Edmunds.com fires back at White House cash-for-clunkers slam
Tiff over the success of cash-for-clunkers has the White House reaching beyond media criticism to take on even ‘apolitical’ consumer groups.
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More seriously, Anwyl says: “It’s shocking and somewhat troubling that this is something the White House would pick up. This administration more than any other administration is invested heavily in the auto industry, so you would hope that they would had done a little more homework than their response suggests.”Skip to next paragraph
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The White House post instead quoted the President’s own Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) pointing out that the program increased GDP by 1.7 percent in the third quarter and will create 70,000 jobs in the second half of 2009. It took issue with Edmunds’ notion that 80 percent of the payback from the program will take place in 2009, leaving little residual effect on the auto industry into 2010.
“In other words,” writes Macon Phillips, the White House’s "new media" chief, “all the other cars were being sold on Mars while the rest of the country was caught up in the excitement of the Cash for Clunkers program. The CEA’s analysis is transparent and comprehensive … Edmunds.com, on the other hand, is promoting a bombastic press release without any public access to their underlying analysis. So put on your space suit and compare the two approaches yourself.”
Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation, the country's largest new-car dealer chain, agrees with the White House’s tough response, calling the Edmunds' study "uncharacteristically shoddy,” according to USA Today.
"Simply put, they've misrepresented the facts, and the White House is completely justified in calling them out on it,” Mr. Jackson said.
The tiff comes after three weeks of debate over the White House’s new media strategy, employed first against Fox News and then against the US Chamber of Commerce to basically “reality check” the agendas of the President’s opposition.
The upside of the unusual strategy is scoring political points and rousing the liberal base. The downside is appearing thin-skinned and potentially losing credibility.
(By the way, one journalist has apologized for comparing White House media strategy to Nixon’s “enemies list”.)
The difference with this latest brouhaha is that Edmunds.com can hardly be characterized as an opposition front. In fact, Anwyl says, most of its employees are Obama supporters.
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