John Neff is Insane
If anyone knows the pressures of covering Motown’s meltdown, it’s me. I’m putting in some serious time behind this keyboard (“that’s why they call it work” my wife reminds me) trying to keep up with a news cycle that makes a racing bike seem like a mobility scooter (or something like that). My favorite carmudgeon Dan Neil blew a gasket earlier today, arguing for– yes for— the creation of an American Leyland. The same Dan Neil whose criticism of GM’s management (before criticizing Motown’s management was cool) sparked a retaliatory ad boycott and, thus, the first GM Death Watch. And now Autoblog supremo John Neff has gone off the deep end. In the recently launched “Opinion” category– an inherently bad idea for writers with all the teeth of a Chrysaora fuscescens— Neff wails “Stop arm-chair quarterbacking the auto industry.” Huh? If that’s not a textbook example of pathological solipsism, Bob Lutz is. Anyway, Neff’s knickers are in a right royal twist.
“While Detroit deserves much of the ribbing that’s on the way, it irks our ears every time we read an op-ed piece from folks who flat-out do not know what the Hell they’re talking about.” Without the slightest whiff of irony, JN provides two examples of commentators out of their depth. And then the automotive journalist who condemns arm-chair quarterbacking arm-chair quarterbacks.
“While it’s easy to dog on the domestics for the sorry shape in which they find themselves, don’t listen to every Karen and Michael out there who voice their ill-informed opinions on how things ought to be. There are such a myriad of factors that have contributed to the current state of the Detroit 3, some of which is their fault and some (like bad mortgages ruining the credit market) which aren’t, that there just is no silver bullet fix beyond continuing to lower costs and building better products.”
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