Media Matters has been following this discredited story for some time now and you can read some of their past posts on that here -- Rich Lowry Clings to Discredited Obama-Bullied-Ford Story, Claims Denials Mean "It's Probably True". As they noted last week, The Washington Post's Greg Sargent already debunked this story, but that didn't stop the panel on Fox News Watch this weekend from continuing to treat it as a scandal.
The Washington Post's Greg Sargent reported today that the White House and Ford Motor Co. are both denying a story about the White House pressuring Ford to yank TV ads critical of the auto bailout. These allegations originated with a Detroit News column and have been spread by right-wing bloggers, including Michelle Malkin and RedState. From Sargent's post:
Apparently some right wing bloggers think they may have found their next big scandal: The White House may have pressured Ford Motor Company to yank a TV ad critical of Obama's rescue of the auto companies!
That would be quite a story indeed -- the latest example of heavy handed White House bullying of the private sector, all in service of its hated auto bailout. Except there's a small problem: Ford and the White House are both denying the tale, and the original report that is the basis for all the chatter today is not even sourced at all.
As Sargent also wrote, the ad ran its normal four week course and both parties denied there was any pressure placed on Ford to pull it. That's not going to stop Fox from continuing their latest feigned outrage over the latest non-scandal coming out of the Obama White House.
The other thing that kills me about the fact that Ford ran this ad in the first place is one, those auto bailouts started under Bush and not Obama -- a point that seems to get overlooked by the yappers at Fox here.
Another point I think bears discussing is that if both the Bush administration and the Obama administration had not supported bailing out the auto industry in America, even though Ford did not directly participate in the bailout, what do they think would have happened to their company if their suppliers had started going out of business as a result as this article from last year discussed? Frankly I find it pretty astounding that Ford thought it was a good idea to run the ad in the first place. They may not have been directly helped by the program, but they sure as hell were indirectly helped.
I don't expect that's a topic we'll be hearing discussed on Fox any time soon either. They'd rather drum up phony scandals to be outraged over, play the conservative victimhood game and trash the United Auto Workers Union as they did here.