Clint Eastwood ‘Half-time in America’ ad invites criticism

And so Mark Wiberg obliges:

EastwoodWould Dirty Harry ask for a handout? Hell no, he wouldn’t. He could build a car made out of his melted Smith and Wesson handgun, all while eating a sandwich and zinging bad guys with one-liners.

So, bringing in the city of Detroit as some city on the ‘comeback’ after being knocked down, and blah blah blah, was a bit disingenuous as it fails to mention they knocked themselves out.  Detroit and the American car industry would not have made it to ‘half-time’ if it wasn’t for the Bail-Out ™.  They were carried by the taxpayer to half-time, beaten and bruised by building inferior products, bloated management and union mismanagement and over-the-rainbow promises to it’s retiring workforce. People will debate for years whether the bail-outs work, and I’m no expert. The point of this post is that having cool music and the coolest American film icon in a commercial about American ‘can do’ is a bad idea when you bring a failure of a company like GM/Chrysler/Chevrolet.

He’s got more and it’s worth your time.

H/T to Lex Communis who adds:

Jeepers…”half-time”…as in four years out of eight?

Do you think that’s what the not-so-hidden subtext was?

Gleischaltung worked for the Nazis; it’s bound to work for Team Obama!

Shouldn’t the GOP get equal time?

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  • jim_m

    Shouldn’t the GOP get equal time?

    Nah.  Eastwood did more damage to his rep than he helped Chrysler with the ad.

    • John_LC_Silvoney

       I distinctly recall about a year ago someone asking Eastwood what he thought of Obama and him replying simply :”not a fan”.
      Something doesn’t jibe here.

      • jim_m

        I’m betting Clint was paid very well for the spot.

  • Commander_Chico

    From all appearances throughout his life, Eastwood is a truly patriotic American. 

    It’s a sick day when right-wingers cheerlead for the failure of American companies which employ thousands of workers and are a big part of the country’s heavy industrial base.  Not to mention accusing Clint Eastwood of Nazi propagnda techniques because he made an ad for Chrysler. That is the ultimate Godwin’s Law goof, and it’s right in Rick’s posting.

    I’ve said it before – Google and Apple aren’t going to be able to build tanks and armored vehicles when the Chinese invade Oregon. Well, maybe Apple will – for China.

    The “bailouts” (loans) were a fraction of what was paid to corrupt Gulf Arab and Pakistani contractors in the wars, indeed the Bush Administration “bailed out” truck manufacturing and other factories in Iraq with billions of dollars.  I don’t recall any bitching about that.  It’s perverse when pissing away money in the sand is OK, but a modest expenditure to save large American industries in a time of recession is denounced.  Sick.

    Go Clint!  I’m buying a new Dodge Dart for my kid.

    • jim_m

      Setting aside your claims about corruption etc. Am I to take it that you are against ANY foreign economic aid?  That is the logical conclusion of your claims.  Or are you just against any economic aid to countries that we are trying to turn into friendlier democracies instead of corrupt, anti-American dictatorships?

      As to the bailout:  I would wager that most conservatives would feel better about the bailouts if they had not deliberately evaded the bankruptcy courts, deliberately screwed the creditors who were owed money and diverted millions in a payout to unions whose sole claim to the money was that they could turn out votes for the dems.  That and leaving GM and Chrysler with essentially the same burden of unsustainable union contracts and pension obligations means that we haven’t really improved the situation, unless by improving you mena putting millions into the hands of corrupt union leaders and dem politicians.

      I guess your problem, chica, is that you are offended when the corruption doesn’t benefit your side, but you have no problem with stealing billions of dollars for your own corrupt side.

      • Commander_Chico

        I’m not against foreign aid, but America comes first.  Petraeus sunk billions into Iraqi factories because he recognized that creating employment lessened social dysfunction and violence.  He recognized the importance of providing jobs for their own sake. 

        The problem I have is when right-wingers are OK with that when the billions are spent in Baghdad rather than in rather distressed Detroit. 

        • jim_m

          That argument is so vague as to be meaningless.  You say that we should pay for things at home first, but you will not address as to when it becomes acceptable to help anyone outside the US.  Your argument therefore is exactly what I said it was:  You are against foreign aid when the people getting it are not the corrupt theives from your side.

          • Commander_Chico

            Well, the whole Iraq war was a waste in my book, so subsidizing Iraqi factories would obviously fall into the Not Acceptable category. 

            Providing vaccines to prevent polio among the poor in places like Haiti, Paraguay or Ethiopia, for example, would fall into the Acceptable category.

            I have no idea what you mean by “corrupt thieves from your side,” so I don’t know how to answer it or other voices you are hearing.

          • jim_m

            So providing limited health care is OK, Providing the ability to feed yourself and your family not ok.

            Got it.

          •  No, the point is now you are talking about Iraq instead of auto bailouts.


          • Smoke?  Check.

            Heat?  Check.

            Stink?  Check.

            Somebody must be feeding a troll.

          • Gmacr1


        • Detroit is only distressed so badly because of its bad, LIBERAL policies.

      •  Note also that Detroit is the shining example of what happens to an industrial city run for fifty years by Democrats.

        • jim_m

          Good job dems.  You took the 4th largest city in 1960 (pop 1.85M) and turned it into the 19th largest city in 2010 (pop 713,777).  I suppose that is what we can expect with 4 more years of obama.  He’s doing a similar job with the labor force.

          Nor did it help when the racist dems in charge said that they were not interested in helping white people.  That white people should leave and that they weren’t interested in creating jobs if any whites would get them.

          •  They voted for the desired impossible and got the inevitable disaster.

    • herddog505

      Commander_ChicoIt’s a sick day when right-wingers cheerlead for the failure of American companies which employ thousands of workers and are a big part of the country’s heavy industrial base. 

      Oh, please.  Nobody wanted GM or Chrysler to do badly.  Rather, we objected to spending billions of taxpayer dollars to bail out companies that were – and have been for decades – badly run.  We objected to spending billions of dollars to keep overpaid union workers in jobs.  We objected to spending billions of dollars that would be funneled into the democrat party through union dues.  We objected to short-circuiting the bankruptcy laws.  I should note that we – along with the left – objected to these same things when Bush did it for the banking industry.

      Oh, yes: the banking industry.  Those evil, greedy, monstrous, grasping, avaricious, dishonest bankers, so despised by the left and a such a target of the OWS crowd.  The banking industry that, according to BLS, employed (2008) 1.8 MILLION Americans.  Funny how the left doesn’t give a damn about those workers, ain’t it?

      What I find sick is the lefty ideology that makes the word “profit” into an obscenity, that places more faith in unaccountable government bureaucrats than in business owners, that meets ANY economic problem with calls for more regulation, that looks upon businesses as nothing but a source of revenue for the government and a jobs program for (union) workers, and that looks upon industrial activity as something filthy that must be regulated to death if not outright banned.


      • Jay

        If you want to rail against lefties so much, then why do you constantly ignore how Republicans fend up for CEOs that take money from taxpayers?

        • herddog505

          What are you talking about?  What part of “we… objected to these same things when Bush did it for the banking industry” did you not get?

          Oh, I get it: this is the usual “Republicans do it, too!” that is the left’s stock answer when one of their guys gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  It’s coupled with the standard criticism that, since I haven’t called for a GOP politician to be drawn and quartered in the past five minutes, then I must be dishonestly partisan.

      • “Oh, please.  Nobody wanted GM or Chrysler to do badly.”

        Have you heard that Chevy Volt’s catch fire?

        They don’t, but that’s the rumor the lying right has spread to try to take down GM.

        An American company, American jobs, under attack from the right — why?

        There’s a black man in the white house and GM’s success can’t be tolerated – it’ll help the black man.

        So the right – including Limbaugh  the liars at FOX, have done a great job about spreading the lie that Chevy Volt’s catch fire.

        Meanwhile, my fellow cigar-aficionado and erstwhile friend Rush Limbaugh launched the usual outraged, breathless tirades, denouncing the Volt as a typical failed President Obama initiative, on a par, grosso modo, with the dreaded Obama Care. The screen regularly depicted an exploding Chevrolet Volt.

        But the Oscar for totally irresponsible journalism has to go to The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News, with, as its key guest, Lou Dobbs. Amid much jocular yukking, the Volt was depicted as a typical federal failure. In attempting to explain why Chevy has sold fewer than 8,000 Volts, Dobbs states, flatly, “It doesn’t work.” He elaborates, “It doesn’t go fast
        and go far on electricity. What happens is it catches fire,” adding that
        Chevy has recalled some 8,000 Volts. Bill O’Reilly, nodding approvingly, helpfully interjects: “So they’ve recalled cars that haven’t been sold.” Boiled down to the subtext, Dobbs’ message was this:
        “All Volts catch fire, and therefore all Volts have been recalled.”
        That simply isn’t the case.

        Much air time was spent on the $50 billion-plus bailout, which, the
        audience was left to assume, “funded” the Volt, doubtlessly at the whim
        of Obama’s known army of evil enviro-Nazis, intent on forcing vehicle
        electrification on a good-ole’-boy, V8-lovin’ populace.

        So we have this…

         “Oh, please.  Nobody wanted GM or Chrysler to do badly.”


  • Eastwood’s a Republican. ughh, 

  • Meh.  When I want an opinion from an actor I’ll write a script and have them read it.

    • Par4Course

      Isn’t that what Clint was doing (i.e., reading a script written by someone else) when he taped the Chrysler commercial?  In a perfect world, actors would accept only roles that aligned perfectly with their personal political views but that would guaranty unemployment for any performing artist who wanted to be on most TV shows or in most movies.  Since we’ve already violated the law by (a) cheating Chrysler’s secured creditors out of their superior rights and (b) dumping billions into a failing enterprise, is it really that anti-American to encourage consumers to purchase their cars?  I’d rather walk than buy a Chrysler, but I wouldn’t hesitate to take the company’s money to do a voice-over for one of their ads.

  • OPSea

    Jeepers…”half-time”…as in four years out of eight?

    There are a couple of ways to read that line, but that wasn’t the first one that came to my mind. The spot, however, did embrace the untruthful liberal ideology of we “rally around what is right and acted as one” line. No, we didn’t. Many, many people detested the Detroit bailout; it wasn’t “right”.

    That aside, as a former advertising copywriter, I thought Clint pulled the spot back from the liberal abyss with the closing lines of, “This country can’t be knocked down with one punch. We get right back up
    again, and when we do the world will hear the roar of our engines. Yeah, it’s halftime, America, and our second half is
    about to begin.” Damn right, Clint.
    And the lip-syncing, TelePrompter-reading, innocuous halftime distraction show that is Obama will hopefully be over during the middle of the next NFL season. 

  • Bottom line is the car “bailout” worked. 

    • jim_m

      Then why are we still subsidizing the Chevy Volt?  If the bailout worked we shouldn’t be giving GM money to build a single car of any sort.

      • rlog100

        Same reason you subsidized the Prius.

    • Gmacr1

      That depends on which side of the bailout line you were put in.
      Unions and manufacturers – got billions.
      Creditors, dealerships and taxpayers – got shafted.

  • Bottom Line: We won’t know if the bailout of Chrysler and GM “worked” until a decade has gone by.  If they are still profitable without having returned to the Government teat, then it will have worked.

    • Gmacr1

      And have repaid the billions in loans made to them without resorting to slight of hand manipulations like loan forgivness when Fiat bought Crysler…

      • No, they have not repaid all the loans, nor did they pay their bondholders.  And they’ll either be broke or back on the Government’s teat well before the decade window I proposed above is marked.

    • Why a decade? You could just as well say 50 years. Or five years. Fact is, the U.S. auto industry has repaid the loans and thousands of people have jobs because of it. That’s all to the good.

      •  The bailout was a bandaid which did not address the underlying problems.  Within a decade of the bailout they’ll be back at the teat or bankrupt.

      •  You might want to check your facts about them repaying.  It isn’t true.

      • Gmacr1

        No, they have not fully repaid the loans.

    • Considering how Detroit’s doing – I’d say the results are iffy to “Shit, not again.  Now what?”

  • makindescene

    He wouldn’t be eating a sandwich. Mybe a hot dog…with no ketchup of course. And we all know how he takes his coffee.

  • When I saw the ad, I wasn’t thinking poltiical – what I took away from it was that the auto companies were going to come back stronger than ever.

    Huh.  As if…

    Ya know, not EVERYTHING has to have political overtones.

    (Like the Go-Daddy ads… Or the FIAT ad.)

    • jim_m

      The Go-Daddy ad should have been nothing more than a 60 second apology for supporting SOPA.

      • The way Danica Patrick was dressed, I’d accept that.  Or reading the phone book.  Or the ingredient list from a bag of Doritos…

        You get the picture, I think… She’s way too young for me, but she’s NICE eye candy.

  • Gmacr1

    I can’t comment on the half time commercials, didn’t want to subject myself to the annoying screeches of Madonna. So Clint made a commercial extolling the virtues of the Detroit automakers that got bailed out. Well, he’s paid to act, not pontificate about Fedco greasing their union pals slide into retirement and control of two of the three major car manufacturers.

    Addendum: Saw the ad at the linked site, my statement still stands. He made a comercial, IE – Someone gave him a script and said “Here, read these lines and be a badass.”

  • 914

    Would have been a perfect platform for Barry to showcase his Economic Masterpiece!!!!!


    • That economic “masterpiece” looks like dog shit from where I’m sitting.

      A lot of things can happen to dogshit… /dirty harry writer mode

  • 914

    Barry Soeterrible! The other half white meat!

  • The ONLY thing accomplished by the federal bailouts that could not have been accomplished by the normal bankruptcy process was the preservation of bloated union contracts, benefit packages, and pensions at the expense of bondholders, shareholders, non-union pensioners, and people holding unpaid judgments against the companies.

    If anything, the companies emerged less efficient than they would have due to the interference of federal regulators who had no clue what they were doing.

    • Certainly the status quo wasn’t preserved, if that’s what you’re suggesting. The unions made some pretty decent concessions.

      During the economic crisis that followed, which pushed G.M. and Chrysler
      into bankruptcy, the union became a part owner of both companies in
      return for steep concessions, including a pledge not to strike over
      compensation for five years.

    • 914

      Shuck!s   You mean ‘Hope and Change has failed us!!! ‘   

      Get real dude!!

  • herddog505

    I thought that the commercial was ridiculous.

    So… it’s “half-time” for Detroit?  They’re coming back stronger than ever?  HOW?  Other than getting a huge pile of cash from the American taxpayer (which is to say, the Red Chinese), what are they doing differently that’s going the change the game for them in the second half?

    On another note, I’m always puzzled that a company can do poorly, much less go bankrupt, selling cars in the United States.  It’s like going bankrupt selling beer to frat boys or GI’s: how can you miss?

    And as for the left’s attitude about this, I thought that they HATED “corporate welfare”.  But, since “saving jobs” is such a wonderful thing, does this mean that the bank bailouts was also a good thing?  After all, quite a number of people were employed by the banks, right?  And have we now got to bail out EVERY company that might go belly up to “save” those jobs?

    • Olsoljer

      Half time, in we’re replacing the quarterback for the second half?

  • herddog505

    And speaking of auto bailouts and other foolishness:

    Fisker Automotive, the maker of an exotic electric sports car that is being built with help from a $529 million federal government loan guarantee, has announced layoffs at its Delaware plant as it tries to persuade the Department of Energy to send it more public funds.

    The company says 26 Fisker employees have been let go from the Delaware factory where renowned automotive engineer Henrik Fisker promised to one day begin producing affordable electric sedans. A Delaware newspaper also reported that subcontractors working on the car venture have been let go.

    “It’s temporary,” said Roger Ormisher, a company spokesman. “We’re being prudent and sensible as a company.”

    (H/T Michelle Malkin)

    “Prudent and sensible” may be translated into “we’re going to deep-six people’s jobs until we can be assured that the US taxpayer and not ourselves are paying their salaries.”

    Note that the cars assembled thus far have been done in Finland, not the US.

    Smart.  Very smart.

  • Gmacr1

    Meh, Clint speaks, again and not in a commercial.

    Politics February 07, 2012Clint Eastwood: ‘I am Certainly Not Affiliated with Mr. Obama’
    Fire it up 1412

    FoxNation.comFollowing the fall out over the controversial Chrysler Super Bowl halftime ad, Clint Eastwood spoke exclusively with O’Reilly Factor producer Ron Mitchell…”I just want to say that the spin stops with you guys, and there is no spin in that ad. On this I am certain. l am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama. It was meant to be a message about just about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians will agree with it. I thought the spirit was OK. I am not supporting any politician at this time. Chrysler to their credit didn’t even have cars in the ad. Anything they gave me for it went for charity. If any Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of that ad, go for it.”

  • W

    Some people remind me of Dr Freud. Freud saw sexual symbolism in almost everything. Some people see political symbolism in almost everything. At least least Freud recognized that sometimes a doughnut is just a doughnut. 
    Clint Eastward has a history of speaking his mind, being a conservative and a willingness to take hits for his beliefs. I suspected his intention was to send a patriotic messages of keeping our heads up and that we are not done yet.
    Of course there are people who don’t care about someone’s intentions and will make political hay out of anything. The left cried foul anytime someone gave a patriotic message when Bush was in office. They took it as support for Bush. Sometime a patriotic message is just that, a patriotic message. Not necessarily a promotional message for whomever the President happens to be. The fact that Chrysler sponsor it seems a little lame to me but the message is still good.

    • herddog505

      I found it less a “patriotic message” and more “rah-rah!” to convince the audience of two things:

      1.  That buying a Dodge / Chrysler / Jeep product is patriotic and will help bring back a great American company, city and industry, and;
      2.  That the billions of dollars “loaned” to Chrysler was money well-spent.

      The first is nothing new: “Made in the USA” has long been less a statement of simple fact than an ad slogan.  Ditto getting an American cultural icon to endorse a product, and associating buying a particular product with doing a good deed.

      The second is where trouble arises.  Quite a few people, including me, have a LOT of trouble with the bailouts, so efforts to convince us that they were just absolutely wonderful sticks in our collective craw.  Further, as I wrote above, what is Chrysler doing that will be so different than they were doing BEFORE they got all that money?  To contine the sports analogy, why should we believe that the team that was shellacked so badly in the first half is going to come roaring back in the second?  How are they going to play differently?  As I see it, Chrysler got a huge pile of cash that will allow them to continue to conduct business as usual.

      And, yes, there’s a political subtext.  Who benefits if Americans are comfortable – even happy – with the bailouts and believe them to have been a Good Thing?

      Imagine that this commercial had been broadcast for the Superbowl in ’04 and Clint had been speaking of a “comeback” regarding the war in Iraq.  Do you think that wouldn’t have been seen – rightly – as being a pretty obvious benefit for Bush?

  • Brian_R_Allen

    Clint Eastwood as America’s charismatic narcissist’s Leni