By on May 22, 2013

Safe Dildo

WARNING:  The content following the jump, albeit taken from a popular car site, could be viewed as highly objectionable when viewed here. It could also get you fired at YOUR workplace, or get you in DEEP trouble at home. DO NOT click the jump if this offends you, and DO NOT complain if the warning is not heeded. Mature language. Parental guidance is advised.


It is now common knowledge (at least, it is familiar to the folks who are into this stuff) that longterm TTAC writer Steven Lang departed TTAC. His great stories about the secret world of car auctions, and his first person insider reports from the drive here pay here underground will be sorely missed, and I don’t mean this in mean jest.  I keep telling people that nobody is irreplaceable, but Steve is.  He will be, unless we find the owner of a drive here pay here joint, who is also an auto auctioneer, and who can write – an unlikely combination of talents. Wherever he goes, read his stories. But is Steve safe where he goes? It looks like he might be jumping from a small frying pan into sustained fire.

According to his story at Jalopnik, Steve departed TTAC over the use of a word that stands for short-haired women loving women, along with “random articles that feature sex toys and general meanness at total strangers.”  (The Jalopnik story linked to the respective shocking stories at TTAC. The story also repeated the D-word, which I don’t D-are to repeat for fear of waterboarding.) Apparently, he thinks he is in subtler hands at Jalopnik and Yahoo.

People have varying thresholds for disgust, I understand. What I have a hard time understanding is that someone with such well-developed sensitivities is proud to write for Jalopnik, a site, which we all know, knows no shame. This is no value judgement. A good journalist should not be bashful.

To assist Steve in his career, we developed this multipart look Inside Of The Auto Blogging Industry – with a special emphasis on Jalopnik and its corporate owners at Gawker. This is useful information to any new writer at Jalopnik. Gawker will exert  much more influence on  Steve’s stories than Verticalscope on ours. Which is easy to do: VS never exerts any influence on stories at TTAC, never did, never will.  I have been reliably informed that Steve not so much wanted to have a cleaner TTAC, he may have sought a job as the chief of the august publication. There is one way to create an immediate job opening: Make our corporate owners change or influence a story on TTAC, and I will immediately leave.

Too much has been written already, therefore, we let pictures speak for themselves.  Here, we provide a pictorial insight into the social dynamics that await a not so young writer at his new Jalopnik workplace.  We provide the pictures with full links as proof that we did not make it up. If you want to shoot someone, don’t shoot the messenger. Last chance to leave, we are entering the world of Jalopnik

Christian Dildo

At TTAC, Steve was upset about a regular, albeit high quality dildo. (Jack Baruth loved the sex aid.)  At Jalopnik, Steven sees himself confronted with a Christian dildo, used as an illustration for “Cab driver banned from displaying crucifix because it looks like a penis.”

ku-xlarge

At TTAC, Steven had to endure pictures of floppy ears. At Jalopnik: Pictorial cruelty to animals. Nobody seems to care, as shown by the headline “Well, There’s Your Problem.”

dick bridge

Jalopnik seems to be obsessed with reproductive organs: “Russian Drawbridge Defaced With Giant Penis.”

rubbers

Jalopnik has a special section for Penis size News , Videos, Reviews. Probably just to fool Google, but they fooled me. Here, news about “Penis Size and Speeding Tickets: A Sizable Correlation.”

snow penis

More reproductive organ obsession: “Yes, That’s A Snow Penis.” It’s huge, considering that it’s cold.

whale penis

Save the whales: “Pam Anderson Forces Russian SUV-maker To Circumcise Whale Penis Leather Interior.” And more penis fixation.

Stereotypical Lamborghini

Stereotyping, Lamborghini edition: “Meet The Most Stereotypical Lamborghini Owner In The World.”

Stereotypical Lamborghini 2

Stereotyping, Lamborghini edition, 2: “Meet The Most Stereotypical Lamborghini Owner In The World.”

Penis Road

Signs of clinical penis fixation: “Ten More Unfortunate Street Names

slutshole lane

The road less traveled: “Ten More Unfortunate Street Names.” Says Jalopnik:  “Take too many trips down this road, though, and you’ll end up on Cockburn Street.”

strange tank

Domestic violence: “The Ten Strangest Tanks Ever Built

Viper V10

Illustration for a Viper V10 topic: “Y U NO HAVE MORE LOW END TORQUE!? Cars? What cars?

Fuck

Expletive undeleted: “Tuesday Night’s Stock Car Race Was A Total Shit Show

Diesel Dyke2

The Diesel Dyke!” When Jalopnik used this highly pejorative word (trucks should be up in arms and demand that author Davey G. Johnson be fired,) nobody complained – as far as we know. However, there seems to be strange self-censorship going on. Where is the picture of the diesel?

Diesel Dyke1

Ah! Here it is! To access this picture, a cached copy had to be used. However, now we are totally confused. Not upset. Confused. What was wrong with the truck?

gay news topgear

Jalopnik has a special section for Gay News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip. For news like “Top Gear “Bans” Gay Couples From Studio Audience.”

queeried Golf

Or for reports like this one: “VW Rabbit Most Queer-ied Car In First Quarter, 2009.” Did anyone demand Matt Hardigree’s ouster over this disparaging word?

GoogleSometimes, Google plays tricks on us. I’m sure Ray Wert did not say this about Jim Press. However, Google makes it appear as if he did. And if you can google it, it must be true, no?  Collateral damage caused by SEO saturation bombing, I guess.

Say stop. Ok, I stop. I leave it up to you: Was Steven’s outrage genuine? Or did he simply not do enough due diligence before his Jalop-hop?

PS:

The Jalopnik stories about Steven Lang resigning his editorship  appear to have been mostly removed from Jalopnik. The link under the Read …  leads to Kinja, and a click on the link gets this:

404 Not found

At least it does so on my machine.

destin

Likewise gone is the picture of yours truly, in which Jalopnik caught me groping two men. The men are my former Typhoon offshore racing teammates Randy “Mad Dog” Schleuss (left) and Jim “J-O”  Natoli (right). Subliminal message: They are all gay. As if it’s bad. Too bad we aren’t, those long nights in the camper, dragging a black 29ft 525hp raceboat down never-ending freeways would have been more entertaining.

dike

 

Still there among the comments at Jalopnik is the obligatory picture of the little Dutch boy sticking his finger in the dike, along with sundry “Lesbaru” references. On TTAC, there would be smoking ruins by now. At Jalopnik: Absence of outrage.

mailorder

And how do we feel about this uncurated comment? Where Steve comes from, it’s “general meanness at total strangers” when a reporter at a Chinese auto show takes pictures of a floppy-eared booth professional who was put there so that reporters could take pictures of a floppy-eared booth professional. Meanwhile, at his new workplace, there are comments that could easily be seen as sexist, racist, and as a suggestion of trafficking. Where’s the reader revolt?

Besides, she’s not half my age. She’s 20 years younger. And, she says, “I’m not Asian, I’m Japanese.”

The discussion is open. Feel free to discuss the above. As far as the D-word goes, I have learned my lesson. I apologize to anyone who honestly felt offended. I won’t use the word anymore, now that I know that sensitivities are much higher at TTAC than at Jalopnik. The ban on a discussion of the D-word topic itself remains in place. We leave that to the other sites, and to people who need to be better at feigning outrage. 

(All pictures, except Google screenshots, courtesy Jalopnik.com, Groping picture: Tomoko Schmitt)

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81 Comments on “Inside The Auto Blogging Industry: Editor Switches Dildos...”


  • avatar

    It’s actually ironic that I came here to read “the truth” “about cars”, and I’m getting so much “other” content. It’s kinda like bait & switch!

    • 0 avatar
      tatracitroensaab

      Bertel this article is not becoming of an editor of a major magazine, and it’s not the dildos — it’s thi immature gossipy attidute that’s making the best writers leave. You may say that Jalopnik is gossipy too, but whatever — I don’t go to Jalopnik for analysis or intellectual content. I really have enjoyed reading this site and I still do, but it makes me incredibly sad that the best writers are leaving and that the content has spiraled down to crap like this

      • 0 avatar

        Writers, very good ones, have left TTAC since its inception, and they will leave until its demise. This is our contribution to the business. We don’t have the money to retain them.

        All sites are free to take whatever writers they can get, we will find new ones. This writer did not leave because of the gossip. He left for a place that thrives on gossip, and he started gossiping when he was out of the door.

        Using his standards, he would have to resign twice a day at Jalopnik.

    • 0 avatar
      cornellier

      Yeah. Didn’t, and won’t, come here for the latest on the car blogging industry gossip. Or was it the car blogging gossip industry? Whatever.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    The stories are still there, the links for whatever reason are screwed-up… and the “autodrama” continues

  • avatar
    Sceptic

    Thanks for this scathing exposure of the double standards practiced by the so-called “liberals” and “progressives”.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Jalopnik’s biggest problem is their lack of consistency in automotive content. They frequently fill content holes with stuff from their sibling sites. It is frequently focused on New York City related topics such as stuff that happens in subways.

    I visit that car-content web site for car content. Even though I reside in New Jersey and spend too much time in NYC, I really don’t give a crap about NYC. So if both TTAC and Jalop would focus on the car content, and less time slinging mud at each other, we’ll all be better off. All though I’m disappointed that Mr. Lang pulled up stakes here as the format is better suited to his content, I wish him well over there.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree that the mudslinging is getting old. I wish all would agree to the same.

      There are some very disturbing undertones to that story, way beyond mudslinging. Like people trying to slander people to get them fired and worse.

      TTAC has always been a good incubator for writers, we are proud of it and them. This episode is nothing to be proud of.

  • avatar
    Jellodyne

    Yes, Bertel you’re 100% correct — context, tone and intent mean nothing. Let me throw this out — Jack B’s stories on this very site contain worse than you’ve said, but they don’t stick in people’s craw. Figure out why that is, and maybe you figure out why there’s no reader revolt over at Jalopnik.

    • 0 avatar
      rwb

      Could it be Bertel has a certain creepy-uncle vibe that gives otherwise playful or harmless jokes a bit of an undertone?

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      ahhh, but Mad Dog Baruth started right out with felonies and reckless endangerment. I wouldn’t be shocked if a few of the more uptight people around here tried to report him to the law for his 140mph in the right shoulder how-to educational series. Personally those are some of my favorites to this day. The difference is clearly that one author has housebroken us, and the other only tweaks us occasionally with a little generationally awkward sexual innuendo.

  • avatar
    AFX

    This is all well and good, but what I want to know is who wears the strap-on over at the Schmitt residence ?.

  • avatar
    jz78817

    I had said my piece in the comments of the contentious thread and was willing to let it drop after that, but this response is beyond the pale. Keep up with stuff like this and you’ll eventually have no readers left to drive away.

    and as far as jalopnik is concerned, they may be juvenile schmucks like most of Gawker sites, but they’re honest about it.

  • avatar
    Ex Radio Operator

    Good Morning, Herr Schmitt,

    After perusing your masthead, one of your editors either has to be fired for offending the pc crowd, or, at the very least, change his name to conform with their sensabilities.

    Have a nice day!

  • avatar
    k9H20

    I’m one of the people that think that the original article was in poor taste, and this one basically doubles down with a side of sour grapes. Everyone has been in a situation where they have put their foot in their mouth, nobody is perfect. YOU are the one who is choosing to gnaw it off.

    • 0 avatar
      MMH

      Agreed on that, 100%. I also attempted to use the contact us form to send a followup note, was told that it did not go to TTAC staff (and hasn’t for several weeks), asked about it on another thread – because I had no other way to contact TTAC staff – and had that comment deleted.

    • 0 avatar
      MMH

      Do you guys remember when Ewanik left GM and GM management made themselves look sort of petty and amateurish by taking backhanded swipes at him afterwards? That was a nice story.

  • avatar
    niky

    I still can’t get over the furore over the article. I first read it, it didn’t tweak my gay-bash-radar… and even now, I find it slightly off-color rather than worth a resignation. I read it as you wrote it… a simple replacement word for Lesbian, used to make the title more alliterative, nothing more. God knows the internet motoring sites aren’t lacking for Lesbaru jokes. At least you didn’t type the words “Flying V”

    If there’s anything to be said about the article, it mirrors TTAC’s mix of the irreverent and off-color with the downright serious, factual insider stuff. But it has been that way for a long while, and this one was a very small straw. If I were to have left here in a huff, I would have done it over JB’s ridiculous article on how his driver training saved his life when he was barreling down on an accident scene at over 130 mph… in traffic. (It was honestly the only Baruth article I never liked)

    It would be something if Steve had left TTAC for something like Edmunds or C&D or one of those other places ex-TTACers and ex-Jalops go… (I’m not counting Top Gear, because it’s as sexist and non-PC as possible for a major publication) …but Jalopnik? (Disclaimer, I read it, anyway)

    -

    I’ll miss Steve’s stories here. I’ll look for them elsewhere, but it just won’t be the same.

  • avatar
    VespaFitz

    I have no idea what this even means.

  • avatar
    08Suzuki

    I’m just going to say that I’m disappointed from all sides by the fallout from all of this – not the least of which is a grave misunderstanding of what the actual substance of said article was, what the real substance of that article was and even apparently the need for a refresher on what the word “substance” means in the first place. Honestly, /o/ was a better place to discuss IIHS ratings than the comments here. And that says a lot.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    If you aren’t making mistakes you aren’t trying hard enough. Thanks for trying. TTAC is about the only motoring site I follow because of just that.

    • 0 avatar
      AFX

      “If you aren’t making mistakes you aren’t trying hard enough.”

      That would look perfect as one of those “demotivational” posters inside the launch tower elevator at NASA. Imagine reading THAT right before you step onboard your flight.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Hmm.. I am gonna say Steve left for other reasons.. Something as inane as that can be remedied with an in person apology. Bertel and Steve appear to be mature enough to make that happen. Come on, it’s TTAC!!!
    We can handle the D word for crying out loud. Let’s keep it about the cars, ladies and gents!

  • avatar
    modelt1918

    This has to be the most borish and childish article I have read in a car blog or magazine. I have been reading car magazines since I was 16 and I am 62 now. I am very disappointed with this Bertel. Try to grow up!

  • avatar
    Mr. Edward Mann

    Bertel, Steve probably left for more than one reason, but the article he resigned over was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back, metaphorically.

  • avatar
    Timothy

    What the hell was that? At first I thought a mea-culpa but clearly that isn’t the case. So maybe it’s just a rant? Bertel, buddy, the first rule of holes is that when you find yourself in one, stop digging!

  • avatar
    Mr Imperial

    Dear Mr. Bertel Schmidt-

    Several thoughts came to mind while reading this:

    1. An apology was extended to your readers, but was one given to Mr. Lang?

    2. Your overall opinion given in this article is that Mr. Lang left for reasons contradictory to what he is claims are his beliefs. Which leads me to:

    3. Mr. Lang left due to disagreement with HOW this whole debacle was handled by the EIC, the one person trusted to be above petty articles as that.

    4. This article’s tone, in my opinion, is the realization that you made a grave mistake, one that cost TTAC a key player.

    5. This mistake is hard for you to admit, so instead of focusing on your wrongdoing, lash out at others when the only focus should be at one person.

    I accept your apology to me, as one of your readers, as I feel that you have accepted your responsibility to us.

    Of course, I know nothing of the relationship between yourself and Mr. Lang-but I believe how you decided to handle this issue caused his departure.

    Sincerely,

    Jason
    Mr. Imperial

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I distinctly recall ban warnings if users were to so much as mention this topic in comments on other articles, implying TTAC wanted to let the matter drop. So what’s the story behind this then?

    It would have been better to just silently let him go…

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    thank you for the explanation of what has become of steve. the rest? i could do without and did so by skipping down to here after a few paragraphs/pics.

    steve writes in an informative style that i enjoy reading. it is good to know that i can follow him elsewhere if i so choose.

    i like the idea that ttac is a proving grounds of sorts for new writers in the automobile genre. as readers we are involved in their hiring (recent writers contest) and get to watch them evolve as writers and find their niche(s). that some decide to parlay that success into other fields or stop writing altogether should not surprise us. neither should the fact that some people like change – for whatever reason.

  • avatar
    corntrollio

    Curbside Classic mentioned this too:

    www dot curbsideclassic dot com/blog/thank-you-for-a-number-of-things/

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    This is beginning to remind me of “Inception,” except instead of a dream within a dream, we have levels of troll moves. The deeper you go, the more bizarre it gets.

    (Musical accompaniment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1orMXD_Ijbs)

    Level One:
    Troll move: write article with pejoratives guaranteed to cause a giant online food fight.

    Level Two:
    Write a follow up article saying no one is allowed to comment on what happened on Level One, and troll anyone who does.

    Level Three:
    When a staffer is offended enough over Level One, troll him too.

    Next up: the troller trolls himself, prompting him to resign in protest over being trolled. And then, psychic wasteland.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    I don’t see what the big deal is. If this site offends you – then for crying out loud, shut the f..k up and just leave already. When TTAC becomes another mealy mouth PC correct piece of crap – then I’ll leave, until then, give em hell Bertel!

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      “PC” is nothing more than old white men whining because their prejudices are no longer socially acceptable.

      • 0 avatar
        Demetri

        The irony and hypocrisy in that statement is unbelievable.

        • 0 avatar
          jz78817

          is this one of those intentional misuses of the word “irony” a la Alanis Morissette or is it “irony” as in “I don’t know what irony means?”

          • 0 avatar
            Demetri

            Situational irony is when the exact opposite of what you expected happens. You attempted to reveal the prejudices of others; instead, you made a massively prejudice statement and revealed your own. Reasonable expectations of the situation were not met, and that results in irony.

      • 0 avatar
        LALoser

        Yes. Watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Watch your words, for they become your actions.
        Once “minor” slurs and insults are allowed, they escalate. Soon TTAC could become another garbage bin blog like thousands of others. TTAC has come too far to fall apart now.

    • 0 avatar
      MR2turbo4evr

      Couldn’t have said it better myself, Junebug.

  • avatar
    TW4

    SL once wrote an article about his genius business strategy to bump his profits by taxing away competition from private citizens, a majority of whom are non-profit-seeking. The man had an abundant lack of awareness about himself and the world around him, and I’m not surprised that BS has been taxed nearly to the breaking point by the impossibility of SL’s decision to leave on moral grounds.

    This is not a defense of BS or TTAC, though I didn’t find the D-word article to be particularly heinous. I don’t wish to pass condemnation on SL, either. I’m just sayin’…..when piety and lack-of-awareness meet boundless bombast this sort of result is an inevitability.

    That which is perceived to be a big deal is about as predictable as thunderstorms in the spring.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Care to point us to this article? I’d love to read it. I didn’t find it in a quick search.

      • 0 avatar
        vaujot

        I think he refers to Mr Lang’s piece about so-called “Curbstoners”

      • 0 avatar
        TW4

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/hammer-time-the-next-flat-tax/

        In the interest of damage limitation, I’ve linked to an article from the early days, before the dealership lobbyists corrupted SL’s defenseless intellect with a list of talking-points, which he then peddled on TTAC as legitimate justification for his profit-motive. The mere notion that “equitable tax” (borne by other Georgians) and his personal profit motives could be morally-aligned was an act of self-deception that beggars belief.

        Dealerships pay tax b/c their profit-motive creates the assumption of value-added activities (beyond arbitrage), thus, a dealership’s used cars incur sales tax. Georgia was one of the last states that hadn’t caved to dealership lobbies for private sales transactions, until the passage of the TVAT (title tax).

        I’m not a GA resident so I don’t weep for my own finances, but for the finances of the fixed-income elderly, like my grandmother, who rely upon scrupulous automobile tax policy in GA to live on her meager stipend. When the recession hit, revenues dipped and governmental obligations surged. The TVAT simultaneously taxed private transactions while front-loading “birthday tax” receipts. It was a home run for the dealership lobby and government revenue wonks.

        To advocate uncomfortable emergency policy is reasonable, if the argument has intellectual gravitas, but lining the pockets of car dealerships and then proclaiming a new era of “fairness” was an indecent proposal that made Bertel’s use of the D-word seem like advocacy for the LGBT lifestyle.

  • avatar
    Joe K

    I have no idea what I just read, or what the purpose of it was after the first three paragraphs. Somehow I seemed to have wandered into a third grade playground where the fight is over, the opponent took his toys home, and the looser is still throwing a temper tantrum.

    I found this distasteful, but not surprising. If the D word was replaced by an equally nasty word say staing with a N, S, or C, I doubt there would be the same outcome.

    If no one has noticed, the gay community in some areas are getting bashed, murdered and jumped more so then years in the past. Using the D word, or even hinting at it like some 12 year old, is WRONG. It is just encouraging the haters.

    I really expect more from an adult on a car site, where it is supposed to be about cars and not using words of hate, and now this.

    Hate is hate no matter how one wants to cover it, and no matter how many friends you have in the sub group of the population you claim to have.

  • avatar
    vaujot

    I wonder what the point of this article is. Making Mr Lang look like a hypocrite? Exposing a lack of loyality on his part by informing the readers that he wanted to take over the place? While his claimed reason for leaving is somewhat conflicting with writting for Jalopnik and while it his attempt at a coup may or may not have happened, I think this kind of dirty laundry should be kept of the site. Frankly, this looks a bit unprofessional.
    On a related note, I find the comments to Mr Lang’s facebook annoncement by former and a few current writers for this site should be a cause for concern for you, Bertel, as the Editor in Chief. As well as some reactions on Niedermeyer’s site.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I stumbled onto this site a few moths ago as the result of a google search and have kind of hung around ever since. The reason being, that I have learned more about the auto world from this site the any of the other sites I frequent. Not just from the writers, who do a terrific job, but more from the comments of people, who I’ve discovered, really know their shit about cars and the industry. I never come away from here without learning something new about the auto industry.

    One of my biggest surprises is the amount of passion, creativity and on occasion pure genius that is still so alive in the auto world, something I thought left with the Harley Earls of the past. I see that kind of intelligent emotion here a lot and that’s why I come back. I don’t post a lot of comments preferring to read and learn from others.

    I also know enough about people to know that the smart ones get a little overcharged sometimes which can result in some “autodrama”… I guess it’s a small price to pay for hanging out with the best and the brightest. Thanks to all who have made this reader a little smarter about all things auto

  • avatar
    Summicron

    Anyone else think Schmitt kinda looks like Einstein in that photo?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Over the weekend I saw the post about the “warning” and I was really confused. I guess ignorance is bliss as I had no idea what was going on, or what could possibly have everyone fired up. I scrolled back a page or two and couldn’t find any firestorm so, ehhh, what ever.

    Now this morning there was this and well, the slowest horse has crossed the finish line as I’ve connected the dots together now.

    The original story – I can see how it offended, it made me wince, but the storm that fired up after was in itself surreal.

    I’ll be candid, at the risk of banishment. I don’t see the problem here as the content. I see the problem here being management’s reaction, specifically the Editor in Chief and secondarily one of the writers here.

    When someone is a leader, they have to lead. You lead by example. The leadership of TTaC as others have noted are basically breaking their own terms of service. You can’t have two sets of rules. As TTaC has written about law enforcement officers who act above the law, you can’t have a, “super citizen,” complex. It is, or it isn’t.

    One can rant about, “oh it’s my freedom of speech,” or, “if you don’t like it leave,” but that is missing the point.

    The point is standards. TTaC has standards. They’re clearly expressed in the terms of service if you elect to post here. But the terms of service should apply – to everyone, including the staff. One can look at countless examples of where site admins on forums, or editors on sites act above the rules. Nothing causes a social media crap storm faster.

    My concern for TTaC, a site I enjoy, is that I feel I’m witnessing a slow meltdown here. Not as extreme as the Amy’s Baking Company meltdown of the last couple of weeks that set the social media and even mainstream news outlets abuzz.

    As a marketing professional, as someone who has done analyst relations, media relations, and public speaking, I utterly cringe at this, “story,” if you can call it that. It serves utterly, completely, totally, no purpose.

    But the further concern I have is that there seems to be an acceleration of these kinds of storms here. I don’t know if it is for attention and to drive traffic. I don’t know if this is the new editorial direction of TTaC (I don’t like it, but who cares), or are we witnessing the site management slowly implode. I have my own theories of which of the three it is.

    This has been a great site. I have learned a lot from here. I’ve shared a lot here. I’ve engaged in some great, public debate with the editors and leaders here (Ed and I had a great back and forth some might remember after one of his NYT or WSJ op-ed pieces).

    But what is going on as of late is moving out of the realm of a great site. There is something to be said on taking the high road, even when the high road is a tough road to take. In marketing I would advise, you don’t give your competition air time. When you do, you give them power. When you go after a “competitor” or detractor, you essentially admit you are the underdog.

    It isn’t even a personal issue, I just would expect more from an EIC in the first place. TTaC was better than this.

  • avatar
    DubTee1480

    User name change resulted in the link breaking, nothing intentional. New link:

    http://stevenlang dot kinja dot com/bertel-schmitt-of-the-truth-about-cars-pulls-off-a-kram-508228455

    Remove the dash between his first and last name.

  • avatar
    wmba

    I find the title of this article and its content repulsive.

    I’m not sticking up for Lang, generally skipped his articles on how to squeeze 29 cents off the price of an oil filter for a ’95 Buick by clipping coupons, and his highly questionable methodology on which cars last longest, for the simple reason that I couldn’t care less. However, his infrequent new car reviews were spot on. YMMV.

    What I don’t get on TTAC is silly article headlines that are in my estimation too puerile and cutesy by far and detract from the subject at hand. Reminds me of boy’s locker room humor from 1959, and the wink wink nudge nudge stuff that carries on to this day in the workplace. So there was little discussion about IIHS tests the other day, which is what interested me, just noise.

    I berated Baruth years ago for his constant bashing of other websites, as if he were the final judge. I can make my own judgments, thanks all the same. So now we get more bashing of, in this case, Jalopnik as justification for silliness here. Sorry, does not compute for me.

    The website name here is The Truth About Cars, not “I’mbetterthanyou.com” or “Dildos2014.com”.

    I can only surmise that cars aren’t interesting enough for a website about cars. A great pity. There is much to like on this site, but the behavior of some contributors I find at times risible.

  • avatar
    Ion

    I wasn’t offended by the original Subaru reference, and I’m not offended now either.

    However I find this really petty and childish.

    • 0 avatar
      mypoint02

      +1

      I’m sure there’s more to the story on Lang, but to each their own. If he feels more at home at Gawker, more power to him. I happen to think that website is crap and unreadable, but to each their own. No need to get into a pissing match over it.

      I stumbled upon TTAC a few months ago and have been here nearly every day since. I like this site because it’s not always politically correct. That’s not to say I condone everything that’s said here, but come on… we’re all adults. I drive a BMW and some of the writers (and commenters) refer to my group as “nouveau rich douchebags” and the like. Doesn’t bother me one bit – in fact I get a good laugh out of it. Inevitably, some of the criticisms seem to revolve around politics. And, like other sites, many of the people that preach tolerance only want it when your views align with theirs. That’s not my idea of good debate.

      Let’s face it… if you’re perpetually offended, this probably isn’t the right place for you. But I’d hate to see TTAC become just another bland sanitized outpost on the web.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “I stumbled upon TTAC a few months ago and have been here nearly every day since. I like this site because it’s not always politically correct.”

        +1. “Truth” takes on many forms. The editors and commentors here seem to put forth effort to support their opinions, which I enjoy reading and responding to even if I don’t agree. Maybe especially when I don’t agree.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          TTAC for the most part truly is critical thinking in action.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            For fun I went and read some of the comments made regarding this subject on the other sites. It’s really interesting to read the opinions of TTAC’s commenters left by residents of those sites, and then reading their opinions of themselves.

            No matter where you go, it’s all the same. According to the residents of any particular blog, their commenters are the most insightful while that other blog’s commenters are nothing but ignorant trash.

            Apparently brand identified mud-slinging in the automotive industry isn’t limited to Ferd vs. Chebby.

          • 0 avatar

            It’s true. But I read the competition every day and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that TTAC commenters are the most insightful, even if they frustrate me sometimes. We have everyone from government policy people to McKinsey consultants to car dealers to neighborhood mechanics and all points in between. There is very little nastiness or flaming. Most arguments are well reasoned and polite. I am very proud of the readership this site attracts.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Derek, for the record, I agree with you. That’s why I stick around.

  • avatar
    Bluto

    This is hysterically, laughably childish. BS, you are a tremendous joke.

  • avatar
    fvfvsix

    Personally, Bertel – I can’t even begin to understand what the hell is going on in the minds of some of the posters commenting on the original article. Yeah, sure, the joke you made was off color, but it was clear that your intent was to poke fun at the stereotype.

    I’m not that old, but I feel like society has certainly made a turn for the worse – and this episode just peels back the curtain and exposes that societal rot. Okay – you got your thrashing from the B&B, but it’s well past time for this crap to stop and people to move on and forgive… but some of your detractors seem like they’re out for blood, and I find that just plain sad.

    Some of the posters berating you seem like the most soulless, whiny progressive sophists I’ve ever laid eyes on. I weep for the human race.

  • avatar
    Japanese Buick

    Beware the leader who blames his leadership failings on people plotting against him.

  • avatar
    Charliej

    I come to this site because I like cars. All kinds of cars, also motorcycles. I like reading Bertel’s articles on the international car industry. I liked reading Steven Lang’s stories. I can do without the politics. My advice, ignore all other blogs. Just concentrate on doing the best job for your readers and there will be no problem. This site has gotten better over time. I do not miss Farago or Neidermeyer. Just write about cars and every thing will be OK.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    Farago`s G.M bashing brought a lot of hype to this site.
    It`s possible that TTAC is trying to brew up some more interest with it`s editors irreverent choice of words but I will continue reading.
    Even if the latest news is 24 hours old….
    There have been so many writers on this site that I have lost count.
    But after all it is a FREE site!
    I would only hope the writers would move on to a good paying job but until they do..this is the best Auto format that I have found on the WWW

  • avatar
    smallenginesmakemesad

    Come on guys. I read TTAC and the ‘other site’. I don’t want to read about some kind of schoolyard bitch fight.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I didn’t know Mr. Lang was gone; now I do, and why.

    I don’t read Jalopnik, so I don’t care what happens there.

    TTAC would have been better off to turn the other cheek and just let him go do whatever. Instead, now the whole neighborhood has been awakened by this domestic dispute.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Being “offended” is the new method of censorship for the PC Left in America. Wake up before this nonsense destroys your country from within.

  • avatar
    StatisticalDolphin

    What is this compulsion to kowtow to the most easily offended?

    Seems Orwellian.

  • avatar
    CamryStang

    Wow. TTAC resembles a childish squabble. I expect that from the “everything must be politically polarized” commenters, but not from one writer to another. Especially the EIC.

    Keep digging Bertel.

    TTAC is a great auto news site, not a petty gossip attention-whore of a site. I hope it stays that way.

  • avatar
    Power6

    Don’t really know what to say. This site is great but there it is always headed up by some unstable individual, might be that low paying part you mentioned Bertel. You seem to have mishandled this whole thing sir, you can’t hide the “waaah” crying you do by saying Steve was a great guy and you’ll miss him as a preface, you are still whining. Gotta learn to let go there.

    I think many are angry because you have totally misinterpreted the commenting policy ehre from Farago. I never felt like he didn’t hold himself to the same standard as his commentators…but you certainly do give that feeling. You’re just going to have to get used to the fact that you come off like a d-bag online.

    I hope this blows over, with insideline shutting down and this crap I’ve been reading Car and Driver, they actually write about cars over there.

  • avatar
    rentonben

    BS and others – keep posting articles with your own ‘voice.’ Don’t feel you have to censor yourself. I do think the dildo/dyke jokes are crass, so I don’t let them offend me.

    If the delicate flowers can’t ignore certain writers after they’ve been ‘offended’ then that says more about their own inability to control themselves. Odd that they seek to control others by being perpetually ‘offended.’


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