Big Three CEOs Hit the Road

The Times writes that the Big Three CEO’s have learned their lesson from the private-jet debacle of two weeks ago. But it looks like they learned their lesson a little too well.

So the chairman of General Motors, Rick Wagoner, will be driving to Washington this week, to present its bailout and survival plan to lawmakers, in one of the company’s hybrids, a Chevrolet Malibu.

His counterparts at Ford and Chrysler are expected to do the Kerouac thing as well.

“You have to be sensitive to the symbolism,” said Tom Wilkinson, a G.M. spokesman. “This is a hot-button issue.”

Let me get this straight. GM needs billions of dollars in the next couple of weeks or it will go bankrupt, but its CEO has time to drive nine hours to and from DC? Let’s hope he’s got cell phone coverage. That time would be better spent trying to save his company.

The Times, of course, calls it out for the PR stunt that it is, and the story is notable for that tongue-in-cheek Timesian mockery that it sometimes pulls off in straight-news pieces.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.