Ask the Best and Brightest: Does Anyone Have A BETTER Copy of the Pro-Detroit Viral Email?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
ask the best and brightest does anyone have a better copy of the pro detroit viral

Thanks to stringent libel laws and gag orders, they used to do this crap all the time in the UK: run a media story about another media story without telling you what was in the original media story. In this case, it’s an pro-Detroit, anti-Toyota viral email that’s grabbed the attention of The Detroit Free Press‘ numero uno propagandist, Mark Phelan. The columnist is incensed– incensed I tell you– that someone is making the right case for Motown’s teat suckle using spin and, gasp, twisting facts. And just in case this amateur apologist needs some helpful hints, Phelan’s lede takes a shot at a certain southern senator. “With friends like these, who needs Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby? Shelby, of course, became the public face of contempt for Detroit’s automakers with his staunch opposition to congressional aid. Some of the Detroit Three’s would-be supporters may now inadvertently further damage the industry’s cause. There’s a slick viral ad making rounds by e-mail that attempts to defend Detroit’s automakers by showing that foreign brands aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Riddled with distortions and lies, it could do more harm than good.” So spill sister! Some quotes please. Only one, but it’s a doozy.

“Titled ‘We can do whatever we want. Because our poop don’t stink,’ the viral ad features a photo of a particularly bloated-looking Toyota Sequoia SUV. The provocative headline expresses a widely held frustration that U.S. automakers get no credit for building hybrids and fuel-efficient vehicles, while foreign brands get a free pass when they sell big gas-guzzlers.”

Widely-held? Yes, it’s true: Phelan is no student of irony. Whatsoever. Judge for yourself as he attempts to deconstruct the email’s Tundra to Tahoe mpg throw down.

“It claims the Sequoia’s fuel economy is an awful 4 miles per gallon worse than the comparably large Chevrolet Suburban. That’s true only if you compare the most fuel-efficient Suburban to the worst Sequoia. It’s a textbook case of using statistics to mislead. What makes the misrepresentation particularly damnable is that you don’t have to cheat to make the Suburban look good. Head-to-head against the most fuel-efficient Sequoia, Chevy wins by 1 m.p.g.”

In fact, Phelan plea to the unknown email orginator would be funny– if it weren’t so pathetic.

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2 of 14 comments
  • Demetri Demetri on Dec 29, 2008

    Before this whole situation went down, I was considering buying a Ford once they bring over the euro stuff. Now, I can easily say that I will never buy a D3 vehicle for the rest of my life. The whole situation disgusts me, and a lot of it has to do with the D3 boosters. I realized that I have nothing in common with the domestic car people, and I want nothing to do with them or their brands. I feel like your car choice says something about you, and for me, a detroit badge says all the wrong things.

  • BMW325I BMW325I on Dec 29, 2008

    The lamest commercial I have seen is when GM compared to the most fuel efficient Escalade to the least fuel efficient Mini cooper trying to convince people to pay 3 times more for 1 more mpg city. Doesn't the mini cooper diesel get something like 39mpg city and 45 hwy?

  • SCE to AUX Historically, the Land Cruiser sold ~3000 units annually in the US for its last 15 years, so the answer is no.
  • Theflyersfan Oh boy - the sequential manual transmission. Otherwise known as "Your 16 year old driving stick the first time is smoother" transmission. I know automakers were trying new things out around this time and seeing what would stick (hint: the dual clutches won out), but even in testing, the Toyota engineers should have said いいえ、ジャンクです。(No. It's a piece of junk.) Is this seller going to get $8500? Doubt it. Way too much interior work is needed and it just looks worn out in there. St. Petersburg - salt air year round can do some wonders under the cover as well. But the exterior still looks good which makes me thing it was garage kept. So, for $8,500 - no chance. But for maybe $5,500 to $6,000 and the buyer doesn't mind some extra work to clean up the interior, maybe a decent top down sun down fun car. Just hope the transmission holds up.
  • Dukeisduke Only if there's a significant price difference between it and the Lexus GX. Otherwise, no. If they do bring it over, they'll have to ditch that ugly grille.
  • Theflyersfan Chris here just gave me a big old dose of nightmare fuel with this. Let me explain... This past Saturday, driving home after doing some furniture shopping. I-64 Westbound is closed for extensive repairs in my part of Louisville so I had to take surface streets home. No problem as it's basically a straight shot from said furniture store to my domicile. Now, I had that recent spinal fusion surgery in my neck complete with four screws, some plates, artificial bone, and the chance that things might not have healed correctly so things are a bit tender and sore still. Driving home in a part of the area named St. Matthews when I pass a Walgreens. Barreling out of this Walgreens and totally ignoring the stop sign, and situational awareness of ANYTHING around him is a truck, very similar to the one shown above. Same color even. It's a four lane road - main drag through town. I'm in the inside lane and this 7,000 pound monstrosity is suddenly feet from turning an MX-5 into shrapnel. Top is down, had my wits, quickly downshift and manage to do a wild u-turn like move into the oncoming traffic lanes but avoided the hit. The neck, however, didn't like the strain and trauma and sent parts of my body into fits of limited sensations and pain. The truck driver, realizing what he's done suddenly stops. My top is down, windows are down, and we make eye contact as I pull alongside the person I have suddenly wished death on inside a flaming pit. And if I repeat the sentences of what was yelled at that jack***es face, I'll be on insta-ban here in milliseconds. He yells over, "Man, I'm sorry...I didn't see ya!" Well, ***face, learn what a stop sign means and scan the scene first. And get something that you can see over and in front instead of the blind spots that hide everyone under the age of 14 in front of the truck. So, I'm all for forcing these overdone, oversized, overfed, overstyled, guzzling, tiny-genital compensating redneck wannabe road monsters taken out back and put to rest and we return to normalcy. Made it home hurting like hell and tests were done today to check for further injury. And that Mazda can turn and spin on a dime... Try that move in that Sierra AT4XBZQZW8! whatever.
  • Dukeisduke I've read stories about that air suspension system - insanely high pressures, and crazy expensive to repair. I loved the Mark VIII's styling back then, but it definitely hasn't aged well.Also:"Mark VII was the first Mark available with dual front airbags..." Did you mean Mark VIII?