Perennial nag Ralph Nader, who has built a career on criticism of General Motors, is at it again. This time he wants the Federal Communications Commission to investigate GM’s loaning of vehicles to “certain hosts of radio shows,” including Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh has praised the Cadillac SRX on air, a vehicle loaned to him by Cadillac, which he made clear. Cadillac is a sponsor of his program.
In a letter to the FCC, Nader complained that the arrangement might violate rules requiring the identification of sponsorship when a product is mentioned on the air. Apparently, Ralph’s not part of the audience of those about whom he complains.
Limbaugh’, for example has explicitly identified Cadillac as a sponsor, explaining that the vehicles were loaned because the sponsor wanted to familiarize him with their product.
According to Automotive News, GM has enlisted a number of other celebrities with radio shows to plug its products.
They’re not all conservatives. For example, Whoppi Goldberg is on the list. They’re not even all talk show hosts. The list includes sports guy Jim Rome, Ryan Seacrest (best known as American Idol’s host), and Delialah, the host of romantic radio music for lovers.
But, if wooing celebrities raises an issue, will Nader be hot on BMW’s tail? Will be sending a similar letter to the FCC should Will Ferrell say something nice about BWM on-air without mentioning his free use of a BMW Hydrogen 7?
Probably not. Nader has been obsessed with General Motors for fifty years.
The irony in all of this, of course, is that the people most victimized by Nader’s attacks are the people who makes the cars. If enlisting radio personalities helps GM sell more cars, its workers benefit. Trying to stifle GM’s advertising hurts those same people.
This from a man who fancies himself to be the champion of the little guy.