Friday, March 18, 2011

'If This is the Best Vehicle Detroit Exports, Then Glenn Beck Is Right'

So much for the integrity and independence of newspapers.
A particularly harsh Detroit News review of Chrysler’s new sedan has created a far bigger image problem for the newspaper than the car maker it bashed.

The News’ auto critic, Scott Burgess, resigned this week after his editors softened a review of the Chrysler 200 – making changes to an online version of the piece following a complaint from a local dealer who advertises in the paper, according to online auto site

The rift ignited a firestorm – largely in support of Burgess – that started in journalism circles and the blogosphere but eventually made its way to prime time with a mention on the Rachel Maddow Show.

The Jalopnik story, headlined “How the Detroit News Sold Its Soul” features before and after versions of Burgess’ column, which shows some of his harshest words omitted. Among the lines to get the ax: “If this is the best vehicle Detroit exports, then Glenn Beck is right.”

Burgess goes on to call the car a “dog” and compare its profile to “a loggerhead turtle.” “If this car came in tortoise shell, the EPA would have to put it on the endangered sedan list to prevent trappers and automotive enthusiasts from rightfully shooting it into extinction,” he writes in one of the deleted lines.

Let's face it. If your product sucks, complaining to a paper you advertise in isn't going to change that fact. Supposedly the entire review is back online, but this version isn't it.

Thankfully, he gave a good review to the 2011 Highlander since I just bought one.

Instapundit links. Thanks!

Update: An interesting email from reader Ronnie.
There's more to this that meets the eye.

This story has been broken and hyped by Jalopnik's Ray Wert. Jalopnik is a Gawker site. Don't be surprised if a company called Curbed, which bought Gridskipper, a travel site, from Gawker Media, ends up buying a site called Hipster Travel Guide. Nick Denton pretty much sold the site to himself since Gawker Media is a major investor in Curbed. Hipster Travel Guide is a travel site featuring journalists who aren't on the travel beat writing about travel. The publisher? Scott Burgess.


liberty_rocks said...

Rachel Maddow is hardly prime time.

DavidD said...

Worthwhile reading on this subject:

I hope The Truth About Cars fills us in with an actual review of the car.

I sat inside a 200 during a street festival which featured it.  It has a pretty nice interior.  Don't know how it is to drive since of course I wasn't able to drive it.