Mulally apologizes for frenzy over Bush joke
"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.