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That shady CEO of GM, Rick Wagoner, has officially lost his job:

President Obama’s planned announcement of his plan for the auto industry received heavy media attention today. The Administration’s plans to force Rick Wagoner to step down as CEO of GM was often presented as an indication of the severity and scope of the problem and to show the Administration’s sensitivity to public anger over bailouts. ABC World News reported “the Administration itself asked Wagoner to step down as part of its plan to restructure the auto industry, which will be announced by the President tomorrow.” The Detroit Free Press reports it “wasn’t clear today who would replace Wagoner, or why the government had asked him to leave.” The New York Times says on its front page that Wagoner’s ouster “caught Detroit and Washington by surprise.”

In contrast to the Free Press and New York Times, Detroit News reports, “Most industry insiders were not entirely surprised, given the political mood.” Similarly, USA Today reports Wagoner’s “opposition to bankruptcy as an option for GM could have played a factor in his ouster.” In a front-page article, the Financial Times reports that a person close to GM said that “the government intervention made it likely GM would file for bankruptcy protection sometime in the next few weeks.” On CBS’s Face The Nation, President Obama said, “We want to have a successful U.S. auto industry, but it’s got to be one that is realistically designed to weather this storm and to emerge at the other end much more lean, mean and competitive than it currently is. And that’s going to mean a set of sacrifices from all parties involved.” In a front-page article, the Washington Post reports that the Administration “said yesterday that it would withhold additional federal aid to the auto industry unless the ailing companies undertake changes they so far have been unwilling or unable to make.” Similarly, in a front-page article, the Wall Street Journal reports that, in “one of the most dramatic government interventions in private industry” during this economic crisis, “the Obama administration used the threat of withholding more bailout money to force out” Wagoner.

Guess the checks have just stopped coming in for this character….

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