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.

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