Early Tuesday morning, David Shepardson and Christina Rogers at the Detroit News ("GM's Akerson pushing for higher gas taxes") reported that General/Multi-Government Motors CEO Dan Akerson "wants the federal gas tax boosted as much as $1 a gallon to nudge consumers toward more fuel-efficient cars."
Later in the interview, Akerson was much more emphatic about what he would like to see done immediately:
"You know what I'd rather have them do — this will make my Republican friends puke — as gas is going to go down here now, we ought to just slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas," Akerson said.
You don't have to be a Republican to puke at the prospect of a permanent 50-cent or $1 gas tax hike, Dan. Such a levy would likely cause the high gas price-driven retail malaise of the past few weeks (which I have witnessed first-hand) to keep going indefinitely.
At the self-appointed nation's news gatekeeper, the Associated Press, Tom Krisher pretended that the Detroit News interview never happened, even though the News's current article time stamp is about 14 hours earlier than AP's, and referred to Akerson's aching for a tax increase in only the vaguest terms in Paragraphs 10 and 11 of 19 in a report on GM's annual meeting:
Akerson also said that if the government wants to move people toward more fuel-efficient vehicles, it should consider raising the gasoline tax to keep gas prices high rather than requiring automakers to increase mileage.
"It helps with our deficits, at the same time may change consumer behavior, and the automotive companies will try to meet that demand," he said.
The specifics in the Detroit News interview were noted at CNNMoney.com and almost nowhere else in the establishment press.
There was no sound reason for Krisher to avoid reciting Akerson's specific quoted per-gallon tax amounts, or for the other wire services to ignore it, as appears to be the case based on a Google News search on "Akerson gas tax" (not in quotes) shows. The search returns 49 items, (it looks like 298, but it's really 49), none of which besides the AP and CNN are from establishment press outlets.
Oh, I'm sorry. There is one reason for news outlets to avoid Akerson's specfics, especially at the Associated Press. As the nation's news gatekeeper, the AP seems to have decided that one of its important tasks is to cover for the President, Vice President, and Obama administration apparatchiks -- of which Akerson is one, at least until the government fully divests of its ownership -- when they say anything wrong or unwise. In this particular case, the AP know that if it doesn't provide specifics, most of its subscribing news and broadcast outlets won't go beyond what the wire service feeds them. Without the specifics, most newspersons will likely believe that the story is unimportant.
Why subscribers are willing to pay for omissions such as these which seem more often than not any more to be deliberate is beyond me.
Well, I hope Krisher and AP enjoyed their walk in the park with GM last night:
Don't they make a pretty couple?
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.