Time Editor's 'Case for Saving Detroit:' Autos 'Too Big to Fail'

     Adopting the rhetoric of industry representatives and liberals promoting a taxpayer funded bailout of U.S. automakers, Time magazine Managing Editor Richard Stengel told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Dec. 4 the industry is “too big to fail.”


     “I find the fact that so many Americans are unsympathetic to Detroit to be kind of amazing,” Stengel said. He was on the show to promote Time’s latest cover story, “The Case for Saving Detroit.”


     “We make the case that in fact the, you know, the Big Three have adapted in a lot of ways … They haven’t managed things well, they have too much capacity, but I mean, talk about being too big to fail in a way, right?,” Stengel said.


     “The fact is Americans don’t understand what collateralized debt obligations are, yet they sort of said, ‘Okay, let’s bailout all of these banks and AIG’ and yet people feel like, ‘Hmm what about the big car manufacturers?’”


     As Stengel talked a screenshot of a CNN/Opinion Research poll showed 61 percent of American oppose a bailout of the automotive industry and 36 percent favor a rescue.


     Mika Brzezinski countered, “Can we just keep it real though for a second though? They make great cars? They’re not on the top ten best cars. I mean, maybe there’s one. And this Chevy Volt is not ready till 2010 and it’s $40,000. We still do no have innovation at its best here.”


     It wasn’t the first time Stengel has promoted big government on “Morning Joe.” On July 17 he told viewers “there’s incredible despair out there and there’s a sense that, that something needs to be done and people have kind of an appetite for big government in a way” in America.


     Stengel was citing a just-released poll, but the interview did not discuss the fact that the poll also found 80 percent of respondents said they should be responsible for carrying their own financial burdens.


     The editor appeared on MSNBC April 17 advocating for a government led “cap-and-trade policy” and saying the United States needed to make a “massive effort” to fight climate change. He’s also said people shouldn’t look for objective journalism.


     “But this notion that journalism is objective, or must be objective is something that has always bothered me – because the notion about objectivity is in some ways a fantasy,” Stengel said. “I don’t know that there is as such a thing as objectivity.”


     He later said as for journalistic ethics, “We sort of make it up as we go along and I think that is what will continue to happen.”