Southern Comfort

Reporter scrums, where journalists jostle for position to fire questions at executives, have been particularly rough at this year’s Detroit show, a reflection of both the bounty of news to be had and the alarming number of credentials issued.

This was best typified by the gaggle of reporters, photographers and videographers chasing Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) on the show floor Tuesday evening.

A sharp critic of the auto industry during last month’s Congressional bridge-loan hearings, Corker drew more than 50 journalists, falling over each other as he toured car displays with executives.

At one point, the jostling hordes nearly crashed a nearby interview under way with General Motor’s Bo Andersson, apparently mistaking the surprised purchasing chief’s TV crew for Corker’s arrival.

Cobo Hall security tried wresting the senator free from the fray to continue his tour, but were beaten back by feisty scribes shouting, “He’s agreeing to the interview!”

Unruffled, the freshman senator appeared to enjoy the attention, consenting to calls from photographers for “one more shot” and offering witty quips to reporters in a soothing Southern drawl.

Fit to Print, or Not

A New York tabloid that went out of its way to castigate Detroit auto makers during the federal-loan hearings last month takes forecasting to a new height this week.

The newspaper erroneously rewrote a Bloomberg report to say Ford will sell 12.5 million cars this year, while GM will deliver 10.5 million.

Evidently, Ford and GM have entered the emerging markets of Mars, Saturn and Venus for the extra capacity.

– compiled by Barbara McClellan