NYT Repeats 70-Year-Old Disney Ideology

So, The New York Times devotes its Sunday magazine this week to the future of the automobile in the United States. The introductory editorial refers to the video below, with the comment “Disney couldn’t have foreseen, in 1958, the political realities of today that would make their imagined future impossible.”

This asks us to overlook the main point and content of the video, which was certainly not serious projection, but ham-handed promotion of the notion that cars are somehow about science and efficiency, rather than profit and behavioral compulsion. That the NYT misses the point that techno-hype has always helped sell capitalism’s cars-first dictatorship speaks volumes, and explains the thoroughgoing lameness of this pathetic edition of this always tame magazine.

Telling Equation

The least surprising possible news from today’s New York Timess:

New legislation to pay for transportation is a priority for both parties because the nation’s Highway Trust Fund is nearing insolvency. Anthony Foxx, the transportation secretary, has said the trust fund could begin “bouncing checks” by this summer. That would force a halt to construction projects around the country, officials have said.

Note the equivalence between “transportation” and “the nation’s Highway Trust Fund.”

NYT Throws Broder Under the Tesla

corpnews As any experience with the MSM confirms in spades, automobiles, despite the times, remain the #1 source of advertising revenue. They are also the keystone commodity in the overall operation of corporate capitalism. Hence, is it any surprise the The New York Times has publicly scolded John M. Broder for daring to do an actual report, rather than a standard MSM advertorial “car review” — on the experience of using a $74,200 “electric” car?

As DbC noted in our last post, Broder took delivery of his Tesla S and used it to see if Tesla had indeed fulfilled its promise of creating an infrastructure that would facilitate “a speedy electric-car road trip between here [Washington D.C.] and Boston.” As Broder reported, this promise remains a huge lie. The actual trip required long waits for charges and repeatedly refraining from normal use of the car.

Readers can read the charges and answers for themselves. The main digs against Broder are 1) that he failed to leave his test car plugged in overnight, and 2) that he didn’t stay around for a full charge (which would have taken several hours) on an emergency charging stop imposed by the lack of charge after a cold, unplugged overnight stay in Groton, Connecticut.

Of course, Broder’s mission was to test the Tesla promise of easy travel based on its East Coast “Supercharger” stations, not to see if his trip was possible by any means whatsoever, or with a dozen footnotes.

After getting flak from Tesla “Chairman, Product Architect & CEO” Elon Musk, in the form of special pleading and attempts to change Broder’s question, here is the final verdict of The TimesFlak Catcher Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan:

Did he [Broder] use good judgment along the way? Not especially.

Wow! That is not a small rebuke in such a form from such a boss in such a trade. One hopes Mr. Broder knows some good employment lawyers…

Meanwhile, Sullivan’s weighing of this issue confirms, once again, the importance of the filters that operate in MSM journalism. In explaining her attack on Broder, Sullivan admits the special lengths to which she felt compelled to go on on one particular side of this question:

I’ve also had a number of talks with my brother, a physician, car aficionado and Tesla fan, who has helped me balance what might have been a tendency to unconsciously side with a seasoned and respected journalist – my own “confirmation bias.”

Funny, that: Her self-described “bias” is to trust a seasoned and respected journalist. Her professional, deeeply considered “corrective” is to give great weight to an over-privileged pro-car, pro-Tesla ideologue!

One might wonder how many anti-car activists Ms. Sullivan drew into her consideration here…

The MPGe Scam

In yet another use of government to promote cars-first transportation, the U.S. Environmental Protection [cough] Agency is promoting the notion that the new Ford Focus all-electric car will get the energy-use equivalent of 105 miles per gallon.  This “news” is, of course, being happily slung about in the corporate media.

Big problem, though:  The way in which the MPGe rating is calculated is battery-to-wheels only, meaning that it excludes from consideration the very large losses to heat and resistance in the generation and transmission of electricity.  Given that such losses are still appreciably higher as a percentage than the costs of producing and delivering a gallon of gasoline, MPGe is an even more fraudulent statistic than MPG, which is itself being increasingly abused within its own limits.

No surprise here, of course, since it is vitally important to the overclass to sustain the “electric car” as a loss leader and a distraction, if not an actual way of perpetuating the insane capitalist pipe-dream of having all adults get to work and the store via 3,500-pound machines that sit idle 95 percent of the time.

Fooling With the Future

The DoubleThink is really piling up fast.   In last Friday’s New York Times, the illustrious Fareed Zakaria, star of a corporate news show with “GPS” in its title, published “How Will We Fuel the Future?”, a review of The Quest, the new tome by oil-industry front-man Daniel Yergin.  Yergin, of course, minimizes the nearness and severity of Peak Oil and takes it as an axiom that capitalists are soon going to be selling the automobiles that transcend it.  How?  Yergin doesn’t say — because he can’t say — because it is a physical impossibility.  Profitable as it has been to capitalists, relying on intricate 3,000-pound machines as the primary means of everyday locomotion for significant segments of the human population is inherently and radically unsustainable, given the physical properties of planet Earth.

So, how does Mr. GPS review Yergin’s book?  While lecturing about “the need for lucid thinking” on all sides, here is Zakaria’s conclusion:

The steam engine, the automobile, the computer, the Internet are all miracles.  We need something on that order in energy — and fast.

Might the reign of the automobile, despite the miracle talk, be incompatible with any kind of decent human future?  That possibility, despite the screamingly basic facts of the matter, remains literally unmentionable in the mainstream media.  Some miracles are just way too important to the sponsoring class.