By on January 2, 2009

Ever since one-time (and one time only) TTAC contributor Gary Witzenburg’s column appeared on Autobloggreen (ABG), we’ve been asking huh? Witzenberg is the Detroit apologist’s apologist; he wears his mountainous shoulder chip on his sleeve as a badge of honor. I guess Gazza lured ABG into giving him a job with promises to reveal “the truth” behind GM’s failed EV-1 program; during whose short and unhappy life the divine Mr. W served as GM spinmeister. That “truth” turned out to be, you guessed it, an apologist’s perspective. Since the series, which runs directly counter to the “Who Killed the Electric Car?” meme that ABG’s base holds sacred, Witzenburg has resumed his relentless campaign against the barbarians outside the gates of Fortress Detroit. This week’s magnum opus could well be his swan song, and quite the article it is too. If ever you wanted a round-up of all Motown’s mainstream defenders’ spurious arguments in favor of Detroit and its $64b and counting call on the public purse, well, here it is. I won’t bother to quote from Gary’s work, as we’ve skewered every one of these sacred [to him] cows before. Suffice it to say, it’s only a matter of time before Gary and ABG part company. He is a gas guzzler amongst hybrids, if you know what I mean.

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8 Comments on “Is Autobloggreen Losing Their Witz?...”

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Related: he’s on the NACOTY jury.

    There are a couple of names I recognize there from non-newspaper sources. Reckon there’s a good amount of mutual back scratching going on, though. FWIW, Dan Neil is on the WCOTY jury.

  • avatar
    montgomery burns

    And why are we so angry at the car companies’ executives? They get miserable pay by Wall Street standards and have much harder jobs….

    Wow, Ben. Just stunning.

    I’ve said it before in other threads but one of the biggest problems we have with American business is managements focus, with some exceptions, on trying to extract as much money as possible from the enterprise and avoiding responsibility.

  • avatar

    This work must be the Cliff Notes version of The Apologists Handbook for Detroit. Plus, I like how Dutch Mandel trots out the same GM 30MPG+ fallacy, expecting the consumer to buy a car for that singular reason. No surprise, its the same jive that GM PR runs in their advertisements.

    And just about every one of the arguments presented are shut down with the counterpoint: “Detroit’s overhead is not sustainable at their levels of market share, and they cannot fix a broken system in time to prevent bankruptcy.”

  • avatar

    “… more hybrid models…”

    Yippee. They rebadged the unsaleable Tawhore hybrid twice and offered it at a $13K premium to people who couldn’t care less about fuel economy or greenhouse gasses and could readily switch to something less expensive and more effective if they did care. There’s a winning plan.

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    High fives all around from The Collapsed Three press flacks.

  • avatar

    ABG is not a green site.

    Read it again. ABG is an apologist site for enthusiasts who want to be green, or a way to keep green chatter from troubling Autoblog’s regular posters.

    These are the people who caught on very late (and may not have caught on at all) to the whole “Corn ethanol is not net-energy positive”, don’t understand the difference between Imperial and American gallons, don’t understand that European mileage figures are complete fabrications and trumpet two-seat, 0-60-eventually Eurodiesels as viable Prius alternatives.

    Did I mention they swallowed the CNW Prius/Hummer study first go? Or that they’ve given credence to climate-change skeptics.

    Now, you’re welcome to disagree with me (because I’m a greenie pinko liberal communist) on any of the aforementioned, but you’d be hard-pressed to call ABG “green”, other than that it’s an aggregation service for greenwashing press-releases.

  • avatar

    Clearly Witzenburg fits into the ABG crowd like Obama in a KKK meeting. Let’s face it, he was probably wearing his white robes and cap when the GM lynching mob killed the electric car. So I’ve always wondered what his column on that particular website was all about.

    All I can think of is that GM knows very very well that ever since they killed the EV-1 project in an over the top scorched earth kind of way, massacring the whole bunch of them and selling of the battery patents to an oil company, they have an image problem. They also know that they depend on public goodwill in case… say… they need bailout money someday. And some more. And more. And…So they pay someone to do some damage control for them and they pay their way into the more critical platforms. Notice that one of the ads on ABG is for Witzenburg’s column…

  • avatar


    Methinks you protest too much…

    Come, on, Robert. Let’s see a point-by-point rebuttal of GW’s article.

    And no, I’m not falling for the old “we’ve skewered every one of these sacred [to him] cows before.”

    I was delighted to see ABG actually printing more than one point of view! TTAC would benefit from trying same. But as long as you insist on posting on the same topic, multiple times, multiple consecutive days, over industry holidays, it would seem you are determined to make the same tired points, facts be damned.

    You can do better.

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