AutoWeek’s editor and associate publisher Dutch Mandel wrote an article calling for people to lighten up about Car and Driver’s April Fool’s day hoax that Obama told carmakers Chevy and Dodge that they had to leave NASCAR to receive bailout money.
As you can imagine, far too many people failed to look at the dateline. Far too many people failed to put two and two together and get that they were being had. Far too many people (and I’d wager that this is more than likely) pushed the story forward as legit and found themselves with some humble moon pie over their collective faces.
I think that’s true. Most people did take the story at face value because Car and Driver is a reputable magazine.
But, Mandel continues:
It has been a long-standing tradition that Car and Driver pulls April Fool’s jokes. And more often than not, those attempts are not even remotely humorous. This one, considering the economic times we are in, was not just funny, but it was also absurd . . . and it had the ring of newsworthiness.
Mandel couldn’t be more right. C&D has a history of doing this stuff, and that can’t be forgotten. They say that every joke has a grain of truth. And the fact that, with today’s economy, this could have been true is why people are so outraged.
To think, C&D would prey on our emotions in such a difficult time. Shame on them, right?
While I don’t know that I agree with all of the hoopla — that’s right, I called it hoopla — that is surrounding this story, I can understand why major media outlets and personalities (Ann Coulter) thought it was true.
But, in defense of C&D, all they did was make light of the worry that this could be coming. For that, should they be crucified? No.
The joke was probably in poor taste, but you know what? Some jokes just are that way. One day later, it’s time to move on.