The Detroit News has covered Toyota’s recent recall with great interest, reporting on each angle and development relentlessly. In fact, if not for its editorial board’s insistence on taking a stance opposite whatever Governor Jennifer Granholm proposes, one could be fooled into thinking the News were a good watchdog for the Michigan consumer.

But then they go and do something like this:

…A few days prior to the governor’s address, she returned to a constant theme of this state’s Democrats: Ending protection against lawsuits for pharmaceutical firms whose products have been declared safe by the federal government.

The statute insulating pharmaceutical companies was adopted in 1995 in an attempt to develop Michigan as a site for pharmaceutical research.

Some would argue the intent was not to encourage developing a new industry, but a back-scratching to the big pharma giants bankrolling powerful lawmakers. Nonetheless, once reminded that Granholm wanted to, finally, allow Michiganders to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable when their products harm or kill, the News tossed out their canned opinion:

If the governor is interested in diversifying the state’s economy, she will drop this sop to the trial lawyers.

Get it? While the pages of the paper can be filled with reporting on Toyota’s recalls, which would not happen were it not for the power of the people to hold the carmaker accountable in court if the cars malfunction and harm people, the editors can lament the desire of consumers to regain a similar power over pharmaceutical giants.

What’s wrong with accountability? What’s the problem with businesses being good corporate citizens and, GASP, responsible for the effects of their products on the people forking over a sizeable amount of money for them?