John Oliver, the Jon Stewart protégé who recently launched a late-night comedy show of his own, took apart General Motors on Sunday amid news company the had been fined $35 million for covering up engineering problems that have been blamed for at least 13 deaths.
Among the findings of the investigation into the once-great company’s slide into deadly deception was a memo from 2008 advising GM engineers to avoid “judgment words” in describing its products, such as “death trap,” “Hindenburg,” grenadelike” and “widow-maker.”
The memo’s writers apparently thought having company employees responsible for designing its automobiles avoid using gallows humor to describe flawed cars was the same thing as building safe ones. (Memo to auto engineers: If you’re designing a car and the word “genocide” even comes into your mind, you’re probably doing something wrong.)
The list of banned words didn’t get nearly the media attention it deserved – especially since Government Motors and its rapacious unions owe their existence mainly to the American taxpayer – and news of the fine came in a Friday “news dump” that the Obama administration has made its hallmark, but Oliver “Last Week Tonight” put it on display for his HBO audience.
Check it out here. It’s so funny it’s sad.
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