GM wants to fly under the radar

We hate to say this about a venerable American company that we truly hope survives. But GM simply doesn’t get it.

In the grand scheme of things, it made little difference that GM’s CEO, along with those of Ford and Chrysler, flew on their company private jets to Washington earlier this month to beg for taxpayer money so the companies could avoid bankruptcy.

We’ll write that off to simply being politically tone deaf. It was dumb and provided plenty of fodder for late-night comedians. And it did nothing to garner public support for taxpayer money being pumped into the ailing companies.

We would assume that GM learned that lesson.

Apparently not.

Now comes word that GM has requested that movement of the company’s aircraft no longer be made public. Currently, anyone can check the flight records of just about any airplane in the United States that has filed a flight plan.

But any aircraft owner can request the FAA to block the public’s access to those records.

GM did just that and the request is likely to be granted. They virtually always are.

We can only conclude that such a request is for only one reason: To keep Congress and the public from knowing where executives are traveling in expensive company airplanes.

In other words, GM executives simply don’t get it. Neither does whoever is advising them about their public image.

Here’s a simple suggestion: Get rid of those airplanes and let Congress and the public know that from now on GM honchos are going to do what thousands of other executives at other companies do. They’re going to fly commercial.

That, in and of itself, won’t get GM the federal bailout it wants, but it will go a long way toward creating some much-needed good will for the company.


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