By on November 14, 2014

Mary Barra at 2014 Detroit Auto Show

General Motors CEO Mary Barra, who was to appear at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., opted not to appear to receive an award amid outcry from those affected by the February 2014 ignition switch recall.

Autoblog reports Barra was set to receive the Katherine Graham Living Legacy Award from the National Women’s History Museum in the nation’s capital, a national award that honors the achievements of women. However, representatives from both GM and the museum both confirmed that Barra would not appear as planned after word of the award reached the automaker’s critics, and the families of those affected by the ignition switch at the center of the February 2014 recall.

Laura Christian, whose daughter was killed in a 2005 accident linked to the defective switch, approved the decision by the museum, stating that for it to give an award to Barra would be “a slap in the face” for her, her family “and many others actively grieving.”

Another critic, the National Legal and Policy Center, sent a letter asking the National Women’s History Museum to rescind the honor, as it would undermine the work accomplished by the museum in so doing. As for Barra, president Peter Flaherty said she should “focus on GM’s remaining safety problems before travelling around the country to accept awards.”

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87 Comments on “Barra Backs Out Of Appearance To Accept National Award Amid Outcry...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “Katherine Graham Living LIAR Award ”

    There, I fixed it for you…

    Monster Mary will now attend

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Barra is doing the right thing here. Besides the fact she really hasn’t done anything that would deserve an award for “the achievements of women” other than getting appointed as GM CEO.

    She would have been eligible for this award if she had found a way to fix this GM mess before it got so out of control but it’s too late for that now – and I’m not specifically blaming her for it.

    Maybe another time in the future for her……

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Ye braying Dogs of GM Hate, halte thy Yapping.

    Smartest thing the General has done since WWII was to choose a Cute Mom With Bangs as their public face.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    “and many others actively grieving.”

    Is it GM’s fault those families produced offspring too stupid to lay off the booze and strap on their seat belts?

    C’mon, maaan….

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    I’ll be damned. She has integrity.

    Only because of the outcry from the critics. There’s no way she would have turned it down would her critics been indifferent.

    Sorry, Mary. Who you think you’re foolin’?

  • avatar
    mikey

    Yes, she does have integrity. Mary B. was handed a bag of —.The top dogs at GM have been kicking the can down the road for years. Mary B. is doing a great job at damage control. I think she is the best thing to happen at GM in 30 years.

    As an added bonus, at least to these old eyes anyway, she looks pretty fine.

  • avatar
    zamoti

    You know I’m totally on board with shitting on someone if they do a bad job. However, the thinly veiled sexism is just embarassing on a site where I presume that there would be a lot of progressive attitudes. Attributing a woman’s success to the fact that she’s “cute” diminishes any accomplishments that she may have made. Not only that it reveals that most guys are afraid that a woman could actually get somewhere as a result of her own hard work, thusly, the attempt to take them down a peg. It’s embarassing that many guys take this cowardly tactic of reducing a woman to little more than a pretty face.
    God forbid of an ugly woman got to the top–because we wouln’t want an ugly person running things (ahem, I don’t see Rick Wagoner winning any beauty contests, but really try just about any of these ugly MFers–like Mike Jeffries)

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      #ttacgate

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Men respond to the visual when reacting to the opposite sex. It’s a fact of life.

      As for concerns that Ms. Barra’s looks helped move along her career – studies have shown that very beautiful women are HURT by their looks in the workplace. Men notice their looks first, and other women are jealous of them (if you don’t think that women size up other women – i.e., the competition – you’re awfully naïve).

      It’s more important that a woman be well-groomed than extremely attractive.

      Who really benefits from looks? Men. Being very handsome helps a man’s career.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      “However, the thinly veiled sexism is just embarassing …”

      Progressives, embarrassed to find women attractive since 1862.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        ” Fact of life” So it is. I’m this 60 year old ,father of two daughters, and a grand daughter. I see an attractive women, that’s taken some time with her hair, and make up. I’m sorry, call me what ever you want. The voice in my head says “wow is she ever good looking”

        Mary B. is one good looking lady,she just happens to be the CEO at GM. Good for her. IMHO, so is Sarah Pallin I’m not sure if I would vote for her. I’m Canadian so I’ll never have the chance. She managed to get herself elected governor. If things had gone another way, she would have been a heart beat away from being the leader of the free world.

        In my world, she is one smokin hot lady.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      ” Attributing a woman’s success to the fact that she’s “cute” diminishes any accomplishments that she may have made.”

      Elon Musk is kind of cute too, better?

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        Heh.. yay you, Lie2me.

        Elon’s persona as an irrepressible cutie-pie was as necessary for his success as any other attribute he possesses. Genetics and early nurturing swirled into a perfect storm with that guy.

        It’ll be interesting, though, watching Peter Pan morph into Dorian Gray. Sort of hip-tech’s Orson Welles.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          There you go minimizing a guy’s accomplishments by judging him on his looks alone… Elon’s not going to get old, he’ll be going into outer space where time stops

    • 0 avatar
      hybridkiller

      “…a site where I presume that there would be a lot of progressive attitudes.”

      Yeah, I presumed that too for like my first 5 minutes or so of reading comments here – I was soon dispossessed of that notion…

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        Would you guys presume a lot of progressive attitudes as you strolled into a dealership’s breakroom? A coaches’ conference? Bars around a military base?

        At its best, TTAC is what you get when jocks have enough luck and smarts to finish college.

        • 0 avatar
          hybridkiller

          “At its best, TTAC is what you get when jocks have enough luck and smarts to finish college.”

          Admittedly I let myself be sandbagged by that whole “best and brightest” thing. Shoulda known better of course, the internet being what it is…

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Part of it is a holdover from the general dudebro PUA sleaze of the Baruth era, and the sludgey kink fetishes Schmitt indulged in before that. Gonna take a few more gallons of Windex to wipe this place down. Other part is the older-male-conservative slant of the commentariat, who are okay with if not outright proud of the casual sexism they were raised with.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      No one is sh!tting on her or her accomplishments. But you have to ask yourself if she earned the top GM spot on merit alone.

      Do not kid yourself. Her looks and charm had almost everything to do with her promotion to CEO. The new face of GM, to face media head on. They’re not going to go for the throat like if it were Wagoner.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    She has accomplished what exactly to get an award?
    Besides being a token female CEO chosen to soften critics for the upcoming s..t that hit the fan?

  • avatar

    She should be in an orange jump suit.

  • avatar
    mfgreen40

    GM has a long way to go. Back in March 31 2014 GM stated they would recall millions of vehicles that may experience sudden loss of electric power steering assist. The Malibu 04-05 some 06 -08-09 were a part of this recall. Jeff Boyer , vice president GM global vehicle safety stated ” we have recalled some of these vehicles before for the same issue and offered extended warranties on others but we did not do enough”. A friend of mine has a 06 that has this problem, while driving the chime comes on and a light comes on the dash that says -power steering – and it becomes very difficult to steer. The dealership says no warranty , wrong vin # They call GM and receive a case # and in 48 hours get a call saying , sorry your vin. # is not in the recall. Nothing new at GM.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Ignition switches keep on turnin’,
    Proud Mary keep on burnin’,
    Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ into the river.

    Every time I see her picture, CCR just pops into my head and creates an earworm.

    Argh!

    Left a good job in purchasing,
    Workin’ for the man ev’ry night and day,
    And she never lost one minute of sleepin’,
    Worryin’ ’bout the way things should’a been.

    Stop it stop it stop it. Stop. It. Darn. It’s stuck.

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    Don’t know why everybody’s so down on her. The ignition switch problem was taking place long before she took over. She had nothing to do with it. Now that she’s in charge she’s taking actions to correct the situation.

    • 0 avatar
      Domestic Hearse

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/gm-discloses-fatalities-faces-questions-amid-email-revelation/

      Yes, the ignition switch problems were an ongoing problem before she could affect any change. It’s just that she was in charge of purchasing and procurement after GM was aware of the problem and actively trying to cover it up with secret orders and ordering new parts reusing original parts numbers in order to obscure the facts. She continues to claim she had no idea this was going on beneath her, but “contract employees” do not get to make the decisions shown in the new email revelations. Somebody, way up in senior management, knew and was calling the shots. As we get further down the rabbit hole, we get to a “what did you know, and when did you know it” situation.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      No, not true, recently discovered emails have put it squarely under her watch, before she was made CEO

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    This headline is misleading, and the story discusses two different topics.

    1) That Mary would appear/not to receive the award.

    2) That Mary would receive the award at all.

    It switches topics between paragraphs. It’s clear she will not -appear- to receive an award at a ceremony. It is unclear whether she is still getting the award.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The caveman is strong in these comments threads.

    And believe it or not the most caveman comments aren’t the ones about her appearance (although c’mon guys… numbers from 1 to 10… really? That’s not how attractiveness works). They’re the ones calling her things like “Little Miss Mary” or calling her a “token.”

    And from my perspective, she’s done an admirable job of trying to get out in front of this stuff. Her real merits as CEO, though, won’t be clear until the first products developed under her watch start showing up, which won’t be for another couple of years.

    She’s pretty cute too. I like her style. But that has nothing to do with her merits as CEO, or lack thereof.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    I applaud Ms. Barra’s decision to opt out of appearing and accepting the award, IF this was indeed her decision. It may also be that she was un-invited by wide acclaim.

    And while I do not hold Ms Barra personally responsible for all of GM’s woes since time immemorial, I find it hard to accept that GM is deserving of ANY awards, ANYwhere, and certainly not at this time.

    GM is, after all, a company that died, hastened to death by UAW incessant demand for higher wages and more lavish bennies, was bailed out at taxpayer expense and great loss, that continues to delight America with revelations of ever more recalls and engineering failures.

    I am gravitating more to the side that sees Ms Barra as being a tactically-placed scapegoat for all disastrous GM failures prior to her tenure.

    Certainly a strategic move on the part of her predecessor and GM BoD to appoint her to the position, knowing full well that everyone in the chain from Congress on down is going to go easy on a woman in charge of GM.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    I applaud Ms. Barra’s decision to opt out of appearing and accepting the award, IF this was indeed her decision. It may also be that she was un-invited by wide acclaim.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      And while I do not hold Ms Barra personally responsible for all of GM’s woes since time immemorial, I find it hard to accept that GM is deserving of ANY awards, ANYwhere, and certainly not at this time.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        GM is, after all, a company that died, hastened to death by UAW incessant demand for higher wages and more lavish bennies, was bailed out at taxpayer expense and great loss, that continues to delight America with revelations of ever more recalls and engineering failures.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I am gravitating more to the side that sees Ms Barra as being a tactically-placed scapegoat for all disastrous GM failures prior to her tenure.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I am gravitating more to the s*de that sees Ms Barra as being a tactically-placed scapegoat for all disastrous GM failures prior to her tenure.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Certainly a strategic move on the part of her predecessor and GM BoD to appoint her to the position, knowing full well that everyone in the chain from Congress on down is going to go easy on a woman in charge of GM.

          • 0 avatar
            Johnster

            Well, yes, and she’s being paid an awful lot to serve as both a scapegoat and punching bag. Let’s make sure she earns her money.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Johnster, now there is a novel idea. I do not believe that has ever happened during the existence of GM that a CEO earned their money, judging by the quality of products GM has cranked out over the decades.

            I’m sure the GM fanclub would beg to differ, but they are remarkably silent on the recent GM recalls.

            Now, if you call going before Congress and begging for handouts, bailouts and nationalization as earning their money, then you got me.

            But I consider it self-preservation for GM management and the UAW. I suppose that also is a form of earning their money, but not in the interest of the consumers or buyers.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Johnster, that is a novel idea but I don’t think that has ever happened in the history of GM where its CEO earned their money.

            Now if going before the US Congress and begging for handouts, bailouts and nationalization is earning their money, yeah, you got me there.

            I would call it self preservation for GM and the UAW.

  • avatar

    MILF charm.

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