Fox News Debunks Right-Wing Lies About Chevy Volt: It’s ‘An Anti-Terrorist Weapon’ And ‘The Safest Car On The Road’

It’s one of the most remarkable interviews ever seen on Fox News. Yesterday, a conservative guest debunked all the destructive myths their pundits having been perpetuating, decrying their “fetish for demonizing the Volt.”

Conservatives, led by Fox News, have been pushing a variety of lies about the Chevy Volt. They’ve falsely asserted that it is unsafe and a creation of the Obama administration, using absurd terms to discourage sales like, “exploding Obamamobiles.”

This relentless partisan campaign against American products and American jobs has been so successful that GM CEO Dan Akerson suggested it contributed to lower than expected demand, “We did not design the Volt to become a political punching bag and that’s what it’s become.”

Yesterday, in an astonishing burst of candor, Fox & Friends has set the record straight with its story, “Can the Chevy Volt help win the War on Terror?

Their conservative guest, Lee Spieckerman, CEO of Spieckerman Media, a self-described “drill, baby, drill guy,” debunks every single right-wing myth about the Volt, noting:

I love Fox news, and I feel like I’m kind of attacking my own family here. I love O’Reilly, I love Neil Cavuto, I love Eric Bolling, but like a lot of my fellow conservative, they seem to have kind of a fetish for demonizing the Volt.

They are perpetuating the myth that the Volt was some kind of Obama administration green energy fantasy that as you say was forced on General Motors during the bailout.

It’d been in development two years before Obama was elected. And it was championed by … Bob Lutz, who is a conservative and a climate change skeptic. So you know it’s a myth.

The tax break for buying the Volt was implemented by the Bush administration. It was not  something that was implemented under the Obama administration.

So unfortunately, there have been a lot of myths perpetuated.

Fox debunking itself — now that is must-see TV, something I’m not certain you’re ever going to see again.

Watch it:

The Fox host, Steve Doocy, actually says, “I’m glad you brought up the myth that so many people think that Barack Obama came into office a shoved this down GM’s throat.” Yes, Fox is shocked, shocked that people believe a lie that they themselves have been repeating endlessly.

And who could have imagined Fox would run a chart about “how much energy we could save” with the Volt. Alternative fuel vehicles are good for national security? It’s like Fox has temporarily been taken over by … its own pundits before 2009 (see Fox News Argued Getting Off Of OPEC Oil With Alternative Fuels Was ‘A National Security Issue’. Then Obama Won).

Spieckerman called the Volt “an anti-terrorist weapon” after pointing out:

“I don’t see what’s so conservative about wanting to send $35 billion a year to Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela for his oil or to send $70 billion to Middle Eastern OPEC countries.  I don’t see how that’s conservative…. The Chevy Volt is by far the best way to bring all American energy … to our  automobiles….  It is the safest car on the road.”

Spieckerman also calls the Volt, “the iPhone of the American automobile industry,” explaining that it will come down in price like computers and flat screen TVs have.

I can’t wait for the segment on how conservatives should support a price on carbon pollution because it would save energy, cut the deficit, and boost national security.

29 Responses to Fox News Debunks Right-Wing Lies About Chevy Volt: It’s ‘An Anti-Terrorist Weapon’ And ‘The Safest Car On The Road’

  1. M Tucker says:

    “I can’t wait for the segment on how conservatives should support a price on carbon pollution because it would save energy, cut the deficit, and boost national security.”

    Don’t hold your breath Joe, that will never happen. Fox promoting a tax? Seriously? They might now get behind the Volt, a product. They might have been in favor of alternative fuels at one time, a product. They might be willing to promote a product but they will never be in favor of a tax. I am surprised they allowed Spieckerman to call them liars but that does not mean Fox will change it just means Fox has a lot of respect for Spieckerman. I wonder what the chances are of Spieckerman supporting a carbon tax?

  2. Mike Roddy says:

    It looks like someone from GM called Ailes and told them what they could do with their advertising airtime. That’s the only thing that really gets Fox’s attention.

    Let’s hope that the price of the Volt comes down, and by a lot, too. Lutz designed it to be too expensive as is, as the Leaf is demonstrating. There’s no reason the Volt can’t compete on price with the Leaf eventually.

  3. Paul Magnus says:

    I love it.

    Some people will not take advice from others, (especially Climate Scientist for some reason) when they get there, they think they got there first also.

    I cant wait for the carbon pricing switch over, coming soon….

  4. Roket says:

    FAUX News, the Etch-A-Sketch Channel. Where do-overs make news.

  5. Outraged says:

    One of my favorites was O’Reilly saying a couple of weeks ago that “a few have burst into flames” when in truth, one being tested by the Highway Safety Administration caught fire three weeks after being crash tested, due to a shorted wire.

    They Distort, You Abide…

  6. Paul says:

    Mike, volume makes the price go down. GM only planned to build 10,000 Volts this year and shutdown production after about 7,000 were produced. The price would go down if they were building 100s of thousands of Volts. Which is why early on the subsidy is needed to spur the demand.

  7. Tim says:

    Even more likely: someone in the Romney campaign whined to the RNC that maybe it is time look past the other passengers in the GOP clown car and to consider the liklihood that Obama was going to slaughter them in Michigan and Ohio. Then Ailes the psychopath got a phone call. It won’t be long until everyone is on board at FOX, and I expect that Fox’s drones will soon be swearing that, “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.”

  8. partygnome says:

    I have a feeling someone at Fox News is going to be fired in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3. . .

  9. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Mike – you may be right, but if so, then it was a massive blunder by GM not to have pulled this lever months ago before public perception of the Volt was damaged.

    Another possible rationale is that the 40% Saudi ownership of Fox has had new instructions. With the ongoing decline of global oil exports by ~9% thus far since the 2005 peak (due both to crude reserve depletion and producers’ rising home consumption) set alongside strongly rising demand across BRIC nations, there is a crisis of affordable oil looming for the global economy. Saudi depends on strong prices (e.g. it claims $100/barrel is “fair”) and would itself be destabilized by a loss of oil income and investment income due to an economic collapse.

    From this perspective, electric cars are suddenly not the competion to be denigrated; they are one plausible means of slowing global oil demand growth and thereby extending affordable oil prices.

    Given that a significant electric car fleet (100 million?) will need a huge additional power supply, Fox changing tack on renewable energy, or Saudi investments in US renewables &/or gas power, would provide some confirmation of the ‘new instructions’ hypothesis.

    But, like the late-migrating swallow fallen into the cow-pat, we need to remember that the one who’s getting you out of the shit ain’t necessarily your friend . . . .



  10. MorinMoss says:

    I feel like I woke up in Bizarro World.
    Hey, Douchey, learn to pronounce “entrepreneur” please. You’re on national TV – act like it.

    Oh, the Fox hypocrisy is strong.

    The way Doocy is sucking to Spiekerman implies that someone very, very powerful called up Roger Ailes and gave him an earful.

  11. Sasparilla says:

    I think what you said is basically what happened – based on what Lutz was saying (he’s been writing a series of articles in Forbes about his experience trying to convince fellow conservatives to see reality when it came to the Volt – basically he threw his hands up in frustration – but he mentioned that a conversation had taken place between GM management (presumably their advertising budget) and Fox (News Corp) and a switch was flipped – now the Volt is a great car.

    Here’s an article talking about Lutz and his jousting at conservative windmills:

    But, he, if that is what gets them talking the truth about plug-ins let them go for it, the more folks that buy them the better.

  12. Sasparilla says:

    Nice article Joe. Spieckerman is such a relaxed talker as he just untangles all the big stuff Fox had put out there, really hits the nails on the head for that target demographic. I’m going to save it just for my conservative relatives when they have questions.

    For as long as it lasts – I’ll take it – getting plug-ins sold and eventually scaled (so they cost less) is where we need to go for cars. Nice to see it was stopped (if only temporarily somehow).

    Amazing how guided and arbitrary the “news” obviously is for Fox – somebody higher up obviously said we’re going to change our “news” on this car that we’ve devoted so much expensive time on to this….

    The results of the Fox propaganda campaign were no joke – if you go into some of the Volt forums you’ll find folks that were taking heat from the misinformed because they had the car (one guy sold his even though he liked the vehicle cause he just didn’t want to put up with the harassment) – Fox did an enormous amount of damage to initial impressions for potential Volt consumers (one of the worst things you can do, on purpose of course) on the conservative side of the market.

    Fox associated Obama with the vehicle because he is the anti-christ over on the right and by association it made the car radioactive as well for their audience (and potential customers).

  13. Sasparilla says:

    I hear you Paul. If it gets them to buy plug-ins let them think ol’ George had the DOD design the car for all I care. ;-)

  14. Rob Jones says:

    I think you are correct.

    Perhaps what we require is a world wide fund to pay to rupert murdoch so that his news outlets (worldwide) will get more revenue from promoting the truth about climate change than they do now from those funding the denial.
    I know its akin to paying blackmail money but it is the world he appears to be ransoming and to me at least it would serve 2 excellent functions.
    No 1 it might get us all on the one page about fighting the climate change threat and No 2 I will leave you all to consider.

  15. ibwilliamsi says:

    I’ve been saying this loudly since before we went into Iraq. Way to catch up ten years later, FN.

  16. ozajh says:

    This passes the smell test, doesn’t it?

    Lutz has pulled out the big gun of GM advertising dollars (and conceivably not just GM; all the car makers are heavily invested in hybrid and/or electric programs) after the Fox dittoheads totally ignored all his logical arguments.

    A great pity similar cost/benefit about Climate Change won’t apply to society until too late (and probably won’t apply to Fox at all).

  17. All I will say is good of you Fox News!

  18. Raul M. says:

    excellent, now there is reason for a very large company to find out “what is really the matter with you people with money”. Waiting for those of us without to make the right choices with no monies to do so might be a long wait.

  19. RelayeR says:

    Obviously, someone from GM sat down with someone from FOX. And after a tiresome, grueling meeting, interests managed to meet.

    Either that or someone from FOX woke up.

    Whatever you think is more likely.

  20. BBHY says:

    They meant to air this on April 1.

  21. Raul M. says:

    Oh, a price on carbon from the start. Trust Congress to not go for the extra cushion and tax deduction for the extraction co. instead of the money for social justice?

  22. Mike Roddy says:

    Good comment, Lewis, as always.

    I knew the Saudis were invested in Fox, but didn’t realize it was 40%, a huge number. This is something you won’t hear about from MSM, who in theory would like to discredit their fiercest competitor. If Americans knew that the Saudis were influencing their news, they wouldn’t like it at all. The Saudis are the people who behead wayward teenagers in a soccer stadium.

    As for the reason for GM’s delay in reacting to Fox, it’s probably for the same reason that the rest of the media (outside Olbermann and Maddow) lays off them: they are weak kneed, and fear their power. This is just so wrong. We need warriors who will fight, not just posture.

  23. Joan Savage says:

    The price on coal has already gone up, which will affect Kwh price, if it hasn’t already.

    Consequently domestic coal producers may eventually learn the ways of the Saudis that Lewis Cleverdon elucidated about oil, basically management to keep customer demand steady for a long time.
    The stability motivation may not be enough to prompt coal producers to embrace a carbon tax, but what might their management for stable coal pricing involve?
    Brad Johnson showed an interesting graphic a few days back, the Carbon Bubble.

  24. Zarwin says:

    The day before (or possibly the day of) that interview, another negative piece on fox ‘news’ website:

    Notice they introduce the article with “The Official Car Of The Obama Administration”

  25. SecularAnimist says:

    Lewis Cleverdon wrote: “… a significant electric car fleet (100 million?) will need a huge additional power supply …”

    Fortunately, that is not true. According to a study by the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Lab:

    “The existing electricity infrastructure as a national resource has sufficient available capacity to fuel up to 84% of the nation’s cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs (198 million vehicles) or about 73% of the light duty fleet (about 217 million vehicles) for a daily drive of 33 miles on average.”

  26. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Secular Animist – the report you link doesn’t refute the need for a “massive additional power supply” to run 84% of 198 million electric vehicles –

    It merely states that, as a national resource, there is sufficient generation capacity to produce that power. However, it does not discuss what new reserve capacity would then be required if the present reserve plants were fully employed. And it doesn’t discuss how that would include running the oldest, dirtiest and most expensive plants effectively flat out –

    My point is that additional massive power supply will automatically generate major investment in new power plant infrastructure – being both more acceptable and more profitable than old innefficient plants.

    Quite what fraction will be fossil gas rather than renewables is an open question, but it seems clear that a wholesale switch to electric vehicles is highly likely to cut fossil oil pollution at the expense of prolonging coal pollution and increasing fossil gas pollution.

    From this perspective, as well as the fact of the ongoing inexorable decline of global net exports of oil sinking in to industry strategists’ understanding, I’d not be surprised to see growing support for electric vehicles across the right wing of US politics and commerce.

    For all the motivation for that change would be about prolonging the fossil energies’ market shares and helping to prolong affordable global liquid fuel prices, there will doubtless be the opportunity for corporate greenwash on a whole new scale. So just how gullible are the US public feeling these days ?

    And no, I don’t bother with opposing electric vehicles; I just don’t see them as being a significant advance for the climate campaign, not least because each gallon of fuel they displace is being bought and burnt elsewhere.



  27. Jim Groom says:

    Will I live and breathe. I’m pleased to see that someone has the courage to speak the truth on that network. It must have caught the hosts by surprise or they would have had a canned and snappy responce ready.

  28. Boltar says:

    Why does Fox hate America?

  29. Robert says:

    The thing to keep in mind about electric cars is they will breed like rabbits. First there will be just a few, then all of a sudden millions and before you know it compulsory in cities.
    Now that’s inevitable, why did Fox not-news attack it because they were paid to, nothing more nothing less.
    They are not a news network, they are a corporate propaganda channel.