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A Different Point of View....: Mainstream media sucked in, report whatever politicians, GM say.

Note: In journalism school students are taught to report not what people say but what they do!All the big newspapers and TV networks breathlessly reported word-for-word what they were told at a recent joint political-General Motors newser:The Globe and… . . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Mainstream media sucked in, report whatever politicians, GM say.

A Different Point of View....: Mainstream media sucked in, report whatever politicians, GM say.

Note: In journalism school students are taught to report
not what people say but what they do!

All the big newspapers and TV networks breathlessly reported word-for-word what they were told at a recent joint political-General Motors newser:

The Globe and Mail: 
“For decades, the splashy, job-creating announcements in the auto sector in Canada have been about manufacturing jobs.

“General Motors of Canada Ltd. went in a different direction Friday, announcing the hiring of 700 to 750 new engineers who will work on the automobile of the future – vehicles that are battery-powered, connected to the wired world much more closely than they are now and will eventually drive themselves.”

CTV News reported what Prime Minister Trudeau said, just as though the comment came from an official news release: “We know that to create good jobs … we have to be on the cutting edge,” Trudeau said. “This investment by GM in jobs that will support their operations all around the world shows we’re succeeding in that regard.”

How exciting! How futuristic!

But wait a minute. Here’s a bit of interesting background:

GM does not have to hire Canadian engineers for the 700 jobs. In fact, they are going to go to Silicon Valley to recruit them.

And there’s more:

If the reporters had bothered to scan through their archives, they would have discovered that the auto industry in Canada is doing very little compared to what it was like a few years ago, when many thousands of people were employed with excellent wages.


Since the Canada-US Autopact was ruled to be illegal several years ago and the North American Free Trade Agreement was implemented, manufacturing jobs – which is what Canada really needs – have disappeared by the tens-of-thousands.

Five Canadian assembly plants have closed since the turn of the century. Only one has opened.

Meanwhile, Unifor, the union that represents the workers, is afraid that at least three of the eight unionized auto plants in Ontario could close in coming years unless they are able during contract negotiations this summer to persuade the Detroit Three to commit to more  products at those factories.

They are worried about the future of General Motors’ assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario; Ford’s engine plants in Windsor and Fiat Chrysler’s Automobiles plant in Brampton, Ontario. Together, those plants employ 7,200 workers or about one-third of union members employed by the Detroit Three in Canada.

The failure of The Globe, CTV and others to provide background for the earlier story is typical of what is so wrong with Big Media these days. This story wasn’t incomplete because of media cutbacks. It’s just lazy, puffery journalism.

What got me off on this rant were two excellent letters to the editor published in The Toronto Star. When we have to go to the letters page to get the interesting facts about the news, it’s no wonder people do not trust mainstream media.

Reader’s Letters | The Toronto Star
Re: GM to create 750 high-tech jobs, June 11

READER LETTER #1:

Has General Motors of Canada forgotten that only seven years ago the governments of Canada, Ontario and the U.S. saved it from oblivion when decades of prodigiously arrogant mismanagement inevitably resulted in their bankruptcy?

Are folks aware that even as the fate of Oshawa Assembly is in the balance, GM is investing billions of dollars in ramping up Mexican production?

Do people know that post-bankruptcy GM has already displayed astonishing hubris by becoming the first of the Detroit three automakers to import cars made in China for Canadian and U.S. consumption in the form of the new Buick Envision?

While I am displeased that companies like Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Hyundai/Kia and VW account for a massive chunk of Canadian auto sales without making a single car here they nonetheless never came begging for our tax dollars.

From the other side, one can understand the natural temptation of paying manufacturing wages in pesos rather than loonies, which has been the predictable and predicted consequence of the rise of NAFTA and the demise of the Canada-U.S. Auto Pact, but GM really is a special case.

Finally, if GM’s Oshawa plant is to continue pumping out cars and providing middle class jobs you can brace yourself for a big dollop of corporate welfare factoring into the equation.

Without meaningful trade borders and true national sovereignty transnational bastions of “free enterprise” like GM really have our political leaders over a barrel as competing jurisdictions outbid one another with massive taxpayer subsidies designed to lure investment or simply retain the remnants of our industrial core.

~ Mike Vorobej, Ottawa

READER LETTER #2:

Before Justin Trudeau and Kathleen Wynne get too excited about the 700 jobs coming to Oshawa and area, let’s review what has happened over the last decade at GM.

First of all, we lent GM just over $12 billion after the 2008 crash and Stephen Harper sold it for a $3.5 billion loss to Canadian taxpayers.

Secondly, we have lost 20,000 manufacturing jobs at GM in Oshawa since 2003. Why were no job guarantees written into the deal when we gave GM billions of dollars?

Third, and most insulting, GM announced at the press conference it would go to Silicon Valley to recruit the workers for the Oshawa GM jobs.

So, in conclusion, we have lost $3.5 billion to GM, lost about 20,000 good high-paying manufacturing jobs at GM in Oshawa and now they have announced they will go to another country to recruit workers for those jobs.

Why exactly are Mr. Trudeau and Ms Wynne celebrating?

~ Gary Brigden, Toronto

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. . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Mainstream media sucked in, report whatever politicians, GM say.

Alberta Diary: A look back to 2010: Cuba loves Chevrolets and GM needs sales – what’s wrong with this picture?

An ancient Jeep, probably with a transplanted Lada engine, drops passengers at Revolution Square four years ago in Havana. With Uber starting up, we finally have the same service here in Edmonton! The sign says: “51 years of struggle and victories.” Below: an old Chevrolet still in service on a Havana street, and . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: A look back to 2010: Cuba loves Chevrolets and GM needs sales – what’s wrong with this picture?

LeDaro: GM: It is the profits which matter

If some lives are lost then that is not so important to big corporations like GM. That is the world we live in. It is a very sad state of affairs.

Politics and its Discontents: A Tale of Two Countries: G.M. in Canada and Colombia

Corporations have, shall we say, a rather checkered history in dealing with the workers who make possible their profits, often viewing them as disposable commodities to be chewed up and then spit out.

As contract talks with the Big Three automakers get underway, CAW president Ken Lewenza has issued this warning:

Canada’s 24,000 . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: A Tale of Two Countries: G.M. in Canada and Colombia

DeSmogBlog: Corporate Exodus From Heartland Institute Continues As USAA and Insurers Bail

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In the wake of the outrageous Heartland Institute billboard campaign equating everyone who acknowledges the science of global warming with "murderers, tyrants, and madmen," many of the group's corporate donors are fleeing away, lest their public reputations get sullied by Heartland's recklessness.  

Today, Forecast The Facts announced that USAA, a Fortune . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Corporate Exodus From Heartland Institute Continues As USAA and Insurers Bail

DeSmogBlog: Diageo: Liquor giant backs away from science-dissembling Heartland Institute

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The London-based liquor giant Diageo has joined the companies that are criticizing or cutting off the Heartland Institute in protest over its campaigns to confuse people about climate science and to cast prominent climate activists as "murderers, tyrants and madmen."

As Leo Hickman reports in the Guardian, a Diageo spokester . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Diageo: Liquor giant backs away from science-dissembling Heartland Institute

DeSmogBlog: Heartland Institute Attacks Forecast the Facts, Denies Its Climate Change Denial

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This is a guest post by Daniel Souweine, Campaign Director, Forecast The Facts

On April 24, Heartland Institute President Joe Bast issued an angry missive attacking Forecast the Facts, a new campaign that successfully petitioned automobile giant General Motors to end their financial support of Heartland earlier this month. In . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Heartland Institute Attacks Forecast the Facts, Denies Its Climate Change Denial

DeSmogBlog: GM Dumps Heartland Institute, Will No Longer Fund Climate-Denying Spinstitute

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General Motors is breaking up with the Heartland Institute, announcing recently that the company will discontinue funding to the notorious climate-denying spin shop.

The move by GM comes in direct response to a national outreach campaign organized by Forecast the Facts, which garnered more than 20,000 people, including 10,000 . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: GM Dumps Heartland Institute, Will No Longer Fund Climate-Denying Spinstitute