The first time I saw Scott Burgess’s review of the Chrysler 200, I very nearly posted a screengrab of the headline to TTAC as a conversation-starter. Why? Because when a Detroit automaker re-launches a worked-over vehicle in a crucial segment and then hypes it with a Detroit-boosting Super Bowl ad, the local paper just doesn’t go and slam the car in question. In fact, it’s rare to ever see a negative review of a Detroit-made vehicle in either the Detroit News or its sister paper the Detroit Free Press. Ultimately I decided against pointing out the DetN’s slam, as one headline does not a story make… unless, of course, it does. Jalopnik.com reports that Burgess has resigned from the Detroit News, and that a number of his bon mots have been excised from the online version of his 200 review. Lines like “regrettably, the 200 is a dog,” as well as his conclusion that
It’s vastly improved, but that’s only because it was so horrendous before. Hopefully, this car is a placeholder until the real redesigned 200 arrives – eventually.
The only thing this 200 proves is that good enough is never going to be good enough.
The Detroit News hasn’t yet commented on the story, but Jalopnik’s investigation creates a pretty damning case against the paper [Ed: for all we knock ’em, we have to acknowledge El Jalop’s fine work here]. The DetN may have lost a huge amount of credibility by forcing out Burgess for daring to tell the truth, but this story will only help draw more awareness to the ugly reality that still defines too much of the automotive media. Painful incidents like this one will ultimately leave the automotive media more healthy for having forced writers to stand up for the truth.