By on April 1, 2012

More and more of the daily news we consume is not written by people, but by robots and spiders. The people at Motor Trend will be painfully aware of that fact when they come back to work on Monday. Today, MT reports that “General Motors is investigating complaints that XM radios installed in Chevrolet Volts do not pick up the satellite radio service’s Fox station.”

Motor Trend goes on to say:

“The apparent defect was first revealed late Friday on the Fox News television broadcast, “Your World Cavuto.”

“Viewers of this network have called in to complain that Fox’s XM channel is not available on President Obama’s car, the Chevrolet Volt,” host Neil Cavuto asserted on his TV broadcast, which is simulcast on XM 114. “Does this sound to you like payback time to Barack Obama from Government Motors?”

“How dare Government Motors?” responded Ann Coulter, a guest on Cavuto’s show. “But I’m not the least bit surprised. This is a liberal car for left-wing liberal socialist Marxists.”

A read all the way to the end reveals that “a GM spokesman said Chevrolet engineers would continue to test Volts through the weekend to see whether they could pull in Fox XM and would issue a report by the end of the day today, April 1.” This, and careful consultation of the calendar, makes a halfway assertive human reader doubt that the article is real news.

The trouble is that a lot of the daily news is collected by robots. In the early hours of April 1, the alleged news item  already is  all over the Internet. Many publications that are proud of their editorial oversight carry the April fools joke as real news. The story is in AOL Money’s Daily Finance, and in the Businessinsider. Untouched by human hands (or aggregated by morons,) the story runs on Topix right underneath Jalopnik’s  “What April Fools Day Automotive Headline Do You Want To Read?”

Most lazywebs from Carnewsarchive to Car Newsticker run the piece and pay the price for automatically scraping automotive sites in the hope for Google dollars. Even AOL News has the story. It is only a matter of minutes before the story will be eternalized in “verifiability, not fact” Wikipedia.

The sad part is that Motortrend’s persiflage already is way behind the times. Other observers had noted a puzzling U-turn at Fox. Usually, the channel poured vitriol over the car. A month ago, Fox drove a Volt and ran out of juice in the Lincoln Tunnel.

Then suddenly, a few days ago, Fox loved the Volt. Fox lauded the Volt as a car that can “help win the war in terror.” Steve Doocy, drove a Volt and attested that the drive was “smooth as glass.” A few days earlier, Foxbusiness declared the Volt the best electric car on the market” and could find only one flaw: The price.

Speaking of price, some people point to the fact that GM had started running Volt ads on Fox.

Truth is funnier than April fools jokes.

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32 Comments on “Motor Trend Fools Robots And Spiders, Misses Disturbing New Motor Trend...”

  • avatar

    I doubt the stools at Fox woke up one day and realized how dumb they sound. Most likely Fox got spoken to by someone from GM or they realized all their lies will come back to bite them. I am guessing marketing figured they might lose all GM ad dollars now and forever.

  • avatar

    Unfortunately Fox “News” is not an April fools Joke. It is a well funded propaganda network spewing half-truths and lies in support of corporate ownership of everything, including people.

    Slavery is the goal of this right-wing tool.

    • 0 avatar

      Why all the hate for organizations at the top of their game like GM and FoxNews?

      THURS., MARCH 23, 2012

      FOXNEWS O’REILLY 2,733,000
      FOXNEWS HANNITY 2,079,000
      FOXNEWS GRETA 1,905,000
      FOXNEWS SHEP 1,616,000
      FOXNEWS BAIER 1.601,000
      FOXNEWS FIVE 1,499,000
      MSNBC MADDOW 988,000
      CMDY DAILY SHOW 879,000
      MSNBC SCHULTZ 865,000
      MSNBC O’DONNELL 818,000
      MSNBC SHARPTON 817,000
      MSNBC HARDBALL 791,000
      CNN COOPER 738,000
      CNN PIERS 703,000

    • 0 avatar

      “Slavery is the goal of this right-wing tool.”

      Anyone else notice that progressives always accuse conservatives of whatever it is that they’re actually doing themselves? UN Agenda 21 isn’t a right-wing conspiracy.

      • 0 avatar
        Good ole dayz

        Amen. There’s a propaganda technique called “turnspeak” which entails accusing your opposition of doing (no matter that it isn’t) what your side is in fact doing in order to shift blame / attention / focus, or at least to muddy the waters and make both side appear equivalent to the populace.

        Further, read the bestseller “Liberal Fascism” by Jonah Goldberg and one understands that:

        The Italian version of fascism was focused on nationalism;

        The German version of fascism (a/k/a Nazism / National Socialism) was premised on race;

        Today’s “Progressive” version of fascism is premised on globalist utopianism (e.g., Agenda 21) … often, but not exclusively pursued under guise of environmentalism.

        In the end, all are ultimately totalitarian, only the expressed motivators are different.

      • 0 avatar

        Why even bother with the labels and behavioral analysis? People who make statements like that are simply bitter, spiteful, ignorant, miserable human beings. For as intellectual as “liberals/progressives” like to think they are, most (at least the ones who make inflammatory and conspiratorial comments on the interblog) are pretty thick.

        Mind you, self-styled conservatives are more than capable of spouting hateful imbecilities of their own, as most of the candidates and their supporters in this current primary cycle continues to demonstrate.

        In short, they all suck.

    • 0 avatar

      I hope you get what you want raymond….you will eventually freeze in the dark!

    • 0 avatar

      And you get your news from the likes of MSNBC?

  • avatar

    If they’re dumb enough to believe anything Fox News broadcasts, everybody ought to advertise there.

  • avatar
    Good ole dayz

    Yeah, why would anyone need Fox News when NBC / MSNBC, ABC et. als. do such a “comprehensive” job covering stories like Fast and Furious; multi-billion “green jobs” subsidies to campaign bundlers … and as they did during the 2008 campaign vetting Barry Soetoro Hussein Obama’s lifetime of associations with communists (his father and teenage mentor Frank Marshall Davis); adult associations with anti-American radicals (Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright to name but two), and his active involvement with radical anti-American groups like the Gamaliel Foundation, Midwest Academy and ACORN (again to name but a few) …

    Oh, and let’s not forget that Disney, owner of NBC, doesn’t carry Fox News at its Disney hotels. Hmmm …

    • 0 avatar

      Comcast owns NBC, Golf Channel, Bravo, MSNBC USA Network, Syfy. Disney owns (with Hearst)A + E, ABC + ESPN. Can’t really blame Disney all that much for not showing the competition on Disney property.

      I barely watch Fox but can ‘t disagree with rest of your post.

      • 0 avatar
        Good ole dayz

        You are right — my typo — I meant Disney owns ABC. As for NBC, was it recently sold to Comcast, for if recollection serves for years it’s been owned by Obama-supporter Jeffrey Imelt’s GE.

  • avatar

    “You’re blowing it with Fox News,” Jobs told him over dinner. “The axis today is not liberal and conservative, the axis is constructive-destructive, and you’ve cast your lot with the destructive people. Fox has become an incredibly destructive force in our society. You can be better, and this is going to be your legacy if you’re not careful.”

    It’s going to America’s legacy that our nation was put in a death spiral by a few billionaires controlling TV sets.

  • avatar

    “General Motors is investigating complaints that XM radios installed in Chevrolet Volts do not pick up the satellite radio service’s Fox station.”

    That’s not a flaw, it’s a feature!

  • avatar

    Oh, where to begin. What passes for news anymore is laughable. It’s produced for people with three-second attention spans and any semblance of objectivity and accuracy has gone out the window. It’s all about unique views, re-tweets and “going viral.”

    Fox News, for its part, is one of the most embarrassing excuses for journalism out there. Forget their political stance for a moment; it’s just sensational, shouty “reporting” and commentary it is worst. At the same time, petty partisanship has filtered down and apparently become acceptable in non-political programs and publications. This April Fools stunt is the sort of thing I’ve come to expect from Motor Trend; Todd Lassa, who wrote this piece, is a bitter liberal who can’t keep his personal politics out of his Detroit reporting. That’s one of the reasons I don’t even bother reading Motor Trend in my dentist’s waiting room anymore.

    Of course, based on the predictable “Herp derp, Faux News!” comments posted here, I don’t expect this “journalism” to change anytime soon. Most people are entirely too ignorant and/or prejudiced to demand better. Even TTAC-ers, who are generally smarter than the stooges who comment on Motor Trend or Autoblog, still managed to completely miss the point of Bertel’s article. Congratulations.

  • avatar

    The people who hate Fox are the same people who voted for hope and change in 2008. Some were fooled by the smooth talk, and some were proving how open-minded they were by voting for a relatively unknown man based on his race. They got an inexperienced bumbling leader, 3 more years of recession, high unemployment, 2700 pages of Obamacare, and four dollar gasoline. They choose to blame Fox News for not parroting the same propaganda as ABC/CBS/NBC/NY Times/Wash Post and Hollywood. Read the NDAA bill signed on New Years Eve and some recent Executive Orders instead of the Times, if you want some REAL news. BTW, the last genuine “journalist” was the late David Brinkley.

    • 0 avatar

      I generally agree, but I can’t stand Fox; they are neither fair nor balanced. CNN’s Erin Burnett is much easier to watch.

      • 0 avatar

        However, Fox News during the day is not nearly as offensive as the evening programming. The daytime content, while hardly “fair and balanced”, is slanted but then again so are most networks. It is the evening programming which is essentially a non stop op-ed series of opinions that masquerade as news pieces. That is what I find horribly offensive. The NYT editorial page is certainly left of center, but it is in the editorial page. The primary news section of the NYT is far more “balanced” and accurate than most US sources. Of course if your stance is heavily conservative, or even extremely liberal, you will probably disagree. So, watch/read what you like; just remember is nearly impossible to remove all sources of bias.

    • 0 avatar

      Unemployment, recession and gas prices have nothing to do with the POTUS. The president’s control (lack of) over gas prices was talked about on various news stations last week. He can’t snap his fingers and change it.

      But you’re probably right, let’s keep dropping taxes (especially for millionaires (as we did beginning in 2001), and raising defense spending, privatizing everything, poisoning our food, it should all work out.

      Buick6, good post.

      • 0 avatar
        Good ole dayz

        No, but the President can influence gas prices. But of course, President “under my cap and trade plan utility costs will necessarily skyrocket” and “put coal out of business,” so as to make energy costs rise to a) lower the U.S. standard of living to make it more “equal” with the rest of the world, and b) to pander to the unicorn & rainbow power “environmental” lobby to try to make energy costs rise so as to artificially make “green power” appear to be competitive … and who has effectively shut down drilling in the Gulf, and killed the Keystone pipeline, and whose EPA is effectively shutting down a major portion of our electrical generation capacity. No this has no influence on world energy markets.

        >>”But you’re probably right, let’s keep dropping taxes (especially for millionaires (as we did beginning in 2001), and raising defense spending, privatizing everything, poisoning our food, it should all work out.”

        Yep, can’t wait as President Hussein Obama leads us down the same path as all those other collectivist workers’ paradises like the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela … as Orwell made clear in the novel Animal Farm, collectivism ultimately stinks for everyone but the (progressive in the U.S.) “pigs” who move into the farmhouse.

      • 0 avatar

        “The president’s control (lack of) over gas prices was talked about on various news stations last week.”
        Various news stations? Let me guess, NBC, ABC, MSNBC?

      • 0 avatar

        Actually it was Romney’s economist who said the president can’t control gas prices. Search “Romney economist gas prices”, his economists wouldn’t back him up, and many many independent (I can already hear you saying “Sure, independent”) economists said the same thing. Gas prices are going up due to oil speculation, not supply shortages or energy policy. OPEC is bigger than our president.

  • avatar

    Maybe the car’s anti-virus software disabled Fox access to prevent phone hacking.

  • avatar

    Wouldn’t it be nice to someday see an article about the Volt that wasn’t political. Like a Toyota Camry. A Camry isn’t political; it’s just boring.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes. Yes it would. Sadly, today, it seems that everything is political ammunition. If Obama uses a Kleenex, FN would probably call him a high fallootin’ 1%-er, using name brand tissues.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    If you are a Republican, Obama buys his Volt on Jan 20, 2013. If you are a Democrat, Obama buys his Volt on January 20, 2017. If you are an idiot, Obama already is frequently seen running out of electricity and switching to gasoline near Dupont Circle in his Turban-White Volt, which may or may not tune FOX on the radio, not like Obama would ever check to see if it works or not. Come on, everyone knows he listens to Al-Jazeera and CNN!

  • avatar

    Not sure if people understand April Fools joke.

  • avatar

    I’m guessing a lot of responses in this thread are also April Fool’s jokes.

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