Bald Men, Combs: G.M. Takes On "The Times"

Picture it: An industry dinosaur forced, through its own adherence to outdated methods and technology, to watch leaner, more dynamic competitors overtake it though innovation and decentralization. If you guessed General Motors, you're right! If you guessed The Times, you're also right! What we have here today is a battle royale between two faded powerhouses who were last at the top of their game when your grandpa was begging your grandma for just a glimpse of her ankle.

The story goes like this: Tom Friedman turned his Moustache of Understanding to G.M.'s "fuel price protection plan" and found it wanting (actual quote: "Is there a company more dangerous to America's future than General Motors?"). G.M., as you might expect, took exception to this, writing a strongly-worded letter inviting Friedman to Detroit (a suspiciously Bobby Bonilla-like invitation) and calling his column "rubbish." G.M.'s blog claims that The Times demanded that G.M. cut their letter by two hundred words (because, you know, that's space they could be using to talk about Ann Coulter) and remove the word "rubbish," because, "It's not the tone we use in Letters." Two thoughts here: The Times may not like the word "rubbish," but they sure as hell don't have any problem actually printing it. Also, G.M. has a blog? No wonder the American automotive industry is going straight into the crapper. We can't wait for Chrysler's podcasts.

The Ban on `Rubbish' in The New York Times [G.M. FYI Blog]
A Quick Fix for the Gas Addicts [NYT]