Wolf Blitzer is Useless (Auto Bailout for GM, Rick Wagoner)

If you think this man is giving you good, accurate, or tested information, you are wrong.

Quick example (and I know I’m not bloggin so this isn’t going to go on for long); Wolf uses a “youtube” questions for Rick Wagoner, CEO of GM, about Rick compensation. The question says that Wagoner made $100,000,000 from 2001 to 2008 while GM’s stock lost 96% and thousands have lost jobs. Wagone then says that in 2007 he only made a couple mil while others says he made fourteen million. Wolf then dropped the questions, without asking the obvious, simple and necessary follow-up question< “Yes, that covers one year, but what your net worth in 2001 and what it is now? How much were you paid in each of those years?”

I know a little bit about this because I was part of an investigation into the way GM was reporting their earnings a few years back. This was a ploy, approved by Wagoner, that allowed GM to book future profits in their contemporary reports and the end result of the investigation (initiated by the SEC) by that GM had to come clean and report their actual income, rather than some bullshit used to prop up an already failing business.

There’s a blog post about it here. This is the pertinent part of GM’s statement, quoted from that source.

[T]he review to date indicates that GM erroneously recognized some supplier credits as income in the year in which they were received rather than in the future periods to which they were attributable. Based on the information to date, GM currently estimates that its net income from continuing operations for 2001 was overstated by approximately $300 million to $400 million (or about 25% to 35%) due to this error. Accordingly, although the final restatement amounts have not yet been determined, GM has determined to restate its financial statements for 2001, and the restatement is expected to be material to the financial statements previously reported for that year. GM will also restate financial statements for periods subsequent to 2001 that may be affected by the erroneous accounting. However, the effect of any such restatement in subsequent periods is expected to be immaterial to those financial statements.

This was one of the things that Wagoner did to try and make it look like GM wasn’t *already* hemorraging money back in 2001 (GMAC getting into the sub-prime mortgage market was another part of that subterfuge). When Wolf Blitzer let him off the hook after his b.s. copout, I realized (again) that thinking Wolf Blitzer is a useful source of information, or in any way a useful journalist, is retarded. I don’t know who he blew to make it where he is, but I know it wasn’t the Truth.

It was Wagoner, and not “the unions” (which I keep hearing from right-wingers was the real problem), who signed off on the strategy of selling high-margin, high-cost, and horridly inefficient SUVs as the core of GM’s business.

He is a big part of why GM has sucked, as it was him who decided that the Hummer was a better direction to go than an electric car. He is the one who signed off on that. And he made a shitload of money in the process (while GM lost billions and fired the population of five Wasillas).

He should be fired and publicly castigated (not “castrated” although my guess is that number for former GM employees might want to go down that short path).

Blitzer had the chance to make that abundandly clear, and failed miserably.