At 6:00 AM EST this morning, it was official: General Motors filed for bankruptcy. The pundits, editorialists, arm-chair quarterbacks and newly-minted auto analysts began having their say late last night. Over the coming days, weeks and months, GM's Chapter 11 filing will provide endless editorial fodder for scribes of all stripes and creeds, and the last 12 hours is a good indication of what's to come.
The opening, news-tinged salvos began with the New York Times, including one piece espousing GM's "New Start" and another taking a rose-tinted look back on the General's 100-year history. Joe Sherlock from The View Through the Windshield took a similar tack, while P.J. O'Rourke chimed in at the Wall Street Journal with a poignant, if scattered, assessment of why the American automobile industry has failed and why "America's romantic foolishness with cars is finished." Documentary filmmaker and activist Michael Moore chimed in with his thoughts over on Daily Kos. Last but not least, The Truth About Cars' Robert Farago penned his 256th installment of the site's General Motors Death Watch, using O'Rourke's WSJ tome as a springboard to rehash the sins of GM's past and to excoriate the executives that sealed the automaker's fate.
However, what we haven't heard yet – what both enthusiasts and average consumers need to hear – is a clarion call that outlines GM's future. How will the automaker restructure? What will roll off the production lines post-bankruptcy? And how will the choices made over the coming months affect the car-buying public both in the U.S. and abroad?
Here's hoping President Obama's noontime press conference and the follow-up by GM's CEO Fritz Henderson offers some answers, and the editorial world responds with a clear, focused and fair assessment of what's to come.
- G.M. to Seek Bankruptcy and a New Start - New York Times
- After Many Stumbles, the Fall of an American Giant - New York Times
- The End of the Affair - Wall Street Journal
- General Motors Death Watch 256: Clutch Players - The Truth About Cars
- General Motors Obituary - The View Through the Windshield
- Dan Neil weighs in at the Los Angeles Times
- Goodbye, G.M. - Michael Moore reflects at the Daily Kos
[Image Source: Bill Pugliano/Getty]