This Week’s News Brought to You by the Auto Industry

12_8_09_auto_show.jpgTonight at 5: Cars are awesome. Photo: SoCal63/Flickr

It always fascinates me when someone tells me that the auto industry is dying because of gas prices and poor management.  Not only have three of the Obama Administration’s major policy victories been aimed at propping up the industry, but even our "Green" Mayor and Governor are continually bending over backwards to support alternative fuel vehicles with tax breaks and other perks.

But more importantly, the culture of the car has become ingrained in the subconscious through our televisions.  Consider that this week the Los Angeles Auto Show is sponsoring one local news broadcast and is receiving automobile promotion masked as news during the broadcast; yet nobody even bats an eye.  The relationship between CBS 2 and the car show, while disclosed, is still concerning.  I was surprised to find out during my local news broadcast that it was sponsored by the show, but more surprised that nobody else (such as another news source) had seen fit to mention the connection.

If you don’t think that’s a problem, just a little quid-pro-quo, then let’s look at some of the stories broadcast by CBS since the start of the auto show.  "Check out Chevy’s New Camaro, Malibu," "Hot New Cars Unveiled at L.A. Auto Show," and my personal favorite, "Auto Eye Candy on Display at Convention Center."  Why you can barely tell where the car commercial ends and the car sponsored news begins.

And on the irony alert front, leading off the half-hour car commercial masked as news is a report that 2009 may be the fifth hottest year on record.

  • Erik G.

    Damien,

    You still watch local TV news? My condolences.

  • I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how non-motorized transportation development suffers from the fact that it is not seen as an economic force or a driver of the economy.

    According to Jeff Mapes, the bicycle industry is (economically speaking) only about the size of the sock and hosiery industry. That’s really a huge disadvantage compared to the automobile industry, which, while it’s a sizable on its own, has intrinsic connections to so many other huge money interests (oil, real estate etc.).

  • I like to call the Disney Hall the building that car commercials made famous. And how many times can a beautiful woman or a partying 20s bunch drive in a glide through the 2nd Street tunnel? Evidently a lot.

  • Dana,

    The Disney Center a building that car commercials made famous?!

    Pish posh, my good man. That’s all been taken care of now:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ubrayj02/2780651102/in/set-72157606842424376/

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

STREETSBLOG USA

The Auto Industry Wants Your Thanks

|
Feeling warmer and fuzzier about the auto industry bailout? With the help of the Obama reelection campaign, the industry is convincing more Americans that the $80 billion they forked over to save it were dollars well spent. In the latest Pew poll, the public responded more positively toward the bailout than ever before, with 56 […]

As L.A. Auto Show Opens, Which Green Can Save Industry?

|
What a difference a year makes.  Last year, the online publication CNET proclaimed of the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show: The Los Angeles Auto Show’s star grows brighter year by year, marking it as one of the more important auto shows worldwide. And it’s no wonder, considering how much time Angelenos spend in their cars. […]

From Russia, with Transit Love

|
View of a departing Moscow subway train. All Photos: Alexander Friedman I just returned from a trip to Moscow and noticed an interesting trend. Despite the economic slowdown, which Russia is also certainly experiencing, their public transportation is not only as efficient as it’s always been, but – it keeps getting better and better.  Unlike […]
Photo: Credit Now Auto Sales
STREETSBLOG USA

What Comes After the Auto Bubble?

|
Vehicle travel in the United States has experienced a resurgence in the last two-and-a-half years, following an unprecedented decade-long per-capita decline in driving. Low gas prices are likely a big reason why; recent increases in incomes and employment as well. But an additional factor has been relatively unexplored: the effect of changes in credit markets on vehicle purchasing and ownership.