ABC Frets Over Pro-American Cadillac Ad: 'Arrogant' and 'Xenophobic?'

The journalists at Good Morning America on Thursday were sufficiently provoked by a pro-American Cadillac commercial that they devoted a whole segment to wondering if the spot was "arrogant" and "xenophobic." GMA's reporters, who couldn't find any time to cover former IRS head Lois Lerner pleading the Fifth on Capitol Hill, devoted almost three minutes to the "backlash" against the car commercial. 

The ad features a man strolling around his large house, praising the free enterprise system and the work ethic of Americans: "Other countries, they work. They stroll home. They stop by the café. They take August off. Off!" Co-host George Stephanopoulos worried, "Is it selling a confident take on America with a sense of humor or showing off an arrogant caricature that is just plain obnoxious?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Journalist Nick Watt asserted that the spot has been "lambasted by plenty others online as arrogant, xenophobic, ugly Americanism." 

In fairness, Watt did note that some are "praising" the commercial. He featured a clip of Fox News contributor Jonathan Hoenig who touted, "Here's an advertisement that actually celebrates Americanism." 

But, the ABC hosts clearly sided with the aggrieved left. Robin Roberts appeared disgusted, complaining, "But, oh my goodness. And what's wrong with taking more than two weeks off?" 

Guest co-host Amy Robach agreed: "It's bragging rights in this country to say you didn't take your vacation days. Sad." 

To watch the entire commercial, go here

A transcript of the March 6 segment, which aired at 7:16 AM ET, can be found below: 


7:16

ABC GRAPHIC: Cadillac Commercial Backlash: Is This the American Dream

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to move to that Cadillac commercial sparking such a polarizing debate since its airing on Oscar night. Is it selling a confident take on America with a sense of humor or showing off an arrogant caricature that is just plain obnoxious? You decide after ABC's Nick Watt gives us this close look. 

CADILLAC AD: Why do we work so hard? For what? For this? For stuff? Other countries, they work, they stroll home, they stop by the café, they take August off. off. Why aren't you like that? Why aren't we like that? Because we're crazy, driven, hard working believers. That's why. 

NICK WATT: Cadillac's ad for a $75,000 electric car is understandably just for the U.S. market. 

CADILLAC AD: Those other countries think we're nuts. Whatever. Were the Wright brothers insane? Bill Gates? Les Paul? Ali? Were we nuts when we pointed to the moon? That's right. We went up there. You know what we got? Bored. So we left. 

WATT: Prominently placed during Sunday's Oscar broadcast, the ad is praised by some, like this guy on Fox. 

JONATHAN HOENIG: Here's an advertisement that actually celebrates Americanism. 

WATT: And lambasted by plenty others online as arrogant, xenophobic, ugly Americanism. 

HAL SPARKS: Cadillac's first foray into an electric car is aimed the a very narrow niche of self-involved white male baby boomers who apparently are terrible at keeping their pool up, don't really talk to their wife and kids very much and probably just tool around town in between deals that are going sour. 

WATT: One tweeter proclaimed, "I would wear Pharrell's hat for life if it meant I never had to see this Cadillac commercial ever again." 

SPARKS: Liberals wouldn't have even noticed this ad if it was just for a regular Cadillac. If it wasn't for their electric car. On the other side, I'm going to go with people are -- there's a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to get upset about anything that's kind of, you know, hyper patriotic. 

WATT: Cadillac spokesmen told us in part "We are pleased with the idea that it is being seen and that it is thought provoking."

CADILLAC AD: It's pretty simple. You work hard. You create your own luck and got to believe anything is possible. As for all the stuff, that's the upside of only taking two weeks off in August. N'est ce-pa?  

WATT: What do I think? As a work-shy foreigner, I want a green card. So I think you're all great. Whatever you think, I agree with. Got bless America. For Good Morning America, Nick Watt, ABC News, Los Angeles. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: That was the first time you saw that? 

ROBERTS: Because I was actually at the Oscars so I didn't see the commercials. But, oh, my goodness. And what's wrong with taking more than two weeks off? 

JOSH ELLIOTT: Not a thing. 

ROBERTS: But that is -- you're made to feel guilty because you're not working hard. That's ridiculous! 

ELLIOTT: I agree. 

AMY ROBACH: It's bragging rights in this country to say you didn't take your vacation days. Sad.  

STEPHANOPOULOS: I laughed, but I hated myself for it. 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org