February 6, 2012, - 2:09 am

Best Supe Ad & A Word About Clint Eastwood’s Chrysler/Detroit Fraud

By Debbie Schlussel

I thought the Super Bowl ads, this year, were particularly crappy and not funny, despite the star power and ever-escalating budgets for them and costs to air them.  Please make those animated Coke polar bears go away. Um, did they not get the message from the unpopularity of the polar bear cans and bottles? Make it stop. My favorite ad was the one for Pepsi Max, below, and even that wasn’t that great because Pepsi has done this “embarrass the Coke driver” stuff at several Super Bowls before, so it’s not original.  And truth be told, Pepsi Max tastes like gasoline.  Coke Zero tastes better.  Regis is the whole ad.  Without him, it’s crap.  Plus, Beth Littleford, the blonde chick playing the cashier is a raving leftist in real life.  The Seinfeld ads weren’t bad, either. He’d probably pull that in real life. What was your favorite ad?

Then there is the Clint Eastwood “It’s Halftime in America” ad for Chrysler that everyone is raving about.  Everyone, except me.  At least, I think I’m the only Detroit-area resident that isn’t gushing like a spittoon and falling for his rah-rah/”the people of Detroit have done a 180″ BS.  First of all, I had to laugh when I heard Clint Eastwood invoke “the people of Detroit,” and then say, “But we all pulled together.”  Huh? Who is “we?”  This dude lives in Carmel, California, where he was even the Mayor of the place.  The only “pullin’ together” he did was when he took millions in Michigan Film Tax Credits–a drain on Detroit and the rest of the State–pushing us further into economic ruin.

He came here for a few weeks, stayed at a fancy hotel and ate at fancy restaurants in the suburbs while he filmed “Gran Torino” (read my review), then skedaddled the heck outta here (and who can blame him?) while he collected his several millions in the Michigan taxpayer funded “bailout” of his movie, to the tune of 42% of its budget.  It was a silly program to give away money from Michigan businesses and taxpayers to Hollywood people.  It was dreamed up and supported by liberals, including the liberal then-Governor Jennifer Granholm a/k/a Governatrix Gran-HO (who high-tailed it outta here not long after Clint did).  And he took advantage of it, helping to further drain the Michigan economy.  So, I’m not quite sure what ole’ Clint means when he says, “But we all pulled together.” Nuh-uh.

And here’s a reality check to what Chrysler paid millions to have Clint tell you:  Detroit is NOT getting better.  It’s getting worse.  The city recently, at the last minute, averted the State’s Governor being forced to appoint an emergency manager because the city was about to go bankrupt.  And that may still happen in the near future, depending upon how things go.  The City Council President, Charles Pugh, recently announced he’s walking away from his foreclosed-upon condo.  The downtown remains a ghost town–even in mid-day.  Nearby Pontiac is bankrupt and the now defunct Pontiac Silverdome has grass and weeds growing all over its massive, abandoned parking lot.

It’s not getting better here, no matter how breathy the former Dirty Harry makes his voice sound in claiming otherwise.  This isn’t a “Go ahead make my day” city.  It’s a “Just go” city, whose day long ago died and was buried.  I really hope that Detroit is NOT–contrary to Mr. Eastwood’s claims–the analogy for America’s destiny.  It’s not halftime here in Detroit.  It’s two seconds before time runs out and the final score is determined. And the other team is beating us in a blow-out.  If and when Detroit comes back, it will be years from now. I wish this were not so, but wishing doesn’t make it better. I don’t know how anyone with a straight face can celebrate Detroit’s “comeback” that never was. But Clint Eastwood managed to do it (for mucho bucks, I’m sure).

Believe me, I’d love to see Detroit come back.  It would be a good thing for me, my friends and neighbors here, and for America.   But it’s simply a lie to say that has happened or even is happening, right now.  Not even close.  Just the opposite, in fact.  There’s nothing wrong with American optimism.  That’s what keeps us going.  But it’s entirely another thing to engage in revisionism, which is what the Chrysler Eastwood ad is in its entirety. It’s just fiction. Maybe Chrysler “came back,” at a cost of a lot of jobs lost, a lot of dealerships forcibly closed for no legit reason, and a lot of tax dollars. But Detroit hasn’t come back. It remains on the brink.

A lot of people are making a big deal about how the ad doesn’t tell the real story of the Chrysler bailout and Obama takeover.  And that’s true.  It doesn’t.  But, to me, the larger fiction–make that, outright fraud!–of the ad is the claim that Detroit has come around.  It hasn’t. And it’s getting ever worse, to the point that the crime and foreclosures in surrounding suburbs have mimicked Detroit for several years now, to the point where the city borders are meaningless.

I’m glad that Chrysler graduated from last year’s BS move of using the disgusting and sleazy Eminem a/k/a Marshall Mathers, III as a spokesmodel.  But I sarcastically add to that, “Thank Heaven for small favors.”

Detroit is not pulling together.  It continues to come apart.


Again, what was your fave Supe ad? And why? What did you think of the quality of ads in this year’s Super Bowl?

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34 Responses

Your remarks are entirely accurate. My sister who lives in another state thinks that Detroit and the car companies have turned around. I’m going to have to give her the details about what really has been going on.

sturgis on February 6, 2012 at 2:46 am

The best thing for Detroit would be to continue tearing unused portions of it down. In time, perhaps these sections could be reclaimed for agriculture or refuse disposal.

Worry01 on February 6, 2012 at 6:22 am

I don’t drink Coke. Coca Cola is run by pro-gay marriage, anti-Christian fascists.

Daniel Middleman on February 6, 2012 at 7:23 am

I is not my responsibility to save Chrysler or Detroit. I wonder how much the tax payers paid for that ad?

burt on February 6, 2012 at 7:59 am

Isn’t Chrysler now majority-owned by … FIAT? Oh, what a low-rent move by Eastwood. Does he really need the money that badly?

Raymond in DC on February 6, 2012 at 10:17 am

[Debbie – But Detroit hasn’t come back. It remains on the brink.]

If Obamam wins re-election, can you say “Bailout”?

I_AM_ME on February 6, 2012 at 10:22 am

Clint Eastwood is peeing on his legacy of Dirty Harry. I guess Clint is out of money and dignity.

a on February 6, 2012 at 10:23 am

The whole “Detroit is turning around” BS reminds me of “comic” Will Durst’s oft-quoted take on George Bush the Elder’s “The economy is turning the corner” comment from his failed 1992 re-election bid – “Yeah, then it rolled twelve times, hit a tree, and then burst into flames.” That rejoinder sounds more like what is REALLY meant by Detroit “turning around,” at this point.

ConcernedPatriot on February 6, 2012 at 10:56 am

When are the pundits going to talk about the actual debt GM still owes the taxpayer. It is well over $55 billion. All that has been paid back to the taxpayer is essentially the down payment to handle the government mugging/takeover of the company and the disposal of the people who had paid for their 10 year lifeline known as debt equity. When all the clearing of the lying politicians and union thugs and the story of how all the manipulation pulled off by Ratner and Obama’s cronies, future law students are going to wonder how the jail doors never were opened. Mishelle Bachmann said it best, we have gangsta government, and that is putting it mildly.

Mike C on February 6, 2012 at 11:14 am

Debbie as usual you hit the nail on the head. First off the Super Bowl ads were again lackluster to say the least. I do love pepsi but pepsi max does taste like something you can put in your car tank. The Clint Eastwood ad reminds me of the crappy Eminem ad from last year. I didn’t know that Eastwood did all of that when he made Gran Torino. It firgures because he is nothing but a pampered actor who has no idea about what the average American has to go through with what odummer has done. Anyway my favorite ad was the doritos one with the kid in the clubhouse teasing the grandma and little baby. That was priceless.

ken b on February 6, 2012 at 11:28 am

i’ve become so cynical that i view the “detroit comeback” false meme as being deliberately cultivated and created specifically for use in obama’s re-election campaign.

the lie being pitched, of course, is that if obama can turn america’s poster child city of desolation (that would be detroit) around, he get’s the credit at the opportune moment, election time!

also, i love clint eastwood films, but, i was immediately struck by how ridiculous it was to have west coast eastwood proclaiming detroit’s faux comeback. again, the cynic in me thinks it’s obvious they chose eastwood because of his iconic appeal to masculinity to the average american white male, with his religious clingsmanship and gunnery.

KIRCHE on February 6, 2012 at 11:30 am

i too was a bit surprised at how mediocre the superbowl ads were… for me, that’s part of the show. they’ve run out of new ideas? clever ideas?

the ads seemed to reflect the malaise mood of the country, i say.

KIRCHE on February 6, 2012 at 11:44 am

and madonna’s half time performance, which was spectacular as a production, seemed out of place and more appropriate for a vegas gig or a concert tour.

her new song was a bit… stupid. juvenile. obviously trying to be youthful? her last hit, hung up, is a great song… one of her best. but i think this was her last attempt to reap some quick bucks off of her iconic status, and she used the superbowl to do it.

KIRCHE on February 6, 2012 at 11:49 am

Didn’t they literally turn out the lights on Highland Park?


Wasn’t Highland Park the town in Gran Torino?

Does Eastwood even know any of this?

Turning the corner and “pulling together” lolololololololol


PitandPen on February 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm

“Governatrix” LOL

@KIRCHE – Opening paragraph of your 11:30 post. Pretty much what I was going to add.

Is Pepsi One still around, or did Pepsi Max replace it? Pepsi One was my favorite until they changed sweetener from NutraSweet to Splenda. Since then I’ve been drinking Diet Coke until lately when they started with the global warming BS.

CornCoLeo on February 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Clint Eastwood’s 2008 movie, “Gran Torino,” was more an asset than a “drain” on Detroit. Yes, I know, he received state tax credits to defray much of the costs. Well, stop the presses. Tax incentives to attract business in low-income urban areas have been around at least as long as enterprise zones, apparently a preferred conservative/libertarian approach to economic development. Right?

Fact: Film and TV production pumps money into a community — that’s pretty much why so many states in recent years have created film tax credit incentives in the first place. So my man Clint stayed at a “fancy” hotel and ate at “fancy” restaurants, as no doubt did many among his production crew. Is this a scandal? I doubt the proprietors of these establishments objected. Should he have stayed in a hovel and ate only at McDonald’s, just to be in synch with the “99 percent” street urchin?

“Gran Torino,” by the way, was a great film. Like his earlier “Million Dollar Baby,” it was a tragic parable on the cleansing power of surrogate fatherhood. And the old man still knows how to pack heat when confronted by feral blacks.

Seek on February 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Pepsi is using aborted baby cells to develop flavor enhancers

My reply to Clint.
“corporate welfare works, it really works!”

Poncho on February 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm

It’s halftime in America. Buy Italian.

Eddie Baby on February 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I think the “we” in his ad means we taxpayers and our grandchildren who will be paying for the “free for all” giveaway to the automakers.

CJ on February 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Because of political correctness, there’s nothing left to make fun of, or laugh at, except cartoon characters (M&M) and animals.

Robin H on February 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Its “half time in America????” That commercial was as pathetic as Clints voice has become. It is only half time if you think we should go all the rest of the way to Communism…its pretty much the two minute warning and the socialists have us deep in our own end with a 12 trillion dollar lead….and we have a quarterback who seems to be playing for the other team….and a coaching staff that has been taken bets against us winning.

Ron on February 6, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I liked the slingshot Dorito’s baby! I lived in Bloomfield Hills back in the late 70’s and went down Woodward a lot. A year and a half ago I drove with my friend from Pontiac to the Detroit Library down Woodward to research geneology & go to Lafayette Coney Island. The drive has changed a lot but the Hookers are still on 6th & Woodward! Except for Hockeytown I thought I was in a war zone & the guy at Lafayette tried to screw us out of $20 change. Like my hometown Saginaw I don’t think Detroit will come back, ever.

Hollywood on February 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Debbie, you stated, “pepsimax tastes like gasoline”. Debbie have you tasted gasoline? 😉

CaliforniaScreaming on February 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Sadly I think that Detroit should do the same thing that Youngstown, Ohio did. What Youngstown is doing is basically bulldozing huge sections of the outer city and planting trees and turning it back into forest. They then are taking what money they do have and fixing up the central city and concentrating all govt services there.

Youngstown finally realized that the steel mills were never coming back and the city was 1/10th the size it was 50 years ago, so that was the plan they enacted. Sadly, the same is true of Detroit and they need to do the same thing.

jimmyPx on February 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm

I liked the Doritos commercial in which a Great Dane buried a cat and bribed the man who saw it with a bog of Doritos and a note, “You didn’t see nuthin”. Not a fan of Doritos so much, but any time a dog takes out a cat is a good day!

Manfred on February 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm

The Eastwood ad is the first Obama ad for television of the campaign. Whereas Reagan had “Morning in America,” Obama will have “Halftime in America.” We have faced “tough times” (i.e., the Bush years), but we are about to make a comeback, and the world “will hear our engines roar.” We previously suffered from disunity, but now realize that the need for the communal “we” and to work together (under Obama’s sage leadership). As narrator, they chose Clint Eastwood, an iconic American figure, and one who is even more desirable as being identifed in the public mind as a REPUBLICAN! (does anyone — after seeing “Million Dollar Baby” — think that Clint Eastwood is still a Republican today, 30 years after serving as a Republican mayor in wine and cheese Marin County). Notice also he emphasis of the ad that we have somehow “turned the corner” and are waiting to begin our ascent (translation, ignore the economic statistics of the past three years; we are now on a roll– see the recent engineered unexployment figures). The beauty of this ad is that it could pass as a CORPORATE ad for Chrysler, when it was really a sub rosa election campaign ad. It could be paid for with Chrysler money (using bailout funds from the federal goverment) and not even COUNT againt the Obama campaign. What is the estimate — that Chrysler will never pay back a billion dollars of the bailout? Never mind, by the way, that Chrysler is 60% owned by Fiat. This shows how the tentacles of the government are not strictly limited to the funds of the bailout. The company feels an oblilgation to do something consistent with the Obama re-election effort — or perhaps were reminded of it.

JOSEPH MCNULTY on February 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    WOW Joseph!!! What a well put together reply. That was awesome!

    Hollywood on February 6, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Chrysler is a dog with fleas: http://money.cnn.com/2011/07/21/autos/chrysler_government_exit/index.htm

When is it a victory when you lose $1.3 billion for investors(taxpayers)? Chrysler previously conned the Carter Administration into propping it up, which was at least partially a reelection gambit.

worry01 on February 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm

With the emphasis on little battery powered eccocars, the ad’s comment about hearing “Detroit’s engines roar” seems somewhat ironic…simply reVolting ;o)

jwb on February 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Football is too violent. I prefer auto racing.

The Super Bowl is just a warmup to the DAYTONA 500.

Move along. Nothing to see here. Wait for the “BOOGITY! BOOGITY! BOOGITY!”


There is NO Santa Claus (aka TINSC)

There is NO Santa Claus on February 6, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Detroit is coming back? Really, then why did they film the commercial in LA and New Orleans? The Detroit footage was stock footage reused from other commercials. Clint was filmed in LA at the stadium. Now that’s a comeback. Just like JLo’s fake driving in the Bronx commercial. All BS.

Ender on February 7, 2012 at 1:16 am

Maybe if Michigan became a Right-to-Work state like Indiana…

Little Al on February 7, 2012 at 2:23 am

Perhaps you should pray Detroit does not recover, after I visited a Walmart in Dearborn, near the Detroit border with a down and out ex-engineer Christian Lebanese friend to pick up some bags so he can clean after his now insane wife in their o now delapadated home on his decaying street.From my observation I can tell you both Detroit and Dearborn are doomed.
First this Walmart was no deal, its prices were sky high just like any ghetto store, yet there were lines of Arabs with their women in black side by side with Detroiters grabbing baskets of Doritos,Chips,Cola and Cookies,and clothes like it was 1980.
It was Friday, checks were cashed, bridge cards now a common sight. From my friend (nameless) I learned that in Dearborn bridge cards are used like American Express. Nobody cares. He suspects his ex wife now sells vicodin, someone else he knows possibly wanted by the FBI as a suspect in passing counterfit, his Dearborn doctor had his license to write for painkillers suspended. Apparently everyone and their uncle is on Vicodin bought off the street .Even in Royal Oak I overheard some jerk bragging about his vicodin and beer breakfast regimen.
Suddenly I had an epiphany, thanks to Bush and Obama and the high birthrate in Dearborn I believe we no longer have to worry about a military draft.It would be mass suicide if what I saw was drafted. Personally,I would prefer Mexicans.
Imagine drafting kids like the “junior mujahadeen” from Star International Academy who beat up a Lutheran quarterback at the end of the game they lost in Dearborn.
FYI Israel does not accept muslim Israelis into their army, but just Look at all the fraggings our soldiers suffered and still suffer from moslems they dutifully trained in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tell me this is not a religious war we are in.
Yeah, even Madonna who was born here is no longer touring in Michigan,smart kid. As for Dirty Harry, he’s just trying to bring back a little pride to this divided hostile battleground with a black Joe Lewis fist to welcome you to Detroit. One very short window of exception during the big war. Short as both GM and Ford were gladly doing business with Hitler with Father Coughlin and Lindberg’s blessings. Detroit,a city only a bullet dodging survivor or the ghost of Jimmy Hoffa haunting the former Ren Cen could love. Dearborn, even Mayor Guido must be spinning in his grave. It isn’t worth a falafel today.

Ron Wolf on February 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm

I believe that Clint meant the car industry not the city itself when he said Detroit. That’s how I understood it. Chrysler might have at least thanked the taxpayers who put up the money – against their wills – to bailout the company. They might even consider reapying the entire amount of the bailout. I suspect that all the statistics that show how well Chrysler and GM are doing are as phony as the economic ones coming out of the White House.

Pete on February 8, 2012 at 8:37 am

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