Speed Reads

consumer alert

The Daily Show slams GM greed, but spares new CEO Mary Barra

Comedy Central

On Wednesday night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart took a step-by-step walk through the legal and moral hurricane GM has found itself in over faulty ignition switches that the company acknowledges have led to at least 13 deaths. His case is pretty damning, because GM's documented actions (or lack of actions) and deadly avarice are so egregious. Stewart also slapped GM for promoting Mary Barra to CEO — making her the first U.S. female automotive chief executive — without telling her of the looming disaster.

Stewart really hit his stride, though, when he looked at how GM's 2009 bankruptcy made compensating victims an optional move for the automaker. "Not only are corporations people, they've got some sort of mutant power that allows them to dodge the consequences of their actions," Stewart said — adding that he can't wait for a "non-corporate person" to try GM's defense in court. He picked on convicted cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer as his test case for absolving liability by declaring "moral bankruptcy" and moving on. It's a cutting analogy, but Stewart's parting shot about Dahmer driving a Ford is absolutely brutal. --Peter Weber