Fox News does a Chevy Volt-face

Network decides Volt is not a socialist plot, could help win war on terror

By Gavin Conway on March 27, 2012 11:57 AM

Thanks to Autoblog Green for a heads up on an extraordinary Fox & Friends segment from Fox News. That’s the network, you’ll remember, that has devoted considerable airplay to rubbishing the Chevrolet Volt as an Obama government boondoggle that spontaneously bursts into flames and breaks down for absolutely no reason at all.

Well, in a turnaround akin to Charlie Sheen taking a vow of silence after joining a Buddhist retreat, Fox has embraced the Volt as the car that could be America’s saviour. In a segment entitled ‘Can the Chevy Volt Help Win the War on Terror?’ the programme’s host Steve Doocy interviews a conservative, pro-oil Texan who debunks virtually every right-wing objection to the Volt.

Lee Spieckerman, CEO of Spieckerman Media, is unequivocal about where he stands: “You know, I’m a Texan, I love oil, I’m a ‘drill, baby, drill’ guy and I love Fox News. But like a lot of my fellow conservatives, [Fox commentators] seem to have a fetish with demonising the Volt and they perpetuate this myth that the Volt was forced on GM during the bailout. It had been in development two years before Obama was elected, and the tax break for buying the Volt was implemented by the Bush administration. That was not something that occurred under the Obama administration.”

Spieckerman goes on to put the case that the Volt is the most efficient way to use the full spectrum of American energy, including coal, natural gas and nuclear. That, he reckons, is good for national security.

“I don’t understand what is so conservative about wanting to send $35 billion to Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela for his oil or to send $70 billion to Middle Eastern Opec countries,” says Spieckerman. “We’re propping up the world oil price, which is giving Iran the resources it needs to develop nuclear weapons, indirectly its funding Hezbollah and Hamas and terrorists that are trying to kill Americans.”

Spieckerman also passionately defends the Volt as a "terrific" automobile. “It’s the iPhone of the American automobile industry, it won the North American car of the year, the European Car of the year, both in 2011, the first time that’s ever happened. It is the safest car on the road according to the International Institute of Highway Safety, so this is a wonderful vehicle.”

Fox highlights the reduction in foreign oil consumption should 30 million Volts be sold

Spieckerman even addresses the controversy of the Volt’s relatively high price: “Over five years you’ll save a ton of fuel. There’s a price differential but at the end of the day we really only need to get the Volt 20% cheaper to make it comparable to the Chevy Cruze, which is the gasoline model equivalent. Look at the flat screen TVs, they’ve come down 50% in five years, computers have gone down 90%.”

Even the show’s host agrees with Spieckerman’s verdict. “You’re right, it's a cool car and it's smooth as glass,” says Doocy. “So people who are interested in that sort of vehicle, check out the Chevy Volt.”

So, in this parallel universe we seem to be living in the most impassioned defence of the Volt comes from what was its most vocal detractor. Strange but true.

Watch the video here:

Source: Autoblog Green