It seems staffers from Senators Brown (D) and Voinovich’s (R) offices along with Representatives Kucinich (D) and LaTourette (R) in person were fed a tail on a conference call on April 30 according to the Sunday Cleveland Plain Dealer. All on the call were led to believe by Larry Summers there would be no Chrysler plant closings or job losses as a result of Chrysler’s bankruptcy, only to find out the next day the Twinsburg Chrysler plant would be closing, all jobs lost. There would also be plant closings in Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin while representatives from those states were fed the same spin for the Friday news cycle, no closings and no lost jobs.
The Plain Dealer goes on to highlight the obvious spin that was taking place:
The White House and Chrysler won major headlines across the country with first-day stories of saved jobs. With the exception of the Detroit Free Press, which had the plant closings in its Friday, May 1, editions, most media were unable to review the entire U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing in time for their Saturday editions, one of the worst days of the week for readership.
The bad news was largely limited to press outlets in cities where plants would close.
If it was, in fact, a media strategy, it worked. Despite complaints from a couple of congressmen — notably, LaTourette and Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan — the fact that congressmen believe the White House misled them has gained almost no traction in the press.
The Plain Dealer is so bold to ask, “Would Democrats have been so quiet if President George W. Bush’s administration had announced that no plants would close, only to be boldly contradicted within 24 hours?’
I’ll give them the answer, “of course not”. In fact if this were the Bush administration this story would not be on the front page of the Forum section. It would be in the front section as “analysis”, probably on the front page.
So Congressmen from not just Ohio but elsewhere were being used by the Administration to ensure the Chrysler bankruptcy was teed up properly for the weekend news cycle. At least it was a bipartisan act for Ohio, throwing two Democrats and two Republicans each from the Senate and the House under the bus.