By on July 11, 2013

The article you are about to read was written by former Editor-In-Chief Bertel Schmitt during the course of a long and somewhat personal disagreement he had with former contributor Steven Lang. This article does not represent the views of The Truth About Cars, its staff, its contributors, or its ownership. We’re leaving it up because we don’t censor the past — but we no longer stand behind the piece or recommend that you read it — JB

Like many larger websites, TTAC has its own Wikipedia entry. For many years, the entry has been pretty blah as far as Wikipedia articles go. The only memorable items were the infamous GM Death Watch, and the flying vagina of lore. A week ago, the bucolic peace was disrupted. Suddenly, TTAC’s WP article turned into the battlefield of a bloody edit war. Reverts waged back and forth, robots leveled automated accusations of vandalism.

Sifting through the rubble, it looks very much like the alleged vandal came with a big axe to grind.

On July 2nd, an anonymous editor, or, “an IP” in Wikipedia parlance, added a rambling diatribe about the Dyke incident. The diatribe was light on facts, and heavy on “allegations of gay bashing and the resignation of Steven Lang,” along with accusations of bashing of “the former writer along with Jalopnik. “ A few hours later, the edit was removed by a member of Wikipedia’s Counter-Vandalism Unit. A few days thereafter, the edit was back, in slightly modified form. That edit lasted only a minute. It was removed by a robot that didn’t like Steven Lang’s Facebook page to be used as a reference.

Undeterred, “the IP” kept posting. Pretty much once a day, the diatribe was back, only to be undone by Wikipedia editors shortly thereafter. On July 10, “the IP” detected the undo function, a “revert” in WP lingo: The IP undid a previous undo.  In a situation like this, a revert is tantamount to a declaration of war.

A helpful editor improved the article a lot, only to see the anonymous writer again add the quite apparently unwanted crud.

This edit was immediately removed by a bot “that tries to detect and revert vandalism quickly and automatically.” Currently, this is where things stand, but we won’t be surprised if the edit war continues.

There is one thing that Wikipedia likes even less than vandalism of its pages, and that is edits by people with a conflict of interest.  Comparing the records of Wikipedia with those of TTAC, it turns out that “the IP” was that of Steven Lang’s computer. Which makes it a clear case of Conflict of Interest, or “COI” in the WP vernacular.

Wikipedia rules say:

“You should not create or edit articles about yourself, your family or your close friends. If you or they are notable enough, someone else will create the article. You should also avoid writing about yourself or people you know in articles on other topics. This includes people with whom you could reasonably be said to have an antagonistic relationship in real life.”

After trying to receive a promotion, Steve Lang had left TTAC in a huff, only to make public statements about his alleged moral outrage. Which would fit the description of an “antagonistic relationship in real life.”

The edits did not have the intended effect on Wikipedia, and did not reach the wider audience that was sought. As a make-good and a public service, we document them here verbatim.

 

Edit made on 2 July 2013‎ by 76.20.240.115. Removed on 2 July 2013 by user Fraggle81

The Truth About Cars was recently criticized for an article titled, “Small SUV Crashopalooza: Detroit Loses, Dykes Win” where the editor-in-chief stated the following.

“Boo, hiss, Detroit – pussy-whipped by a Japanese transgender crossover that is also known as a “vag-wag?”

PS: Before you start to tar and feather me for Detroit bashing LGBT discrimination, please be notified that according to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the term “dyke” originated “as a derogatory label for a masculine woman, and this usage still exists.” Shame on them. “However, some persons attempt to use it in a manner that they see as positive, or as a neutral synonym for lesbian,” and those persons include the Schmitts.”

This article lead to allegations of gay bashing and the resignation of Steven Lang. One of the long-time editors for the site. After threats were made to encourage specific companies to boycott the blog, Bertel Schmitt offered an apology in an article titled, “Editor Switches Dildos” where he continued to bash the former writer along with Jalopnik, a far larger and more successful automotive blog.

“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 judgment. A good journalist should not be bashful.”

Due to the recent editorial direction of the site, and the frequent banning of commenters who disagree with the arbitrary enforcement of TTAC’s editorial policy, the site has continued to struggle against a very long list of online automotive publications including Autoblog, Jalopnik, Hooniverse, The Car Connection, Autonews.com, Motoramic, Roadandtrack.com, Kickingtires, Hemmings, caranddriver.com, Automobilemag.com and, of course, Motor Trend.

According to one former editor TTAC’s google stats are down, some 15-20% from a year ago.

 

Edit made on 6 July 2013‎ by 76.20.240.115. Removed on 6 July 2013 by XLinkBot:

The Truth About Cars was recently criticized for an article titled, “Small SUV Crashopalooza: Detroit Loses, Dykes Win where the editor-in-chief, Bertel Schmitt, stated the following.

“Boo, hiss, Detroit – pussy-whipped by a Japanese transgender crossover that is also known as a “vag-wag?”

PS: Before you start to tar and feather me for Detroit bashing LGBT discrimination, please be notified that according to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the term “dyke” originated “as a derogatory label for a masculine woman, and this usage still exists.” Shame on them. “However, some persons attempt to use it in a manner that they see as positive, or as a neutral synonym for lesbian,” and those persons include the Schmitts.”

This article lead to allegations of gay bashing and the resignation of Steven Lang. One of the long-time editors for the site. After threats were made to encourage specific companies to boycott the blog, Bertel Schmitt offered an apology in an article titled, “Editor Switches Dildos” where he continued to bash the former writer along with the automotive site Jalopnik.

“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 judgment. A good journalist should not be bashful.”

At this time Verticalscope, the current owner of The Truth About Cars, has not handed out any form of consequences or disciplinary action.

 

Edit made on 7 July 2013‎ by 76.20.240.115. Removed on 8 July 2013 by user Bzr:

The Truth About Cars was recently criticized for an article titled, “Small SUV Crashopalooza: Detroit Loses, Dykes Win” where the editor-in-chief stated the following.

“Boo, hiss, Detroit – pussy-whipped by a Japanese transgender crossover that is also known as a “vag-wag?”

PS: Before you start to tar and feather me for Detroit bashing LGBT discrimination, please be notified that according to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the term “dyke” originated “as a derogatory label for a masculine woman, and this usage still exists.” Shame on them. “However, some persons attempt to use it in a manner that they see as positive, or as a neutral synonym for lesbian,” and those persons include the Schmitts.”

This article lead to allegations of gay bashing and the resignation of Steven Lang. One of the long-time editors for the site. After threats were made to encourage specific companies to boycott the blog, Bertel Schmitt offered an apology in an article titled, “Editor Switches Dildos” where he continued to bash the former writer along with Jalopnik. A site that competes in part with The Truth About Cars.

“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 judgment. A good journalist should not be bashful.”

 

Edit made on 9 July 2013‎ by 76.20.240.115. Undone on 9 July 2013 by 63.92.255.201. Reverted on 10 July 2013‎ by 76.20.240.115 (while deleting one intermediate edit:)

The Truth About Cars was recently criticized for an article titled, “Small SUV Crashopalooza: Detroit Loses, Dykes Win” where the editor-in-chief stated the following. “Boo, hiss, Detroit – pussy-whipped by a Japanese transgender crossover that is also known as a “vag-wag?”

PS: Before you start to tar and feather me for Detroit bashing LGBT discrimination, please be notified that according to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the term “dyke” originated “as a derogatory label for a masculine woman, and this usage still exists.” Shame on them. “However, some persons attempt to use it in a manner that they see as positive, or as a neutral synonym for lesbian,” and those persons include the Schmitts.”

This article lead to allegations of gay bashing and the resignation of Steven Lang. One of the long-time editors for the site. After threats were made to encourage specific companies to boycott the blog, Bertel Schmitt offered an apology in an article titled, “Editor Switches Dildos” where he continued to bash the former writer along with Jalopnik. A site that competes in part with The Truth About Cars.

“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.”

 

Edit made on 11 July 2013‎ by 76.20.240.115. Removed on 11 July 2013 by ClueBot with a vandalism warning:

The Truth About Cars was recently criticized for an article titled, “Small SUV Crashopalooza: Detroit Loses, Dykes Win” where the editor-in-chief stated the following. “Boo, hiss, Detroit – pussy-whipped by a Japanese transgender crossover that is also known as a “vag-wag?”

PS: Before you start to tar and feather me for Detroit bashing LGBT discrimination, please be notified that according to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the term “dyke” originated “as a derogatory label for a masculine woman, and this usage still exists.” Shame on them. “However, some persons attempt to use it in a manner that they see as positive, or as a neutral synonym for lesbian,” and those persons include the Schmitts.”

This article lead to allegations of gay bashing and the resignation of Steven Lang. One of the long-time editors for the site. After threats were made to encourage specific companies to boycott the blog, Bertel Schmitt offered an apology in an article titled, “Editor Switches Dildos” where he continued to bash the former writer along with Jalopnik. A site that competes in part with The Truth About Cars.

“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 judgment. A good journalist should not be bashful.”

 

For the record, in the past, the author of this article made a few non-controversial, routine edits to TTAC’s Wikipedia entry. These routine edits are expressly allowed by Wikipedia. The author did not make any edits to the WP pages since he took over as editor in chief on January 1 2012. All edits are in the editing history under a quite obvious alias.

Also for the record, Steven Lang was notified by the author of this article via email on July 5 2013 as follows: “Wikipedia has clear and strongly enforced rules that forbid edits by people with a conflict of interest. There is a long list of scandals involving people who ignored this rule. Conflicted persons should NEVER edit an article about a topic in which they are involved. This goes especially for anonymous edits, which rarely are as anonymous as assumed.”

After receipt of the email (which remained unanswered,) Lang knew that he was breaking the rules, and he did so with apparent intent. According to Wikipedia’s rules, conflict of interest editing “risks causing public embarrassment to the individuals and groups being promoted.” The email was sent to spare Mr. Lang the embarrassment. Sadly, it did not work.

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199 Comments on “Estranged TTAC Editor Busted For Wikipedia Vandalism, Then Again For Conflict Of Interest...”


  • avatar

    Someone please forward this link to Steven Lang: http://computer.howstuffworks.com/internet/basics/question549.htm

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    Articles like these really irritate me. If the site is about cars, it should be about cars not about some self-righteous shit-talking festival.

    I know TTAC prides itself on effectively being the automotive blog equivalent of TheRegister.Co.Uk and that’s awesome. However, this little tiff goes beyond the levels of stupid immaturity normally found in Congress or the upper echelons in GM.

    If you want to rename the site “The Truth About TTAC” or “The Truth About Two Butt-Hurt People” then this kind of article is fine. But don’t post this crap on a site labeled “The Truth About Cars”. I don’t care even a little bit about this conflict; to me it just looks like two 8-year-olds having a slap-fight on a playground.

    I come to TTAC for automotive news. If I want blogger drama, I’ll just Google it.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Amen. Your internal and external personnel issues are not something the world needs to know about. Airing your gripes with ex-employees is far from professional.

      This is supposed to be TTAC, not TMZ.

    • 0 avatar
      hp

      Agree, and with that I’m out. Came from Autoblog (they occasionally post stupid stuff) but nothing like this. Best of luck.

    • 0 avatar
      Greg Locock

      Agreed.

      ” In a situation like this, a revert is tantamount to a declaration of war.”

      No it isn’t. Any editor can revert an article 3 times a day, unless restrictions have been imposed. Admittedly, if you reverted the same point in the same article twice a day for a week you’d suddenly find yourself receiving advice to lay off (and soon thereafter restrictions), but so far as I can tell that isn’t even close to describing the situation in hand.

    • 0 avatar
      daviel

      Who cares? I read your article and I will never get the time lost back.

    • 0 avatar
      cornellier

      Reading this site, I’m starting to feel like I’m watching daytime TV. Please stop.

    • 0 avatar
      mr.cranky

      @notapreppie- I used to hold TTAC in a much higher regard but lately, there’s just too much conservative politics and bashing of any and all alternatives to gasoline-powered vehicles.

      A successful auto blog finds a way to balance all of those elements in a manner that will lead to people actually wanting to read and contribute to that blog. Resorting to partisan politics is the lowest common denominator and while it may lead to a small spike in readership, it’s not sustainable in the long term.

      Just my two cents. I read over 10 auto-themed blogs every single day and if I ever find the time, I would love to write about cars. I wish more authors could be like Murilee Martin and focus on cars themselves and not the snide remarks that are typical of some.

      • 0 avatar
        AJ

        What some call bashing of those alternatives is just the truth. Big deal if the writer inserts his own remarks… it is a blog isn’t it? Hurts your feelings so you write it off as just being partisan politics. That figures… HA HA.

  • avatar
    rnc

    Damn, well now I know why I don’t see articles by steve anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      It’s too bad, he and Sajeev seemed like the only long time editors that still had a little class left in their articles.

      The newer contributors haven’t been broken down and conformed yet…hopefully it won’t happen.

  • avatar
    salhany

    Airing your dirty laundry here? That’s weak. Very very weak.

    • 0 avatar

      It smells of an open letter, directed at one person. Unfortunately, I spent several minutes reading it as though it could possibly be of interest to me.

    • 0 avatar
      MK

      Yeah,this is some childish crap for sure.

      Not the first time I’ve noticed this tone with Berty, way too much inside baseball sh1t that us hoi-polloi couldn’t care less about.

      It’s also extremely unprofessional and just plain unenjoyable to read about HERE. If I want to mess around in a pissin’ contest on Wikipedia I’ll go there.
      Frankly I deal with very similar issues on a commercial website I own and I don’t bring it up there to my website visitors because it comes off as kinda pathetic and whiny, but more importantly to the business as completely irrelevant to my visitors.

      Your site, your rules, run it how you want but it does make a very negative impression that keeps getting reinforced from certain authors….much like TMZ or thedirty or whatever other personal gossip sites are out there.

      Just knock it off please.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    I find this riveting. Approaches the Mary Todd Lincoln letters.

  • avatar
    Timothy

    Wasn’t there an edict baring discussion of this topic?

  • avatar
    Oren Weizman

    So civil war almost ignited on TTAC because of some articles about Dildos and Dykes … I on the other hand, blame the Jews … DAMN YOU BARUTH !

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Both sides should probably just let this go. Those who care have already left.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Sad. I learned a lot from his articles here.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Let. It. Go. If you want to issue a ban on commenting further on “the incident” (which is fine by me), perhaps a self-ban of further feature articles about it wouldn’t be the world’s worst idea.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Not sure if this site has a lot of class or not but it seems the eds seem to draw the line where ever it suits them on the given day, Steve was a great writer for TTAC , he left for what ever reason but it would be nice if TTAC would take the high road on this. You placed the ban on this subject ( the original article ) so it seems your mood has changed and let the can of worms open again

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “Not sure if this site has a lot of class or not but it seems the eds seem to draw the line where ever it suits them on the given day…..”

      That’s because of the readership clientèle ttac enjoys. A lot of industry Pros read ttac since it serves as a source of feedback for the manufacturers and marketing people.

      Robert Farago had one approach, and it worked; it riled people up, it inspired people to comment, it pointed out how the industry works, warts and all.

      The ttac of today is a totally different entity, trying to make money by enticing advertisers to pay up, trying to be politically correct, and trying to please all of the people all of the time. No doubt, a tenuous challenge.

      The Robert Farago “edge” is gone and there is very little leeway in what can be tolerated in the NEW, IMPROVED, BETTER THAN EVER ttac.

      I applaud Bertel for his willingness to share with the serious readers a glimpse of what has gone on behind the scenes. I enjoyed Steve Lang’s articles but people do have creative and enumeration differences. Happens all the time. Happens every day, everywhere.

      Hell, just look at the UAW. Their members think they all deserve CEO pay! In the famous words of Mick Jagger, “You cain’t always git what you want!”

      Hate to see Steve leave. Hated to see Farago go. Such is life. Life goes on.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      That’s because of the readership clientèle ttac enjoys. A lot of industry Pros read ttac since it serves as a source of feedback for the manufacturers and marketing people.

      Robert Farago had one approach, and it worked; it riled people up, it inspired people to comment, it pointed out how the industry works, warts and all.

      The ttac of today is a totally different entity, trying to make money by enticing advertisers to pay up, trying to be politically correct, and trying to please all of the people all of the time. No doubt, a tenuous challenge.

      The Robert Farago “edge” is gone and there is very little leeway in what can be tolerated in the NEW, IMPROVED, BETTER THAN EVER ttac.

      I applaud Bertel for his willingness to share with the serious readers a glimpse of what has gone on behind the scenes. I enjoyed Steve Lang’s articles but people do have creative and enumeration differences. Happens all the time. Happens every day, everywhere.

      Hell, just look at the UAW. Their members think they all deserve CEO pay! In the famous words of Mick Jagger, “You cain’t always git what you want!”

      Hate to see Steve leave. Hated to see Farago go. Such is life. Life goes on.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      This site has class and many readers who are industry Pros. If Steve left because of creative and remuneration differences, that’s one thing.

      What he did on Wiki was not right.

  • avatar
    cwallace

    Wow, those entries are barely half a step away from being presented in all caps.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    Damn. I was wondering why we hadn’t seen posts from Lang in a while. I really enjoyed (and very much looked forward to) his work. It was always informative, practical, and often funny. Too bad. I would encourage all parties involved to demonstrate class and grace – your paths may cross again.

  • avatar
    Phillin_Phresh

    “…where he continued to bash the former writer along with Jalopnik, a far larger and more successful automotive blog.”

    Ha! That’s like comparing the New York Times to the New York Post. TTAC may only be a blog, but at least we don’t have to suffer through dreck about aircraft carriers or marriage proposals

    That being said, the situation of Bertel writing this piece on the “Dyke incident” while claiming conflict of interest on Steve’s behalf is rich with irony.

  • avatar
    SomeGuy

    Wow. Lang actually friended me on Facebook not too long ago. Maybe I should back away. What say you OP?

    • 0 avatar
      LBJs Love Child

      Same here. I didn’t make the connect. Oddly, I recall that his Friend Request referred to himself as “TTAC editor/commentator” or something. Not Ex or Former.

      Back to my own drama.

  • avatar

    The “let it go” admonishments would be better directed at the people who can’t let it go.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Sometimes people need to be called out on their actions.

    • 0 avatar
      salhany

      You decided to make a TTAC post about Wikipedia shenanigans. That’s not car news, that’s taking your slap fight with Steven out into the public, into a forum where he wont be able to respond.

      It reeks of attempting to take a victory lap over the stupidest possible thing.

      Very, very weak.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      Bertel, you’re the one who can’t let it go.

      I don’t read about TTAC at Wikipedia, and I don’t care what the internet says about TTAC; apparently, you do. If you care because of business interests, the B&B don’t because TTAC is free to us. If you care for personal reasons, then don’t make it public.

      I don’t read Jalopnik, yet you continue to being them up in the Lang context.

      The B&B don’t care, but you’re forcing the kids to be present for this domestic dispute. Please stop.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Was you lengthy article going after Lang “Inside The Auto Blogging Industry: Editor Switches Dildos” an example of letting it go?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      These are our recommendations that we’ve taken the courtesy to leave for you. Take them or leave them.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        If he’s willing to “leave” one of his best writers, what makes you think he won’t “leave” your comments?

        While I find the whole drama silly, I understand Bertel on this one. He is a journalist whose livelihood was attacked, seemingly with intent to harm. While he takes some unnecessary jabs at Steve, both this article and the Jalopnik dildo article are primarily the publishing of documentation so that the information is available for people to freely see. That’s what journalism is, after all. TTAC is Bertel’s medium for that, Steve tried to make Wikipedia his medium, which was inappropriate.

        Again, while I don’t think the tone & personal insults toward Steve are necessary or good, I find no fault in Bertel publishing this content.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “If he’s willing to “leave” one of his best writers, what makes you think he won’t “leave” your comments?”

          Nothing, apparently. The large amount of commenters have left their unsolicited advice regarding the subject, I hope BS doesn’t take it as an attack and start levelling bans and reflects upon it with reason.

          If not, oh well. No sweat off us, not our site to run.

    • 0 avatar
      npaladin2000

      Is it really the wisest move to get into all this again? You’re not helping your own case by re-hashing this, and his could hardly be knocked down any further.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Although unsolicited, you’re getting some really good advice here or at least some good perspective

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      Don’t do your laundry in the street.

    • 0 avatar
      epsilonkore

      Each editor should start their own personal blogs and bash each other all day long, far from the professional TTAC site. That way I wont waste time, and lose respect for otherwise talented and experienced automobile journalist.

      This site is suppose to be about THE TRUTH ABOUT CARS. PURE, SIMPLE, INFORMATION, ENTERTAINMENT

      Someone get this vehicle back on the road (after a proper alignment)!

      • 0 avatar
        quiksilver180

        This. Yes. This site is about cars, I’ve enjoyed reading it for many, many years.

        If there’s drama, then no need to bring everyone in on it and deal with it or get over it. I’m fairly sure that many people on this site (these comments show it) didn’t realize this happened and probably don’t care.

    • 0 avatar
      Zoom

      Pot…kettle.

      I’m guessing few people even saw the Wiki edits, and, judging from the comments, many people didn’t even know that Lang had left TTAC, or why.

      Looks to me like page clicks trump class. Unfortunately, I can’t stop gawking at the train wreck.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Let me see if I get this straight:

      First, the infamous Subaru post itself, which had no business being published in the first place.

      Than, the “if you comment about that post you’re banned” declaration.

      Now, a pissing contest with a former staffer over the whole stupid incident, complete with unlimited posts?

      And how much traffic did all this generate? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what’s going on here. And it has absolutely nothing to do with cars.

    • 0 avatar
      mr.cranky

      And you seem like you can’t let it go because you’re posting this stuff.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I’d love to rehash this event, again, but right now I’ve got some drying paint that needs watching

    • 0 avatar
      marc1070

      I miss Steve Lang, his articles were some of the most interesting of the site, at least to me.

      I had no idea of the issues between him and Bertel until this post today. Just thought it had been a while since Steve posted.

      Bertel insists it is not him who is bringing this up again, but why bring it up on TTAC again. My only theory is that traffic to the site is waning?

  • avatar
    The Soul of Wit

    This whole, sad saga of personalities and egos is relevant automobiles precisely how?

    Epic fail, TTAC.

  • avatar
    redrum

    Huh…well that explains why I’m not finding as many TTAC articles worth reading. Steven Lang was probably the most consistently interesting writer here. I completely missed all the hubub of him leavbing, thought he was just taking a break or something.

    I’m not sure of why the need to hash out non-car related issues publicly, though. I really couldn’t care less what goes on behind the scenes, I just want good articles. This is not Access Hollywood.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    In Bertel’s defense, I do think TTAC’s wikipedia page is worthy of mention at TTAC. Easy enough to not read the story if you disagree. I do miss Lang’s stories.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      No it isn’t. You could count on one hand how many of the B&B have even looked at TTAC’s Wikipedia page.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        Never once, and I’m all over Wiki on a daily basis.

      • 0 avatar
        Rod Panhard

        I agree gslippy. It never occurred to me to bother to look at a Wikipedia page about TTAC. I don’t care why Mr. Lang left either, and I don’t care about the argument he had with Mr. Schmitt.

        Spats over PC topics are as common on blogs and internet forums and facetube pages as summer thunderstorms.

        The upside? At least TTAC doesn’t load up the homepage with animated .gif files.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        And how many other things posted on TTAC have the B&B ever looked at unless TTAC had brought them to their attention? And if the B&B had already looked at them, what is the need for TTAC to post it at all?

        By that logic, there is no need/purpose for TTAC or any other news/blog site.

        • 0 avatar
          gslippy

          I guess it’s water under the bridge now, but if I wanted to learn about TTAC, I’d go to TTAC instead of Wikipedia.

          And really, the stuff referred to in the Wiki story is dirty laundry, not newsworthy stuff the B&B care about.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I miss his stories too but what he did on Wiki was not right. I rarely go to Wiki and I was not aware of all that transpired.

      • 0 avatar
        dash riprock

        It was tacky to say the least…..but there was provocation on both sides

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          People part ways every day for any multitude of reasons, but they shouldn’t continue their disagreement on or through other media.

          If this had happened in the business world, law suits would follow if a cease and desist order didn’t work.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    Its clear to me, having been visting this site since its inception regularily, that it is Bertel Schmitt that has the ego problem.

    Yes, his industry insider knowledge and access is of tremendous value.

    However, he is a growing liability to the site that needs to be removed. I would trade all of the articles he has ever written for a site with more decorum and less BS. Much less BS… literally and figuratively.

  • avatar
    walleyeman57

    Hell have no fury like an editor scorned.

    WP has become pretty irrelevant what with all the slander and falsehoods.

  • avatar
    PriusV16

    I don’t get why some people are railing against Bertel here.

    If someone posted bullc*** about me on Wikipedia for reasons of personal animosity, I ‘d probably do the same things that Bertel did: (1) find out who it is, (2) tell said person to cut out the bulls*** and (3) if necessary, publicly call out said person on his or her attempts of libel.

    Wikipedia is one of the most frequented sites on the internet; people might read the stuff about TTAC there and believe it. And yes, Wikipedia’s rules are very clear when it comes to cases of personal hostility and „revenge posts“.

    The „can’t we just all get along“ approach is cute and all, but unfortunately, it often doesn’t work in the real life. Too bad…..

    • 0 avatar
      brenschluss

      The Wikipedia edits were in poor taste, but there is no proof that they are libelous.

      This response is in equally poor taste.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      @PriusV16:

      It is not necessary to publicly call out the culprit; the Wikipedia people are already on the case. The TTAC B&B didn’t even know about this, and all the dirty laundry just disappoints us.

      One of the rules of Wikipedia is to not take it too seriously, and the few who would read such personal blather there about TTAC would immediately recognize its spurious quality.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        No. Airing dirty laundry is a journalist’s job. Keeping things behind closed doors is exactly the opposite of their reason for being. The whole reason a free press had to be protected in the most fundamental document of our law is because a free press necessarily publishes content that is unpleasant, uncomfortable, and irritating. This is a case of “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

        I have no problem agreeing that Bertel exercises bad taste, but in this he’s doing his job. I disagree that there are few who would believe outrageous content on Wikipedia. There are many (most in some cases) people who believe far more ridiculous things because they read them on less credible sites than Wikipedia.

        • 0 avatar
          salhany

          No, he’s not doing his job, not when engaging in petty meta-commentary regarding this site’s freaking Wiki page.

          This is navel-gazing of the worst and most self-serving sort.

        • 0 avatar
          bryanska

          The WP content could be delicately framed or introduced to pre-emptively defuse this whole comment section. Instead, BS knew exactly what would happen and didn’t move to address it.

          I only wonder if he’s sniffing out the unfaithful.

    • 0 avatar
      walker42

      I tend to agree. As for the “let it go” crowd that opinion only makes sense if Steve’s leaving wasn’t a big deal or you don’t like hearing both sides of a story.

      I could see libelous risk on TTAC’s part for saying the real reason Steve left was because his requested promotion was denied. Labeling a guy, out of the blue, as someone who will quit if not promoted can’t be good for his career. I suspect that could be proven if Steve were to make an issue of it, otherwise why take the risk and say it.

      If that was the real reason how do we feel about Steve saying it was because of the dyke issue? Why want to be promoted at a place that was hate-filled and vulgar? He did go to work for Jalopnik which is worse, no? Maybe not; showing dildos and calling someone a dyke are not the same thing. But Steve did say one of the reasons he left was crude content.

      My opinion of TTAC went down several notches after the dyke affair and Steve’s leaving over that. After reading through BS’s mea culpas they do seem sincere and make me think the word was used more out of stupidly than hate. I believe it won’t happen again.

      I would like to know more, not less on this issue. The legal ramifications alone are fascinating. For those of you who can’t stomach confrontation, don’t read the articles.

    • 0 avatar
      walker42

      I tend to agree. As for the “let it go” crowd that opinion only makes sense if Steve’s leaving wasn’t a big deal or you don’t like hearing both sides of a story.

      I could see some libelous risk on TTAC’s part for saying the real reason Steve left was because his requested promotion was denied. Labeling a guy, out of the blue, as someone who will quit if not promoted can’t be good for his career. I suspect that could be proven if Steve were to make an issue of it, otherwise why take the risk and say it.

      If that was the real reason how do we feel about Steve saying it was because of the d*** issue? Why would someone want to be promoted at a place that was hate-filled and vulgar? He did go to work for Jalopnik which is worse, no? Maybe not; showing dildos and calling someone a d*** are not the same thing. But Steve did say one of the reasons he left was crude content.

      My opinion of TTAC went down several notches after the d*** affair and Steve’s leaving over that. After reading through BS’s mea culpas they do seem sincere and make me think the word was used more out of stupidly than hate. I believe it won’t happen again.

      I would like to know more, not less on this issue. The legal ramifications alone are fascinating. For those of you who can’t stomach confrontation, don’t read the articles.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “I don’t get why some people are railing against Bertel here.”

      I applaud Bertel for revealing a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes.

      Sounds like Steve forgot who was the boss.

      • 0 avatar
        dash riprock

        On the other hand there seems to be a series of ex-writers who side with lang

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Certainly there are. What they fail to consider is who’s calling the shots at ttac and who is trying to keep ttac a site that appeals to everyone, is politically correct, and gives the industry pros feedback from the enthusiasts.

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            Goal 1 has become a fail, Goal 2 has become a fail, and Goal 3 I’m guessing continues to be successful (I hope).

            Not exactly a report card I’d post on the fridge…

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Airing dirty laundry on this site is minor league Bertel. Seriously, get your posting emotions in check or hand it over to someone who can. This is not your first crossing of the line by far.

    • 0 avatar
      hf_auto

      All the personal b.s. has gone too far for me. I liked TTAC as a sensible, unique source of car entertainment, and it’s clearly steered way off that path.
      This is the last straw for me under the current editor. I’m out. Hopefully those incremental losses in ad revenue from all of us fed up with this crap convinces Verticalscope to intervene before all the great writers go elsewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      forraymond

      From my perspective, TTAC is Mr. Schmitt’s outlet to air personal grievances. I.E. GM, UAW, US and now Steve Lang.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    Any takers.. how many comments? I’m saying an easy 200.

    Der Bertel, er nicht so dumm ist.

  • avatar
    morbo

    something…something…Sandy…Subaru…Vagina…something

  • avatar
    grzydj

    This used to be mildly entertaining when Jalopnik “editors” would get into verbal squabbles with the editors of TTAC. Ray Swift was a pretty good sport about it and posted here on a semi regular basis.

    I guess Jalopnik is too busy scrounging up material from Reddit and Opposite Lock to bother defending themselves here.

    Headline tomorrow at Jalopnik:
    Top Ten vehicles to used to settle disputes on other internet forums.
    Maximum Bob Lutz
    Caddilac CTS-V Wagon with a manual
    Another picture of a stolen dune buggy
    Escalators
    Beige Camry
    Steve McQueen
    Planeolopnik
    Detroit isn’t that bad guys, seriously it isn’t.
    We write about cars?
    Here’s another picture of a stolen dune buggy, because we take public transportation.

    • 0 avatar
      olddavid

      Don’t forget the crime watch function. At least TTAC doesn’t edit my absurd comments for intended irony or hipness factor. This, too, will pass, and the commentariat and editors will get back to the function I have enjoyed since the days of Farago emailing me why my ideas are bullshit. This site, for better or worse, is where I get (usually) adult content regarding the industry. I go to the Crain’s for statistics and name-specific news. Meanwhile, back at the ranch…….

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve made a point of keeping all of the emails I received with final warnings from Farago.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          Yeah he jumped my ass one time for what I thought was an innocent comment.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          “all of the emails”? I never even got one, though I was blocked from posting once, and it turned out to be a computer glitch.

          This might be a good time to point out that Lang’s objection to Bertel’s un-PC language could easily have been made against the Founder, who had a rich vocabulary. I don’t think anyone suggested he be fired, volunteering to take his place, though.

    • 0 avatar
      mr.cranky

      @gryzdj- Or perhaps they’re taking the higher road and avoiding this drama on purpose?

  • avatar
    photog02

    What has happened to this website? Occasionally, it goes into an cycle of self-importance and blowhardness that really is annoying to a reader. I’ve read, quite by accident, both sides of this dispute. I don’t care. Most of the readers don’t care. It seems like a case of a pity ego and someone who may have made a bad decision deciding to try and out tattle each other. In the end, it makes the supposed authoritative outlet lose look stupid.

    Go back to covering cars. Please quit running off contributors. Sajeev and J.B. are the only reason I pay attention to this site anymore. This recent teenage angst has been making me think about removing it from my RSS feed…

    • 0 avatar
      hf_auto

      Agreed, Sajeev and JB are my draws too. As much as I like their work, it doesn’t offset all the crap that’s being published to this site lately… from one person.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Sunlight is an antiseptic for skullduggery.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    “and, of course, Motor Trend.”

    This particular part does not help Steve’s credibility.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    This is the hyperlink from the original revision:

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

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    I applaud Bertel for his willingness to share with the serious readers a glimpse of what has gone on behind the scenes. I enjoyed Steve Lang’s articles but people do have creative and enumeration differences. Happens all the time. Happens every day, everywhere.

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    What does TTAC’s privacy policy say about publicly identifying Steven Lang’s IP address?

  • avatar
    henkdevries

    Bertel, a wise man knows when not to piss into the wind.
    Move on.

  • avatar
    JD321

    I remember reading his stuff long ago…He was one of a few reasons to visit TTAC…Bye.

  • avatar
    gottacook

    In writing this post, the editor-in-chief uses passive voice and then finally manages to construct a sentence using “the author of this article” to refer to himself. If he couldn’t bring himself to use the word “I” even once, then it’s plain that he shouldn’t have written this at all. (Or if it simply had to be written about, then someone else should have done so, here or elsewhere.)

    On the other hand, perhaps this avoidance of “I” is a sign that, contrary to other commenters’ assertions, the EIC has no ego problem at all?

  • avatar
    LALoser

    TTAC…Those That Act Childish?
    Your turn.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    For all that I know Steve could just be trying to get more readers to TTAC via bringing up an old pointless controversy, that whole thing should stay dead.

    And really, we weren’t supposed to bring it up back then and we certainly shouldn’t be bringing it up again.

    Steve on the other hand should just get back to selling battered auction cars.

  • avatar

    I enjoyed Steve Lang’s writing and am sad to see him gone.

    I really love Bertel’s writing, especially his Autobiography of BS series, and hope it continues on the site for a long time to come.

    But I have to admit, this was a pretty boring article on an unimportant topic. Not sure why it was published. But I’m also not sure why anyone would give up TTAC and its excellent writers just because they published an easily ignored poor article :).

    D

  • avatar
    Acd

    There’s nothing wrong with a little behind the scenes about a former TTAC writer. While the airing of dirty laundry in public seems a little ugly it does give the reader a little more insight on the situation.

    Those who don’t like it can click out and ignore the article.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    According to Wikipedia…

    “More recently, Steven Lang has left TTAC over some silly article written by Bertel Schmitt.[6][7] It now appears that Bertel Schmitt and Steven Lang are engaging in a slap fight over this issue that should just die already.[8″

    …just appeared on TTAC’s page

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I guess you’ve seen the latest on Wikipedia…

    According to Wikipedia…

    “More recently, Steven Lang has left TTAC over some silly article written by Bertel Schmitt.[6][7] It now appears that Bertel Schmitt and Steven Lang are engaging in a slap fight over this issue that should just die already.[8″

  • avatar
    Mike_H

    This isn’t what we meant when we asked for more boobs.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I’ve been part of TTAC for a long time. Somewhere around 2005 maybe ? I had my ups, ands downs with Farago. That’s for sure. Robert would send me an E Mail, and I needed to google 20 percent of the words. Why RF never banned me, will be forever a mystery.

    I never lost respect for the man. More than once, I have strongly disagreed with TTAC. However similar to my views of R.F, I never have lost respect for TTAC.

    This will probably cost me dearly.

    Bertel….Do us all a favour. Resign.

    • 0 avatar
      Weltron

      I would have to agree with Mikey, especially on the last line. I am a long time reader and a (very) infrequent commentator. I feel that the quality of the articles (in general) has gone down considerably over the past year and a half of your tenure. I come here to read about cars, not about personal disagreements over a (quite frankly) stupid Wikipedia article. This is not worthy of an article on of all things a car site, and its certainly not the professional way to handle the situation. And I did think that this subject was never supposed to come up again.

      Bertel, with all due respect, if you do care for this site in regards to its future and its current well being, please resign.

      • 0 avatar
        bryanska

        His content is good.

        Instead of resigning, I’d rather see him STFU on the “housecleaning” and rampant banning/cutoffs after provocative articles with provocative/careless/deliberate language choices.

        There seems to be a tension here between BS having free rein, and us not being allowed to react.

        • 0 avatar
          Caboose

          Bertel needs his lebensraum. Apparently at the expense of the B&B. My feeling for a while has been that he can dish it out, but is somewhat thin-skinned about taking it.

          He is a decent reporter, but his insistence on NSFW posting above the jump is a deliberate tweaking of regular-guy (and standard workplace) sensibilities that signals disrespect for the bulk of the readership.

          I decided to not click on anything he wrote a while ago. My hope has been that TTAC metrics can track how many views each author gets.

    • 0 avatar

      As a die hard GM fanboi I have had my fair share of conflicts with Bertel. Found myself in trouble more times than I can remember. That said, I would hate to see bertel go. If I wanted to read positive stuff and blind fanboism for gm I would go to gminsidenews. I love coming here to argue or pick fights with the authors and fellow commenters knowing full well that the criticism against GM was fully warranted. That and the personal bond developed with the commenters, most  I disagree with all the time, makes this site great. I miss getting called out by pch. Hopefully he will return sometime soon. Apagtt, highdesert, deadweight, sunridge, cjinsd, zackman, principaldan, goldenhusky, norm and volts on fire are among my favorite contributors. Would hate to see anyone leave for something that in my opinion is a non issue.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      Mikey:

      You got your wish, either he quit or was given the 23 skidoo….either way it doesn’t matter, he’s thankfully gone.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    I very much enjoyed the post Farago Era, but TTAC has been on a serious slide in the last 8 months or so. I post less, and read less. I miss Steven’s articles. There is still some talent here but it is getting mixed, no, diluted with nonsense. Bertel’s material is not all that enticing to me – no attempt to offend, just my honest opinion. I give him credit for allowing fair and honest criticism to stay in the comments, which certainly was not true for this site’s founder. But in the past I hated to miss a day of TTAC; I brought my laptop on a ski vacation a number of years ago expressly for TTAC. Fast forward to today and I am finding myself logging on more out of habit than desire. Please take all these comments as an opportunity to reflect on where this site has been and where it would like to go.

  • avatar
    BlackIce_GTS

    For the record, I prefer full disclosure. Or, at least some disclosure.
    I’d rather be presented with a story like this and have the option to ignore it if I feel so inclined, then just be left in the dark and wonder what happened to that one author I rather liked.

    (regular reader, rare commenter)

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    I’ve been with TTAC since at least 2005 and probably earlier. I was and remain a Fargo fan.

    I noticed recently that the wiki page no longer refers to him as the founder of TTAC. Surely the victim of another anonymous edit.

  • avatar
    don1967

    I wonder if anybody actually read the whole article before scrolling down to see the reaction. I know I didn’t.

    Sorry BS, but this one went too far. Few people come here to sniff dirty laundry; most come for the Truth About Cars.

  • avatar
    360joules

    This reminds me of advice from my mom when I was a teenager. Whenever she had mutual friends that split up her plan was to avoid them for a year. Coming from someone who had been part of 2 tumultuous divorces, I thought it was hypocritical at the time. Later the advice made sense….

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “More recently, Steven Lang has left TTAC over some silly article written by Bertel Schmitt.[6][7] It now appears that Bertel Schmitt and Steven Lang are engaging in a slap fight over this issue that should just die already.[8″

    …just appeared on TTAC’s page at Wikipedia

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Someone else is now making edits to the Wiki page

  • avatar

    I really can’t believe that this was an article written by an adult, about things that another adult has done. This stuff would be immature if it were done by sixth graders. It’s completely out of line. Be a better person and turn the other cheek. It would have already died had “the author of this article” stopped digging it back up.

    On a related topic, does TTAC really warrant a Wikipedia page?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    In other automotive news:

    The 2013 Toyota RAV4 earned a “poor” rating in the IIHS offset crash test

    Camry inventory levels are at record highs and Toyota may have to dial back production

    Civic inventory levels are even worse than the Camry, and Honda may have to dial back production

    The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is being investigated for axles failures (seeing how we’re now writing stories about investigations, not recalls)

    The US Treasury dumped 1/4 of its GM holdings in the month of June

    China is considering even further restrictions on car ownership, which in theory would impact GM and VW the most if it happens

    There is some actual “car” news going on today – including the last two items that generally are manna to the editorial staff at TTAC.

    Oh, and I had no idea TTAC had a Wikipedia page

    • 0 avatar
      Zoom

      If I recall, Hyundai has had axle problems in the past with the Genesis too. Many entries at TrueDelta.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Meh–the RAV4 is a non-story…but wait, there’s more!!!

      VW brand channel stuffing with an 88 day supply in the US as of June 30th! Up 19 days since a year ago!! 0 down 0 payment for 30 day leases across the lineup in June…and sales are bad!!! 0% for 60 months on the entire 2013 VW lineup in July!!!!

      How about a VW version of this article?

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/the-truth-about-channel-stuffing/

      Layoffs for VW in the US! People annoyed at tax money giveaways to VW and job commitments not being met!! Clawbacks for the tax money proposed by the government given the lack of meeting jobs!!! Oh my!!! Imagine the coverage if this was GM. Last small layoff article here on GM had a headline that mentioned GM ‘eating their young’

      http://tnreport.com/2013/05/28/500-volkswagon-layoffs-loom-amid-questions-over-new-clawback-rules/

      Instead, we get the equivalent of things I dealt with last in the 5th grade. I would rather see the 54th version of ‘No barriers to importing in Japan’ than this childish crap.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Some of those articles have now been written by Derek and are informative. I would love to have seen BS having to write those since I do not recall him ever penning an article that could have been portrayed as bashing Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      TTAC doesn’t “have” a wiki page. Wiki has a page on TTAC, whether TTAC wants one or not.

      I don’t pay much attention to wiki, it’s not particularly accurate, and some editors are mystifyingly obtuse. Here’s an example on Generation Y:

      “Generation Y” alludes to a succession from “Generation X”.[citation needed]

      Imagine: a citation is needed to explain why the letter Y follows X in the English alphabet.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    I think it is OK for BS (or TTAC) to mention and clarify if someone vandalizes TTAC wikipedia. I assume no-one frequenting TTAC read the TTAC WP, but a clarification and information on the vandalism is appropriate.

    I wasn’t aware Steve was gone (I liked his articles and am sad to see him gone) and I’m not sure that was mentioned on TTAC before.

    I think BS was aware the article will resurrect the Lang-topic.

    Edit: I’m too lazy to google for Jalopnik. But it seems a car website and TTAC staff don’t like Jalopnik. the only reason anyone woudl go to Jalopnik, is because it gets mentioned here all the time. If TTAC is against Jalopnik, just stop mentioning it. People like me are clueless and if it would be brought up all the time wouldn’t even know it existed.

  • avatar
    bam210135

    Bertel,
    You’ve got a site with great writers, good stories, and a decent following, why are you risking it all with stuff like this? This is The Truth About Cars, not The “Truth” About (former) Co-Workers. Honestly, I didn’t read either article that caused the rift between you two (because of the language used in both titles) and I only read this one to find out what happened to Mr. Lang. Please listen to the B&B who have commented and let it go! If you want to keep up with the other blogs, you need to worry more about finding good stories and less about what someone says about you on Wikipedia.

  • avatar
    pbxtech

    Ahh, but the strawberries that’s… that’s where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with… geometric logic… that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox DID exist, and I’d have produced that key if they hadn’t of pulled the Caine out of action. I, I, I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow officers…

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    Mr. Schmitt, I would like to call your attention to the blue “Recommend” button at the top of the page, and the number to the right of it. As you can see, that number, eight hours and god knows how many page views after publishing this piece, is zero. Please take that number as constructive criticism.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    I knew that Steve had gone and why he said it happened. Read about it here and also at CC. I think it is appropriate for BS to mention most of what happened in this post, however, I think I could have said it with less than 20% of the space.

    I was disappointed in the Dyke article and was disappointed in the major kerfuffle here and elsewhere that went on over it. I have lost respect for everyone concerned, here and elsewhere. It seems that some of the outrage may have been self serving. I have to assume the wikipedia stuff that Bertel brings up is the truth and I do accept that until proven otherwise. I think it’s fine that he exercises the bully pulpit here to defend himself. There are plenty of arrows in the air including from the B&B. This subject and explanation has it’s place here but in this case verbosity kills.

    It’s starting to become like the accident that slows traffic because of all the rubbernecking.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    I knew about Steves move to Jalopnik and CC. Read about it here and elsewhere. I confess I was put off by the Dyke article but exercised my choice to move on. I lost some respect for just about everyone over it including those elsewhere who sounded like they were about to wet themselves. This post makes the flap seem somewhat self serving if it’s all true. I assume that it mostly is.

    I don’t see how Bertel can be excoriated for defending himself. This is about TTAC and if it is left standing, more will come. Thing that gets me is that I think I could have stated my case with about 10% of the words that were used. If you don’t think the man should defend himself or his organization, I would recommend you just move on. Don’t bother with the competition with who can state in the most cool way what he should and should not write. Your vote will register loud and clear if you absent yourself from the scene.

    Bertel, I do agree. Put this to rest and go back to what you are good at? Thats telling the truth about cars. In an attempt to practice what I preach I am unchecking the request for followup comments.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Robert Farago please come home.

  • avatar
    tuffjuff

    Apparently I’m the only commenter to find the story interesting and the public lambasting of Steven Lang hilarious, then?

  • avatar
    sfvarholy

    First it is political diatribes and now this. Can be get the old Truth About Cars back? You know, the one that deals with cars?

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Hating Toyotas and running stories about the deaths of automakers is a lot better than grudges and politics.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        “Hating Toyotas and running stories about the deaths of automakers is a lot better than grudges and politics.” When did the hating Toyota’s come in apart from one contributor writing a bad review of driving a Camry around. I think you will find the selection of stories supports hating some other companies that the Editors are not as “familiar” with.

  • avatar
    George Herbert

    Bertel, this is important: If you did not get the email I sent via the Wikipedia user mail interface, please email me directly at the email you have on file for me. I apologize for making this a comment rather than private email but the address I previously used to contact you bounced, and I need to notify you / confirm notification of something regarding Wikipedia and this article. Thank you.

  • avatar
    tubacity

    Very shrewd, BS. “Oh, the page clicks”, spoken in a Herbert Morrison like voice reporting the Hindenburg.
    Posting this crap is BS for page clicks.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindenburg_disaster

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Oh%20the%20humanity

  • avatar
    oldyak

    I understand….
    Steven Lang`s weekly articles were the most informative view of the used car business that I have read!
    It was a great loss for TTAC and more importantly,its readers.
    I have not read anything by the new contributors that deals with this aspect of the car business….and its a shame!
    New car reviews are a dime a dozen but the dirt on the used car business is like Gold!
    Sorry Bertel.
    Steven had the skills..sorta like a used car Peter Egan and you haven produced a substitute/replacement so far.
    You need to get over this(in my opinion)serious loss and find a new writer or get your boss to hire him back!
    Just my 2 cents

  • avatar
    Signal11

    Wow. Is there a lower bound to the “professionalism” of this site?

    I appreciate Bertel’s insider information and insight on the industry, but most of his articles are a turnoff for me. Between the windmill tilting and tacky cultural attitudes that belong buried in the 50s, I question why TTAC is a daily stop for me. I guess I really like Alex’s car reviews and Sajeev’s articles.

  • avatar
    baggins

    Wikipedia Vandalism

    What a bunch of sensitive artists here at TTAC.

    I cant imagine going on to Wiki to make an edit, and cant imagine writing some massive 3rd person post about it either.

    Pathetic, the whole thing.

  • avatar
    Bluto

    Yeah you sure showed them, you giant baby. For real though Bertel, are you developmentally challenged or what?

  • avatar
    First.Last

    I have been a devoted reader of TTAC for several years. I have never commented before, but I just registered an account to say:

    I stopped reading Jalopnik because of all the idiotic drama, and I don’t follow a blog called The Truth About CARS because I want to hear about your personal issues with a former staff member (dildos? really?!?). Lately, this place has all of the charm of a middle-school cafeteria.

    Well, I don’t care for the menu. Don’t bother waiting up, I won’t be back.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    You know, all the “let it go” and this is really lame croud can just piss off. If this site doesn’t stroke your little egos anymore, leave! Good riddence! Steve Lang is a immature twat and was the weakest editor TTAC had. I can’t believe ya’ll support anyone that tried to bet back at a former boss via wiki. It shows what a punk he is and I don’t blame Bertel one bit.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    I don’t blame Bertel one bit, I think everyone that commented like:
    I’ll never come here again – boo hoo!
    You shouldn’t discuss this you bad man
    Steve was brillant
    and the indignant I can’t believe I’m reading this
    Can all LEAVE! Just go the F… on OK, nobody (especially me) gives a rats asre about you. Bertel was right and I’ll stand by that statement.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..boring.. back to cars please..

    Let’s nix the high school drama.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    You know, last night a massive embargo was lifted, and several websites posted articles reviewing a prototype of the 2014 Mazda3. Really excellent, informative journalism from Popular Mechanics, Road and Track, Motor Trend, and Edmunds. And, incidentally, Jalopnik. But here at TTAC, we get…this.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    Jalopnik just (finally) fired their first shot back at TTAC. They’re citing multiple sources have stated that Bertel Schmitt is out.

    http://jalopnik.com/were-hearing-from-multiple-sources-that-bertel-schmitt-753963330

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    On a rather loosely related note, what happened to Michael Karesh? Last I remember he wrote a glowing review about the Focus ST, then nothing. Has he been banished to TrueDelta island?

    • 0 avatar
      grzydj

      Didn’t he say in his final review for TTAC that he wanted to spend more time with his growing family? I think he left on good terms.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Thanks grzydj!

        I’ll have to look back at the review. Its been awhile, Feb or March maybe? I didn’t think he left on bad terms, because I would have read about it on TTAC.

  • avatar
    1000songs

    We all make mistakes. Like the time I said I would never go back to reading Jalopnik….

  • avatar
    TaurusGT500

    “I really can’t believe that this was an article written by an adult” pretty much sums it up.

    While the article made me want to throw up in my mouth the comments have made my day. A daily dose of schadenfreude is just what the doctor ordered.

  • avatar
    mr.cranky

    I don’t understand why you continue to obsess about this, Bertel.

    You already pointed out the hypocrisy of Jalopnik several times on here, even after they moved on with their version of TTAC bashing.

    If anything, this vandalism is likely being done by a rogue who is still obsessed with the incident.

    If you want to be a bigger person, ignore this crap and focus on what makes TTAC worth reading. I hate to say it but it’s a MAJOR turn-off when you continue the Jalopnik-bashing here.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Jalopnik is claiming this morning that Bertel is out as editor. My take on the situation (I personally would like to see Bertel remain as a writer, and think that could lead to some great articles, with editor comments and corrections throughout, like C&D used to do with its crazy writers):

    “He’s a good writer on occasion, and has tremendous access in Asia, but he absolutely sucks as an editor and moderator. He has massive biases on a range of issues, from Volkswagen to Japan, that prevent him from being anything close to a neutral editor, and put his work in strong need of review from an editor. And he is an awful moderator because he drops the banhammer quickly when anyone calls out the factual errors, bias or hypocrisy in his posts. Critiques his posts need.

    I don’t think the d-word article came from a homophobic agenda, I think it just came from an immature inability to avoid clickbait headlines, but either case disqualifies him as an editor.

    The only praise I can give him in running the site is that membership in a special club is not necessary for TTAC users’ comments to appear in black.”

  • avatar

    The level of care on this just hit a historic, all-time-low. Seriously? The washing machine is where your dirty laundry goes, Bertel.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Well, Bertel Schmitt is out, Jack Baruth is in. Long live the new king!!!

    I would like to see Bertel continue to write, following the new editorial guidelines laid out by Jack and Derek – but clearly this is an emotionally charged issue for him. I think he needs some weeks or months away.

  • avatar
    racer193

    Will BS claim he was fired ?Or that he quit?
    This is a great site to get auto news from and the B&B make this place great so many informed people in one place. I learn somthing new everyday from the B&B. Since the crapshow I noticed a sharp drop in the comments on most of the articles. Similar blurbs would get at least 40 to 60 comments would get maybe 15to 30. I wounder how muche readership has dropped off with each of the EIC’s soundoffs or retourtes.
    While his articles are interesting and usually informative. BS is no good in dealing with people. Kinda reminds.me of a early twenties person who has been sheltered and over nourished by their well meaning mother, finally dropped into the world.
    Good luck in future endeavors but few will miss you here.

  • avatar
    ToxicSludge

    I for one don’t give a $h!t who is pissed at who.I’m here for the information and the differing views on the articles posted.If I want drama,I’ll watch tv with my wife.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    wow, autoblog is pretty cool.

    • 0 avatar

      They have the info, but the commenting system is unusable and frankly B&B are just a better crowd. So I ended reading Autoblog but never interacting with them. Also, so much CSS bling, it hurts. WTF is with scroller on top. Is this ESPN site or something?

  • avatar
    tjominy

    All those posts, re-posts, edits, re-edits and not once did “lead” ever get corrected to “led”, which is past tense for “lead”. Disgusting.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Test

  • avatar
    SAMreturns

    BS could never really ban me. I came back but decided it just wasn’t worth my time to post anything. Soon the flame bait, hit-whoring articles just pushed me away. I was just about to unfollow the TTAC twitter feed when I saw this post. We’ll see how things go. I’m just glad the floodgates were opened to what people really thought of BS without fear of the dictator.

  • avatar
    PiperCUB

    I’m not touching this with a ten foot pole.

  • avatar
    PiperCUB

    I DO like the GM polit bureau Death Watch bit.

    Didn’t Canada export their senior citizens – excuse me, sell ALL of their stake-holder GM shares? Sorry, Google auto-correct typos.


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