with a long defense– of GM, the EV-1 and his own career– that puts Richard M. Nixon’s “My Mother Was a Saint” resignation speech to shame. And then we’re off into the lazy journalist’s favorite format: Q & A. A highly edited Steve asks “What I cannot fathom is how all three auto manufacturers fell into the big-car trap. This happened before in the 1970s – fuel prices went up and U.S. automakers were left with obsolete product lines.” Gary responds “Come on, Steve, they’re not making sandwiches.” Seriously, this is a fascinating read, on many levels. Just imagine Jack Nicholson playing Gary Witzenburg, insert expletives where needed (everywhere) and you’re there.

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4 of 10 comments
  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Oct 01, 2008
    Was that the one where he picked the dog up by it’s ears? I’m far too young to say, but I saw pictures of that and winced. That was Lyndon Johnson. Not Nixon.

  • VerbalKint VerbalKint on Oct 01, 2008

    Re: "Was that the one where he picked the dog up by it’s ears? I’m far too young to say, but I saw pictures of that and winced." That was Lyndon Johnson abusing his beagle. "Checkers" as I recall dealt with Nixon being accused of taking money from special interests. I believe someone accused the dog of being such a bribe. Nixon said he ain't givin' up Checkers because the whole family loves him. It was a brilliant speech in that the public sided with him even though he never really denied the charges.

  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Oct 01, 2008

    Gary, a fellow Cleveland native, sold me my first Nomex racing suit back in the 70s. We've crossed paths a few times since. A very passionate engineer and excellent writer. But I can understand why he'd be persona non grata where "no flaming" is the rule.

  • Bytor Bytor on Oct 01, 2008

    Autoblog green is no surprise. As the green there is mainly Astroturf. They host Gary as featured contributor. Often post e85 supporting info and even posted the GM video "answer" nonsense as straight news.