• 32

"I'm gonna pay for that." That's what Alan Mulally said after beginning the now infamous "President Bush almost blew himself up" anecdote in his keynote speech to kick offf the 2007 New York Auto Show last week (video above). Truer words were never spoken by an auto exec. The firestorm that erupted after Mulally's anecdote hit the intertubes has been incredible. Though Autoblog reported on the anecdote in passing mere hours after it was told onstage, it received its biggest boost in visibility from the Detroit News' Business Insider column, which retold the story and began by saying ""Credit Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally with saving the leader of the free world from self-immolation."

This past Monday, Keith Olbermann broke up the fun being had at the President's expense by revealing a tape of the White House event in question that showed Mulally's funny story was not true at all, and that he never stopped President Bush from plugging an electrical cord into a hydrogen refueling port (check out that video after the jump). With the cat out of the bag, Mulally issued an apology via press release (do spouses accept those?) on Monday for his misleading anecdote. His embellishment of the situation with the President was apparently inspired by a bit that appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show. For his part, Mulally stated, "I am no Jimmy Kimmel."

Though all should have ended there, Todd Lassa, who writes for Motor Trend, wrote a scathing diatribe on Tuesday against the "rampant blogosphere" that siezed upon Mulally's anecdote and repeated it at an exponential rate. Mr. Lassa, who fancies himself a member of our little blogging community (hint: he's not), proceeds to lash out at us "small-time bloggers" for not checking our facts, placing immediacy above accuracy, and leading major media outlets -- presumably ones like Motor Trend -- on wild goose chases. We're not entirely sure at which blogs his venom is aimed, since Lassa conveniently doesn't name any in particular, but we consider ourselves and our peers to be his target. We might've even taken his criticism into consideration if it hadn't concluded with a shill for his own site. Sigh... we wish we could all just get along, but old media seems to never want to play nice.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      35 Well the rest of the world seems to be tolerating or appeasing islamic fascists and terrorists which is akin to being lead by them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I personally feel that Clinton disrespected the office on his own accord as well, but that is another conversation.

      "we have governing of the least common denominator."
      • 8 Years Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why the hell were people taking this so seriously? It was a joke, albeit a bad one, but still just a joke. Get over yourselves, guys, no harm was meant by this innocent little crack at W. Besides, the guy's probably the easiest target in the world. And no, this is hardly similar to Imus' comments, come on.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, with Don Imus being fired for labeling a bunch of Tattoo'd muscle bound basketball players as "_________________" ( can't say it because its offensive, right?

      Labeling the President an Idiot is just as offensive in about 50 million American Citizens view, so I guess the CEO of Ford should now be fired too!

      • 8 Years Ago
      it did seem ridiculous that it would be that easy to blow yourself up with modern technology. but anyway, i honestly don't care. i only care enough to say that


      is the appropriate link for the autoblog write-up in question (tho neff did convey the story minus sensationalism and as a direct quote in the story he linked).
      • 8 Years Ago
      Whoever picked up on this little tale and misconstrued it as an "Alan saves George" story did us all a big disservice. Mulally made a quip, and a chuckle went around the room because we could all envision a blunder ending in a Wile E. Coyote-esque fashion, but realize that it's just not possible in reality. Do you really think you could plug an electrical cord into the hydrogen port of the car? What kind of effort would it take to get a cord to create an arc? Certainly deliberate action would be required. To pick up on the CEO's words and twist them into something they weren't meant to be is plain sloppy.

      And yes, I was there.
      • 8 Years Ago

      I don't think we can consider Bush the leader of the free world if ever he was. If he were, people would actually be following his lead. Instead people are leaving him in droves.
      • 8 Years Ago
      bgdc, while in theory, you are correct, that the officials we elect in this representative democracy are there to work for us, and on our behalf... that does not excuse the blatent disrespect for the office ... and THAT is where your falacy lies.
      • 8 Years Ago
      For God sake, IT WAS A FRIGGIN JOKE!. I bet Bush thought it was funny. I did.

      Where is this country going? You can`t say Merry Christmas, its happy holidays because it may offend someone.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Jet pilot - of course this has been widely debated, as he barely passed w/ a MINIMUM score, but shot to the top of the 'reserves' list (past 500 WAY more qualified applicants) because of daddy's influence. Interesting how he NEVER flew during combat? He can barely respond to simple questions w/o stumbling, so how do you think he would fare in a fighter jet where quick decisiveness is key to a pilot's survival?"

      Nice try Duck but you lose again. Yes he was a jet pilot, and by all Official records (unless you've been reading forged documents conjured up on PC) he got very good ratings. By the way I've seen copies of the real reports. Combat? Look at the year - 1972 I believe it was. The Air Force was trying to get rid of pilots. Vietnam was winding down (thanks to Nixon who took over from LBJ in 1969, but if yoy've ever watched an Oliver Stone film, you would think Nixon started the war). So you have to be able TALK well to to make quick decisions in a fighter jet? Ohhhhkayyy.

      "Winning statewide election - well if you're father's the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and you basically have the support of the top dogs in the political arena..."

      As for winning the Govenorship yes, it helps to come from a politically connected family (Ted Kennedy anyone?) - but - winning the first time out is not a given and Governor Ann Richards was no pushover. I could list for you dozens of candidates with name recognition recognition who didn't win there first or only bid for office.

      "You and him must have some things in common."
      Thank you for the compliment!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Really.I mean the president puts time aside to promote your floundering company with it's eleventh hour attempt at a viable hybrid ,press conference,free adfvertising and all and your CEO makes up some lie that panders to the Bush haters who falsely portray him as a dunderhead? can't you guys do anything right?
    • Load More Comments