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Monday, June 1, 2009
Blumer Ignores the Evidence, Advances Right-Wing Chrysler Conspiracy
Topic: NewsBusters

As we've detailed, NewsBusters' Tom Blumer has a long history of botching simple concepts and getting basic facts wrong.  So, naturally, he could be expected to weigh in on the latest right-wing non-conspiracy, that the Obama administration is targeting Republican-owned Chrysler dealers for closure.

Blumer does just that in a May 30 post, and the results are about what you'd expect. Blumer explored a tangent of the conspiracy, that minority-owned Chrysler dealers were disproportionately spared from closure. He even quotes a blogger, Sean Parnell at the Center for Competitve Politics, who had calculated that the percentage of minority-owned Chrysler dealers was almost exactly the same before and after the round of closings.

But Blumer has decided that because more minority-owned dealers are allegedly located in less-than-optimal urban locations, more minority dealerships should have closed:

Parnell and his "trusty calculator" are missing an obvious point: The "enemies list" may or may not exist, but the issue of its existence is separate from the issue of minority vs. non-minority dealer survival.

There's a much bigger problem with Parnell's argument. As noted in a May 15 Wall Street Journal article by Alex P. Kellogg, when the number of dealer closures was known but not the identities of all dealers axed, minority-owned dealers publicly feared a three or more times greater depletion in their ranks:

[...]

My trusty calculator tells me that the feared closure rate was 82% (140 divided by 170; NADAM's dealer count appears to be from early 2008), while the actual closure rate was 25% (38 divided by 154).

[...]

All other factors being equal, given NADAM's [sic: NAMAD, or the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers] expressed fears and the general comparative dealer profile it provided the Journal, the minority-owned dealer termination rate should have been higher -- probably much higher than the 25% overall average. In fact, it's clear that NADAM expected that outcome, even if you heavily discount their worry that over 80% of minority-owned Chrysler dealers would be told to go away as overblown hyperbole.

But it would appear that all other factors were far from equal, and that influences other than bottom-line business considerations were prominent.

In other words, the fact there's no evidence of a conspiracy is evidence of a conspiracy.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 1, 2009 12:42 AM EDT

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