• Dec 5, 2008


Click above to watch Jon Stewart's Autoerotic Explanation after the jump

A few of us here at Autoblog are avid watchers of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and during last night's episode he ran a segment begging the question: why is is Congress being so tough on the Big Three when money was so freely given to the financial industry? It's a good question, and Stewart uses his own experience with a "virginity preserving" AMC Gremlin to illustrate that at least the auto industry makes something useful even if it loses money doing so. OK, so you had to be there, which is why we embedded video of the segment for you after the jump as well as a transcript in case you're not allowed to watch funny internet videos in your cubicle at work.

[Source: Comedy Central]



"Now Congress, I think I know what this whole thing is about. You gave the financial industry $700 billion but you may not give the car industry $35 billion because you don't really know what the finance industry does, do you?...See here's the problem. The auto industry has a product that is tangible and easy to complain about. I should know, my first car - this is true - was an AMC Gremlin...It's a car that existed so that Pinto drivers would have something to **** on...but it got me from here to there and while I was doing it, it preserved my virginity along the way. That's the thing about cars. Even the crappy ones are useful. But you won't bail out the people who make cars. You'll only bail out the people who make car loans. Not even car loans! The people you bailed out make derivitive paper transfers speculating on the future value of enormous groupings of said loans to China. Fine! Detroit's business model is bad. We know they lose $2,000 for every car they sell. Wall Street lost $7 trillion without selling anything! At least when Detroit loses money we get cars. So give them the money! And by the way, if you see my Gremlin, tell her I ended up getting laid when I got a Mustang." - Jon Stewart




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 55 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      AMC Gremlin = contraception?!? haha
      • 6 Years Ago
      The fact that I can't stand Stewart aside, he shows such a misunderstanding of the situation. Some things really are as simple as he likes to make them, but this, isn't one of them.
      http://www.woopid.com/
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Daily Show has WRITERS. Real news has JOURNALISTS. Writers, you know, like sitcoms have. You might as well take political advice from Bart Simpson.

        You can't make a story funny without putting spin on it and taking one side.

        He'll be mocking Congress this week, then mocking the Big 3 next week.

        They are intentionally more funny and less factual. People that take Daily Show and Saturday Night Live News seriously are scary-stupid.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thats his job. A funny spin on a realistic situation. If real news were funny without spin, he'd be out of a job.

        He made just as much fun of the automakers a month ago. His writers just condense today's headlines, pick a funny spin to it and he's on a roll!

        I think he actually is smart enough to know the real situation. I do not think he's smart enough to know how seriously some people are taking his SNL-esque news program.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The funny man is funny. That's about it.

      The reason they threw money at the finance industry was all the networks were interviewing people on the street who were worried their savings accounts, mortgages, and car loans were all going to just get a big VOID stamp.

      The government panicked and reacted close to election time because a percentage of working-class constituency had bought the media scare tactics.

      This time they are taking a 'wait-and-see' approach. The problem is not crappy cars, its overabundance of overhead to produce a greater-than-demand number of cars.

      I think Congress and the automakers are starting to find the middle ground with a pre-planned aid package if they go into bankruptcy protection so they can lean out faster, consider mergers, but not totally 'go under.'

      Just because the 3 are in cold water right now doesn't guarantee drowning, just some major shrinkage.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Richard:

      The UAW has already agreed to major changes and the cost differential will shrink to 0 over the next 3 years or so. They cant get financing because no one will lend money. The Big 3 have been getting financing up until this recent crisis. Ford just got $20B or so last year which is why they have enough money to survive 2009. Your assertion that they cant get money due to bad business plans is unsupported speculation. Spoken like a true ignorant American who thinks he is qualified to chime in on this topic. Thats the problem with this whole debate, too many people who dont know squat are commenting.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You see, the thing about business is that there aren't 3 years. There is today. If you don't run it like there is today - and that will get you tomorrow - you are screwed. 3 years! Ha!


        So what you are expecting is that the Feds will bail them out - because they weren't smart enough, honest enough or disciplined enough (take your pick) - to do what has clearly had to be done for some time.

        Leadership like that won't get a loan from a bank (too stupid on the evidence) and shouldn't get a loan from me (beyond the shares which I hold) via the Barney Bank.

        Ford didn't "just get" $20B - they sold assets to generate money (perhaps you've heard of Jaguar and Land Rover). They had some foresight. GM has no assets to sell since they sold GMAC to Cerberus.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'M GLAD SOMEONE THINKS THIS WHOLE THING IS FUNNY! JON STEWART IS AN ASSHOLE
      • 6 Years Ago

      In times of stress like this, we al need a good laugh now and then.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The point that is being missed here in all of this is that GM was not far (maybe 12 months) from actually poking its head above water financially on most if not all of it's products. The company that is being bashed for past practice has been on a long slow swim from the depths... reorganizing, redesigning, and inventing. Gm was on the road to surviving it all and becoming completely competitive with everyone else. The reason they need help now is because of the financial collapse that was initiated a few years back by easy money mandated by the very lawmakers who have the audacity sit on their thrown's and pontificate their ignorance toward our sole remaining manufacturing industry.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually in the talks yesterday Utah Senator had what I thought was a very good idea. He suggested the release of more Tarp money to one or more of the lending institutions that already deal with the automakers... with the stipulation that they loan it to the auto companies immediately. This would save congress from having to act and would make one hell of a lot of sense. Therefore... notgonnahappen.com!
        • 6 Years Ago
        my exact thoughts.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Then GM should bail itself out with TARP money through GMAC not an additional loan.

        Chrysler should be liquidated by Cerberus - that was their intention to begin with.

        Ford raised cash a little bit ago and can probably make it - especially if they can convert Volvo to cash.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Funny Man!

      Yeah, Why doesn't Congress force the banks into a circus hearing to tell the public why they haven't started making loans. I'm hearing stories of people with "triple A" credit ratings still not get loans for businesses, vehicles and homes. Why not just use some of the 700billion to loan to the auto industry. Congress already added 150billion in perks for some to vote yes for the original bailout. What's a little more for the Big 3? Or force the banks themselves to give credit to the Big 3.
      • 6 Years Ago
      as an engineering student, I've done nothing but despise financial institutions for the last few months.
      Banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, etc. do nothing except MOVE money around. They don't generate actual tangible value. You can't eat, drive, wear or live in what these guys' work produces. God forbid the government give the actual MANUFACTURERS 1/20th of the money they gave to these fried-air sellers.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agree completely. People heap scorn on UAW workers making $30/hour, but we bail out the financial players, some of which had average bonuses over a million bucks. Average, not CEO. The Average workers at these places are pulling in 7 figure salaries to move paper around and build a phony house of card financial system. They get rich and when it collapses, the taxpayer is on the hook. It's obscene.

        I don't agree with any bailout without an ownership stake, penalties, oversight, regulation etc... To keep it from happing again.

        But if you are going to support industry, they auto industry should get at least one chance given the above conditions.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "You can't eat, drive, wear or live in what these guys' work produces."

        Right, because the auto industry allows me to hold mortgages, car loans, bank accounts, credit cards, insurance.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @BigMcLargeHuge

        "Right, because the auto industry allows me to hold mortgages, car loans, bank accounts, credit cards, insurance."

        Yes banks want you to use credit as much as possible so you'll always be in debt. You pretty much listed everything that is sucking the life out of everyone. Were you trying to validate Flea's point?
      • 6 Years Ago
      John Stewart is hilarious!

      I have to admit that I'm coming around to the idea of bailing out the auto industry. When you compare the banks bailout to the big 3 bailout, the big 3 bailout starts to sound better. John had a good point. At least Detroit actually builds something. That is one of the major problems with this country. We pretty much don't build anything anymore, all we do is come up with con games to move around money for short term gain and well.... you know the long term result. If the big 3 can completely tear down their management structures and start from scratch with the help of this proposed bailout, maybe that wouldn't be a bad idea. Can we rescind the banks bailout and instead seize the assets of all the talentless hacks that got us into this mess?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here is why you rescue the financial industry and let Detroit fend for itself.

      The financial sector is, essentially a utility. Their resource is cash to loan. Like electricity, gas and water, if capital for loans dries up, EVERYTHING stops. The Federal Bank bailed out the financial sector because, as the traders increasingly lost faith in the value of the loans they were holding, banks tightened credit. That meant that small companies couldn't get the loans they need to keep doing business.

      The Big 2.8 - OTOH - are not utilities. They are business failing from the stress of unsustainable costs. Giving them my tax dollars will not relieve them of the $70 - $80 per hour per worker labor cost they bear.

      While bailing out the credit markets made it more possible for small businesses (employers of 85% of Americans) to stay in business, giving money to GM (who needs it), Ford and Chrysler (hey! If GM gets money, we should too) is like throwing C-notes into the fire - millions at a time!

      Bad idea!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Estimates that it costs GM between $3,000 and $7,000 didn't bankrupt the big 3, Wall street bankrupt the big 3.

        Wall Street bankrupt insurance companies and they got bail out money.

        Wall street emptied out most hedge funds and those hedge funds received bail out money.

        None of them caused their own demise. The big 3 didn't cause their own demise, it was Wall street.

        Stating that they were on their way to demise is irrelevant to the subject because it didn't happen that way its an "if".

        No one is saying the suffering from the burden of unsustainable costs is fake or its in denial here. But that wasn't the silver bullet to send them to bankruptcy. when they had already set certain strategies in play to reform their companies. New Union contracts, a total revamp of their product line.

        If the financial crisis never took place and they were in the same position they are in now then yeah they don't deserve the bail out loan but it wasn't due to their own biz practicer's neglegiance, it was due to the financial sector.

        The cash flow of sales is not there due to the financial market not lending, essentially crippling another industry that relies heavily on credit. It's all connected no matter what you may think. One effects the other.

        9/11 caused the crippling of the Airline industry they received help.

        Last and for most it's a freaking loan. that even if and thats an if, they dont pay the loan back this country will benefit substantially from their continuing keeping their plants running and employing people.

        There are so many sectors effected by these to a a simple Bottle of water. The large quantities that are used by the Big 3 on plastics a lone trickle down substantially to reduce the price bottle companies pay for raw material.. I can sit here days telling you how the domino effect will cause more harm if they don't get the bail out loan they need...
        • 6 Years Ago
        You are right but not 100% right. Twisting the truth around, Yes the financial market is essentially a utility and as it be the domino effect of the financial market loosing billions is a direct cause effect of the big 2.8

        Those security notes were based on how much value one can squeeze out of the housing market notes. They were securities backed by est value of said houses which were inflated to begin with to be able to sell backed security notes at a higher rate. It was a Scam at its best.

        The big 2.8 are not about to go bankrupt due to its stress of unsustainable costs. They had working capital to overcome there planned turn around. The fall of the financial markets which they are tied to as well was the silver bullet that is causing this mess to begin with.

        All the money the big 2.8 make stays in this country, if the financial market f*cks up that money that they have invested, the domestic market crashes. Domino effect. If Toyota monies where to have stayed in this nation the US they too would have been in the same situation where the big 2.8 are.

        I lost 80K this year on Chase securities. How much do you think the big 2.8 lost? It would of been better if I and the big 2.8 would of kept our money outside of this country to not be effected as much but that's not the case.

        Point is they were directly effected due to the financial crisis wall street created by their own negligence to inflate monies being earned. Not thinking of the consequence of who will pay for it.

        The United States runs on a credit system. This Economy is complicated. Bottom line is they need the 25B they should get that 25B. It is in fact a loan. The US govt will get their return. The Financial market will benefit from their healthy stock portfolios. Just like the Financial market lends money based on returns so in reality everything is a utility.

        • 6 Years Ago
        "If the financial crisis never took place and they were in the same position they are in now then yeah they don't deserve the bail out loan but it wasn't due to their own biz practicer's neglegiance, it was due to the financial sector."

        So, since the crisis happened not of their own accord and, since they are still in the same position relative to structured costs as they were before the crisis, how can a bailout loan be anything but a small patch on a totally compromised hull (to use a nautical reference).

        No. Down gos the ship.
        • 6 Years Ago

        You answered your own question. When you run a biz thats loosing money and you set plans in motion to restructure your self which they had already with new unions contracts, streamline manufacturing etc and you have X amount of working capital and you were counting on that money still being there to keep your self sustain for a set date while you start to see the effects the new restructure plans you had already put in motion to become profitable. but then the money you had allocated automatically dissipates due to the financial crisis. Hence they are in the position they are in now.

        The money they had to sustain their current financial looses while their companies became profitable again is gone due in result of the financial crisis. Thats the money they need inform of a loan and therefore thats the money they deserve because it wasn't related to their on going losses that got them on the verge of bankruptcy...The money they had to overcome their losses is not there anymore and that money is not there due to Wall street.

        You stating that with or with out the money they will be going into bankruptcy is purely speculative.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Level,

        They hadn't eliminated the job bank. What they did last year in terms of the UAW concessions was clearly not enough to turn around their financial fortune - especially given their sinking market share.

        Further, instead of spending money on selling their Malibu - which is a good car - against they Camry, they are selling the farging Volt, which doesn't exist. How the hell do they make money on that? Unless it is R&D money from Paddy (Green) OBama.

        They (GM) have too many dealers - like 5x more than Toyota. They spend some $20-$30 dollars of each hour worked in the factory supporting job banks and benefits for retirees at a level that would make Joe Biden blush. WTF!

        Where is the plan that would have GM make money? Where are those plans that would have GM sell the products they offer today? Where are the plans to reduce the number of dealers and cut the overlapping and worthless brands (Pontiac would be worth something - as a brand - to whom?)? Where is the plan for GM to survive?

        It doesn't exist! And, to stave off the day of reality, Nancy - F-me Pelosi - and Barney - Bend-me-over - Frank just gave them billions that will last them until they come begging again in March.

        The worst part is that this new, post party leadership gave money to guys who don't need it: Cerberus. Because they lobbied for it. Again, Fat Cats in America get all the dough - regardless of need - regardfull of connectiveness. Hello Comrade Obama! You elect Chicago politicians, you get Chicago Politics!
      • 6 Years Ago
      The issue isn't whether they should loan the $25b, it's what the big 3 are going to do with the money. If you drug addict best friend is in a tough spot and is asking for money the first question you would ask too is "what are you going to do with this money"? There's plenty of reason for doubt and there are PLENTY of alternative options on the table but right now the big 3's execs want to save their asses first by leveraging excuses like "what about our workers, suppliers, the unions, my wife, my kid's Princeton tuition, my 4 homes in the Hamptons...?? What about those???"

      Stewart may be right about bailing out the industry but I like to separate the management and the workforce/suppliers when examining this issue. I think the deal should be that the government appoints deputy executives to oversee all operations for the next 24 months as part of this "bailout" and that the existing executives take a $1/year salary for those 24 months. Also the government should take 1/3 of those workers and use part of that bailout to put them to work on skunkworks projects on small cars production. License existing small cars platforms from other companies if needed so that the big 3 can make newer small cars to compete with Honda and Toyota's lineup. Stop SUV production for 12 months until all inventory is liquidated.

      The government should also invest some money into R&D for light weight material similar to what the Japanese are doing for a cheaper carbon fibre alternative.

      The main point and goal is to make sure the car manufacturing workforce still has a job through these tough times, not about saving a brand. Most of us won't care if the Chevy or Ford brand goes away, you know it'll be ressurrected later or just go into temporary limbo, it's the workers stupid.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ richard

        you obviously work for one of the domestics and are privy to their plans?
        • 6 Years Ago
        @misnomer,

        They can't get a private loan because they haven't a business plan worthy of the cubicle of an associate product manager in the Health/ Beauty and Cosmetics segment.

        They are likely too hamstrung by the Union to be able to do much and - in at least 1/3 - to dumb to know what to do.

        Their best bet is Chapt. 11 Reorg.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I mean, Cerberus has the cash that Chrysler needs - and declines to give it. That should tell B. Frank and company something. But I don't know that those socialists aren't tone deaf to matters of sound business investments on behalf of the taxpayers.
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