By on March 8, 2008

0711_zjean_jennings_chrysler_town_country.jpgOne of TTAC's Best and Brightest– an automotive journo who wishes to remain anonymous– sent us this link to what he calls a "pimpatorial." It stars Jean Jennings, Automobile's Editor-in-Chief for the last seven years (with an '06 interregnum). Although Ms. Jennings does not reveal her title in the intro clip (or thereafter), she clearly identifies her employer before gushing about the Jeep brand. Apparently, Ms. Jennings disagrees with those critics who view the Compass as a brand abomination. In fact, she claims that Jeep has "remained true to its original mission." There's more. Lots more. Jennings spreads the video love over all seven Jeep models. I hereby declare Automobile's editorial integrity officially, irrefutably, defunct. 

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36 Comments on “Automobile Editor Jean Jennings Stars in Jeep “Pimpatorial”...”


  • avatar
    jthorner

    And to think that years ago when I had fewer gray hairs I enjoyed her writing ….

    Ever since I saw “Car and Driver” brand motor oil in a Target store I have known that traditional ‘merican car magazines are dead.

    P.S. Jeeps are trucks, not Automobiles!

  • avatar
    Andy D

    Nah, the current line of jeeps are cars. 99% of them never go off road.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    That’s pathetic.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    What a shame. Automobile used to be the only decent US car mag.

  • avatar
    CarShark

    Wow. Unbelievable.

    I wonder if every other automaker that advertises in Automobile will want this kind of attention. If she works for GM, she’ll be taping for a week and a half.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Carshark:

    Automobile Magazine “Pimpatorial” for Chevrolet Hybrids available at:

    http://www.automobilemag.com/chevy/index.html

    Videos include:
    1. Ode to Malibu Hybrid.
    2. The greatness and everyday useablility of the Two-mode Tahoe.
    3. The overall explanation of the God-ordained Two-Mode technology.

  • avatar
    Dinu

    Sad.

    Automobile has their photography, Ezra Dyer, Robert Cumberford and Georg Kacher to differentiate themselves from C&D, MT, R/T.

    They still have them, but their integrity/credibility is now compromised.

  • avatar

    Jeepers creepers!

    Dinu,

    Don’t forget Jamie Kitman.

  • avatar
    i6

    Jean says in defense of the Compass “Some people just want a vehicle that has genuine Jeep cachet”. What gives the Compass “genuine Jeep cachet”? Is it the 7-slot grille? Because other than that, you reviewed a Dodge (and a lousy one at that). ‘Pimpatorial’ is right.

  • avatar
    Dinu

    Yes, Jamie Kitman is good too.

    I see Automobile as a potential great US/NA version of CAR in the UK. From what I understand/know this was the idea behind its creation. Cumberford’s By Design features are fantastic, Dyer had some memorable articles in the last 18 months or so (Cayenne in Dubai for example), Kacher’s latest on Modena was decent (he can be read in either CAR or evo IIRC).. It didn’t need to go down this path…

    It really is a shame that C&D has lost its edge and content (for starters their comparisons barely devote one page per car – and that includes photos – and this is their strongest reason for being IMO).

    As for MT and R/T. Personally I’m no fan, although I sometimes browse MT since the school subscribes to it; I ask the teacher librarian to set it aside for me before the kids get it.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    Jean is a very nice, and very smart, lady, but it’s unfortunate that her choice of duds, hairdo, etc. make this look like a Saturday Night Live segment.

  • avatar

    Stephan Wilkinson :

    Jean is a very nice, and very smart, lady, but it’s unfortunate that her choice of duds, hairdo, etc. make this look like a Saturday Night Live segment.

    I couldn’t care less about Ms. Jennings’ dress sense, intelligence or personality. (Most major league PR people are intelligent, articulate, attractive, clever and charming.) I care that Ms. Jennings has sold her editorial independence to the car makers. It makes all auto journalists look bad.

  • avatar
    tn4601

    The worst part? Take a look at the video for the Commander, and see if you can spot the error in measurement when Jean talks about the rear cargo capacity. Even my roommate, who was looking in the fridge, caught it! I thought she was just kidding when she said “70 square feet” to describe a cubic area.

  • avatar

    I just bought Automobile, C&D, R&T and everything else with the review of the Pontiac G8. Based on my admittedly non-representative sample of 1 month of issues, I have to say Automobile is really a cut above the other rags.

    It’s disheartening to see the E-i-C selling her objectivity up the river in such a manner. It also mines away at her credibility to be boosting a vehicle that, by consensus of basically everyone except those snuggled up against Chrysler’s bosom, is a rolling turd.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    Robert Farago:

    “I couldn’t care less about Ms. Jennings’ dress sense, intelligence or personality. (Most major league PR people are intelligent, articulate, attractive, clever and charming.) I care that Ms. Jennings has sold her editorial independence to the car makers. It makes all auto journalists look bad.”

    Robert, you aren’t by any chance under the impression that this is a revelation? You are aware that the absolute top names among “automotive journalists” earn huge amounts of money writing press kits, like mid-five digits per kit? When you get the 150-page Mazda MX-5 press kit, whether in the three-ring binder of yore or on a CD, full of information on the material used for the main-bearing inserts and the volumetric efficiency of the engine and the five-link rear suspension and the exact degrees of deflection in each axis, that wasn’t written by some Missouri Journalism School kid in the PR department, it was written by…well, everybody reading this forum would recognize their names instantly.

    Of course the difference here is that Jean has signed her work.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    I know I saw a similar sell-out of David E. Davis with Audi, but I can’t find it now.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    I don't think she's sold her soul, she just merely leased it to endorse a product that obviously is a conflict of interest. Sorta like Dr. Jarvik and his Lipitor ads.

  • avatar
    peoplewatching04

    Jean Jennings and Bob Lutz should get married.

  • avatar

    quasimondo
    I don’t think she’s sold her soul, she just merely leased it to endorse a product that obviously is a conflict of interest. Sorta like Dr. Jarvik and his Lipitor ads

    Yeah, but at least Pfizer pulled the Jarvik ads because they were misleading.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    That name sounds familiar… Jean Jennings, isn’t there an auto journalist also named Jean Jennings?

  • avatar
    wmba

    I’ve had little or no respect for Jennings ever since Discovery Channel aired some absolutely crap British-produced TV shows. These shows purportedly choose best sports car of all time, best GT, etc, etc. You get the idea.

    The producers have little or no regard for getting their facts straight or even correct for that matter. Jennings is one of the so-called experts extolling the virtues of these cars, and easily proves she hasn’t got any more clues than the producers. It shocked me when I saw one of these shows how little the editor of Automobile actually knew.

    Perhaps she’s a lot better at being an office manager and an avid self-promoter. I haven’t purchased Automobile since I saw those shows some years ago. Who needs it? Remember, it’s always management that’s to blame for screwups and attitude. I’m old, I’ve been there in industry and office. Jennings is management.

    Imagine you were a journo getting told to do a rewrite by this person who is technically and historically clueless. Obviously the journos do it or don’t mind being edited so long as there’s a check at the end, because the bylines haven’t changed.

    I DON’T need to read that stuff, thanks.

  • avatar
    justjim

    Here’s a link that just goes to show what an unbiased testing facility thinks of the worst 11 junkers on the road today… Sure seems like a big bunch of these come from our pals at Chrysler

    http://finance.yahoo.com/loans/article/104561/11-Worst-Cars-Consumer-Reports

  • avatar
    Mcloud1

    Its offical, I am never buying Automobile ever again.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    wmba:

    “Imagine you were a journo getting told to do a rewrite by this person who is technically and historically clueless. Obviously the journos do it or don’t mind being edited so long as there’s a check at the end, because the bylines haven’t changed.”

    This is an inevitable problem, and it exists on this forum as well. When I was at Car and Driver in the 1970s, we had two people, and two people only, who were technically/technologically astute: Pat Bedard and Don Sherman. They were engineers who had turned themselves into excellent writers as well, and it truly pained them to watch those of us–including Brock Yates, me, William Jeanes, Warren Weith, Jean Shepherd, Charlie Fox and others–whose technical savvy consisted of fables, legends, myths and misinformatin we had amassed over years as “sports-car enthusiasts.”

    We were pretty good writers, though, and good editors on some cases. So we basically ran the show, and Pat and Don did the best they could to keep us on track and accurate. Often they failed and could do no more than go home and punch the wall.

    I don’t think any of us were “technologically and historically clueless,” and neither is Jean Jennings, but it’s the way car magazines have always been and will always be written and run. As well as forums such as this one. And as well as TV shows; do you think Jeremy Clarkson is a brilliant engineer?

    Indeed, one of the problems with Car and Driver today is that it is run by a bunch of engineers and technologists who are very smart about car design and engineering but have little creative imagination and not enough of the ethical fire that honest-to-god journalists and editors do have.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Stephan Wilkinson:

    I’m interested in this mid-five digit payday you are speaking of, and have been know to turn a phrase.

    Selling out, but who’s buying?

    -Jonny-

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    This is too bad. I was just thinking that the most recent issue (the one with the G8) was the best I’d read in a long time.

    This is as bad as when C/D sold their soul (not for the first time) to Ford for their Fusion ad campaign comparing the car to the Accord and Camry

    You know things are bad when MT starts to look like the best of the four mags.

  • avatar
    keepaustinweird

    RF – here’s another way to look at it. JJ did you and TTAC a big favor. By being so transparently pimped anyone with any sense who sees/is told about this will discount (yet another) old guard print publication as “souled out.”

    IMO the more contrast that exists between TTAC and the sell-outs, the better of it is for you (short, medium and) long-term.

  • avatar
    i6

    I’m not so sure. People in a given line of work tend to all get characterized with the same prejudices. Just ask any used car salesperson, politician or lawyer.

  • avatar

    Nice lady from the midwest, probably tuition bills to pay…..besides, it’s not like the NY Times, using “inside information” about another nation’s alleged nuclear program.

    It’s just Jeep, and those of us who know better still do.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Another death rattle from the Old Media.

    Long live the New Flesh.

  • avatar
    td284

    Don’t be fooled, the “new” media is just as bad. Magazines (like websites) exist to sell ads. Other than Consumer Reports, they are profit-making (they hope) businesses. They are not newspapers, but more like promotional vehicles for the industry with some comparisons and only slightly critical reviews. Who gives them the cars to review? TTAC, who gives you your cars? That said….Jean! shilling for the Compass?! What were you thinking?!

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Frank Williams

    “Yeah, but at least Pfizer pulled the Jarvik ads because they were misleading.”

    Nobody cared about that. They were all upset that they used a body double to show him rowing a boat because the good Doctor has never touched an oar before.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Every time I saw the Pfizer ad (featuring the eminent “Doctor”), I would mentally edit his speil to say: “Hello, I’m Doctor Jarvik; I tried and tried to perfect the artificial heart, but I failed. Since I’ve given up, it’s not officially a sell-out if I suggest that you take this drug for the rest of your life. Oh, and I’m not a medical doctor, but a PhD.”

    It really depends on the individual at which point that the vocation becomes secondary to economic practicality — only the truly wealthy can stand their ground and stay pure.

  • avatar

    disgusting

  • avatar
    Phil Roast Beef

    Yuck.

  • avatar
    Virtual Insanity

    “I hereby declare Automobile’s editorial integrity officially, irrefutably, defunct…”

    I’ve often felt the same way about this site, but I still come back. Look at it this way…I still pay for my Automobile subscription, and I’m not paying here. Fun stuff.


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