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September 27, 2011

MORE CRUSHING OF DISSENT: Ford Pulls Anti-Bailout Ad After White House Complaints. “Ford Motor Company has shelved a television commercial indirectly criticizing its competitors for accepting government bailouts to avoid bankruptcy in the wake of media criticism and, reportedly, a call from the White House.”

More here: “With President Barack Obama tuning his re-election campaign amid dismal economic conditions and simmering antipathy toward his stimulus spending and associated bailouts, the Ford ad carried the makings of a political liability when Team Obama can least afford yet another one. Can’t have that. The ad, pulled in response to White House questions (and, presumably, carping from rival GM), threatened to rekindle the negative (if accurate) association just when the president wants credit for their positive results (GM and Chrysler are moving forward, making money and selling vehicles) and to distance himself from any public downside of his decision. In other words, where presidential politics and automotive marketing collide — clean, green, politically correct vehicles not included — the president wins and the automaker loses because the benefit of the battle isn’t worth the cost of waging it.”

Plus this: “Gosh, if I had a reporter in the White House press corps, I’d be sure to have them ask about this. After all, this situation highlights perfectly why bailouts are so un-American. I don’t care who you are or how you felt about the bailout in the first place: at the point that the President is pressuring competitors to government-owned companies to yank truth-telling ads, you’ve got to wonder what happened to this country.”

Yeah, but asking tough questions isn’t a specialty of the White House press corps these days.

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