So we all know General Motors plans to close its doors in Janesville, Wis. That's no big surprise. A) because they've been threatening to do so since, oh, forever, and B) because it's ALL OVER THE NEWS EVERYWHERE. Oh, and C) the economy is SHIT. As a reporter, I have to deal with it. Which is fine. It's my job.
So when Gov. Jim Doyle was addressing the union members and GM employees yesterday, I was there, listening, and diligently scribbling down every other word he said. (What? I can't write fast, man).
But after Doyle said what he needed to say, the union's director of bargaining stepped up to the podium to share some thoughts. He was visibly upset, as he should be. These people are hard workers, they've been at it for years. And years. And now, The Man is coming down on them telling them, "that's it. It's over."
That would suck. The same thing happened to my own dad after he'd been at his job for 25+ years. It's devastating to a family.
But then this happened:
A reporter asked a simple, general question. Something about plans for the next year or so, while the plant remains open. Instead of directly answering the question, he said this:
"Well, maybe if all you reporters stopped driving foreign cars, we wouldn't be in this situation."
Uh, what? Really? Are you blaming the 20+ reporters for the downfall of your very large corporation because it makes American-made sport utility vehicles that no one will drive anymore because it costs three arms and two legs to fill them up?
I was appalled. I don't know why. It's not like the media isn't slammed every which way any other time. But really, guy? I drive a Chevrolet, for crying out loud. And not just any Chevrolet, and Chevrolet with over 130,000 miles on it.
YOU MADE MY CAR.
And most of us can't afford a new car, nonetheless a foreign car, if we tried. WE ARE REPORTERS. WE GET PAID PEANUTS.
Point of my story is, I was kind of disgusted. I get that he was angry, but telling a roomful of of reporters it's their fault is kind of tacky.