Is Mary Barra 'Owning' The GM Recall Debacle?

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we have reports from USA Today, Smithsonian and The New York Times.

Wolff: GM's Barra shames voiceless CEOsUSA Today

It may not always look like it, but Mary Barra has done a better job of being visible during GM's recall scandal than her predecessors, let alone other CEOs of major companies. Michael Wolff thinks this is totally unusual, and maybe a sign of what Barra's GM will look like.

The obvious point is that Barra could have personally sidestepped this. She's only been the CEO for two months—it didn't happen on her watch. And, anyway, CEOs assign responsibility, they don't assume it.

Indeed, her response seemed so out of the usual playbook that it might reasonably seem like she had something else up her sleeve. She wasn't just apologizing and accepting accountability, she was announcing herself.

The Los Angeles That Was Never BuiltSmithsonian

Always interesting to see what someone thought LA should've looked like.

"It blows your mind," says Sam Lubell, co-curator of "Never Built: Los Angeles" and co-author of its accompanying book. "You think LA was always going to be a freeway city, it was always going to be a sprawling metropolis, but no. Things could have been extremely different."

Risks Abound as Reporters Play in TrafficThe New York Times

I think David Carr didn't differentiate between clicks and actual visitors all that well, but it's a solid column on what some companies are doing with all these analytics. Some understand how to use those numbers better than others, but it's still early.

If I were being paid by the click for this column, I might have begun it this way: Will an oppressive emphasis on "click bait" mean that the news ends up imprisoned by transgendered models posing in disgraceful listicles accompanied by kidnapped nude kittens?

But I'm not. So let's just say that there is a growing trend in many corners of journalism to tie the compensation of journalists to the amount of web traffic and/or articles they generate.

Photo: AP