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Motor Trend editor shreds Limbaugh after attack on Chevy Volt: ‘Driving and Oxycontin don’t mix’

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Rush Limbaugh may have met his match.

An editor from Motor Trend magazine has taken the radio talk show juggernaut to task, shredding Limbaugh after he attacked the magazine’s credibility and GM’s new electic car, the Chevy Volt.

The attack was fueled by comments Limbaugh made after the magazine named the Volt “Car of the Year.” In a fit of Limbaughesque rancor, the editor, Todd Lassa, slammed Limbaugh personally, even going so far as to raise Limbaugh’s onetime addiction to the painkiller Oxycontin.

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Limbaugh attacked the car in little-noticed comments last week. “The Chevrolet Volt is the Car of the Year?” he asked. “Motor Trend magazine, that’s the end of them. How in the world do they have any credibility? Not one has been sold [and] the Volt is the Car of the Year.”

Soon after, Motor Trend editor Todd Lassa went on the attack, in a blog post titled, “Rush to Judgment.”

“Our credibility, Mr. Limbaugh, comes from actually driving and testing the car, and understanding its advanced technology,” Lassa wrote in a blog post on the magazine’s website. “It comes from driving and testing virtually every new car sold, and from doing this once a year with all the all-new or significantly improved models all at the same time. We test, make judgments and write about things we understand.”

“Assuming you’ve been anywhere near the biggest automotive technological breakthrough since … I don’t know, maybe the self-starter, could you even find your way to the front seat?” he continued. “Or are you happy attacking a car that you’ve never even seen in person?

The Motor Trend editor also slammed Limbaugh for making false statements about the car.

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“Last time you ranted about the Volt, you got confused about the ‘range,’ and said on the air that the car could be driven no more than 40 miles at a time, period,” Lassa said. (In fact, the Volt can go 40 miles on its electric engine and then travel longer distances using gasoline.) “At least you stayed away from that issue this time, but you continue to attack it as the car only a tree hugging, Obama-supporting Government Motors customer would want. As radio loudmouths like you would note, none of those potential customers were to be found after November 2.”

“Chevrolet has not sold one Volt because it’s not on sale yet,” Lassa added. “It will not sell 10,000 this first model year (although GE plans to buy truckloads for its fleet), because it takes time to ramp up production. See, Rush, because we’re the World’s Automotive Authority, we get access to many cars before they go on sale.

Then Lassa went for the jugular.

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“If you can stop shilling for your favorite political party long enough to go for a drive, you might really enjoy the Chevy Volt,” Lassa concluded. “I’m sure GM would be happy to lend you one for the weekend. Just remember: driving and Oxycontin don’t mix.”

Limbaugh admitted a drug addiction to the prescription painkiller Oxycontin in 2003. He confessed his addiction on his program that year and entered a 30-day rehab program.

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Limbaugh has long been a critic of the Volt, which he’s described as an “overpriced lemon.” He’s also derided the “supposed superiority complex of people who would buy electric or hybrid cars.” He once said he refused a lucrative advertising deal for the Volt’s parent company, GM, because he couldn’t in good conscience recommend the car.

Lassa hasn’t been Limbaugh’s only critic on the issue. Earlier this year, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) lambasted Limbaugh when asked by a reporter about the talk show host’s attacks.

“It’s just un-American,” Granholm said. “I can’t believe that somebody would say this about this American product. He hasn’t even driven it. He hasn’t sat in it. You know, why wouldn’t you be supportive of American manufacturers building American vehicles with American workers, who now have jobs as a result of this.”

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Lassa’s comments were first picked up on by the liberal blog ThinkProgress.


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