Seton Motley screeched in a July 10 NewsBusters post that "The Jurassic Press was in full-throated ObamaChorus mode in reporting on General Motors (GM)’s allegedly strong June sales," while supposedly overlooking the fact that the increase was driven by "government purchases."
Motley cited a claim from the right-wing National Legal and Policy Center that "government purchases of GM vehicles rose a whopping 79% in June," but that claim is presented without context -- it's never explained where the number came from, or what the actual numbers they're based on are. It's an empty, undocumented number, but it suits Motley's purposes, so he continued to screech:
Meaning Barack Obama is now campaigning on the “success” of - the government buying cars from...the government’s car company. With our money.
That’s like you setting up a lemonade stand for your kids. You buy them the lemons, sugar, cups and pitchers - and then buy most of the lemonade yourself.
Except you are President Obama. Your kids are the United Autoworkers Union. And the lemonade cost $50 billion.
At least you get to tax your neighbors for the $50 billion.
Again - in what Bizarro-world is this auto bailout the “success” the Jurassic Press incessantly reports it is?
Meanwhile, more credible and non-hysterical sources had a more realistic take on GM's numbers. The Detroit Free Press points out that fleet sales, under which government sales fall, typically peak this time of year:
GM’s increase was helped by an increase in fleet sales. GM’s sales to fleet customers increased 36% in June while retail sales increased 7.9%.
McNeil said GM’s big increase in fleet sales is was driven by seasonal deliveries.
“Next month you can expect our fleet volume and our fleet mix to be down,” McNeil said.
For the year, GM expects fleet sales to government agencies, daily rental companies and commercial customers to account for about 25% of its sales.
Further, Bloomberg reports that the percentage of fleet sales at GM is actually smaller than that of a certain other auto manufacturer that didn't take a bailout:
GM sales to fleet customers, such as governments and rental-car companies, rose 36 percent last month, making up 32 percent of the company’s sales. Ford said its fleet sales accounted for 35 percent of its deliveries, down from 37 percent a year earlier.
Don't wait up for Motley to tell the full truth about GM's sales numbers.
That's not the business he's in.