By on July 12, 2013
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The domain name “thetruthaboutcars.com” was registered by Robert Farago on September 24, 2001. At the time, most of America was too busy with other concerns to notice. In the nearly thirteen years since, the site has had just three Editors-in-Chief. First, there was RF himself, tirelessly tearing away the façade at General Motors. Then, Ed Niedermeyer brought the site to new heights in readership and reach, speaking truth to power all the way to the White House itself. Finally, Bertel Schmitt provided the Best&Brightest with some truly unique insider information  and insight about automotive happenings from Frankfurt to Tokyo.

Welcome to the third changing of the guard. In the next thirty days, Derek Kreindler and I will completely and thoroughly reboot TheTruthAboutCars. Our predecessors molded the site in their image, but we will be molding it in yours. Towards that end, we’ve created a five-point-plan to fix what’s broken here and bring all of you back home to TTAC. If you have a few minutes, please read it — even if you’ve long since given up on this site and the people who run it.

Point One: TTAC Homecoming

This website is completely unique among automotive media outlets in that it exists to serve you. Not the advertisers, not the PR people, not the auto executives. We’re here for you. And in the past year, we’ve made far too many of you feel unwelcome. So welcome back. As soon as possible, all banned TTAC commenters will find their accounts unlocked. (If you can’t access your account, contact us at editors at ttac dot com). We’ll be reaching out to people who no longer come here to let them know they’re welcome back. The dunce hats will be buried in the same landfill Atari used to get rid of the mythical one million “E.T.” game cartridges.

All former TTAC writers are also welcome to submit stories again, regardless of why you parted ways with the site. We want you back. The methodical, drama-filled exclusion of many of the Best&Brightest was wrong, it was unnecessary, and we’re sorry. Come back home.

Point Two: Accountability and Civility

Starting today, all TTAC content will be work-safe for the vast majority of environments. No more upskirts, no more gore, no more garbage. If there’s anything even remotely problematic, we will tell you above the jump. Nothing on the main page and nothing before the jumps will be non-work-safe. Period.

There will be no more political trolling and no more attempts to make members of the UAW, the Democratic Party, or anybody else feel unwelcome. Yeah, some aspects of motorists’ rights have a libertarian aspect to that, and politics will be part of carmaking forever, but we will treat all viewpoints with respect.

Point Three: (Re)Focus on the B&B

We already buried the dunce hats above — but they won’t be coming back, either. All commenter disciplinary issues will be carried out in private. No more public shaming, no more voting people off the island. If we have a problem with what you’re writing, we’ll work it out with you in private. The same will be true for issues that occur between commenters. Treat each other with respect, we will treat you with respect.

It will once again be allowable to directly criticize the staff and the writers. We ask that you don’t get personal with it. But if you think we’ve written junk, feel free to say so.

Point Four: Opening The Conversation

TTAC will now directly accept contributions from commenters. And we will pay you for stories we publish. There will be a freelance budget to compensate members of the B&B for their contributions. We will be sourcing a major portion of future content from our reader base, which has traditionally been the best-informed and the most intelligent in the industry. Unlike other sites, you will be compensated for your time and effort.

Speaking of the industry… If you work in the car business and you have something you want to disclose to us or share with us, we will pay you for that information. If necessary, we will meet you in a parking lot and pay you in cash for it. We’re serious. We want insider news, gossip, and information. We’ll protect your confidentiality and we will make it worth your time. Contact us at editors at ttac dot com. (Note: If you are uncomfortable with the digital trail left by email and want to get in touch by voice, you can phone me, 416 341 8950 x 263. This is a secure line that only I have access to. – DK)

Point Five: The Truth

There’s going to be more of this:
• Rental car reviews
• Privately-owned car reviews
• Dealership car reviews
• Brutally truthful reviews
• Real industry news.

And none of this:
• Puff pieces on luxury cars
• Everyone’s-a-winner comparisons
• Repackaged PR-generated content
• Pornography, fetish stuff, and vanity publishing
• Fiction

Oh, how it pains me to write that last bullet point. But you guys have told us you don’t want that stuff and you’re in charge.

That’s All, Folks

Some of you gave up on TTAC a long time ago. Others just walked away recently. We’re asking all of you to come back and give us a chance. And if there’s something you want to see that isn’t mentioned above… comment below. We’ll read and respond to everything.

TTAC exists because of you. Thank you for reading, for commenting, for keeping us honest. Stick around. The future is bright.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

620 Comments on “In Which We Bid A Fond Farewell To Our Former Editor, Reinstate Banned Commenters, And Welcome All Of You Back Home To TTAC...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Four more years! Four more years!

    • 0 avatar
      twotone

      Thank you! TTAC came very close to losing me yesterday. I’ll stick around a while longer to see if the proposed changes are real and the content remains on track. I’m looking forward to seeing the former contributors return as well.

      • 0 avatar
        xflowgolf

        Agreed. Thank you Jack and Derek. Infrequent poster but long time reader. Bertel’s insight as a contributor could be great (under the editing/moderation/review of a good site leader), but his stewardship, biases, and moderating skills were poorly suited for the site and led me away from TTAC. Looking forward to a strong future of TTAC. Thank you fellas.

        • 0 avatar
          lojak

          I guess I find this mildly amusing and wonder if it’s just a thing on the net. I say this because I’ve only started reading TTAC in the last month because I couldn’t stand Jalopnik any more but needed a car-fix every day. Whatever was perceived to be wrong with (the old) TTAC at least the articles were about cars and not whatever they were shilling at every other Gawker site in existence. Anyway. Rage on. Go Cars…

          • 0 avatar
            justgregit

            I’m with you. I could stand Jalopnik anymore and recently came over here as well. More personality than Autoblog, but without the fake corporatism of a Gawker site. Everything on there read like it was a press release reworded to include edge.

            I miss certain things about Jalopnik (namely “will it baby”) but I got so irritated most of the day. Especially because a lot of it fell into the “luxury puff pieces” that TTAC claims to avoid. I hope they do. This seems like a promising new start (hopefully).

          • 0 avatar
            Zackman

            Welcome to your new home, both of you. This is where everyone who loves the industry and their products belong!

            TTAC isn’t perfect (yet), but this is exciting.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I tend to agree. I don’t have knowledge of the back-story or in house TTAC politics but its a shame all of this had to happen the way it did. I think JB and DK agree which is why they are being so forthcoming. I don’t mean to sound like an after school special, but I hope they understand everyone needs to come together and embrace each others differences as strengths. We may not always agree but if we put our best foot forward we can never be totally wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        challenger2012

        I was banned over a year ago, so I changed my name and e-mail address. Un-banned and commenting. There are ways around everything.

    • 0 avatar

      The best possible news. And a well-thought-out plan. Bookmark restored. Good to be home.

      And I hope Steven Lang will be back.

      Given what was written about him (and remains live on this site), maybe a personal call instead of the general “everyone come home” is in order. Just sayin’.

      • 0 avatar

        And I hope Steven Lang will be back.

        Given what was written about him (and remains live on this site), maybe a personal call instead of the general “everyone come home” is in order. Just sayin’.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        +1000 on this. I did not necessarily agree with some of what Steve Lang had to say, but I think his was one of by FAR the most valuable contributions to this site.

        Though please Jack, don’t tone it down TOO much, I want to hear of your exploits on a regular basis. The moral outrage of the B&B is endlessly entertaining! Vodka McBigbra is just legendary. Don’t grow up too much man, just get older!

        I see below that BS is completely gone – I think y’all should keep him as a contributor for Japanese and VW (especially) related things. But I agree, as an editor he left something to be desired of late.

      • 0 avatar
        Zarba

        +1. Steve Lang was one of the bright spots at TTAC for a long time. His insights into the business and cars in general were spot on.

      • 0 avatar
        Maniacmous

        I really like the way this is looking. Already huge fan of Baruth, DK, Sajeev (and Doug has made one hell of a splash for me of late), but I’d really like to see Lang back – he had a really interesting industry perspective, and I always enjoyed his articles.

        • 0 avatar
          yesthatsteve

          Agreed. Kreutzer’s stuff has also been solid, and I appreciate the international perspective from contributors in non-NAFTA nations has added quite a bit to the conversation.

    • 0 avatar
      Commando

      Remains to be seen. See my long suffering avatar?
      In the past I couldn’t make any comment about anything that wouldn’t result in someone dragging my union membership through the mud. Like I said, remains to be seen…

    • 0 avatar

      This is almost as exciting as when BANE let all the prisoners out of Blackgate Prison who were wrongfully convicted under the Dent Act. Time for the reinstated to take back TTAC!!!

    • 0 avatar
      jvossman

      As someone who visits this website about every day, can we unpin this article from the top? Maybe you can draw attention to it at the top in the form of a house ad?

      Thanks
      jv

      • 0 avatar
        gmichaelj

        yes, PLEASE can we unpin this from the top?
        How many days does this need to go on for? Please move on.

        In fact, JB, since you have some new rules, what are your rules for keeping your favorite topics at the top? Seems like BS used to abuse this as well.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          I’m not pinning anything to the top in the future unless I manage to win a Grand-Am race, at which point the story will permanently replace the header image and all other stories will be required to link to it.

          We have some folks who only come here once a week or so. We’ll leave it up for a day or two more to make sure they see it, then we’re unpinning.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Is BS still on charge of this shop, what is his role?

    • 0 avatar
      Cirruslydakota

      Because if he is, you can count me out.

      I avoided his articles like the plague these last few months and im sure I wasn’t the only one.

      • 0 avatar
        skakillers

        I did too, I’m guessing that enough people voted with their page views that this move became inevitable.

        • 0 avatar
          DeeDub

          Ditto. I had stopped clicking on anything Bertel-authored as a matter of principal.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I deleted the email notifications on his articles for a few months now, for fear a porn image awaited when the email opened.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            If you ban someone for an opinion not for how they are treating others then “Truth About Cars” become a misnomer.

      • 0 avatar
        Macca

        Same here. He was single-handedly ruining this site, and somehow seemed to revel in it.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Agreed, what is the status of Bertel? Jack and Derek running TTAC?

      Dreams do come true!!! (if Bertel is gone as part of the package)

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        grzydj kindly posted this link to Jalopnik near the end of the comment thread for Bertel’s final attack article yesterday:

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

        Looks like Bertel is gone.

        • 0 avatar
          justgregit

          $50 says he’s writing for Jalopnik in the next 6-12 months. One would have thought those bridges were burned, but I wouldn’t put it past either side.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      He can be good as a writer, he just sucks as an editor and moderator. I would actually like to see articles from him, with Derek making corrections as the straight man, like Car and Driver used to do with its crazy writers.

      • 0 avatar
        Japanese Buick

        Exactly. Bertel is a good writer and was a terrible editor in chief. Completely non-self aware and hypocritical in the way he ran things.

        I’d like to see more articles from him. Just not his management style.

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          I really liked his stories. When he ran out of them, it all went downhill very quickly.

          In fact, the stories are the best part of this site. Murilee’s Impala series and Jack’s Vonda McBigbra stories stand out (no pun intended). Since most writers eventually run out of same, I’d really be in favor of seeing more new writers.

          It gets really bad when writers fall back on politics to make up for a lack of anything interesting to say. I really hate the red meat that has been all too common these last few months.

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            Couldn’t agree more. I’ve been know to have what some would call a liberal bias and try as best I can to be objective about the story, not my particular political bent on it. BS had a way of deliberating trolling and if this were a political rage site, they would’ve fit right in. But it isn’t. Its about cars and why we love them, hate them, light them on fire sometimes, and generally catch up on what makes us happy. I look forward to reading and commenting more often.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Mr. Bertel Schmitt is no longer associated with TTAC in any capacity, including that of contributor.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Golf clap…

      • 0 avatar
        Stumpaster

        WOW! Guess that demented wiki-Lang article ruffled some feathers.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lq1brje3JH1r1thdeo1_500.gif

      • 0 avatar
        salhany

        Well done.

      • 0 avatar
        hairy

        As a long time reader who tried my best to avoid all things Bertel, thank you and I cant wait to see what TTAC grows into. Good riddance to him and good luck to you guys!

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        This is a happy day for me. You have no idea what joy I felt upon clicking on this article. Not all is lost out there… and I will root for TTAC to return to the glory days I happened unto two or three years ago.

      • 0 avatar
        olddavid

        Monsignor Jack – I actually enjoyed some of RF’s more caustic observations, as well as Mr. N’s contrarian views, and took it as a badge of merit when occasionally being temporarily banned for some of my more “enthusiastic” opposition. Unfortunately, the latest EIC didn’t “get” this honorable and dignified repartee between the disparate gearhead participants. The content and tone of this site is thoroughly adult and mostly devoid of the so-called hipster irony and wryness that seems to permeate the content of most web-based automotive blogs. The fact that you recognize that certain icons have no clothes and challenge all sacred cows is what keeps me returning daily. Bring ‘em all back, Jack, all is forgiven. There – now I feel like an eight year old Mormon, right after baptism. I think.

        • 0 avatar
          Monty

          Congratulations to Derek and Jack – I look forward to the rebooted new TTAC.

          To Bertel – thanks for the time at the helm. I really enjoyed Herr Schmidt’s contributions, and I hope that as some time passes that we might see some more articles from him.

          I understand the change at the top (and the article in question should be removed, please), and I will agree with others that his strength was not in moderating or editing this site. However, he had some very unique insights into the industry, which I will miss.

          Also, please extend the olive branch to Steven Lang – it would be nice to see his work on TTAC again.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Great news! I look forward to the return of the post Farago, pre Schmitt era of TTAC. I wish to see Steven Lang return as well. I will add one thing about allowing ALL banned commentators to return. Some of those banned deserved it for being horribly insulting and for the use of personal attacks. I hope that type of behavior does not become common here.

        By the way, being a Democrat does not preclude having libertarian leanings. Go to Political Compass and take the test. I tested a bit more left than I would have thought and a lot more libertarian than I would have ever believed..

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Congrats on figuring out that Schmitt was a bitter man with a deep seated resentment for many. As a public figure you need a thick skin. Sadly he took everything way past personal and this site suffered.

      • 0 avatar
        mshenzi

        I’m grateful for this. His articles and high-handed editorship were gradually driving me away from the site. Let the new regime begin!

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Clap, clap, clap, clap….

  • avatar
    mike978

    Good luck Jack and Derek, I am sure you two will make a great success and almost everyone on here will support you. Please try and get Steve and Michael K back on here. Also please do your fiction pieces.

    The above article was a pretty clear repudiation of what BS had been doing. I will miss his Japan and VW inside news. Do we get a final farewell from BS?

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Wow! Stuff about cars and nothing but cars. I can’t wait!

    I always maintain that TTAC IS the best auto web site in spite of recent things over the past year, and now it appears it will get better.

    I’ve only been on here the last three years, and even with all the drama, I’ve found nothing better for industry news and new car reviews and info.

    I don’t have much to add to TTAC in my 62 years but my own experiences.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Good luck to Jack and Derek. I hope Bertel keeps contributing. I appreciate his deep knowledge of the industry.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I have similar thoughts.

    • 0 avatar
      cpthaddock

      Agree.

      There can be a fine line between opinion and prejudice.

      While some excesses needed correcting please don’t lose the integrity and value of point 1 in the “manifesto” above. I’ve enjoyed much of Bertels better writing so maybe, after a timeout, a rendition of kumbaya around the campfire can occur?

    • 0 avatar
      thanh_n

      Agreed. I enjoyed his articles as well. Hopefully this applies towards him as well: “All former TTAC writers are also welcome to submit stories again, regardless of why you parted ways with the site”

  • avatar
    Jesse

    I’ve been reading this site since ’05. This is all very good news indeed.

    I found all the things that you mention here to be pretty horrifying. Especially the commenter witch hunts.

    Glad to see a return to form. Godspeed Jack and Derek.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    I thought that the fiction was all supposed to be true, with the names changed to protect the hairstylists?

    • 0 avatar
      pietalian

      Hahaha. This sounds like a positive direction for the website overall, even if I will miss the fiction pieces

  • avatar
    poxpopuli

    Re: Changes

    Not a moment too soon, IMO. That said, whatever is done, hands off Murilee’s column.

    • 0 avatar
      tallnikita

      How about bring Murlee’s LeMons articles back so that we don’t have to go to Car and Driver to read them?

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        I thought that C&D was a sponsor of that “series!” :-) And with that, some sort of clause forbidding any write-ups in other publications.

        Murilee, Derek or Jack, is this correct?

    • 0 avatar
      chris724

      Yeah, Murilee is my favorite writer on TTAC.

      • 0 avatar
        Jim

        More Murilee and steven lang articles would be great… I have been reading this website since 2007.

  • avatar

    I really hope you guys stick with point #2. #2 is the main reason I read TTAC threads mostly in my personal e-mail (which probably doesn’t get you guys any ad dollars).

    I never read the fiction myself either. I come here for truth, and “fiction” is the opposite.

    I really hope Stephen Lang will be welcomed back. He was, IMHO one of, if not the best writers on TTAC! His auction stuff/used car lot stuff was my absolute favorite.

    I also would like to see more articles by Marcelo about the Brazilian market as I think his articles are quite good as well.

  • avatar
    mr.cranky

    Best of luck Mr.Baruth and I certainly hope that TTAC succeeds in that 5 point plan.

  • avatar
    marjanmm

    Hope Psar and PCH will be back.

    • 0 avatar
      marc

      +1 million. They were my favorite posters.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Whatever happened to psar?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        What happened to Vanilladude?

        • 0 avatar
          Zackman

          VanillaDude comments over on CurbsideClassic.com – my only other car website other than here. I’m sure he’ll be back on TTAC. I’ll welcome him!

          • 0 avatar
            VanillaDude

            Wha – HUH?
            Where am I?

            So Herr Bertel had enough of our Camp’s disrespect for authority, eh?

            Look at my pale skin! Steve McQueen and I were stuck in the Cooler with our baseballs lobbing off the wall for over a year.

            Wow, the sun is so damn bright! Sorry about the smell I made in the Cooler, but Herr Bertel wouldn’t let me out and a guys gotta do what a guys gotta do.

            I never gave up by the way. I could look through the crack in the door jam when I laid on my belly and see that I wasn’t the only one getting the Herr Bertel treatment.

            What the hells in my hair? Look! I have a beard!

            What I was seeing outside was that Herr Commandant was cracking down Animal House style. That whole “incriminate yourself as a TTAC troll” bit was right out of Orwell.

            But that stuff didn’t surprise me coming from him. The guy just didn’t translate well enough to figure out that a lot of us guys don’t like being told to just shut up and move along when we see an injustice.

            Lord almighty! Look at my freaking fingernails!

            Oh, and I think Steve and I got married a few months ago. Hey, its not anyone’s fault but just because two guys are locked up in the Cooler and we got tired of baseball now and then. He’s a lot gentler than he lets on.

            Wow, did you know that air really has no smells in it? Freaky!

        • 0 avatar
          ClutchCarGo

          As I recall, banned for some hostile xenophobic comments, targeted at Asians I think.

          • 0 avatar
            VanillaDude

            Hostile xenophobic comments targeted at Asian? You think?

            No. You are not thinking.

            I got banned because I didn’t like reading a German auto critic thinking it was funny to begin his review of a French car by stating right off the bat that he hates everything French.

            This weekend was Bastille Day my friends and I’ve drank more than a six pack of 1664 in honor of our noble compatriots across the Atlantic! I’m peeing French!

            No one, let alone a German, is going to get away with any comment suggesting an opinion about another culture. I don’t take kindly to any German suggestions as to how to improve myself.

            So, it wasn’t about Asians. It was about American-French honor.

            Lastly, I am not xenophobic, but at one time I was Zima-phobic. That crap tasted like crap!

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        • Puff pieces on luxury cars

        Better “archive” that bit from a few days ago on the Panamera then.

      • 0 avatar

        Was psar banned or did he just leave? I can’t imagine what he would have been banned for…his comments were always well structured and on the money (from my perspective).

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          I wasn’t banned, I just gave up.

          I’d said this before in past mea culpa posts from the TTAC masthead: under Mr. Farago and, to a lesser degree, Mr. Niedermeyer, content, analysis and editorial commentary were distinct.

          Under Mr. Schmitt, this was much less so: journalism and editorializing freely co-mingled.

          I felt, personally, like I was being baited for page hits. Now, I don’t mind being baited, but it felt amateurish and there just wasn’t any real point to commenting. The site became kind of boring: the content was weak, the editorializing blatant and the anecdotal writing rather self-serving (of which Mr. Baruth is somewhat guilty).

          Plus, the site lost some of it’s better writers (Mr. Karesh, the elder Mr Niedermeyer) and commentators (Pch101; acerbic as he was, was usually right). The stuff the stepped up to replace it was weak inasmuch as it’s what you’d see everywhere else, or downright tepid click-bait (Virgil Hilts’ material, some of Mr. Schmitt’s own work, toward the end).

          TTAC always had relatively poor production values, but the writing and research that got me here was top notch; when I started here, in the Farago era, I don’t think I saw many posts that I’d characterize as weak. Inflammatory and challenging, sure, but nothing of the low-brow faux-controvesy stuff that Autoblog pushed.

          TTAC has struggled with identity since the completion of the bailout. It’s had some good moments (the metacriticism during PedalGate which was Mr. Schmitt’s best work) but there’s not been much of a reason to exist since.

          That’s going to be the challenge henceforth: what are you going to do? What’s your plan?

    • 0 avatar
      cgjeep

      And Vanilla Dude.

  • avatar
    dan m

    You got this reader back.

    Bravo and about time…

  • avatar
    cwallace

    Too bad about the fiction, but I’m really pleased to see all the rest. Thanks Jack and Derek, for working to right the ship instead of abandoning it.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Hoorah! Huzzah! This is the best news I’ve read all day/week/month. But I have to admit that after the months of warmed-over, all-purpose, all-you-can-eat snarkfest we’ve been fed here, I kept expecting you to jump out and yell “April Fool” at the end.

    JB, you’re the best writer here by a country mile. You may be the last best reason I still visit here. I would even read your fiction! Just please remember that I come here to escape politics, the partisan variety, at least.

    Good luck and Gosdspeed, chaps!

  • avatar
    redliner

    This could not have come at a better time. I was honestly starting to think TTAC was nearing the end of it’s useful life. Just this morning as I opened my browser I contemplated removing TTAC as one of my favorites.

    Perhaps a second chance is in order…

  • avatar
    Scout_Number_4

    Hope we continue to see more of the same from Sajeev, Jack, Murilee and Mr. DeMuro–posts from these guys have been ‘must read’ material for me since I began visiting the site. I’d be very disappointed if the new-look TTAC took away any of their voice or style.

    Publishing articles submitted by us commenters? That’s intriguing.

    • 0 avatar
      Sammy B

      Agree. Sajeev, Jack, Murilee, DeMuro, and hopefully a returning Lang will be a very nice group. I like the international flair as well with Marcelo & Faisal also. That really makes this a unique place and well worth visiting.

      I’m the bridge isn’t completely burned, I would be OK with some Bertel articles from Asia as well. Those can be very insightful sometimes.

    • 0 avatar
      pietalian

      Can’t forget Kreutzer and McAleer!

  • avatar

    Excellence!

    Get a better WordPress theme while you’re at it. Or better yet, modify one. Set a Task! Get it done! Please do this. Now is the time!

    • 0 avatar
      rentonben

      Oh god this!

      Put a monkey on the toggle switches of an MITS Altair and it would make a better WordPress theme even if it was in EBCDIC.

      • 0 avatar
        wumpus

        Is there anyway to search comments? This seems to me enough to make wordpress useless, but you seem stuck with it now.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Wow.

    This sounds very good.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I didn’t realize there were any serious problems :

    It’s a free site and if I didn’t like anything , there’s always the DELETE button ~ that’s what Adults do , not whine and carp .

    In any case , I’ll always look forward to seeing TTAC messages in my inbox .

    Carry on then ! .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar

      That’s the problem Nate, they did use the delete button. They used it to delete the bookmark (or feed…I came very close so many times but stayed for McAleer, Derek, Jack and Doug). Traffic fell, and the editor ultimately failed at doing his job, which was to produce content that would expand the site. This wasn’t whining, it was the market speaking and a business responding.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Tremendous news!

    An editorial suggestion – although not a fan of rewriting history. Some of the really unnecessary “stories” like the one yesterday about the Wikipedia site, can we just, ummm, “archive” them (ya, that’s it “archive”), and move forward.

    I have enjoyed some of Bertel’s posts but in the last few months I would generally avoid the reading – and was reducing my visits here.

    I really hope you guys stick to this plan – it would be great for the site an the B&B.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I’ve been waiting for this to happen for a long while. I got my wish. B.S. is gone,at last! Whooo Hooo! Lets put that behind us and move on.

    With Jack and Derek running the show, we should see some great changes. The five points?….perfect.

    I will be here, and contribute what I can,when I can. I wish nothing, but success for TTAC.

    Go for it boys!

  • avatar
    Mr Imperial

    I had to re-check my calendar, just making sure that today’s date was NOT April 1st…….

    The future looks good for TTAC!

  • avatar
    bigev007

    Well, I finished my “don’t let the door hit me on the way out” post. Refreshed the homepage, and what do I see? Looks like I might be hanging around for the next few weeks at least. Give you guys a chance to right some wrongs.

    Good luck.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Before this announcement, if someone had asked me who I’d like running the show, it would’ve been the two of you. This is a very fine day at TTAC! Best of luck.

  • avatar
    kenzter

    This is great news!
    Best of luck Derek and Jack. Stick to your 5 point plan and success is guaranteed.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Baruth for President! Kreindler for…Premier Ministre!

    Seriously, I welcome the proposed changes.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    This is my first login in several years. I’m listening.

  • avatar
    Kevin

    Thank heavens. I had stopped visiting TTAC for the last month, since Bertel let his trap fly the last time about Obama, the UAW, and Democrats. I’m not a registered Democrat by any means, but I am a teacher in Wisconsin and I’ve heard quite enough about how unions are evil from our governor. I come here to read about cars, not politics.

    I believe I will be back far more often now. This is fantastic news.

  • avatar
    Tomifobia

    May I make a suggestion? Please stop putting the authors’ names as tags. It reeks of ego trip, and if one needs to find more from the same writer, we can click on their name in the byline.

    Yes, Mr Schmitt, I’m looking at you.

    • 0 avatar

      No, I like to know and I think it is important to remember that people rely on this as a way of earning money. They need to have an opportunity to develop their name and reputation across the web, and to do that I need to know who’s writing I especially enjoy. It’s not ego, it’s how you make a career out of writing.

  • avatar
    friedclams

    I think TTAC should make an exception to the fiction ban for Crabspirits’ brilliant sketches in the Junkyard Finds series. He is the Faulkner of commenters.

    Also, I note that a lot of trust is being placed in the B&B to exercise focus and restraint and to be civil. I think it will work.

  • avatar
    Jason Lombard

    While I never had a personal issue with Bertel, I’ll be honest—if his name was on the byline, most of the time I skipped the post. His writing style just never appealed me.

    I see only good things coming from this change. Hopefully we get Steve Lang back. His articles were ones that I never missed. If you guys can make good on the promises above and stay true to the brand, the future looks bright for TTAC. Been here for at least 7-8 years—here’s to at least another 7 or 8.

    Good luck Derek and Jack!

  • avatar
    Lokki

    I quit commenting several months ago after being bluntly told that crudeness was “just how we writers roll” and quit coming two or three months ago around the time of BS infamous dildo attack. I mean, I don’t mind a bit of crudeness as long as it’s cleverly done….but it wasn’t being cleverly done. Everything written was just troll bait except for Steve Lang and Murilee Martin. I just found myseld wondering what all this was doing on a CAR site, and asked myself, why I was reading it. Finding no reason to be here, I dumped my bookmarks and left. The only reason I’m here today is a Jalopnik article. I see the promises. I’ll come back in a month or two and see what’s on the page.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    Speechless.

    This is actually making my day. I would share this with my friends but none of them have TTAC in their veins that “we” collectively do.

    I am not sure what the status of BS is and I wish him well. I think his insights were tremendous and his insider stories, especially his LFA peices, were mesmerizing.

    But I also know that I increasingly became hesitant to read his peices or the undertones they presented…. BUT, that is the past and let’s look to the future because that is all that matters.

    Bravo Jack, Bravo Derek….

    I do hope some of the departed writers return as well as some of the legendary posters such as PCH101…. This is probably one of the only sites I know of where I look forward to reading through the comments section as much as the article itself… THAT IS WHY THIS SITE IS GOLD

  • avatar
    Ian

    No!!!! Keep the fiction! Jack, your stories are superb and I don’t remember reading more than a tiny handful of negative responses to them in the comments.

    Otherwise, sounds like a fantastic plan. I was beginning to get put off.

    • 0 avatar

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      This this this, I was about to begin the slow clap until I read that there would be no more fiction. That was seriously some of the best stuff on this site, if it’s not possible to put it here as a rule then please make a blog and link it in the bio at the bottom of the article. The Nicolas Sparks-esque story about the businessman with the Ferrari and the tale of the LeMons-ified gold Camry still stick with me.

      As others have said, Bertel was a good writer, as long as he kept off the political rants, and questionable headline and picture choices. Like the rest of the trolls being brought back from the dead, he should be welcome here as well.

      • 0 avatar
        cpthaddock

        +1

        • 0 avatar

          Gonna add to the +1 chorus here, for the same reasons I gave when Jack started writing fiction here regularly: “The Facts About Cars” would be boring, and sometimes fiction allows you to get closest to the truth.

          • 0 avatar
            xflowgolf

            +1 here as well. Pretty easy to discertain from the 2nd “T” of TTAC by simply starting every fiction story with a heads up on the article title. Entertaining, car related, and easily avoidable as a minority portion of the overall content.

          • 0 avatar
            Japanese Buick

            I never really enjoyed the fiction and it’s not my cup of tea, but despite that I agree it should stay. It’s part of the flavor of this site and easy enough for me and others who don’t enjoy it, to skip.

          • 0 avatar
            mcarr

            +1 Keep the fiction Jack, it’s usually car-related and always an enjoyable read. Although, as long as it still shows up on jackbaruth.com I suppose I can live without it here.

            I never got too worked up over the virtual peeing matches. I either thought it was entertaining, or I didn’t click on it. I to hope BS continues to contribute articles.

          • 0 avatar
            Mullholland

            Whew! That was a close one. Thank god the stability control kicked in.
            Good luck Jack and Derek. Stick to your plan and we’ll all get to a better place.
            Oh, and as far as Jack’s fiction goes, two words: Don’t stop. Providing if you can find writers that are able to chin up to the high bar he’s set then please keep fiction in the mix.
            Perhaps you could feature fiction the first day of every month, sort of April Fools Day x 12.

          • 0 avatar
            sirwired

            FWIW, I didn’t read the fiction either, but I had no problem with it being on the site.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            +1, Ed. Hope your current endeavors find you well!

      • 0 avatar
        Variant

        Jack does have a blog…

        http://jackbaruth.com/

    • 0 avatar
      The Soul of Wit

      That’s OK, Jack. Just from time to time let us know where some of your “faction” is at so we can get a fix.

    • 0 avatar
      kkt

      The fiction was great. I can see that it’s not really within scope of TTAC, though. If Jack keeps writing, I hope he puts up a pointer to where it’s being posted/published.

      Glad to see the end of the porn. TTAC would never have better porn than a porn site.

      It’d be cool if there could still be the occasional review of an exotic. Not a puff piece, but real reviews. I realize that’s hard without a large private fortune or cooperation from the car companies that only comes from writing puff pieces, though.

    • 0 avatar

      Another vote to at least save Jack’s fiction, especially since he’s hinted that he wants to continue writiing it :).

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Another vote here.

      • 0 avatar
        wumpus

        I’d vote as well, but I can only assume that they have the page hit totals and know where their bread is buttered. I’ll miss it if they weren’t getting the hits, and miss it more if a noisy few shut up a popular piece (I just can’t see an editor stop writing something he wants to write and gets the pagehits. I can only assume he wasn’t getting them).

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        Great auto related fiction is hard to do.

        I remember some of the great stuff in C&D. Memorable. Hey! Maybe solicit fantastical auto cartoons. Something else the old C&D had.

        Tre

    • 0 avatar
      Manic

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      Mr. Edward Mann

      Keep the fiction (or at least dump it over at The Curb(side Classic), metaphorically. Kreutzer is already doing it.)!

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Good news. Less political is better, as well as more objectivity (example, lets not try to let our biases get in way of product reviews–GM cough cough)

  • avatar

    I do like the articles Baruth has written, specifically from a racer’s perspective. Please don’t stop those!

    And the video reviews Baruth and the others did were good too. The podcasts that Farago and Niedermeyer did were very entertaining. Video podcasts along the lines of Twit.tv maybe? :)

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Hey TTAC staff and fellow commentors.

    Just wanted to give my two cents. I am really excited by the direction proposed by Mr. Baruth. Just a few thoughts:

    I have also been frustrated with the tone of Mr. Schmitt’s post as of late, however it is my hope that he will continue to contribute his industry knowledge and insight in a factual, unbiased way. It is a side of my love of autmobiles to which I previously had no access, and when written thoughtfully is greatly beneficial.

    I am also happy too see the site being cleaned up in a SFW manner. The only exception, please allow the trauma doctor to continue posting his incredibly insightful if also somewhat disturbing articles about what happens when common sense and common safety items are disregarded during utilization of an autombile. Sometimes, this type of shock and awe is a good reminder of things we may take for granted in the daily practice of driving, if a bit hard to stomach. Definitely making sure all gorey content in this context is properly labelled and after the jump should alleviate any issues with this contributor’s unique perspective pieces.

    • 0 avatar
      coachrotte

      As a public school teacher i agree with the need for an open look at the dangers and shock. The youth that read this site, while there may not be many, need the reminder of the perils presented by the good doctor.

    • 0 avatar
      hoff02

      I also have to agree with this. The shock and awe is a key component of this type of article – a bold reminder of what can go wrong all too quickly on our roads. I understand the need to limit the material, but I hope there is consideration for exceptions provided appropriate context and ample warning before the jump!

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Michael Delaney

      Thank you for the kind words of support. I can only hope the new leadership will continue to allow me tell my stories. The intent of my stories has always been to save lives through education. My children have heard all my stories of the stupid things people do and resulting injury–hopefully in the millisecond of a potentially bad decision, they will hesitate remembering a story and they will not become a statistic. Sometimes, shock and awe is what it takes, akin to “scared straight” model for behavior modification.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Dr., your latest post was perfect, in terms of plenty of warning, and “gory” content below the jump!

        As others on this thread have said, this stuff needs to be shown (as long as you don’t run afoul of HIPAA by doing so). And as I stated up the Comments in response to another comment, sometimes the truth hurts, like it or not!

  • avatar
    Dyl911

    “There’s going to be more of this:
    • Rental car reviews
    • Privately-owned car reviews
    • Dealership car reviews
    • Brutally truthful reviews
    • Real industry news.”

    Huzzah! Good luck to you both, Jack and Derek!

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      I think this is great, my only concern is that this list of things doesn’t seem to leave room for the excellent slice-of-life type articles that Thomas K. writes. However, the list of things that won’t be included didn’t include that either. I hope we see more of that type of writing as well.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Real industry news covers a lot of things. Also wasn`t TK hired by BS?

        • 0 avatar

          Actually, I was one of several people involved in the Future Writers contest. I got some decent responses to the first couple of submissions and since nobody told me to quit submitting, I never stopped.

          I suppose that, like all of you, I’ll have to see where the site goes from here and how the new editors decide to handle the kinds things I submit. Since I am not at all involved with the auto industry I’m not good for much real news. If tales of days gone by and the other more or less inane things I like to write about are off the table, then I guess you will be seeing a lot less of me in the future.

          • 0 avatar

            Thomas, I sent you an email. You always have a home here.

          • 0 avatar
            Piston Slap Yo Mama

            You’ve been a platinum author thus far. If guys like David E. Davis could crank ‘em out for a lifetime then you certainly will do likewise for the foreseeable future. Even Jamie Kitman seems incapable of running out of topics for what that’s worth. You’ll do fine sir, your talent will carry you through.

          • 0 avatar

            Thomas,

            If I’ve learned anything writing about cars is that ultimately it’s writing about people and telling a good story. The cars are cool but the reason why Tuckers are worth a lot more than Hudson Italias (which are rarer) is that the Italia just doesn’t have the Tucker’s story.

            Your stuff gives a great look at the human side of the hobby.

          • 0 avatar
            luvmyv8

            Please keep contributing Thomas.

            I enjoy your stories because simply put, many of them we can all relate to. The “inner” gear head in us all.

            Besides, your one of the few who can understand why I love the Nissan Skyline, and not just the GT-R models of it.

          • 0 avatar

            Thanks for the vote of confidence. I have learned to be a wait and see guy. When the twin towers fell I was at home in Seattle and woke up to it on the news. I realized I could spend all day watching it on the news or I could find something to do. I wasn’t in a position to help anyone so I went out and changed the oil in my 200SX. When I saw this news break early this morning as a rumor at Jalopnik, I read the rumors, of course, and then went out and found something to do. I came back this afternoon to what we all see here, and the reaction to it, then almost 250 comments long.

            As I wrote to Steve when he left the site I am truly sorry this whole thing happened but I am not someone who has any great insight into the inner workings of TTAC. The closest I have ever come to even meeting someone from this site is when I went up to Toronto last week but Derek and my schedules could not be reconciled. I just like to write and was thrilled to have placed in the future writers contest. For that matter I am still thrilled to have people reading my stuff here and I am deeply gratified by the positive remarks so many of you have thoughtfully taken the time to write. Thank you all for your encouragement.

            I won’t lie to you. I have been on the fence about today’s events. As I wrote earlier, my articles are not hard news, some of them are nostalgia and some of them are just offered up to help spark a discussion. I just love cars, as do you all, but I really don’t fit the typical mold and that was a little worrisome.

            I have been a part of message boards on the internet for a long long time – since they were dial up BBS connections – and I have seen these kinds of things unfold. I am sorry to see Bertel go because, frankly, I think when he was good he brought a lot to this site and because my efforts here flourished under his leadership. I was gratified to see Derek’s positive thoughts about him in another thread and I think that speaks well of Derek as he tales up the reins. I think we have a very good leadership team in place now and I think we will recover well. I look forward to the future at TTAC and I look forward to being a part of it. Thank you all for your support.

          • 0 avatar
            mypoint02

            Thomas – Just want to say that I enjoy your articles immensely. You may not be in the biz, but your articles are well written and always tell a great story. I especially liked the piece on your father’s Olds. My father and I also share the bonds of cars and working on them together, so I could definitely relate. Keep up the good work!

          • 0 avatar
            csj

            I’ve lurked on this site a long time. I’ve just now created an account to let you know that I really, really enjoy your writing and nostalgia pieces. Please do not stop contributing to TTAC after this changeover. If you do, please let us know where you will be contributing. I was on the verge of writing this site off after the BS/SL fiasco, but yours and JB’s contributions kept me checking back once in a while.

            There is some room for well-written, balanced, and edited nostalgia and fiction — it’s certainly something you don’t encounter at most other sites.

  • avatar
    ringomon

    YES! I saw the news the BS might be out elsewhere, clicked over and saw this. I can come back to TTAC!

    I don’t mind writer’s giving opinion, and political topics to be covered, but to stay reading I expect it to be done with some level of nuance that I was finding less and less here of late.

    I think this is a wise decision by those in charge here.

    I will miss BS’ dryer reportings from Japan though which were actually quite well done (assuming he won’t be doing them anymore).

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    I sense a coup has taken place. If so, Viva La Revolucion!

    • 0 avatar
      The Soul of Wit

      As a former frequent commenter once tossed into the the gulag of banishment by Mr. Schmitt for….well, that’s not important anymore…anyway, I believe I can identify with the feelings of the average Egyptian citizen since Morosi was deposed.

      I actually never stopped commenting, I just did so under a nom de plume…er, nom de keyboard.

      See what I did there?

      Best Luck, Jack and Deke…and Jack, if there’s not gonna be any ‘fiction’, how about a dose of ‘faction’ every now and again. And guitar stories.

  • avatar
    coachrotte

    Glad to hear about the reboot. Hope it continues if times get tough.

  • avatar
    Timothy

    Really fantastic news. I for one will be logging on a lot more often than I have in the past few months. Looking forward to reader submitted articles and having an adult conversation with my fellow b&b at TTAC.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    Mr. Lang would like to be contacted directly to work out specifics on his hopeful return. Great news and glad to be back and unbanned after roughly 2 years in the gulag.

  • avatar
    oldowl

    The lead video is an unfortunate flag under which to begin again.

  • avatar
    rnc

    Jack – your’s and the new guy’s(former porsche manager yada yada) fiction, intertwined with reality, usually with the possiblity that it could be real or not, but no one really knows, and always gets back to cars somehow stories are some of the best stuff ever published on this site. please reconsider the fiction part????

    • 0 avatar

      Hey! I don’t write fiction! Every single word I have ever said on this site is true! I mean, hell, D-pillars aren’t getting SMALLER!

      • 0 avatar
        kenzter

        Doug, you are now my favorite writer here. I’m glad I can read your stuff without generating page clicks for that d-bag. It’s a good day at TTAC.

        • 0 avatar
          rnc

          Yes Doug has taken the lead, seems like Jack’s been on an extended vacation or something, but man the P-## conspiracy story and such are amazing, sure “some” may not like it, sure a cat fight broke out and people were immediately looking for empty cynanide cans and foot trails in the jungle somewhere, but as I said, it may or may have not been real, dealt with cars, was amazing stuff, that shouldn’t be lost, b/c the former editor decided to go Stazi, cost west germany $1 trillion to clean up that mess, TTAC hadn’t gotten to that point yet (that article yesterday was close), but don’t overdue the clean-up.

        • 0 avatar

          Thanks. I really appreciate it. I promise you will see lots more from me over the next weeks and months.

      • 0 avatar
        cgjeep

        Except for the horrible lies/accusations about the parentage of the G20(-:)

  • avatar
    suspekt

    Wonderful news.

    The only site where the B&B comments are as improtant as the articles themselves.

    This makes my day… its a shame I cant share this with friends. I am somehwat singular in my social groups in terms of auto obsession.

    Just great!!!

  • avatar

    Wow!

    With this announcement, you have me back as a reader. Hopefully, if I find the time, possibly even a contributor.

    Make us proud, guys!

  • avatar
    campocaceres

    Here’s to TTAC’s future. I am happy to read this, and see the major focus being brought back to the things I personally enjoy about this site.

  • avatar
    cc-rider

    Great news all around. Hope to see Murilee keep posting and Steve Lang make a comeback here. Any chance of Farago chiming in?

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Wow, just wow!

    As another major site for my prime hobby (not cars) is getting trashed by its narcissistic site Editor/owner, this announcement makes me VERY happy.

    But, fiction is cool and Baruth writes it well.

    And, how in the world are we going to read about test drives of new Porsches?

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    Having been one of those blacklisted for a time, and who never bought into the anti-GM stance so loved on this site, I look forward to the changes promised today. This site has always had the potential to be the best automobile web-site in the US – sorry, Peter – but it was continually undone by its management. (Now, I get the GM connection!)
    All the best to you.

  • avatar
    cc-rider

    Great news. I hope Steve Lang makes a comeback at TTAC. What are the chances of Farago posting?

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    It’s a sad, sad day with the pornography gone.

    Just a suggestion, it might be nice to have some Used Car Reviews as it is interesting to see how the older cars stack up against the modern ones.

    I also look forward to seeing “Civilian” created content, we have spent years reading TTAC reviews, I think it is time we try writing some of our own.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      +1

      It was the junkyard finds that brought me to this site, and VVV articles on older cars and the series on vintage police cars are my favorites.

      Thought of contributing an article on the rise and fall of the jellybean cars of the ’80s and ’90s; they were not very reliable as a group compared to today; but I loved their styling.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Yeah man, pornography and fiction are great!

      • 0 avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        I’m not really concerned either way about the pornography, provided it’s clearly marked and behind the jump. ‘Tis a pity about the fiction, but I hope/assume that the Great Fiction Ban won’t impact Thomas and Jack’s retellings of factual events.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      ” it might be nice to have some Used Car Reviews as it is interesting to see how the older cars stack up against the modern ones.”

      That’s actually something I might be interested in contributing content to.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        Same. The cars from 10-15 years ago that many of us are still driving are arguably important to those of us who depend on them daily.

    • 0 avatar
      99GT4.6

      +1. As an example i’ve seen a lot of praise of the Mazda 3 in new car reviews but in Canada they all seem to rust after just a few years.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    THIS is exactly what the site needs – a focus on WRITING, and the remaining editors can do that quite well, thanks.

    And as much as I appreciated Bertel’s industry insights, he had clearly lost the plot as an editor. His stuff had become deliberately provocative and silly.

    I know some posters would like to see his stuff, but I wouldn’t hold my breath – I strongly suspect he won’t be back.

    Best to move on and forward.

  • avatar

    Mazel tov, guys. Good luck with the refresh!

  • avatar

    And I hope Steven Lang will be back.

    Given what was written about him (and remains live on this site), maybe a personal call instead of the general “everyone come home” is in order. Just sayin’.

  • avatar
    tallnikita

    I am back, no need to use the fake logon!

  • avatar
    Cirruslydakota

    Now wheres that new Mazda 3 review at?

  • avatar
    JT

    Your first step should be getting Mr. Lang to return regardless of what it takes. His superb content and writing style was one of the few things
    that kept me visiting here frequently.

    • 0 avatar
      marc

      Agreed, especially since Steve was a victim of the nonsense that preceded this wonderful announcement.

  • avatar
    Zombo

    Good to hear , the site was headed in the wrong direction for awhile now . Hope there will also be the occasional motorcycle piece and bringing back click on links from readers posting them instead of having to copy a link then paste it in a web browser would be an improvement also .

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Cool beans! Sounds like “really good” is on its way to “superb”.

  • avatar
    GripperDon

    I am confused, what is that stuff in the lead in clip. Seems about nothing to do with cars, all about trash. If that kind of stuff in going to be in this TTAC them you are all crazy and I am out of here. Explain!

    • 0 avatar
      vaujot

      It is a scene from The Wire, an award-winning TV programme. The gangsters meet, agree to reconcile their differences and work together. Nothing to do with cars but with the spirit of Jack’s post.

  • avatar
    Molotovio

    Good! I miss the ‘ruthless’ comparison. That’s how I started reading TTAD.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Not that the rental car reviews aren’t fantastic, but is there any way Mr. Baruth can have access to press fleets once again on the off chance we would like to see him review something he can’t get over the counter at Enterprise?

  • avatar
    Immanuel Transmission

    This is great news–so great that it spurred this longtime lurker to register at last. I join others above in hoping Steve Lang will come back with his consistently enjoyable and illuminating writing. The “None of this” list is right on target–please live by it! (Although a brief fictional piece now and then wouldn’t offend me in the least.) Good luck, guys!

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I actually prefer the rental car reviews. The press car reviews are just like all the other pubs.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      I agree about non white washed reviews, its just that the access to certain vehicles at the rental counter can be somewhat limited. I would love Jack’s unique perspective on a wider variety of vehicles is all. Hopefully, a major manufacturer could take the constructive criticism that Jack’s uncompromising real world reviews tend to create.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Wrong post under which to comment, but I have to wonder: how is Jack going to be able to pull off the proposed Penske GT-H wutevertheheckitis test? Unless “Jack Baruth” is an alias, if someone at the Hertz counter reads this site…! (Of course, he’s gotten away with it until now with a couple other cars besides the Camry, if I’m not mistaken.)

        Perhaps contacting the Penske operation directly to inquire about securing a ‘Stang for testing which is spec’ed as they go to Hertz would work just as well as walking up to the airport counter..it would generate positive publicity for Penske, Hertz and FoMoCo, while keeping everyone above-board in the process. (If the car isn’t black with the gold stripe, but if all the other bits are there, it should run the same, yes?)

  • avatar
    Piston Slap Yo Mama

    “Unlike other sites, you will be compensated for your time and effort.” At which point I passed out, striking my head on the desk before landing on my cat.

    My biggest gripe as a degreed journalist is the systematic devaluation of the craft of story telling. Let’s use Jalopnik as an example, though they’re hardly unique: they created their ‘Kinja’ to give readers a blog interface for posting their own content. The vast majority of postings are mundane but some rise above the background noise and attract new readership, creating pure profit for Jalopnik. The reward for these authors is, I surmise, the “thrill” of seeing their name on a Jalopnik article. If said author aspires to be a paid Jalopnik scribe then he/she must continue to write and post free-of-charge submissions until the day they’re metaphorically raptured up to Jalop heaven. I can’t help but wonder how many times that has happened since Kinja went live. Once? Nonce?

    Paying for content, once upon a time the norm, now the exception. For this alone I salute you, Jack & Derek.

    Otherwise, this place needs a thorough spring cleaning. Ixnay on the union bashing and photos of severed limbs. Regards to Bertel, if his politicking and baiting can be reined in I’m willing to tolerate his otherwise informative prose. But as TTAC’s editor I am thrilled to see him go: don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split you.

    • 0 avatar
      Banger

      “My biggest gripe as a degreed journalist is the systematic devaluation of the craft of story telling.”

      ^ This.

      I, too, am a degreed journalist and was sickened by Jalop’s (hell, even the general news industry’s) pandering to “citizen journalists,” which has never been anything more than a backdoor way for struggling “news” organizations to get content without coughing up any cash. The old “hat-tip” I used to see here at TTAC for ideas/photos/comments submitted by readers that later turned into full stories is one thing, but encouraging your readers to do your work for you is quite another.

      With that said, huzzah for this forward-thinking, equitable goal!

      I’ve always liked DK and JB, so I’ll be watching the coming weeks attentively. I used to log into this site darn near every day when RF was in charge, even did for a while when EN was running the show, but BS’s reign was driving me away from the site. I seldom commented because I seldom read it. I sincerely hope I’ll be looking back a couple years from now saying this change in leadership is what made me start coming around here again, making TTAC a place I just had to visit to “get my fix,” as I used to.

      I’ve also got some ideas that don’t quite fit the beat over at the blog I’m writing for. I’ll send you guys some stuff when I get time.

      • 0 avatar
        Piston Slap Yo Mama

        400+ comments later and we’re still the only two who noted the promise to compensate authors for their work. It IS a Titanic shift to clean house and fire someone from their lifelong career and I understand why those are the primary topics here, but bucking the trend of expecting free content creation is more significant than people realize.

        The public doesn’t understand the significance of the race to the bottom re. journalistic standards and why offering to pay for quality content is unusual. I’m sure the vast majority of people don’t notice/care when a story isn’t properly researched, shows clear bias, contains bad grammar/punctuation/spelling, fails to establish a purpose or even all of these things at once. For this we have Kinja and similar aggregators, and if the average reader is happy to consume slipshod, free “journalism” then I’m just tilting at windmills. I’m glad to see others recognize this trend for what it is and fight it.

        • 0 avatar

          ” I’m sure the vast majority of people don’t notice/care when a story isn’t properly researched, shows clear bias, contains bad grammar/punctuation/spelling, fails to establish a purpose or even all of these things at once”

          I notice, so do some editors and publishers. One reason why guys like me, without degrees in writing or journalism, can get published online is because there just aren’t that many people who have the basic writing skills needed to write for publication – and that’s not even getting into stylistic talent.

          Since the final drafts of things I’ve written don’t have “facts” that were in the first draft because research found them to not be accurate, I’ve become very skeptical of secondary and tertiary sources. What happens is that a single quote will be pulled from a primary source and bunch of secondary sources will use that as the whole story.

          Then there’s the dumbing down of education. From what I’ve read, apparently America’s teachers stopped word by word editing of essays a generation ago. I see poor grammar and syntax in major newspapers and from the AP. Hell, when A.J. Almendinger ran afoul of NASCAR’s substance abuse rule, the AP story used the word “prolific” twice and the only way it made sense was if the writer thought it meant “high profile”. That got past an editor! I’m now very skeptical that anything in a mainstream publication has been fact checked or even really edited for comprehension (as opposed to for content and slant).

          • 0 avatar
            Piston Slap Yo Mama

            Thanks Ronnie, natch on everything. I hate being young(ish) and sounding like a getoffmylawn oldster, but the dumbing down of our nation can’t be an accident. It’s like … someone cabal of secret policy-makers WANTS us to be less intelligent and only concern ourselves with the NBA Playoffs and kitten videos while they secretly steal our freedoms and offshore our jobs.

            Re. my jabs at crappy, free “journalism”, I still read Jalopnik for the occasional dose of intended or unintended humor and/or kitten videos. Today, Jalop Ballaban authored a nice piece of speculative fiction on ten cars that should not have left the factory. He wrote that the last-gen Ford Cougar was based on Probe mechanicals (it wasn’t) and included the Honda CR-Z and noted it gets 33mpg (the EPA rated it 39 and most owners report 40+ mpg). I’d understand this rejiggering of numbers and facts if he was drunk and shouting across a bar table of crappy domestic beer to his friends, but he wasn’t. People read that stuff, and don’t question it, you know, because they saw it on the internet.

            It makes me want to kick a kitten.

            (I wish TTAC would hire me. I’m tired of writing software manuals.)

            http://jalopnik.com/ten-cars-that-should-have-never-left-the-factory-779059909

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            “It makes me want to kick a kitten.”

            Just… don’t make a video out of it.

            ba-dum! tsssssssss

          • 0 avatar

            You see, this is why I generally write tales about the days of yore. If you all expect carefully checked facts as opposed to vague memories and the assertion that the old days were better than the present, then I will be SOL.

            I suppose I could try political screeds – oh wait, that’s off the table too…

            Btw, I also noted that offer of compensation but am waiting to see with baited breath just what happens.

          • 0 avatar
            Banger

            Yeesh, PSYM, that Jalopnik piece was bad.

            The probable problem, as I see it, is that so many car blogs either can’t or won’t pay their writers enough to make it their sole vocation. Degreed guys like us are busy working full-time news or PR jobs during the day (and if you’re in news, half the night many nights), then coming home and working into the small hours of the morning on car blogs. I know I’ve screwed up some things in recent memory due to tiredness and just wanting to lay down for my nightly four-to-five hours.

            Unless or until more car blogs pay enough that we news industry people can go full-time at blogging or at least drop our hard news jobs to part-time status, this will remain a young man’s game that turns young men into old men rather quickly.

            In that regard, the old upper crust at the print rags have it all over us, and their quality is the result. I maintain a subscription to Automobile and marvel each month at some of the storytelling that goes on in there– stuff I can’t touch because I’m simply too drained to do that caliber of work when I sit down at the keyboard and log in to WordPress for my blogging job.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            I’d say “can’t” is the primary problem.

            Print rags are on the run out, but the advertising revenue compared to a small web outfit is really something. This allows editors and contributors to spend more time researching and composing articles.

            It also allows for closer editorial oversight, since you can pay a decent staff of editors.

            Not that print articles are always better (I know mine are garbage… :p ), but it affords you flexibility.

            If you RELY on web for your livelihood… no way… burnout city. I know a guy who writes three articles a day… around 90 a month just to get by. And he doesn’t make squat.

            Back when I was starting out, I did this for the love of doing it. Which is why I submitted to TTAC despite there being no money in it. But along the way, money became a big question and a big problem. It still is, but at least getting paid to write regularly, despite being paid merely as a contributor, helps me balance the bills. Writing exclusively on the web won’t, though I still split my time both ways.

          • 0 avatar

            Didn’t your daughter write a well-received article some time ago? Perhaps she should submit something again.

            IIRC it was very well received here.

            On the other hand, the car show model articles were terrible IMHO (“My job is to deal with the public, and I hate my job so I need to rant”).

        • 0 avatar
          thomser

          Well said, Sir !

          People enjoy bashing journalists; yet if one day the last professional journo had to get a PR job to pay the bills, the celebrity blogs on Huffpo wouldn’t fill the void .

          • 0 avatar
            Banger

            I once worked PR for a time. A very dark, depressing time.

            I still do it now and then, but mostly freelance, and mostly rarely.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    The pointless and obsessive report on TTAC’s wikipedia page was very nearly the last straw for me, and trust me, I can handle quite a lot of crap (I endured Netflix’s Hemlock Grove ALL THE WAY TO THE END!)

    This news is VERY well-timed. I wish BS all the best in his life, and I’m Looking forward to a new era in TTAC.

    P.S. If you guys are thinking about a NEW LOGO to herald this latest guard-changing, let me know and I’ll shoot you some ideas I’ve had on the shelf.

    Conceptually, I’ve always felt the “thumbs-up/thumbs-down” motif of the current logo oversimplifies TTAC’s mission. Plus, Arial Black is a bit dated as a typeface.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      New logo?

      PLEASE. Send it to Derek.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s popular to rag on Arial, but Arial Black embroiders very well – all the letters have broad elements.

      One thing to consider when you’re designing logos is how they will reproduce with screen printing and with embroidery. Not everything that looks good on paper or on a computer screen can be put on a garment.

      BTW, I did digitize the current logo and put it on a baseball cap that I wear to car events (when I’m not wearing my fedora with a “press” card in the hatband). If anyone’s interested in a hat or shirt or jacket, let me know and I’ll talk to the powers that be.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        W-a-i-t a minute, Ronnie – I thought I was the only one who wore fedoras around here! Nice to know I’m not the only one. It goes well with my Impalas!

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        TTAC sweatshirts would be cool, as would discreet window stickers. Maybe BigTruck would see it as I blow by his 300 in my hybrid on the way to work!! I am looking forward to the new era. No need to rehash the last year..lets look forward!

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    Hey, wow, this worked. Bertel, you could not kill me.

  • avatar
    MissM

    After reading this article I felt obliged to join and publicly voice my approval and support. No more lurking for me!

  • avatar
    marc

    Glad I stuck out the madness, I figured TTAC would starighten itself out. As a big part of the mealstrom of insanity that was the Subie controversy, I was a worried soul.

    Love the 5 point plan.

    Now lets hope the call goes out to long time writers like Michael, Steven and Paul; and to commenters like Psar and PCH. Then we’ll all be one big happy family again.

  • avatar
    Sceptic

    Disappointing news. Bertel Schmitt was a huge asset to this site. TTAC was really good read under his direction. Now it seems like TTAC is joining the ranks of other “Blah” autoblogs. Good luck to Jack B. & Co Hope that TTAC will not lose a lot of flavor and class brought about by Schmitt. Will check in few months. Hope TTAC is still around then.

  • avatar
    GST

    Never left, but excited by the potential of the changes. It helps when the plan is articulated. Can’t wait to continue reading!

  • avatar
    dartman

    Hip..hip…Hoo-Ray Three cheers for JB; FINALLY TTAC will get back on track to what’s it’s supposed to be about–cars. Sounds like you have an excellent plan to start. Congratulations Jack.

  • avatar
    findude

    Way overdue.

    Experienced writers know that what is left out is as important as what is kept.

    First names: The Truth
    Last names: About Cars

    Be loyal to both and the site will survive. It’s going to be a bit of an uphill climb from way down to where it’s fallen, but it can be done.

    I suggest a rotating senior editorship. The ego just gets too big when the horizon is endless.

    • 0 avatar
      FuzzyPlushroom

      I find it promising that Jack and Derek are splitting the main duties to an extent… not that I’d expect the title to go to either of their heads too much regardless.

  • avatar
    carguy

    A timely move – I was nearly thinking that TTAC was going to go out with a whimper. All the best with your re-invention – you certainly have my interest.

    But whatever you do, just don’t call your plan the “awesomeness manifesto”.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    Imma just gonna say that back when Farago had 800 word articles, it was possible to read all content and now I must pick and choose. More editing of the articles and less editing the comments.

    • 0 avatar
      mdanda

      Yes! Please read and re-read the above comment. The 800 word rule required the writer to work very hard to refine and hone the article. The end result? Better articles!

      • 0 avatar
        slow kills

        Not to pick on Doug, but this recent article “Ugly on Purpose” has a giant off-topic lead-in that I never got past and apparently most people took as the main topic.

        Concision!

        • 0 avatar

          Some people like to take the scenic route. As I recall “Thou Shalt Not Bury Thine Lede” is not one of the Ten Commandments.

          • 0 avatar
            Banger

            That depends largely on the purpose of the article, IMO, Ronnie.

            A hard-news piece about, say, recalls deserves a no-nonsense lede graf. A featurey, magazine-style piece can meander quite a bit more without losing me.

    • 0 avatar

      Robert is a good editor who made me a better writer but it’s hard to deal with topics in depth with only 800 words. That’s fine for a conversation starter, but if you want to get beyond the basics you’re usually going to need more words.

      Editing down to meet a hard word limit does make things sharper and obviously more concise. It also leaves a lot of information out.

      I once was concerned about how long an assigned piece was turning out and my editor simply said, “Use as many or as few words as you need to tell the story”.

  • avatar
    Cole Trickle

    Slow clap.

    It is a shame Bertel thought he knew better than the B&B. Some of his articles were quite informative. The criticism was very constructive at the beginning I thought, but, to paraphrase, we had a failure to communicate.

    I look forward to seeing these changes implemented and hope TTAC once again reclaims its spot as my first visit every morning.

    I would assume this has been done, but if it hasn’t, the person responsible for managing relationships with the advertisers should contact them to let them know that the site is being cleaned up and made more workplace friendly.

    I too will be sad to see the fiction go, but several of the editors have their own blogs now where they can publish things that aren’t quite TTAC material. Perhaps a bit more robust page for contributors’ bios is in order with links to their other projects? I’ve enjoyed reading Doug and Jack’s other work elsewhere as well as their vanity projects.

    I see good things to come for TTAC. Keep up the good work guys. Your readers will return.

  • avatar
    pb35

    Good luck, Gents. Though I have stayed away from the drama thus far, it was dragging the site down.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    The whole hub-bub relating to the Wikipedia entry was just astonishing. If nothing else, I think it proves that somewhere inside, we are all assholes. Apologize, forgive, forget, and let’s talk about cars. Bravo on the un-banning.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    Testing, testing, 1 2 3.

  • avatar
    drtwofish

    Congrats, Jack and company. I was a casual but regular visitor, but tuned out entirely after the recent nastiness and the strong right-wing drift. Sounds like you’re about to make this into a much more appealing site (again). I’ll be back.

  • avatar
    GM1963

    And let POLITICAL CORRECTNESS rein supreme I with you well with what your attempting to doWhatever it is

  • avatar
    quiksilver180

    Fu*k yes. (can I say that?)

    Also, bring Steve back!

  • avatar
    Ion

    I like the classy ‘won’t slander our former boss’ thing, though I suspect it wouldnt have been the same if the shoe was on the other foot. I always felt BS had an agenda to push and was very pro TMC and VAG, but RF pushed his agendas the same way.

  • avatar
    The Heisenberg Cartel

    I was outright deleted (under a different username) after I relentlessly flamed Bertel and attempted to hijack the comment section of every article of his, because I was so pissed at what he did to my favorite site. Jack and Derek, you two have just made my friggin’ day. You two were two of my favorite authors here anyways, and now TTAC has just gone from a backup to #1 on my “car sites to check every time I log online” list.

    While Bertel’s foreign insight was one of the good things he did, I don’t think he can come back. The wounds are still too fresh with the B+B. I have full confidence that you two will bring this site back to, and well above, its former glory. Viva La Verdad Sobre Las Coches!!!!!

  • avatar
    First.Last

    Oddly enough, I find myself logging in for the second time today, and also, for only the second time in the many years that I have read this site.

    I will say that I occasionally enjoyed Bertel’s perspective, when he was writing about cars or the automotive industry. The rest of the time, well… not so much.

    As recently as 12 hours ago I was on my way out, but I will pause in the doorway long enough to give this “new direction” the chance it deserves. If anyone can pull this off it is Jack & Derek.

    Best of luck, gentlemen. I doubt that I will comment again, but I will be watching.

  • avatar
    mored

    This is great news. Like everyone else, I am a car lover. My understanding wife has tolerated my obsession for many years. Even though I rarely comment, I come to this site several times a day. The information that I have taken away from here has completely changed my way of thinking about cars. Over the course of the last several months, I was gradually becoming more and more disappointed with what I was reading. I too was on the verge of leaving. I come to TTAC to read about cars, not politics and some of the other “stuff” that has made it to print recently. Rededicating the TTAC to the types of articles that made it such a great car site in the first place is fantastic. Good luck Jack and Derek.

  • avatar
    hoff02

    I’ve been reading TTAC for years now and immensely enjoy the content and breadth of the automotive land presented here in all its various formats and by various authors (both current and former). This announcement was enough to motivate me to finally sign-up and join the B&B. I wanted to say I wish Bertel the best of luck in his future endeavors and wish him no ill-will moving forward. His past contributions have been varied in value (as all contributors of course), but overall I found his style to be informative and provide a bit of insider-info that is difficult to replace. In particular his series on the LFA manufacturing was excellent and I am sad to see him leave all ties behind from this site. With that said, the ship looks to be in excellent hands with Derek and Jack and I’m looking forward for TTAC’s renewed focus and vigor as much as anyone. Give ‘em hell boys!

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    Also, it’s going to take us a while to unban everyone (there’s no button for that in WordPress) so please bear with us while we do that. If you can’t post yet, there’s nothing nefarious about it and you haven’t been singled out. We just haven’t gotten to you yet.

    • 0 avatar

      I have wordpress at home on my own personal blog. It keeps most of the stuff in a database. I can probably give you guys a shortcut to try if you have direct access to the database.

      If not, maybe your tech team can give you a hand.

      Feel free to reply here if you are interested & i’ll look into it at home & get back to you.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      JB – I am a database developer and depending on how correctly your schema is designed it literally could be that simple as running one statement.

      Send them this link and ask them to run a MySQL update probably against the wp_users table (assuming it exists and is still named the this default). There is a column called user status, that may be the “ban user” flag. The update would be something like:

      update wp_users set user_status=1 where user_status=0 (or build a better where clause)

      http://codex.wordpress DOT org/Database_Description

  • avatar
    wolfinator

    Best wishes to you guys, Jack and Derek!

    I have to say, I literally almost gave up on TTAC. I’m a long-time reader, rare commenter, but TTAC was long my favorite car site on the web. The recent drama really put me off. I was this close to moving on entirely. The things I love about TTAC are the honest articles, the astute comments, and the willingness to print stories that other outlets wouldn’t touch because of their PR implications.

    I do NOT visit TTAC to see pictures of sex aids, articles with people airing personal laundry, or to see mass bans of people who simply irked an editor. It also seems like lately the pool of writers has been thinning, and I couldn’t help but wonder if that was a management issue.

    I think your 5-point plan is excellent, and goes a long way towards drawing me back. It also appears I’m one of the few who wouldn’t mind more fiction.

  • avatar

    And here I was, ready to finish my series where I re-learn to drive in my mid-30s before moving on to greener shores when this news arrived on my Facebook wall. Jack, Derek, whatever you do with TTAC in the next several days will be awesome, and I look forward to writing for this site once again. Cheers!

  • avatar
    marc

    A brief shout out to Point #2. This shift to the right even preceded the recent craziness. It will be nice to see a more “fair and balanced” approach. (yes, I use that phrase with tongue firmly planted in cheek.)

  • avatar
    ropey

    I’m glad to hear you’re taking the site in a different direction. I’ve been coming here for some time (some number of months) for the unique perspective (also, Piston Slap is awesome) and I can’t say I enjoyed the drama that has cropped up recently. I have high hopes for the future :)

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    This is still the best site for the making, selling, driving, enthusiasm, and politics of cars (& trucks).

    I spent 2 decades on the design and manufacture side of cars, and still learn new things from the B&B and authors on here.

    I for one, welcome our new overlords, and wish Bertel all the best.

    :-)

  • avatar
    Fuse88

    It is very difficult to find “Journalists”…Those who want to string words together for a living…who aren’t sociopathic amoral parasitic brats which is why TTAC is successful. Bertel’s headlines are so obnoxious that I NEVER read anything by him. I do enjoy Jack’s writings.

  • avatar
    Petra

    Today, I learned that I will soon be working full-time again for the first time in ten months. Now, with this news about the future of TTAC, I’m having one of the best days I’ve had in a long while.

    I must echo the views of some others who hope that Bertel won’t disappear completely. While not a successful Editor in Chief, his articles (e.g.: the LFA factory tour) could be very insightful and interesting. When you say the door is open to anybody who wants to write, I hope that really means anybody. There is so much that so many have to share- the contributions made by DeMuro, Cain, and Kreutzer in recent months have been phenomenal- and I look forward to reading the TTAC community’s efforts in the future.

  • avatar
    Libertyman03

    I haven’t logged in for quite some time, but I am doing so now because this makes me very happy. I only caught the tail end of the fiasco I just learned about this morning, and I was prepared not to visit the site anymore because of it.

    This post, however, gives me new hope. Plus, I can’t give up Sajeev’s Vellum Venom articles…I LOVE that stuff. Looking forward to the new site!

  • avatar
    chapel

    FINE! I’ll register…

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I heartily welcome all proposed changes, although I’d like to point out some fiction may have a place (I.E. in the form of a series). May want to play it by ear.

  • avatar
    Ion

    Also can we stop doing the one sided recall reports. I can understand Chrysler fights the nhtsa that’s news. It’s not news when we report all the chevy/ford recalls but ignore Toyota/honda because hey witch hunt.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Well, I might as well take this opportunity to address the four-letter word.

      Everyone has bias, and that’s okay. What’s not okay is refusing to acknowledge the biases that exist.

  • avatar
    Nate

    This makes me happier than it has any right to. TTAC had become a terribly uncomfortable place lately, even though some of the content was still excellent. Derek and Jack in charge can only mean good things. Having said that, here are a few suggestions:

    - Keep the fiction. It’s an asset.

    - Hire that Sanjeev guy. Not sure how Sajeev would feel about it, but people keep sending him emails, so might as well hire him anyway.

  • avatar
    DDayJ

    Glad to hear. JB’s posts, and MM’s Junkyard Finds were about all I was reading the last 2 months.

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    I like what I hear with the changes. Perhaps I’m clueless or I just picked & chose certain stories, but I liked BS’s knowledge and insight of the industry. I guess that I sat out during the controversial bits.

    I crave US automotive reporting that is as honest and open as the British auto journalists tend to be. This blog was about as close as I could get here in the States. With your proposed changes, that likelihood improves.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    So, is Japan a closed market or what?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Only if you are not using kit architecture.

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      Nope, completely open, in the same way that India promotes religious freedom, just so long as its one of 7 derivitives of hinduism, don’t know what those damn muslims are whining about anyways.

      *Sorry, just remembered they were whining about ramadan manipulation.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    I’m glad to hear this, TTAC was my most-visited site back in the Robert Farago days, and my enthusiasm for this site has waned over the years, despite the excellent articles written by Jack

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    I hope Vanilla Dude returns.

    • 0 avatar
      Weltron

      I was just about to post that. Vanilla Dude’s commentary was very good and it hopefully returns.

  • avatar
    tp33

    Even Jesus spent 40 days in the desert. Welcome back, TTAC

  • avatar
    Freddy M

    I’m very hopeful, Jack, and know that you and Derek are the most capable people to bring TTAC back to a place of respectability.

    Good luck to you both and I’m looking forward to sharing this new community with all.

  • avatar
    Megan Benoit

    Please bring Steven Lang back, and open the doors for any other departed. One of the things that made this place great was the variety of viewpoints… right, wrong, or somewhere in the middle, it was entertaining to read. Edgy and crude for the sake of being edgy and crude isn’t really anyone’s bag.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    Herr Schmitt had moments of brilliance, but also had the propensity to be a bit crass in his delivery. I wish him the best in whatever he does next and I’m glad to see that TTAC is on the path to a better overall discourse.

  • avatar

    Congratulations are of course due to Jack and Derek, two of the most talented guys writing about cars today. I have every confidence in you both, and in TTAC’s vitality as an indispensable player in the new auto media.

    That said, I do hope that readers and commenters take this opportunity to appreciate how challenging it can be to manage a community as vibrant and opinionated as this one. While TTAC has always thrived on pull-no-punches discourse, and though I have personally learned and grown from the criticism I received as editor here, the sense of entitlement demonstrated by some members of this (FREE) community is saddening.

    Whatever your personal feelings are about how Bertel, myself or Robert Farago ran this site, whichever interpretation of TTAC’s values you most appreciate, please understand that TTAC is a labor of love. Every editor has given of themselves to this brand, far out of proportion with the material compensation available.

    If this job were easy, there would be a million TTACs and you could choose the one that perfectly fits your interests. But because there is only one TTAC, and because it asks nothing more of you than to appreciate it, I encourage each of you to make at least a small effort to truly appreciate TTAC and make your contributions to it as constructive as possible. Believe me when I say, the job can be thankless enough without your help!

    /rant

    • 0 avatar
      The Heisenberg Cartel

      While I do entirely understand what you are saying, as the CEO and editor in chief of a fairly popular (non car related) website myself, it appeared to me as if Bertel literally enjoyed damaging this site as much as he has. It was like he got off on offending, insulting and pissing off the B+B, and on his attempts to run this page into the ground. To me, the thought of running off a large portion of my readership is absolutely unfathomable.

      My (and I’m sure many others’) anger was not entitlement. It was the same kind of anger that perpetuated the GM Death Watch. That anger was at watching one of our great American cultural institutions be run into the ground by so many who just didn’t seem to “get it”. Our anger was at watching one of our favorite automotive informational institutions be treated the same way by someone who just didn’t “get it”.

      While I do get that it is not easy keeping up a site like this site, which is essentially the most important automotive counter-culture website in the car game, Bertel did NOT make the job any easier for himself. He was on the verge of doing to this website what Jeffrey Loria did to the Miami Marlins. There is a very good reason that the B+B is collectively so relieved that Bertel is gone, and it’s not entitlement.

    • 0 avatar
      A Caving Ape

      I do appreciate it! Your tenure particularly got me hooked on TTAC. And there has always been good content here – often the best. I thank all the contributors who’ve provided me with endless amounts of free information and entertainment.

      But as you say, there is only one TTAC, so when the content starts to get ugly, the impulse is to take it personally. If CNN or Gawker or anybody takes an offensive editorial tone, I can roll my eyes and move on. Not so here!

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Jaeger

      Thanks for this, Ed, and thanks for all of your contributions over the years.

      I certainly will not be joining in the apparent celebration today. I’d like to thank Bertel for sharing his years of experience, international perspective and excellent writing over the years.

      He banned some commenters who persistently broke the rules against insulting people. It will be interesting to see how Jack and Derek think they will deal with that behaviour, though I wish the good luck.

      In the thousands of articles he produced over the years apparently some people are utterly incapable of skipping over a few they found beneath their standards. And now they’ve managed to defenestrate him entirely.

      Well I, for one, think it is a great loss.

      • 0 avatar

        As I wrote on the TTAC FB page, Bertel Schmitt is responsible for my development as a writer and my knowledge of the industry. His mentorship is something I treasure dearly.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Derek Kreindler,
          Would clickable links like on the PUTC blog be asking too much? Much easier to explain something that does not exist in NA

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        Agreed. While I think Panther platform vehicles are entirely overrated, I can still read and enjoy (or just skip) Sajeev’s articles. Same thing with Baruth’s articles where he is, IMO, being a contrarian just for the sake of it. BS’s articles about the LFA were gold, IMO, and I skipped right over the nonsense ones. His overly political articles were easy to ignore. It usually takes only a line or two to figure out if it was going to be a hot mess or worth reading.

        I can’t say I’m particularly excited that ALL the banned folks are back. Good luck; hope the B&B doesn’t become Autoblog’s comment section (free-for-all) of constant bickering and suspect/incorrect information.

      • 0 avatar
        sirwired

        Speaking for myself, I would have been satisfied if Bertel became an (edited) contributor again and simply was no longer the EIC. As you pointed out, much of his coverage was top-notch and provided real insight; he did a good job when wearing his hat as “car industry guy” explaining things to “car guys.” I think it’s his “EIC hat” that never fit quite right. He may or may not have had enemies, real or perceived, (GM, the UAW, other blogs, Democrats, spiteful trolls, etc.) under every rock, but he spent an inordinate amount of time on the site talking about them (even in ostensibly non-political articles) instead of focusing on top-notch content and letting the world decide for themselves what they thought of the detractors.

        It’s one thing to write articles with which there might be a legitimate difference of opinion… (I don’t quite get Panther Love either, and I find the fiction to be strange) But it’s another thing entirely to use the site as a platform to grind your own *personal* axes over and over. (Especially when one of those axes is the subject of two feature articles (one pointlessly offensive) about something which you ban commenters for bringing up.)

        And I don’t think anybody is claiming that comment bans are always undeserved. I don’t expect the “new” crew will hesitate to deploy them when necessary. Certainly the stated commenting policy itself was fine, but I have a feeling that it may have been applied a bit too broadly of late. (I don’t think they would have made a special point announcing the ban reversals if that were not the case.)

    • 0 avatar
      galloping_gael

      Ed,
      I started reading this site when you edited it. You did a good job. The quality declined after you left. And so it goes…

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      Ed,

      Your comment is a very good insight, and gives some perspective to all this, in a bigger picture.
      Yes, the change is good, and we should all help TTAC get going again, and reach higher levels.
      But it does no good to crucify Bertel for his perceived weaknesses and this CEI (career-ending incident): we all have them. Bertel, did, after all, ALSO provide some amazing articles: thank you, Bertel.

      In my view, now is the time to rally round the flag, circle the wagons, and reinvigorate this site with professional contributions, because it’s up to us to do so, not only the editorial staff… .

      ———–

    • 0 avatar

      Ed, we get to do way cool car guy stuff so we shouldn’t complain but some commenters are indeed jerks because they like to make it personal, and then there are those who take it a step or two beyond just being rude online to trying to damage people in the “real” world. As if any of them is willing to walk the tightrope wire we walk without the safety net of an anonymous internet screen name.

      Jack posted a nice thank you over at Jalopnik’s post on the management change here and for his effort at being gentlemanly he got called names in the comment thread over there.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        ^ This.

        The exchange between he and Matt whatshisname was pleasant, but some of the other threads were less than kind.

        Nice to see the “friendly competition” thing evident there!

  • avatar
    J.Emerson

    Testing to see if I’ve been unblocked…

  • avatar
    davejay

    Heard about this via Jalopnik. Okay, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. One day at a time, eh?

  • avatar
    A Caving Ape

    Hold on one second. Where am I going to get all the latest news on how US automakers are SO WRONG about Japan being a “closed market” ???? This issue is so near and dear to my heart. I need updates DAILY.

    Seriously though, this makes me so happy. I’d been drifting away from this site and I’m amazed I managed to click over here right when this article was on the top. Thank you, I know the new guard will do great!

    Oh, and I will kind of miss the fiction. I never actually liked it much but it gave the site some personality. Maybe once you’ve recovered all the goodwill of readers and contributors you can start slipping some in… I somehow doubt people will mind all that much.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Did you hear that VW is using “kits” instead of “platforms”? I for one, predict this news as the demise of General Motors.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Can I just say how sad this all turned out. The writing was evidently on the wall yesterday, but BS also produced some amazing stuff, like the LFA series and the Hachi-Rokou roadtrip.

    • 0 avatar
      A Caving Ape

      Absolutely! When it wasn’t political, it was mostly gold. But then it got more political… and more, and more…

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      The Hachi-Rokou roadtrip, the interview with the chief engineer, and some of the exclusive coverage from Japan and China was the best breaking news I have read about cars online. Historically, when I stumbled on TTAC, I thought of TTAC as the opinion site and Jalopnik (When it was good) as the new-as-in-news site. Jalopnik long ago went to seed. The unique perspective from the Far East was unmatched in auto sites. Alas, there is a time and a season for all things.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    How serendipitous. I was just going in to delete my bookmark for TTAC when I read this as the first article on the TTAC front page. Guess I wasn’t crazy in thinking this site had taken a serious turn for the worse.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      Actually, I deleted my TTAC bookmark yesterday. BS had become a liability to this site, and the wiki vandalism article was the last straw in what should have been buried under the rug. I only came back to see if there was going to be an apology when I saw this. Hopefully the site returns to its civil days.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    YES! Finally we can read about cars!

  • avatar
    DaveDFW

    Bertel’s articles generally did not interest me, though his continual mean-spirited rants on Saab’s problems left me with a negative opinion of the entire TTAC experience.

    He was also quite thin-skinned when it came to any criticism of his Fatherland and used the ban hammer a little too liberally.

    I, for one, will not miss him at all. Good riddance.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    Congratulations to Jack and Derek as well. I believe this site’s new open to all viewpoints attitude is real because of some of the verbiage that was used and wish the best to the new leadership. As a fellow independent car dealer I also wish Steve Lang back. I think these changes will bring many other talented contributors on board.

    Best of luck!

  • avatar
    cdnsfan27

    Glad for the change, long overdue…bring back Steve…..your 5 point plan seems brilliant…BZ!

  • avatar
    redav

    I’m glad to hear #2, #3, & #5. I frequent this site because I believe it is the best car site, and I hope that it becomes even better.

    I have my share of problems with BS; however, I do not fault him in this latest brouhaha, but I will not miss him, either. He has his faults & strengths, and hopefully TTAC will purge the residue of his deficiencies and recoup the loss of his competencies in other ways.

  • avatar
    beefmalone

    Considering the obscenely far left politics of Jalopnik, I found the more centrist views expressed here a welcome respite.

    Let’s face it, Democrats hate cars. :)

    Hey do RVs count here? I can regale you all with tales from the RV auctions until Steven comes back. LOL

    • 0 avatar
      chris724

      Yeah, some of the political posters on here are rather extreme, on both sides. But is an undeniable fact that unions are destroying industry in this country.

      • 0 avatar
        jhefner

        Can’t we the B&B just call a truce on topics like unions and global climate change, and just stick to cars. I call myself out as being guilty; but we won’t change anyone’s minds here, and i get enough of both sides in the news, on the radio, Facebook, etc. etc. This place was a place to relax and enjoy reading about cars; I would like to go back to that.

        • 0 avatar
          frozenman

          Completely agree with this, Unions are not for everyone but blanket statements like this regarding their place in industry shows a decided lack of perspective and life experience at the hands of aggressive management. Just saying :)

    • 0 avatar
      bigev007

      I for one would find RV auction stories interesting. I used to love surfing the RV.net forums when bored at work.

    • 0 avatar
      brenschluss

      I would love to hear about RV auctions. Sounds like an interesting market.

  • avatar
    Kamaka

    Hi TTAC, I’m a long time reader occasional commenter. I’ve been reading TTAC for years. I love this site. The refocus does sound good.

    I’m confused about cutting out fiction. I’m not really sure which pieces were fiction. Fiction is fun as long as it’s stated up front like April Fool’s posts.

    I am excited about opening up the contributions to everyone. This really is the best. Can you post guidelines as to how you want contributions, length, pic sizes etc? I’m super excited to see what I can contribute and also all of the BB out there. This can really open of the scope of voices and opinions.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    If we are still making suggestions, with the exception of Alex Dykes reviews, which include an imbedded video specifically relating to the review, and the junk yard finds, with the old commercials, and any other exceptions, can we perhaps discuss not using youtube videos that are only passingly related to the subject but really have no actual bearing/contribute little to nothing except a clever pop culture reference on the article? I find that when opening TTAC on mobile devices the imbedded videos can glitch, making it hard or impossible to scroll past. This is with the latest browsers (iOS6 Safari/Jellybean 4.2 Chrome).

    Just a thought, but I know it has frustrated me more than once.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    This was my first “auto blog” site I frequented way back in the mid-Farago days. I eventually ended up over at Jalopnik for 6-7 years, but almost every successive format change over there made the site worse — the last change made it almost unnavigable and destroyed the sense of community (witness the number of people who simply went to Facebook or G+ or Twitter instead).

    Here’s to good changes and I look forward to returning to my pre-Jalopnik home with greater frequency!

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    Wow…go away for 10 days and missed a lot of drama!

    I hope Steve comes back…I miss his articles.

  • avatar
    harshciygar

    As one of those commentators and readers who was made to feel unwelcome, this is the best news I’ve had all day.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Good luck guys, keep it about cars and keep it true and it’s all good ;-)

  • avatar
    Zarba

    Come Back, EducatorDan!

  • avatar
    Lampredi

    I hope Bertel Schmitt was not ousted because of that one particular incident when his writings stirred up some faux-indignation amongst certain commenters here, who became militantly vocal in their protests about the fact that people of a certain sexual orientation were described in a politically incorrect manner. If so, this is bad news for TTAC and not exactly a vote of confidence about the future of this site.

    But I hope Jack Baruth will prove me wrong – I hope he will do a great job, and wish him the best of luck. But again, please don’t succumb to political correctness. Whatever one may think of Bertel Schmitt (and I appreciated much of his writing, not so much his NSFW pictures), at least he didn’t let such nonsense get in the way of his articles, which is definitely a good thing.

  • avatar
    galloping_gael

    Great news. Great comments. Good luck, guys!

  • avatar
    racer193

    I have one question ; Is Thomas still around?aahhhh two questions; Is he still going to write for ttac?

  • avatar
    Lampredi

    Is comment moderation reenabled as well? As the past few days my comments don’t seem to be accepted anymore…

  • avatar
    Chris Lonardo

    In the five years that I’ve been reading TTAC, Jack has been the most consistently entertaining writer on the site. You can tell a lot about a person from their prose, and Jack’s ability to balance good taste with edge is impressive. Derek’s work has been promising as well.

    I wish you guys the best, and hope that you can restore some of the sense of community that’s been damaged here. More importantly- opening up the submissions process is an excellent first step to improving the quality of what’s being published here. I trust Jack and Derek’s judgement in setting the tone going forward, and gladly await the coming changes.

  • avatar

    Baruth walks like an Egyptian. welcome all to the latest rendition of a post coup TTAC.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Ah, but it was a coup demanded by the people.

      The question is whether fundamentalist commenters will now stage counterprotests.

      Aux barricades!

  • avatar

    Just when I was about to remove the link from my favorites, you made a wise choice to clean house. Great news, I’ll stay around a bit longer enjoying this site.

    I really hope you bring Steve Lang back into the fold. I very much enjoyed what he contributed here, and would welcome seeing his return to TTAC. This isn’t your everyday car blog, which is why I enjoy it so much, and his perspective was integral to the enjoyment I get out of the site.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    You’ve made my day. And that’s The Truth About this Commenter.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    This’ll get lost in the swell of many of the other commenters saying the same thing, but THANK YOU! I just discovered TTAC a few months ago and really enjoyed its entertaining and unique slant on the industry, at least when it was actually talking about cars. (I enjoyed Bert’s stuff when it was about cars, for that matter…)

    I was dismayed, to say the least, at the behavior surrounding the “incident”. The “incident” was bad enough, but could have been excused to a brain fart (with or without apology). I even understood a comment ban; I know that I stop commenting on news sites when morons decide to make every last story about scoring political points instead of the issues at hand. But not one, but TWO feature articles (one of which was gratuitously offensive) about something commenters had been ordered to drop was stupid public axe-grinding, at best.

    I’m glad the site has been refocused, and I’m looking forward to more articles providing alternatives to the mainstream automotive press.

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      You know how I found this site many years ago, some french guys tech blog had a link to some article for some reason, just like I found Opbop or Obpob commenting on a site so far from cars was amazed that someone other than me had both bookmarked, even though it seems as though he departed TTAC awhile ago.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Hasn’t been around for a bit..can’t imagine that the “ban hammer” fell on him, but the way things had been for a bit, who knows?

        Spoken on a break from washing my 2013 Accord, which shall surely serve as a good shanty come the next stock crash! (J/K! :-) )

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    I scan pretty much every article posted, which is why I’m usually 2-3 weeks behind. I was almost caught up before a 3 week vacation last month, but this headline caught my eye so I’m reading it out of sequence.

    I’ll add my voice to the chorus hoping that VanillaDude will be back — I relish the thought of duelling stories between him and CrabSpirits. With that in mind, I also wanted to say that I’m okay with fiction on the site at the level it’s been, it’s refreshing and part of the vibrancy of the site, IMO.

    Keeping the main page SFW is a huge bonus, too — I read from my cube during my lunch hour.

  • avatar
    ArBee

    O happy day! Seriously, when Bertel was good, he was very good, but when he was bad, he was horrid. I wish him well, but TTAC has been restored to the people!

  • avatar
    old fart

    I started reading this site because you didn’t sugar coat the failings of the car industry. I read everyday (despite not always being signed in)and I will stay on as long as you keep to the auto industry and not politics . As well as covering all cars great and small , not just super cars or exotics . Good luck

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    Sounds good to me…

  • avatar
    Fuse88

    I do like the way Alex reviews cars! More please!

  • avatar
    Vracktal

    Thus just in: SAAB agrees to reform and start producing cars again. Qutoe from Muller: “With Bertel reigned in and TTAC reforming we have nothing to fear now.”

  • avatar
    Equinox

    Getting back to being a ‘car’ site! Good job. It takes courage to make changes.

  • avatar
    majo8

    Looking forward to the new direction!

    Don’t stop the fiction articles — they are always an entertaining read.

  • avatar
    aycaramba

    It’ll be hard to say something that hasn’t already been said many times over, but I think this is a solid decision. BS has his positive attributes, but I too have been questioning the viability of this site. It certainly seems to have lost some of its magic.

    One of the most enjoyable aspects of this news is seeing long-gone or forgotten frequent commenters popping up to chime in on the news. I’m looking forward to hearing more from them in the near future.

  • avatar
    mdanda

    I had a few articles published on TTAC in 2006 or so. I think RF’s infamous 800 word requirement was brilliant. The writing quality noticeably dropped IMHO after that rule was dropped. He also refused to publish reviews of cars the writer personally owned. Another annoying but brilliant rule. Ironic how you do things to help the writers, like drop annoying editorial rules, and the quality of the writing also drops.

    • 0 avatar
      campocaceres

      I actually agree with you on the limit, as I was able to get a good feeling about the experience of the car/drive without getting too bogged down in banal meticulous details that I can find in any other car review site. I wasn’t against it when the limit was removed, but I really wish being succinct was still a strong emphasis, which hasn’t always been the case.

      If course now I’m gonna contradict myself and say I’ve really grown to enjoy Alex Dykes’ video reviews, especially the longer ones. But if I’m watching a video, then I am likely allowing for it to capture my attention. Reading reviews I tend to take in bite sized chunks with a bit of distraction on the side (stupid job). It’s hard to keep up with it when a dissertation has been presented, and I tend to lose interest.

  • avatar
    vaujot

    Alles Gute, Bertel.
    Die Umstände, unter denen Ihre Zeit hier endete, finde ich bedauerlich. Ich hoffe, anderswo wieder von Ihnen zu lesen.

    @ the Best & Brightest: I was not pleased by some of the negative comments about Bertel’s contributions to the site. Some of the stuff he’s written here is quite well-written and interesting. If you have not, check out his “Auto-Biography” posts.

    Also, as a service for those missing Steven Lang and Michael Karesh: Lang now writes at curbsideclassic.com, a site run by Paul Niedermeier. Michael Karesh writes on his own site, afaik.

  • avatar

    Just when I was about to give up hope for TTAC, it looks like a new era has begun.

    Please bring back Steve Lang! He was one of the main reasons I enjoyed this site so much.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    At one time, I was a finalist in a writing competition on TTAC. I submitted several stories since. None of them got published or even responded to. The entire editorial staff lost my respect over this issue.

    Now what happens? Another competition? Just submit stuff? Or am I back to square one?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      The writing competition was Bertel’s project. I apologize for the fact that your contributions weren’t addressed. Send them to us again, using the email address in the story, and we won’t ignore them a second time.

  • avatar
    ajla

    If it’s possible I’d like to see relationships with former contributors repaired.

    Michael Karesh said he left on good terms, but he hasn’t so much as left one comment since his last article. Paul Niedermeyer would also occasionally leave a comment here or post an article after he officially left. I know both of these guys have moved onto their own thing now, but they were a big part of TTAC’s history. Seeing an occasional crosspost between TTAC and Truedelta/Curbside Classic would be nice.

    Farago used to comment here, but then Bertel ran that piece about his Washington Post article and RF hasn’t been seen since. I’d like to think that the founder hasn’t completely disowned TTAC.

    Everyone already knows about what happened with Steven Lang.

    Maybe try and have a better working relationship with places like Hooniverse, Bring-a-Trailer, Hemmings, Edmunds, and even Jalopnik and Autoblog? I think it’s possible to have editorial differences with those folks without going off the deep end into personal attacks.

  • avatar
    ajla

    If it’s possible I’d like to see relationships with former contributors repaired.

    Michael Karesh said he left on good terms, but he hasn’t so much as left one comment since his last article. Paul Niedermeyer would also occasionally leave a comment here or post an article after he officially left. I know both of these guys have moved onto their own thing now, but they were a big part of TTAC’s history. Seeing an occasional crosspost between TTAC and Truedelta/Curbside Classic would be nice.

    Farago used to comment here, but then Bertel ran that piece about the Washington Post article and RF hasn’t been seen since. I’d like to think that the founder hasn’t completely disowned TTAC.

    Everyone already knows about what happened with Steven Lang.

    Maybe try and have a better working relationship with places like Hooniverse, Bring-a-Trailer, Hemmings, Edmunds, and even Jalopnik and Autoblog? I think it’s possible to have editorial differences with those folks without going off the deep end into personal attacks.

    (sorry if this double posts, lots of traffic on this thread)

  • avatar
    jz78817

    dumb question (and maybe none of my business) but who actually “owns” TTAC e.g. can hire/fire the EIC?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      VerticalScope, Inc owns TTAC along with a bunch of other motoring sites (autoguide, atv.com, motocycle.com, etc). I don’t know what personnel or business decisions they control or how.

      • 0 avatar
        walker42

        Squabbles with former editors, articles about personal fetishes, the stupidity (or worse) of using a derogatory term in a headline and then a long time editor leaving in a very public way were no doubt noticed at Verticalscope. The final straw was likely yesterday’s article. You can’t go around saying the real reason someone quit was over a reason that should have remained confidential, even if true (which we don’t know). The liability reached a point where the owners had to do something.

        Best of luck to the new team. I like how you are reinstating banned posters but, as the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for ;-)

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    This is all good news to hear, I’ll get to work on some more writing knowing that TTAC will now accept outside articles.

    Hopefully Vanilladude will be back.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    This is all good news to hear, I’ll get to work on some more writing knowing that TTAC will now accept outside articles.

    Hopefully Vanilladude will be back.

  • avatar
    SayMyName

    I don’t know if Bertel ever actually banned me, even though many suggested it. I decided to stop posting at around the same time, though, because I (finally?) realized that nothing was gained served by continuing to deliberately “tweak” and offend others on the Internet. Especially since I really don’t/didn’t like who I become when I’m in that “mode.”

    With the perspective and hindsight gained by watching the former EIC’s gradual meltdown over the past three months, I think there’s a lesson in this experience for all of us; I know there was one for me.

    So, here’s my personal list of points:

    1) Democrats and UAW members are people too. Most of them are even really cool people, and have perspective and experience that I lack.

    2) Before you post something on a public web forum, even behind a nom de plume, ask yourself how you’ll feel about seeing that comment archived for posterity.

    3) Life is a lot more fun when you make an effort to understand others, rather than denigrating them.

    4) Only a few Volts ever actually caught on fire, and not because of any significant inherent flaw. The rest have proven to be safe, reliable and efficient vehicles with a very loyal following.

    Signed,

    The Jackass Formerly Known as VoF

    • 0 avatar
      rentonben

      Humble suggestion: Create a user with your real-life name – that will keep you from going in “that mode.”

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      SaymyName: It takes a lot to say all that, especially when some intentionally throw gas on the fire to get other posters hot and bothered. I often wondered if there where “ghost” posters used to keep a topic alive through abrasively worded comments. Passionate people (myself included) find it hard to resist a slap back. Some here may recall the late night political fight about George Bush…Welcome back. And FWIW, I drove a Volt at work. Actually a good car, but I can find a better way to part with $34K.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      SayMyName – thank-you. It takes a big man to admit he was wrong. It takes a bigger man to admit he needs to make changes. Good job.

      As mentioned, posting under one’s own name, or a variation of it, causes one to think twice before hitting the submit button. I know I do.

  • avatar
    Sine00

    I really like this site. I hope now you can get back to cars(?)

  • avatar
    JD321

    Excellent! More insights about cars.

  • avatar
    onthercks07

    Incredibly happy to hear the news that Sir Jack and Mr Derek are back on board and now on top. This site has been almost unreadable for the last year due to the questionably judgement of the previous administration and their hard-to-ignore personal flaws, lack of judgement, and downright bizarre fetishes…I’m looking forward to hard-edged but professional commentary on what we all love – cars!

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Sounds like I need to get working on a few article submissions, I’m glad to hear about this new reform though!

    Hopefully Vanilladude will come back.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    I might just hug a Toyota owner. :) Sounds like the Japanese car bubble has popped as even Camry’s are on heavy incentives.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    For some reason my comments aren’t showing up when I refresh. But I just wanted to post this:

    “Sounds like I need to get working on a few article submissions, I’m glad to hear about this new reform though!

    Hopefully Vanilladude will come back.”

  • avatar
    Mike_H

    I’m confused….what happened to Bedard and Yates?

  • avatar
    epc

    I will miss Bertel Schmitt’s articles and his writing style.

    He was not perfect, but most of his shortcoming did not bother me. Whatever did bother me was outweighed by the unique contribution he brought to the site.

    He was a non-North American contributor with ersonal industry contacts in location in Germany and Japan. He also had quite a good idea of what’s going on in China. Those 3 countries, coincidentally, matter to the global auto industry quite a bit. Therefore, he brought perspectives and insights to this site that are not usually readily found elsewhere, and I appreciate that. To me, the international flavor he brought to TTAC was what caught my eyes at first and what kept me here since. Anybody in the US can go out and write a review about any of the vehicles sold at the local dealerships. If the “run-of-mill” reviews were all I wanted to read, I wouldn’t have kept coming back to TTAC. I do admit, though, that I might not be a typical reader here.

    Of him, what others called mean-spirited or intolerant or bigoted, I call irreverent to norm and mainstream tastes.

    I wish the best to Mr Schmitt’s next endeavor.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      You make a good point about the international car scene. The Chinese car market is the world’s largest, and Buick’s largest. Hopefully we’ll continue hearing about them.

  • avatar
    segfault

    Point zero:
    The revolving door of editors is getting to be a real problem. Look at the once-indomitable tech blog Slashdot, which has been in an excruciatingly slow death spiral for years now.

    Point one:
    I liked the previous comment policy (you can talk about whatever you want so long as you’re civil and avoid personal attacks). I disagreed with some of the editorial policies and content choices.

    Point two:
    Since I am the IT department at my office, I don’t particularly care whether or not something is SFW.

    Point three:
    See point one, above.

    Points four and five:
    These actually sound good to me. Good luck, guys.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Honestly Schmitt had some interesting articles but I never particularly cared for the controversial bits, I hope he’s learned a thing or two, and good luck to his future endeavors.

    This new, re-formed TTAC sounds promising and I’m all for it, heres to a future of a more innocent TTAC!

    Now I just need to get to work on some of my own writing I’d like to contribute to TTAC.

  • avatar
    mebgardner

    I’m back on-board, then. We’ll see, and I wish you guys the best of success. The plan is good.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    What about the marketeers who use these sites to promote their products and ideals.

    They can be very good at this, almost troll like.

    As for the political side of the motor car, ie trade, tariffs, barriers. These all play an important role in shaping the technical and engineering of a car. These are made by regulations that are derived from influence and regulatory bodies.

    That is ‘The Truth About Cars’. Why does every country have a differing market?

    The Truth About Cars isn’t just about wheel nuts, or the manufacturers data and specifications.

    If that is the case you will end up catering to the manufacturers.

    The truth will not come out.

    This will be just like any other review done in a motoring magazine.

    I do like reading up on the technical aspect of a motor vehicle, you know performance, braking, transmission etc. But there has to be a balanced mix of investigative reporting and technical reporting.

  • avatar
    Timothy

    Previously commented but for got to plead for the return of Steve Lang, I learned a lot from him and enjoyed reading his articles.

    Also, FICTION is, at times, hilarious. Let a little bit in from time to time!!

  • avatar
    udman

    Wish you guys nothing but the best. The site was going downhill for a while, and with this news, it can only get better.

  • avatar
    daviel

    Keep Alex’s reviews. The best I have seen

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      There’s not nearly enough love for Alex’s articles. He writes good reviews (one of the only reviewers left, it seems) and his articles are less opinion pieces and more informative than every other writer on here.

      Maybe it’s because he doesn’t go out of his way to be edgy or force his humor, but his pieces are the ones i most enjoy reading and commenting on.

      Personally, while I am not a big fan of Dereck and Jack’s writing styles, neither do I hold anything against them. I hope that their turn at the helm helps right this ship.

      • 0 avatar
        Tifighter

        Totally agree. Alex’s reviews are some of the very best on the web. And the amount of work he puts into his videos is criminally overlooked. Thanks Alex.

  • avatar
    mitchw

    Color me ambivalent. Bertel’s sense of humor always tickled me, but man could he slice when he decided to. Wasn’t some of the vulgarity actually commentary on vulgarity? When Bertel explained that the limit for harsh comments by the B&B was what one would expect to be acceptable at a dinner party, I wrote that down; I hope you young turks figure out how to rule this empire. It’s going to be a deep loss not having a man in Japan. I always read Bertel’s stuff, and even came here when something was happening in the east because I wondered what Bertel would write. Losing so much industry knowledge and experience will surely diminish the site for me, but if some of the lost B&B return maybe there’ll be a dividend.

    Good Luck

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Good move, I wish you guys well as I was about to give up on this site for good.

    I mostly disagreed with Farago but I respected him. I admired Ed and was disappointed when he left. I many times disagreed with his positions but he was well researched and wrote well.

    I neither respected nor admired Bertel Schmitt; I’m glad he’s gone.

  • avatar
    carguy98

    Sounds good. I’m looking forward to seeing some content changes around here. More DeMuro columns couldn’t hurt, either.

  • avatar
    mitchw

    cont’d

    I do hope that politics and economics and unions will continue to be discussed here. The auto industry is one of the great forces on the planet, it affects everything and is affected by everything. It’s why I’m interested in it. Less so the cars themselves.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    Good start, guys.

    Now, about TTAC’s own Paula Deen incident…

  • avatar
    DrivenToMadness

    Bertel wrote some good articles (his LFA series was unique and boosted the “credibility” of this site for me) but I could see how some of his recent actions alienated visitors of this site.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    So I come back, log in and start participating, and I’m greeted with these animated pop-up advertisements in almost every image, provided by a vendor who apparently ignores its own opt-out preferences. Anyone have a suggestion on this because they are really, really distracting.

    • 0 avatar
      Scuttle

      Try Chrome or Firefox browsers with ad block extension.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      There are ways, do you use Firefox?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Use Opera and you can shut off all the ads and pop-ups. What you get instead is an “Invalid 404 request” and a blank space. Nothing else is affected. Great for reading or commenting.

      But that’s not helpful for ttac since its advertisers yearn for your eyeballs.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      Ghostery is my favorite. “If it’s not breaking the internet, it’s not working hard enough to protect your privacy.” Some sites break so hard, they only give me the single pixel GIF brushoff.

      It also allows for individual toggling of which widgets, trackers and other devices you’ll permit on your system, the better to reward the more relevant ad servers and keep the click revenue flowing on favorite sites.

  • avatar
    hachee

    When I first saw this post, I thought it seemed (and it is, I suppose) quite unusual for a site to make such an honest and clear intent of changes, new policies, etc. Almost extreme, and perhaps even a bit desparate-seeming. But I suppose it was necessary, and judging from the overwhelmingly positive comments, it was clearly the right way to go about it.

    Since I’m always a bit pressed for time, I usually just skipped over the unsavory bits, but I’m happy about the changes.

    Derek, I like your articles and your writing, so please don’t take this the wrong way: I often think you can go a bit deeper into some of your posts, expand upon about which you’re writing. When I read the opening, and I find the topic interesting, I’m always hoping for a little more. And a little proofreading and editing would help. No offence, I just like to think of the sites I visit as the real deal, and the posts should reflect this.

    Good luck guys. It’ll be nice to get some quality back here.

    • 0 avatar

      Noted. It’s hard to gauge things. Often times when you do a long post, you get a “TL;DR” or other comment telling you to cut it down.

      • 0 avatar
        brenschluss

        Never acknowledge “TL;DR.” It’s not a legitimate critique. If *you*, as an editor, think something is too long it probably is, but if the writing is good, depth is greatly appreciated.

        • 0 avatar
          wumpus

          If your goal is to get people to read the site, the TL;DR is certainly something to be feared. The 800 word limit forced precise writing, but as the saying goes it can not adequately describe even one picture :).

          You have to make a choice between informing readers and reaching those with shorter attention spans. I would think that the site’s mission would allow to ignore such criticism for worthwhile articles, but you need to have a good reason when plenty of “readers” will simply hit page-pack.

          • 0 avatar

            One nice thing about the topic, cars, is that you can break up a long article with photographs so the reader isn’t confronted with a screen that’s got nothing but text. One of the things Michael Lamm has taught me is that photos and illustrations are vital parts of any writing. They also allow you to put information in captions that might not fit with the flow of the text.

            Farago said that a writer should regard every word he writes as a soldier willing to die for the cause. At the same time, I think Robert was looking for conversation starters, which you can do with 800 words. I’m just not a good enough writer, though, to cover any topic in depth in only 800 words. I’m not sure if it’s even possible.

        • 0 avatar
          JD321

          When reading car reviews I skip over at least the first paragraph and usually the first two because I know they are always pointless babbling. Precision is key but there are a lot of writers that blather on…Most of them do, I reckon. I worked for a guy that only excepted memos on 3×5 cards (yes…a long time ago) in order to force people to be more productive and precise…It really works to focus the mind.

  • avatar
    mallthus

    2nd chance granted. There will be no 3rd chance.

  • avatar
    dtremit

    Bravo. I took a few weeks’ break from TTAC after Bertel’s unfortunate article ostensibly about Subarus, but wandered back because of all the content I missed. Glad to hear I’ll be able to appreciate that unimpeded going forward.

  • avatar
    rolladan

    Even if this site had the same garbage from bertel before I would still come for the other writers. The new writers kick ass too. I love Thomas’ article even though they make me almost shed a tear or two. On the real though some of his more emotionally touching articles would make a bag of burning puppies look like a comedy. And Doug is f’ing hilarious and informative at the same time. Especially about g20s… SaNNNNjeev’s articles are always entertaining as well. If these guys don’t leave I’ll always visit this site. Oh and Steven Lang’s articles were great too I hope he returns.

  • avatar
    Wunsch

    This mostly sounds good to me, but I’ll miss some of the fiction that used to find its way here. What are the chances that we could find a venue for it, such as a separate section of TTAC (that doesn’t show up in the main list of articles), or a sister site, or something like that?

  • avatar
    rolladan

    If Thomas, Doug, and SaNNNNNNNNNNjeev keep writing I’ll be here like ass hair.

  • avatar
    RayH

    Thank you very much. I can’t tell you the countless friends,family and occasional stranger I’ve recommended TTAC to since finding the site in 2004 or 2005. The past year or so, that recommendation stopped. I know a lot of those people started coming to the site. I know a lot of them stopped coming, too. Oddly enough, more of them commented about the lack of car product reviews than anything else! Some of the lurkers love floormat reviews!
    I’ve emailed and texted this article to some who stopped coming months ago I believe because of Bertel. Thank you again.

  • avatar

    TTAC has been close to losing me for quite some time now. This change, however, absolutely makes my day. Jack and Derek are two of my favorite authors on the web. The site is in good hands, and I look forward for what’s to come!

  • avatar
    olddavid

    Nate, 28, Educator, danio, my favorite Kentucky cop, Zack, etc., etc., are the meat and potatoes of TTAC. The insight and experience each of us brings to the table is what makes the meal complete nourishment for our unleaded-deprived souls. The professionals do their jobs – they open the store, turn on the lights, paint the joint the color du jour, turn up the heat and set the menu. The B&B (an inspired bit of labeling designed to flatter just enough for us to think we really are bright….) flesh out the topic with our personal vignettes that causes us to go, “yes, that’s what I was thinking”, therefore giving us the affirmation of the group confirming our higher plane of thought. Now, if I could just have someone explain to me why I would give a f*&k if the dash has hard plastic…..

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      I ain’t the best, and am certainly not bright, but one of the reasons I spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME on here is the insights in these comments, as well as those in the articles!

      As I state down the Comments, I’m an unrepentant car nut and enjoy the ADULT discussion not found on the other sites! Truly a class act, one which will continue!

  • avatar
    George B

    Jack and Derek, I thank you for your contribution to TTAC over the years and wish you well. I hope you find a way to replace the industry insider articles from Bertel and the used car auction articles from Steve. I enjoyed that content independent of the personal drama between those two. Maybe TTAC will find even better writers covering those areas of the automotive world.

    While I really like both hot Asian women and cars, I didn’t like NSFW pictures appearing randomly in a blog I read during lunch at work. However, feel free to provide links to off-site content.

  • avatar
    andyinatl

    Definitely will be nice to not worry about some absolutely inappropriate image popping up when opening TTAC at work. However, if the info about Lang and Wikipedia edits is true, i don’t think he should be here in any capacity, without an apology first. Regardless of how interesting/good/insightful his articles were.

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    The King is dead. God save the Kings!

    Please seek out a regular recurring guest contribution from Robert Farago. Maybe something every 7-10 days. Would love to know what our founder thinks of the automotive world today.

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    Why wasn’t Murilee’s Pleasurizer story posted on TTAC?

    Seems to me that’s the kind of jocular but historically accurate content we need here.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Today feels like Christmas or something. I’m still skeptical that this is real!

    However this was accomplished, either mutiny or verticalscope giving bs the heave-ho, this is fantastic. BS certainly added value with his industry insight, but I think he did plenty more harm than good.

    That said, I’ve always had the option of not clicking on his articles. So on the positive side, I’m particularly excited about what we can expect to see more of. Good luck Jack and Derek. I’m looking forward to it.

  • avatar
    discypl

    Four-year reader here; just created an account to say that I applaud your stand against exclusion, intentional antagonization, and bias. My last pageview was going to be “the post”.

    Write on, you crazy diamonds.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    maybe this forum can stop being a truckstop for dolts who parrot glenn beck and rush, who mutter “gubmint motorz” and blame unions for everything?

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Here we go again. Trust us, this time it’s gonna be awesome. If ever a website needed an experienced editor, it’s TTAC. Robert Farago was a great editor and brought out the best from the TTAC family of writers. Anyone remember how great Jonny Lieberman’s stuff was under Robert’s guidance? And what about Jay Shoemaker? Killer stuff. Too bad Robert got screwed so badly with the VerticalScope deal. Best of luck to Jack and D-Rock. But then again, how much more damage could you two guys really do?

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    TTAC topics & headlines were so biased it was hard to take the site seriously.
    I guess the slanted TTAC logo was a tell tale sign!

    I hope this re-organization can bring about some objectivity to the topics presented and build a level of credibility to the automotive world.

    I am now very excited for TTAC and their future place in the automotive press and enthusiasts hearts.

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    Wonderful to hear there will once again be a more purposeful TTAC. Alot of your great contributors have found a home at CC and that site brings the human element to our car obsession(s). A merger would rule the roost on the Internet with such dynamic talent and writing.

  • avatar
    sunridge place

    An over-sized ego and thin skin is a bad combo and that was my take on Bertel. He could make me chuckle from time to time and provided interesting takes on some topics when he wasn’t consumed with trying to stretch the point (or beat it into the ground over and over) to tweak someone or something he disliked.

    Good riddance.

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    TTAC has had many enjoyable articles. But IMHO constantly repetitious praise for, or rants against, a particular car or car company get stale and tedious. Please don’t fall into __that__ trap!

  • avatar
    Zoom

    This new TTAC will be a game changer!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I hope it will be as good as the original ttac was under Farago. That ttac was the talk of the industry. It was even referenced in regional dealer meetings and sales-workshops, especially the comments about “stealerships”.

      True, that!

  • avatar
    wmba

    Went out for the day and came back to this announcement. Interesting.

    I had written out last night my reasons for leaving – they centered around what I regard as rubbish writing on any site, which is taking pot shots at other publications and/or people and subsequent bragging on the theme of “I’m right, You’re wrong”, etc.,etc.

    Bertil could not stop himself from being like this, whether it was another site, other staff, or some commenters. But to my mind, Baruth has committed many of the the same errors, including slagging off other sites, essentially calling out Captain Mike Solowiow on the Camry business, and writing a mean-spirited obituary on David E Davis Jr. There’s just no need for this kind of stuff.

    I don’t need someone with ego telling me what’s wrong with other sites or people and bragging openly or by implication, just how much better they are than the other guy. I can read and form my own opinion on such matters, thanks all the same, without all the “help”.

    So, I hope such staff pettiness will end with this refresh. Bertil Schmitt wrote by far the best and most authoritative articles on this site when he stuck to factory tours, “road” tests, coverage of the Chinese and Japanese market. But, he was prone to going off topic far too often – we all know that, which combined with ridiculous headlines and a German school-teacher approach to discipline, along with a banning policy as opaque as the VW MQB’s modular system benefits, has resulted in his demise for committing the usual error – airing dirty linen in public when nobody cared to know about the details.

    So, I say again, avoid criticizing competitors and staff in future, no matter how much fun it might seem after half a bottle of hooch. It’s the same mentality as a car salesman criticizing competitor’s products – I tell them straight, keep that up and I’m walking. Just tell me about your product, and I’ll be the judge of the comparisons.

    Now, the unique thing about TTAC, its truly international scope, is gone. I hope you will attempt to fill this gap, or it’ll be just another car site, Version 4.0. Good consistent writing and intelligent criticism of cars and the industry will attract decent contributors who want to be part of a winning team, with luck, someone from China or Japan.

    We all have different areas of interest. I value actual car tests, and boy has this place suffered since budget cuts led to Michael Karesh’s departure. Best, most concise and consistent tests of mainly practical cars I’ve read. Get the man back at once, if he’s available.

    Regarding the five points, sure OK. But you say:

    “No
    • Puff pieces on luxury cars • Everyone’s-a-winner comparisons • Repackaged PR-generated content”

    There were none that I can recall on TTAC, so no change there.

    I know that you, Jack, accept no remuneration from auto makers for press junkets as promulgated by Farago’s original policy. I’m not sure about Kreindler and Dykes though. What will TTAC’s policy be on this going forward? I don’t think it matters if TTAC staff go on these trips, if short details are given as to the largesse involved. Complete donks (gee, I’m being judgmental myself) purporting to be bloggers snuffle up to the trough and subsequently recite press handouts, so serious journos should at least be fed and housed.

    Anyway, I wish you both the best in the future as you steer the site in your new direction. After a palace coup, who can guess what will shake out… A steady hand and no doubt a great deal of work lies in your immediate future if success is to be assured.

    And thank you for allowing me to say what I truly feel.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I think I’ve been coming to TTAC several times per day since 2005, and I still had no idea all of the recent drama occurred until this post because there were a lot of BS articles I didn’t read. I also wondered why Steve Lang hadn’t posted anything for a while. So now my questions are answered.

    Bertel did contribute some good content with his long history at VW and his ties to the Asian car companies (and China). So I wouldn’t be opposed to him contributing again as long as he doesn’t bring politics into a post.

    If Steve Lang could be lured back with Jack and Derek running the place, it would be even better. But if Steve doesn’t come back, I guess I’ll survive. Either way TTAC should have a bright future with these changes. Thanks for the excellent news.

  • avatar
    Zombo

    Well now the former editor doesn’t have to worry about censoring posts or banning posters his paranoid self didn’t agree with . Or bashing everything that began with gay , Obama , electric car , union ,women , or any Japanese car . He can now go back to chasing kids out of his 1950s yard !

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    About.
    F**king..
    Time..
    BUT..

    Baruth saying no more upskirts? Come on bro.. we aint buyin’ it.. we’ll see how long that lasts..

  • avatar
    tree88

    I am really looking forward to seeing what the new changes bring. I have been an active reader of this site (at least one visit per day) for about 5 years now. I never bothered registering with the site due to the way some of the commenters were blasted for having an opinion. I sincerely hope that will no longer be the case. I continued to visit for the simple fact that this is pretty much the only place on the net that I can read honest reviews of ordinary cars.

    It seems that every other major (I include this site in with the “majors” because of the number of reviews per month) automotive site has lost touch with reality. Yes, the new ferrabugattoghini xyz40001 is a great car, but it is also complete automotive fantasy- filling every single online review with automotive unobtanium is not very helpful when it comes to helping the general public select their next new car. The reviews here are of vehicles that can actually be found on a dealers lot- please do not change that.

    My last comment is for Mr. Baruth- the “rental car racecourse lap” should become a regular feature… think of it as an everyman’s power lap. pick a conveniently close roadcourse and have at it. Run the snot out of everyday cars and tell us how they hold up. Run some pickups, SUV’s (crossovers too) and some vans- throw in a couple ringers too like the occasional BMW, or GTI- just to see how the normal vehicles stack up to perceived automotive greatness. The Camry LE story was damn good, and I for one, hate it when auto journalists bash a perfectly good vehicle, because it is the popular thing to do that week. This has “franchise” written all over it- run with it.

  • avatar
    SkookumFord

    I rarely post here but read pretty regularly. Just wanted to pipe in to say that Jack and Derek are two of my favorite writers here. Looking forward to the future.

  • avatar
    tiredoldmechanic

    As one of the self exiled, all I can say now is, Hmmm… We’ll see.

  • avatar
    zsvdkhnorc

    To my recollection, I have never commented on this site before.

    I very rarely ‘walk out’ on anything, but when I do, I stay gone. Jalopnik got that from me a couple years ago. After that, I went to here and Hooniverse for my automotive fix.

    More and more often lately I’ve been steering clear of this site. Not walking out, but just avoiding it. On some level I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to walk out, because I view that as so permanent. Some of the less-than-family-safe content has kept me away. Frankly, the larger reason why I’ve kept away was politics.

    I am conservative, and I argue conservativism until I’m blue in the face. The key point is, I don’t come to a site like this to do that, or see that done. I come here for cars. Griping about regulation is one thing, but some things I’ve seen here have been out of place. I’d happily jump in at a different place in a different time, but not here.

    Knowing your business, keeping to just your business, and not confusing your business with other business is important. The stuff that isn’t the Truth About Cars don’t belong here.

    That being said, I had no objection to the fiction.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    Keep the fiction. I read sports sites for more than the box scores. They were like dessert, not a substitute for a meal, but still a nice treat.
    Also, if you’re reading this, welcome back Vanilladude. I missed the off your meds, non sequitur, ramblings. (Not sarcasm, I really do)

  • avatar
    DuffMan

    I see I am not the only one.
    Been following you guys for years but never posted. Set up my account but thought “Nah, no one needs to hear what I say.” Followed every day for about 5 years till this all went down. Left for a while cause I didn’t like the in-fighting between the B&B. Came back about a week ago and started catching up till round 2 unfolded yesterday. Let’s move forward and put this behind us. TTAC is one of the best sites going if we stay on topic.

  • avatar
    myheadhertz

    I’ll think of Bertel every time I see a lesbian driving a Subaru.

  • avatar
    01 ZX3

    Glad to hear, I (and apparently many others) was just about done with TTAC after yesterday. I just could not deal with BS’s BS anymore.

  • avatar
    WheelMcCoy

    When I first saw the headline, I checked the calendar for April 1st. Nope. Then I noticed J. Baruth’s name and recalled he has fooled me before (I briefly thought Porsche had forgiven him):

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/review-2011-porsche-911-turbo-s-pdk/

    As enthusiasts, we recognize a car with precision — good steering feel, a responsive chassis, a sweet engine note — is a joy to drive. Similarly, a blog that expresses itself clearly and uses words with precision is a joy to read. That hasn’t been TTAC.

    I haven’t visited lately because it felt like wading into a snark pool. Sure, there have been a few good articles, and even flashes of brilliance, but it’s been mostly snark and link bait. I hope these changes are for real. Jack certainly sounds sincere, and he and Derek have the chops to be editors. I’ll be back in 30 days.

  • avatar

    I have written stuff for every TTAC editor including and since the legendary Robert Farago. I did not know Bertel very well before his tenure as editor, but I appreciated the opportunity he provided for me to continue writing the occasional piece for TTAC. I can only speak from my experience with him, but I found him to be a fair-minded editor and very professional in his role as it applied to me as a contributor.
    He is a very skilled writer and I hope he continues to write somewhere in the automotive universe so I can enjoy his considerable talent.

  • avatar
    MadHungarian

    Thank you. It’s about time. Count me in.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    I haven’t read the comments due to a funeral but this makes me extremely happy. I hope Steve comes back.

    The best compliment I can pay to this great site is that I look forward to sharing it with my sons. It seems as if that is a real possibility.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m hoping that a lot of the infrequent commenters I am seeing in this piece start piping in on other stuff in the future.

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    Congratulations to the new powers-that-be! Excited about the prospect of more car reviews, hopefully with the inclusion of even more metrics. (Such as decibel levels.)

    I know I’m definitely not speaking for the majority, but I’d just like to state that if “the truth about cars” should ever happen to cast one political ideology or an other (including mine!) in a negative light I promise not to make comments like “I almost removed TTAC from my favorites,” or other knee jerk reactions that were likely never true.

    Let it be known that some of us are grown up enough to not get our panties in a wad when an article states something we don’t want to hear. Just keep the ratio of reviews to political opinions high and all will be forgiven as far as I’m concerned.

  • avatar
    Scribe39

    As a (relatively) new site viewer, I was not affected too much by what was apparently deteriorating (and it was, IMO) but in general, as a newspaperman for more than 40 years, I found most of the writers to be quite readable. Of course, I spent many years editing work by degreed journalists . . :-)

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    I’ve been reading ttac since the early days of Farago. Once he left, ttac became a totally different site.

    Hope ttac will once again put the ‘edge’ and the ‘bite’ back in the always-controversial articles they presented with Farago at the helm. Let’s tell it like it is! That’s what the truth is all about, warts and all.

    The new guys at the top now are off to a good start — inviting everyone back that was at one time affiliated with ttac as a reader or a writer.

    Different people view the industry differently based on their own experiences and interactions with the industry and all points of views should be respected (no matter how crass).

    The vast majority of ttac readers do not comment but you can bet your ass that all manufacturers have someone that scans ttac every day for something pertinent to their part of the industry.

    There’s no better source for feedback from the enthusiast public than those in the comments on ttac. Been that way since Farago, on day one.

  • avatar
    jeremie

    As a fan for over ten years, I am so relieved to see Bertell gone. Thank you.

  • avatar
    JimC

    Heh… I’m kinda glad I stuck around lurking this whole time since B.S. banned me.

    I promise not to never again do something so heinous as using the word “jerk” to describe the behavior of a major public servant during Toyota pedalgate.

  • avatar
    Brawndo

    Speaking of the Subaru Forester, can we get a review of the ’14 model? Consumer Reports thinks it’s awesome, and it’s the only small suv to score a “good” rating in the IIHS small overlap test. A TTAC review seems in order.

    Also, was Michael Karesh defriended at some point? I don’t see his name on the masthead anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      Karesh announced his departure a few months ago, to concentrate on True Delta. He’s commented a few times since.

  • avatar
    sevenaces

    As my grandmother alway said, “Good riddance to bad rubbish.” This site has been way off track for quite a while and I found myself selectively clicking into the articles that weren’t published by the people that I found to be less than intelligent.

    Looking forward to getting back to the good stuff. And junkyard finds?… my favorite series. Keep it comin’!

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    I think I feel slightly exhilarated by this courageous ‘new deal’ attitude taking shape here.

  • avatar
    Maintainer

    Not to kick a man when he’s down, But..
    A Reboot has been needed for a long time.

  • avatar
    gottacook

    As a longtime reader and occasional commenter going back to the last year of the Farago editorship, I’m glad to read about this fresh start. I would offer one piece of what I hope is noncontroversial advice: If and when you decide on a new logo for the top of the page, please don’t accompany it with a slogan.

    Any slogan – no matter how well considered, market-tested, etc. – will always turn off some segment of your audience, even some who are predisposed to like the content offered. For example, at some point every day I listen to the NPR affiliate based at American University in DC, but cringe every time some staffer reads the station’s top-of-the-hour slogan, “Where the Mind Is Our Medium.” No one ever told them, I guess, that the mind is EVERYTHING’s medium…

  • avatar
    Spencer Williams

    Like a 40 degree day!

    Sorry, I just had to throw that quote out, though seriously, I am excited, and I think this is a very good change.

    A few more quotes, related more to the video than the text, that I just have to release.

    Talk to me son!

    My name is my name, and it’ll be my name that finds you.

    Problem is, ain’t nobody invented a paper bag for being an asshole on the internet.

  • avatar
    sfdennis1

    Count me among the many voices expressing guarded (but genuine)optimism at the possibilities created by the leadership changes. I’m another burnt-out refugee/reader who had all but given up hope for this site, but will admit that even at it’s nadir…TTAC still occasionally provided compelling commentary and thought provoking articles.

    I don’t believe that any regular visitor here (myself included) is seeking a completely de-fanged or ‘neutered’ TTAC. Not at all. Rather, a fundamental realization FROM THE TOP that caustic editorial biases, and deficiencies, create the tone for the entire site. Here’s hoping that focusing on intelligent and entertaining content will be executed as planned, and bring renewed success as a reward.

    It’s encouraging to see other posters, some of whom I remember and have stongly disagreed with in the past, expressing a desire for a more balanced, less sensationalistic editorial tone @ TTAC. Ultimately, competent and talented leadership also requires an engaged, fair-minded and supportive audience for this, or any, site to thrive.

  • avatar
    Dsemaj

    Excellent!

    I’ll be more than happy to annoy several Holden dealerships to provide an exclusive VF Commodore SS review! :D Then again, I’d test drive the manual and probably cause riots when the blogsphere releases what they’re missing.

  • avatar
    Mc

    Informative, thoughtful and respectful– What else could anyone ask for?

    Thanks for this new team and new direction!

  • avatar
    CX1

    Greatest saves in automotive history:
    5. Danny Sullivan at Indy in 1985
    4. Lee Iacocca at Chrysler in 1979
    3. Jimmie Johnson at Dover in 2006
    2. Monopoly racecar not voted out in 2013
    1. This

  • avatar
    JD321

    “GM Sales in China Fall Off a Cliff. We Are ALL Going to Die!!!”

    I’m going to miss these headlines.

    Bertel was just really bad at Shock-n-Awe journalism and didn’t like to be criticized for it. He probably also resented that a lot of his articles had “0″ Comments because of it. I look forward to more of Alex’s wonderful car reviews.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    How about am on-going link to the side called “New Car”, or something like that; readers could jump on it when they purchase a new / used car, fill out a general form of make/model/year/new/used, then state why it was their choice.

  • avatar

    Nicely done, gentlemen.

    I learned a lot from reading Bertel. A lot. But I think the shark was well and truly jumped this past week.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    So when can commenter’s start submitting reviews? I just purchased a new truck and I was surprised at how many models were missing in the reviews section. Perhaps I can contribute something of use for anyone considering a Nissan Frontier with hand crank windows.

  • avatar
    Chris FOM

    I don’t like taking misery in the suffering of others, and being out of a job in this economy is no laughing matter. So in that sense I feel bad for Bertel. But the unfortunate reality is this move was necessary. His thin skin, click-bait headlines, and cheap trick of intentionally using inflammatory/offensive language then trying to explain why it wasn’t inflammatory/offensive was obnoxious and unpleasant enough. But lately he had moved beyond that with a degree of pettiness and vindictiveness that was simply unacceptable for the editor of a large, respected website. After the latest Wikipedia article I was preparing to significantly cut down or even eliminate TTAC from my daily browsing, and obviously I wasn’t the only one.

    So I definitely welcome this change, and wish Jack and Derek the best. I think the site is in excellent hands, although I’m curious what the promotion here means for Jack’s work at R&T. Does this make for any sort of conflict of interest or are they ok with the new arrangements?

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Test

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Very happy to see everybody reboot. The site needed this.

    One suggestion…IF you want to make this site more car reveiw and do not have the time to get the review in yourselves…and how I HATE that Motottrend…why not have a link or review from a source or reviewer you like as a TTAC team?
    Sadly…when I am in dire need of a review, or reviews, and cannot search all the good ones…it would be nice to have a source to quickly go to here…one of my fav car sites.

    I just purchased a Ford Escape…but it was weeks of test driving and was really in need of some good direction and narrowing down before going and driving all those lesser cars.
    And listening to all those nasty sales people! I myself knew more about their cars than they did!!!!
    Although it did get me to sober up a bit and out of the basement and into cars..its was mostly a waste of time.

    And get Michael at TrueDelta back!!!!

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      +1 On the Escape, you made the right choice in the segment. I just bought my second one and couldn’t be happier. Congrats on your purchase

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    To TTAC: I hope this does not get lost in the noise of the ongoing party, but I would humbly like to add to the wish list..

    1. Any chance at allowing limited ability to post related photos? Often the topics being discussed would really be enhanced by a picture or two.

    2. B&B content: Opportunities for us to submit a piece on cars? I don’t mean as a routine contributor, but as one-off kind of thing. Example, I am going to be buying the new Vette this spring and I would think TTAC might enjoy a story from a new owner of a highly anticipated car. Or perhaps a old(er) car. I often thought that I would like to submit a story with photos reviewing my mint old cars. How many 18 year old cars do you find that look like they are a year old? Or other people who have stories behind their rides, like the person who posted about his “blue goose” wagon. These are the things that add a human element to the vehicles we have and the things written about here.

    What do you say?

    • 0 avatar

      100 percent. TTAC Reader Rides perhaps?

      • 0 avatar
        Siorus

        A “Reader’s Rides” column would be awesome. Paul’s Curbside Classic series was one of my favorite things on this site when he was doing it, and I can see a “Reader’s Rides” thing being a lot like that, but with the bonus of actually being able to talk about how the car drives.

        There are a lot of very interesting cars in the B&B’s garages and I, for one, would be very interested in reading something about someone’s experience with their cars. More interested, actually, than I am in reading about what the best selling car in country x is or a road test of a Prius V or something.

        Hell, I’ve got a few interesting cars in my collection (Buick with a tank transmission?), I’d be up for trying to throw a few ‘road tests’ together.

  • avatar
    dirtyblueshirt

    As long as you keep those “Junkyard Find” articles… I enjoy those bits of automotive paleontology.

  • avatar
    skor

    No more smut? But I like a good dose of scheisseporn with my Cadillac reviews.

  • avatar
    Mike

    Long time reader who had to chime in too.

    Great job on the refresh. I can’t stand TV shows that are more about the drama between people than the topic at hand (e.g. Top Shot), so I am relieved to see this change. That said, I do wish Bertel the best though.

    I do have a suggestion. It would be nice to be able to meet our heroes on occasion. I’m not suggesting elaborate meet-and-greats. You don’t have time for that. Just more informal invites for those who might be in the area at the right time. I know that Murilee lives nearby and frequents the “Mind Blowing Junkyard” close to my house. And Jack, I would like to buy you a beer someday if you’re ever near Pikes Peak.

    Anyway, keep it up.

  • avatar
    Caraholica

    Bertel has forgotten more than most of us will know about the car bus and I will miss his informed point of view.

    So the wheel keeps turning at TTAC to use a bad metaphor.

    Maybe now we can have daily content?

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Good. Bertel and his overt biases are gone. Some quick clean-up: Apologize, in public if need be, to Vanilla Dude and get him back. Buy Steve Lang some lap dances from a 20-year old stripper and a 20-year old bottle of scotch; or whatever it takes to get him back.

    How long will people resist from calling union members troglodytes and calling our President a Communist? I predict Monday at the latest.

    At least you got rid of one of the reasons TTAC became a “scan”, not “read thoroughly” blog.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Bertel was one of the main reason TTAC went from a “read thoroughly” to “scan” blog for me. How long will people stay away from union bashing and political rants? Until Monday. At the latest.

    • 0 avatar
      Cirruslydakota

      Agreed, and ill add the constant “Toyota and VW are on the path to world domination as GM cries in a corner like a teenage girl who didn’t get asked to the prom.” articles that were irritating to no end.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        That is the beauty of irritating articles. They expose a totally different way of thinking about any given subject.

        I remember the irritating articles of the GM death watch in 2007. Fortunately for me, I was able to broaden my scope of thinking and divest myself of GM stock before GM died.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      el scotto: Not defending anyone here but as I recall the events leading to Bertel taking over the reigns at ttac, it was because Ed Niedermeyer left and Bertel was ASKED to assume the Editor-in-Chief slot. The operative here is ASKED, not applied for the job.

      In his first article as EIC Bertel expressed that he had some reservations about how it would fit into his own daily schedule but decided to accept the challenge.

      Besides, when a man is asked, you don’t decline. If people think enough of you to ask you to become the top dog, you gracefully accept, grin and bear it.

      Now things have changed. I doubt we’ll ever get back the raucous days of Farago, but that’s life. Things change!

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Despite what happened, this is the backstory everyone needs to hear.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Most people are deaf, dumb and blind to any backstory or events that lead up to a final outcome.

          I doubt that ttac will ever revert to the free-for-all it once was because no matter who’s in charge, ttac has to rake in the money in order to stay up, and PC rules the day.

          Canadians have more sense and sensibilities than Americans do so no matter who’s in charge, someone has to ride herd on the commenting masses.

          The Vox Populi is usually heavily edited and redacted for mass consumption. If it weren’t, the people paying the bills will bail out, just like they did with Paula Dean.

      • 0 avatar
        ExPatBrit

        Bertel did some good stuff give him his due. He’s a smart guy.

        However I believe he resides in Asia, the majority of the crew (staff) here is in the Americas.

        There are limits to the observation that the internet has made the world flat, it just makes it far too easy to insult other people who might have a different viewpoint or reality..

        Face to face communications in real time are always the best form of interaction. About 70-90% of the info provided is received.

        Telephone is about 50-60%, e-mail , blogs, voicemail tends to be in the 25-40% and often there is no visual clue that you have hurt someones feelings.

        This is how flame-wars start. Most people would never say face to face what they might say on a Blog or e-mail.

        As HDC said, Bertel wasn’t confident about this either. It seemed like he had to keep the site “clicks” up but ended up having a zero tolerance policy with posters whilst pretty much doing exactly doing the same.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Despite perhaps looking a little wimptastic, if I post a personal opinion, I’ll make sure to back it up with facts, if I can. Or, if I’m the least bit antsy about something, but feel it needs to be said, I’ll make sure to add something like “just MHO,” or “no flame wars, please!”

          Whatever I do, I’m not going to resort to name-calling to an anonymous screen name, since there is a person behind those words, and would expect the same respect in return.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Congrats, Jack. And good luck to Ya and TTAC

    How about a daily Newsletter?

    Regards… Tre

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      How about YOU submit some of those stories, huh?

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        Reg; “How about YOU submit some of those stories, huh?”

        Are you talking to me?

        Tre

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          Yes. Write up some of the stuff you’ve discussed, and sent it to me. With your permission, I’ll contact you directly.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            PERMISSION GRANTED.

            But, I’m only able to write in a ‘quasi-fictional’ mean.

            Just kidding… I think?

            But, I do have some embryonic ideas for fiction… BANNED!

            I test drive/fly/ride/sail anything that moves, airplanes, motorcycles, sailboats, sail cars, and yes, cars, and have been known too put ‘RWD’ rental cars on the track in Vegas, Cali, and Texas.

            By the way, I’m suspicious that through GPS and rental fleet enhanced on board vehicle diagnostics technology, car rental companies know where you take a rental car, and can download vehicle dynamics, i.e. G-forces, speed, acceleration, and when you take it out of state. A pretty strong suspicion.

            Next time I rent a car, I’m going to check for a USB drive. The last time I returned a Mustang, one of the return guys, opened up the passenger door, reached under the glove box and removed a small object, went into the office and plugged it into a computer. A few minutes later when I was waiting for the airport transporter, he came in with sheet of paper and was talking to the intake counter person. They both turned and looked at me… maybe I was suffering from a bit of little boy paranoia because of my abuse of one of Ford’s finest… cough! Cough! COL!

            Maybe somebody could pipe up with some facts on that suspicion.

            Next up, is a Camaro ‘SS’ convertible this Fall in Vegas and Austin. Thanks Hertz ‘Adrenaline Collection’. Oop’s! Maybe that’s not permitted on this site?

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Very good indeed.

    While I can’t stand how “PC” the world has become, and lean very conservative (which probably aligned my views with BS at times), his behavior at times was certainly what could be called “unprofessional,” which is frankly beneath the dignity of this site AND the B&B! I spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME on this site because I’ve lived and breathed cars since I was 3 years old (I’m 43), and this site has always been a level above the others!

    This’ll just give me more of an excuse to hang around! Please let us know what the guidelines are for B&B contributors–I might be interested in penning something about my present or past cars.

  • avatar
    turtletop

    Good call on the reboot. I’ve been visiting daily since 2005 and felt the site had been circling the drain for many months. I’m glad you’ve had the collective sense to stop the decay, and I thought I’d dust off my idle TTAC profile to say so.

    I’d always suspected that BS was a creep, and the way things played out proved me right. Good riddance. I’m no prude, but the superfluous and generally pointless sexist content tacked onto far too many of his posts was annoying, obnoxious and repellent at best.

    I’d also like to see the volume turned waaaaaay down on political and union content. Please present the facts and let us make up our own minds, thanks!

  • avatar
    JimC2

    I’ve kept reading/lurking here for the last few years. I’ve enjoyed Jack’s writing style and Derek’s articles. I particularly enjoy the Junkyard, Repair Shop Memoirs, Bodacious Beaters, and Collector’s Corner series. I also liked some of B.S.’ industry insider knowledge.

    In honor of Mr. Schmitt, as The B&B are my witnesses, I promise the following:

    Should there be another Toyota Pedalgate, I will refrain from doing something so heinous as implying that the behavior of any high-ranking public servant would qualify said public servant as deserving of the word, “j e r k.”

  • avatar
    tbp0701

    I hadn’t been around much since the last transition, but I may be around more often again. The direction in content looks great to me, but I’d also like it if the authors had some leeway to keep creative perspectives. For example, I’ve liked a number of articles I’ve read here, but I think Jack Baruth’s piece on driving a Ford Transit through St. Louis has stuck with me more than any other.

  • avatar
    Transform

    OK, but what really keeps TTAC small is 1)Too few stories in general 2)Not enough hard tech stories.(We are gearheads. I don’t care how many Kias were sold in Mongolia)

  • avatar
    OldWingGuy

    “I come to bury Ceasar, not to praise him.”

    Before I would criticise Mr. Schmitt, I would want to walk a mile in his shoes. I expect editing this site is not a full-time, highly paid gig.

    I assume Bertel has a real job to pay the bills, a family to support, etc. How he kept up the pace is beyond me. Writing his own articles, editiong, riding herd on commentors, etc, must have taken a lot of time.

    Is Bertel perfect ? Hardly, but then neither am I. Few people are.

    I enjoyed his perspective on the asian market, and he seemed to have a reasonable grasp on the European market as well.

    Time will tell how TTAC fares. Will things stay civil ? I surely hope so.

    In any case, I would thank Bertel for his past contributions and time, and wish him all the best in the future.

  • avatar

    My name is Robert Farago and I approve of this message. FWIW.

  • avatar
    Marko

    Thank you! A few days ago, I was pretty sure I would never come back here. Thankfully, looks like things have changed.

  • avatar
    AGD

    Thank you for all the great articles Bertel Schmitt.
    I hope you will find the time and the need to write your own blog as Robert Farago and Paul Niеdermayer did.

    Good luck to the rest of the TTAC staff. Please don’t fall victim to the overly politically correct part of the B&B.

  • avatar

    Good luck for your new business concept. Aiming at pious sissies will certainly help in theses times.
    I’ll be off.
    Bye.

  • avatar
    Ishwa

    I’m excited to see what this change brings, hopefully positive. I think everyone might do well to not dip their keyboard in vitriol anymore…

    I hope Mr. Lang reconsiders posting here – I learned things from his articles that you just can’t get anywhere else.

    I also wouldn’t be adverse to Mr. Schmidt being a contributor. I admit, I bet that might be personally difficult to do if I was in his shoes; perhaps he is the better man though! BS also posted articles that were simply impossible to get from any other sites.

    If you are reading this Mr. Schmidt or Lang, I would like to thank you for the high-quality, unique information and articles you have graciously created for us to read. Yeah, there were some misses in there lately, but no one is perfect so I myself am willing to bury the hatchet. Hopefully you all can do the same.

  • avatar
    The Heisenberg Cartel

    Oh and count me in with those who enjoy the fiction. I would be sad to see it go. And the various non-review elements, such as Vellum Venom, Piston Slap, personal car-related stories such as Thomas K’s, are part of what make this site so great.

    A comparison review idea: What about reviews comparing different vehicles the same automaker from different market segments, especially one which enthusiasts tend to love vs hate? For example, a Mazda 3 hatch vs a Mazda CX5, or a BMW 3 Touring vs a BMW X1, or a BMW 5GT vs 5 Touring? Or, hell, if we have any budding Mexican authors here, the 4-door Ford Ranger vs the F150/Lobo?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Bertel was getting pretty intolerable, in fact I had trouble finding anything worth commenting on the past several weeks as every other article was written by BS.

    Jack was always my favorite and I’ve been reading the site since 2007. I’d love for Jack to flog every poorly rated (according to the automotive press) car through rental and driving to the nearest track.

    To any would be contributor I give Mark Twain’s famous advice: The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.
    - Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1902-1903

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Good to see you back, I always enjoy your comments

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @ PrincipalDan….I’m also glad to see you back. I never 100 percent left TTAC. Like yourself, and many others, I just kind of backed off. I have expressed my views on B.S. and I’m done with that. Its great that I’m seeing many of the old names show up.

      I personally believe that we will see TTAC return to its former glory. I also believe the with the likes of Derek, and Jack, running the show,TTAC will grow bigger and better than ever it was.

      Farago, and young Mr N, did a wonderfull job building TTAC. I would love to see contributions or comments from either.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Principal Dan, I was ging to give you until tomorrow to show up here before I was going to form a posse and drag you back kicking and screaming! This is where you belong – Curbside Classic, too, of course…

      Besides, I can’t do without seeing that avatar of yours for more than a week or so!

    • 0 avatar
      Sals

      Decided to park this near two of my (numerous) favorite commenters, Principal Dan & Zackman. I’ve been reading pretty much daily since the Farago era, never commented. Very relieved to see the regime change. I’ve learned a great deal from the B&B; the knowledge base of this membership (past and present) is amazing! I’m a high school teacher who likes to read about car topics–and who wants to keep coming here. Thank you, members especially, for making this a great place in which to learn and to think. ~Sals

  • avatar
    AoLetsGo

    I was drifting away from this site and now I will give it some more visits.
    Here is my 2 cents about TTAC:
    The biggest problem is that cars these days are mechanically very good, but mostly look the same and are pretty boring. This site would have been in its glory back when things were very different.
    Maybe you should branch out to other modes of transportation – motorcycles, boats, bicycles? The pure car guys might not like it but it might pull in a lot more readers.
    Just a thought.

  • avatar
    Dmarque

    As long as you are bringing things back,
    I’d love the five star system on car
    reviews to return. They say so much
    more then a lot of judgmental words.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Oh! This may not be the right place to make requests, but this is for Murilee! More Junkyard Finds of orphan brands! AMC, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Saab, etc.

    Also more Malaise-era stuff.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      Hear, hear!

      I get a kick not only from his articles but also the ensuing discussions of GM Iron Duke vs Chrysler 2.2, flip-up headlights, rich Corinthian velour, electrically-heated-automatic-chokes, etc. They bring back memories of my own junkyarding expeditions, watching my footing around mud puddles, and skinned knuckles in sub-freezing temperatures.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        Old junkyard cars are magnitudes more interesting than newer ones. After all, a lot of newer junkyard cars (Chrysler LHs and Tauruses for example) can still be seen on the road. When’s the last time anyone saw an early K-car or a Cordoba or a Fiat Spider?

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          It’s been a while since I’ve seen any of those three you listed.

          Here is the exception that proves the rule: I see a Dodge Omni in regular use about once a month. There is also an old (1980-ish??) VW Rabbit pickup trucklet I see once in a while(!).

          Trivia: the rear brakes on the first model of K-car year did not have a self-adjusting feature.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            There’s a guy near me who had (or at least used to have) two Rampages. They weren’t exactly in bad shape, so maybe the guy just sold them.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Here’s a bit more first year K trivia. The halfshafts on the 1981 MY were held in place with circlips on the transmission side. Many a mechanic caused damage trying to bang them out with a hammer…I know of no other car that had that setup…they eliminated that on the next refreshing.

  • avatar
    J.Emerson

    Just a quick check to see if I’ve been re-enabled…

  • avatar
    Phil Ressler

    It’s been a few years since TTAC was a daily stop for me. I’d check in now and then to see if the slide after Robert had been reversed; left a comment or two; felt the vitality here had somehow dissipated. I am a Democrat and took my share of squinty-eyed sneering from the anti-GM crowd a few years back, but I didn’t mind the fight and I didn’t feel rejected from the community (well, maybe by PCH101 ;)) when Farago was kingpin here. What made TTAC interesting was that it felt like a community rather than a random collection of of no-account blowhards common all over the web. We fought like cats and dogs, didn’t have to like everybody to want to be part of it, but there was a core community that stayed engaged.

    That was gradually lost in the post-Farago era. Common belief is “content is king.” No, community is. If you can get that back, you’ll have momentum again.

    Back to daily visits; see how this turns out.

    Phil

  • avatar
    wmba

    In my opinion, the major downfall of TTAC editorially has been its criticism of other sites and magazines. Baruth and Schmitt have both been guilty of this. I don’t give a rat f**k what one site thinks of another – I’m quite capable of making that evaluation myself. To stay classy, this new administration doesn’t need to bash competitors. Let the content speak for itself rather than gloating publicly about how superior you feel to everyone else. I just groan when that kind of article turns up. Save your rants for idiotic industry moves instead

    The problem is that such vanity concerning oneself leads to bashing of other staff, and here I refer particularly to Baruth’s belittlement of contributor Solowiow’s Camry road test by hammering a rental around some racetrack and trashing the opinion of the other tester. Utter rubbish. And then you did it again. This is the kind of stuff that needs to vanish forever. It’s mean-spirited. So get a unified editorial policy going for the future, instead of everyone mounting their horses and galloping off in different directions.

    I read Lang’s upset over Schmitt’s Subaru article on some site or other he created himself, and thought he was having a major fit. Apparently, this carried over to the farting around over the Wikipedia entry, and again we got the clash of the egos, with Schmitt airing publicly what nobody wanted to know. In my opinion, Lang also committed a grievous and petty error. Who needs to read this kind of crap?

    Before TTAC can be thought of as professional, all this kind of stuff needs to be excised for good.

    Without an international presence of informed news that Schmitt could provide when he wasn’t chasing silly headlines and publishing risque pictures, TTAC runs the danger of becoming just another parochial American web site with the inward-looking stance that the US tends to adopt, thinking that the rest of the world is uninteresting compared to what happens in your backyard. I hope this doesn’t happen and that you look for competent overseas contributors, but don’t hold out much hope.

    Good luck with the endeavour.

    • 0 avatar
      Entity668

      Well said, wmba. The recurring theme of self-promotion (concomitant with demeaning criticism of fellow writers and automotive web sites) has to stop if TTAC has any hope of establishing a long-lasting professional reputation. Allow words and actions to stand for themselves; adult readers of a certain maturity can judge just fine.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      So, writers can’t have differing opinions? I thought Solowiow’s Camry “review” was nothing more than carrying on the meme that Toyota was becoming the new GM (like they have apparently been doing since 2005) and only a lemming would buy a new Camry because a real thinker would choose a midsize family sedan for the handling and looks rather than the rear seat room, trunk space, reliability, and fuel economy.

      Jack had the opportunity to take a 4cyl SE on the track and had a good time. He really only had 3 things he could do after driving the car on the track: write what he actually felt, write something that matched Solowiow’s dud review, or write nothing at all. If he plans to make a claim as an automotive journalist, he only had one correct choice.

  • avatar
    Swade

    Can’t say how pleased I am to hear this news.

    I wrote for years about Saab. I had plenty of back-and-forth with Farago during the GM dark days but at least he gave the whole scenario a fair hearing. He even allowed me to pen a couple of articles about Saab for TTAC and ran them. I thought Robert a bit manic at times (TTAG hasn’t alleviated my concern) but he was a genius with the English language and a great editor.

    I can’t say much about Ed other than I enjoyed his work. I ended up working for Saab during his tenure and was busy doing my own thing.

    Bertel took over when Saab were having problems and he covered the decline of the company with a personal viciousness that undid, for me, everything that TTAC had achieved in previous years. He did one article specifically on me, Googling whatever he could find and presenting it in a skewed manner (i.e. selectively, lacking the full truth or any hint of context) to make it as personally damaging as possible.

    It’s one thing to take on the companies with gusto and unpick their spin and drivel. It’s another thing all together to apply your venom to individual people on a personal level. People enter this industry usually because they have a passion for it. An approach where you hunt them and kick them is not the best of the web, which is what a site like this should aspire to be. It has more in common with the darker corners of the web.

    I enjoyed BS’s early work on this site because he gave an insight into the industry that money can’t buy. But his personal issues and the way he handles them should not be for public consumption. TTAC’s owners keeping their hands off this site is admirable in one respect. The appointment of BS wasn’t one of them, but his removal is a step in the right direction.

    • 0 avatar
      jimbob457

      I am a newcomer to TTAC and a non-car industry guy, but even I could see that BS got a lot of industry insider gossip, probably often jet lagged at some hotel bar. This is good. It happens in every industry. Thing is you gotta sober up, evaluate what you have heard and then write (some of) it up in an objective fashion.

  • avatar
    Phil Coconis

    Well, one thing is for certain: such dramatic controversy has generated what must be a near-record for commentary! The question is: What will be done for an encore? Time will tell.

    I did personally enjoy the fact that “B” pretty-much posted my entries as submitted–ALL CAPS, and all the rest!

    Looking forward to more of that with our “newly appointed”–as I’m FAR from exhausted in the “material department”.

    Continued Cheerage!

  • avatar
    AJ

    I’ve always liked TTAC… From the Robert days, what got me hooked on TTAC was the honesty about car reviews and manufacturing. No playing nice… Give it to us as you see it. It’s the name after all. :)

  • avatar
    Transform

    When will the media learn how to do captions? Who is the guy in the pic? Bertel?

  • avatar

    I’m just hoping every point can be followed thru. I’ve appreciated this site for years–thru every editor. I like all the commitments listed above. This site / web mag has potential never seen before by the car industry. It just needs captured.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    Now that the radiant sunburst of the Twinkies announcement has dimmed a bit I can think upon this…..

    I vote for Bertel. The insider news from Japan is gone without him.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      This is a relief, I was afraid that you may have been trapped, snared by a fat bass tuba

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        Thanks for your concern. For my part in TTAC’s Great Gettin’ Up Mornin’ I pledge to make no more references to musical instruments designed for the acoustic space below 220 Hz.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          No, when the articles involve crossovers, your experience in bass management is crucial. It hertz when you refrain from being a speaker… I’ll tweet you

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            You’ll get no impedance from me. It’s not like I want a cone of silence on the topic. I agree that its enclosure within TTAC content is pertinent.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            So, you catch much.. um, trout up your way?

  • avatar
    skylla

    This is just a “me too”, but a funny coincidence: I had clicked on TTAC in my RSS reader only to recategorize it as “ignore”, but I scanned the first few posts for a Baruth byline just for old times’ sake. And now instead I’m going to mark all the old posts read and see what happens from here.

  • avatar
    That One Guy

    The Autobiography of BS made me remember Bertel’s name and look for it when scanning the articles. Old guys with cool stories should be listened to whenever you get the chance…Even if their tales wander off in uncertain directions from time to time. Bertel, If you’re reading this: Thank you for the stories.

  • avatar
    Scribe39

    I commented before, but just let me say, as a retired editor: The old saying is that you measure twice before you cut once. That is excellent metaphoric advice for commentary as well.

  • avatar
    mypoint02

    Looking forward to the rental car reviews. One of my favorite pastimes!

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    Good luck with the site. I hope the promises last longer than the Awesomeness Manifesto did. More about cars, the industry and the personalities in it, and less other stuff is good. I found Bertel’s articles to bring some perspective and foreign market knowledge that I couldn’t read elsewhere, so that will be missed.

    Insider stuff is usually quite interesting.

    Less 1 paragraph posts would be good too.

    Steve Lang’s articles were also very interesting, given his experience.

    The political stuff bugged me, but it’s a free site.

    I come here to learn things that I don’t know. Please tell me more.

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    I started reading and commenting at TTAC in 2006. I drifted away after getting too frustrated with Farago’s rigidly ideological screeds and heavy-handed moderation. I came back when Ed took over. Don’t remember exactly when I once again stopped commenting but it was after feeling weary from the right-wing editorial slant. Then Bertel showed up. It was like the return of Farago but even more iron-fisted and petty.

    The Subaru post seems to be the turning point for a lot of people but for me it was the “Volare” feature. That was the worst article I’d ever seen on a supposedly professional automotive website. Yet as far as I can tell, no one at TTAC ever explicitly acknowledged the embarrassing errors. The truth about cars indeed.

    In an above comment Ed is right to point out the sense of entitlement that readers can adopt. I suspect that many would be shocked to learn how little bloggers are compensated for their herculean efforts. A little appreciation — or at least civility — could help make their sacrifices more worthwhile.

    That said, TTAC in particular would do well to better acknowledge that thoughtful commentators are an exceptionally valuable commodity. Folks like PCH were one of the major reasons I kept coming back. Here’s a guy who should be begged to submit regular posts yet he was apparently banned. If this is true that doesn’t make any sense to me.

    I appreciate that you’re declaring a blanket amnesty for those who were banned. For a while you’ll benefit from a honeymoon period, but at some point the underlying tensions that led to the bannings will reemerge. The key question I have: Will TTAC continue to be the automotive equivalent of Fox News? If so, I hope PCH will launch his own website (which he has discussed doing).

    • 0 avatar

      PCH was knowledgeable but incredibly rude to other commenters. He was banned because he was told to knock it off when addressing other readers, but he refused to comply. The “sense of entitlement” you speak of could not have been exemplified better than in the above example – especially when he was wrong and called on it. With that said, he is welcome back with open arms.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr Lemming

        I had largely tuned out so didn’t see the behavior you describe. Civility is crucial to a quality website. Nobody should be exempt from treating each other with respect. That said, troll-baiting commentary is going to stoke people’s emotions.

        It seems like every TTAC editor has been confronted by the same question: Whether to turn TTAC into a truly great automotive website or use it as an ideological hobbyhorse. If you choose the latter you can expect to lose people like me.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Dr Lemming
          What do you view as right wing views?

          I haven’t necessarily seen right wing views by TTAC in the past 12 months I’ve been blogging here.

          I’m neither left or right. But some view my commentary as right wing.

          I believe in public health, free schooling, etc. But I don’t believe in government (or union) interference in business. I even believe in global warming, but I don’t know the consequences or outcome of the warming. Are we doing too much or too little?

          I think you have to separate the politics from the comments ie, I don’t support subsidisation at all. This is neither to the left or right.

          In the US the GOP support the farm bills, which I detest, but on the other hand the UAW supports the limiting of imports to enhance their position by the use of tariffs and regulations, which I also detest.

          I think you have to realise just because an individual doesn’t support a certain view doesn’t necessarily move them to the right. Their views might be supported by the right.

          If you have a paradigm, support and debate the benefits of your beliefs. But if I can show you otherwise and you refuse to respect my view or support your views with little or no facts, then your views are just unsubstaniated beliefs and nothing more, baseless opinion.

        • 0 avatar
          JD321

          Troll = Everyone I disagree with.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @JD321
            I see where you are coming from.

            In my mind, the worst type of troll is someone who can’t provide credible, current and valid evidence to support an argument and wants to continue hounding you. You sometimes wonder why.

            There is a guy on this site who is notorious for this, and he lies through his teeth.

            But there are people like myself who get their brain locked in and want to have the last word. This can also reduce the quality of the debate.

            I don’t think my last statement should be defined as trolling. If you are fortunate another blogger cuts in and tells you to cool off. Which is a wise move.

          • 0 avatar
            JD321

            @BigAl
            “In my mind, the worst type of troll is someone who can’t provide credible, current and valid evidence to support an argument and wants to continue hounding you. You sometimes wonder why”

            That’s not necessarily trolling…That is just a disagreement based on either reason and evidence or emoting rant (Most people are conditioned to be emoting children thru public school and TV indoctrination). I really don’t understand the term “trolling” but in my estimation when someone calls someone else a “Troll”, it means they disagree deeply with them.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            On line troll arguments are like competing in the Special Olympics… Even if you win, you’re still “special”

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    “The quality of our discourse is the limit of our civilization” Juliann Assange.

    Tre Deuce

  • avatar
    v8corvairpickup

    I’ve visited this site for a couple of years. It has authors that I prefer to not read and I’ve believed that it is my choice to read an article, or not. My choice to read comments, or not. I try to not take anything I read personally, whether it is an author’s opinion or a reply to something I wrote.

    Hope TTAC remains strong.

  • avatar
    tekdemon

    If he had just stuck to reporting on the asian car market that would be fine, instead he spent his time mass banning people who thought that calling asian cars slant eyed oriental mobiles was racist while proclaiming that no slurs could be racist if it was about a car (in the comments) no matter what racial slurs you added because doing otherwise would just be “PC”. Then of course he used some bizarre version of the “I have a black friend” defense to proclaim that nobody should be offended by racial slurs because his wife never gets offended by racial slurs against Japanese people. All this before the slurs against homosexuals started being standard of course. Insulting and banning your commenters and readers is always a great idea for a blog editor.

    His articles were sometimes interesting but he was an awful editor and absolutely horrible friggin moderator of the comments who basically threw temper tantrums over anything and everything. I remember him threatening to ban me for even suggesting that his viewpoint was racist.

    I stopped posting and only very rarely visited after that and I used to post every single day, and frankly I did this not because I was super offended, I don’t really care about what people say to me over the Internet but because there was no friggin way I’d let him profit off of me.

    Anyways, cut out the NSFW stuff and at least try not to offend very single possible subgroup of your readers-I’m not super PC but there’s a difference between being irreverent and being a raging a-hole by insulting your readers and Bertel didn’t have a clue.

    TL;DR Good riddance, and I’ll give TTAC a second chance if the content goes back to what it used to be. I doubt it’ll recover anytime soon from all the damage he did. This used to be a refreshing and intelligent alternative to sites like Autoblog where you could have intelligent discourse in the comments and it basically turned into one editors rantfest.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      “His articles were sometimes interesting but he was a… horrible friggin moderator of the comments who basically threw temper tantrums over anything and everything. I remember him threatening to ban me for even suggesting that his viewpoint was racist.”

      Yep. His moderation style was, ahem, unpredictable. It seemed like it depended whether you might catch him having a good day or a bad day.

      He made a big point, at the time, of preaching civility in reader comments when he banned me specifically because I referred to Ray LaHood as an “idiot” (not “jerk,” as I said a few comments ago). Before and after which he tolerated the same or worse the comments to his articles… articles of which many were written in a derisive tone… OK, so whatever… just another drop in the bucket.

      Based on the comments here, it seems Mr. Schmitt alienated as many people as he banned.

      I will miss his articles, particularly his insights and opinions on Asian markets. I happened to agree with some of his politics and I also found a lot of his edgier remarks quite amusing. At the end of the day, the site did just fine long before his arrival and it will do just fine again.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    My take…FWIW…
    Bertel was married to an American; and his experience must have been troubling to him. In his own words he complained about the US military and the “inside the beltway” politics and failures; because his wife was the daughter of a “high ranking” officer and had privileged access. Then while in NYC working in his PR company, he was offended by the American PC requirement. One major thing that got him was a Swissair advert…
    Then he went on to marry a Japanese lady, and he found delight/revenge in comparing her to his ex in one article; and of course, the new land could, or can not do wrong. Like-wise his new paymasters in Communist China, he was always trying to present Communist China as “not that bad”, from car sales to politics; like the Spratly’s claim. Maybe his biggest misstep was believing his own press which fed an ego that became outsized, but the insecurities remain….

  • avatar
    shaker

    I believe that the overall tone that the site projects causes the comments to track accordingly – vitriol begets the same.
    I’ve made some regrettable comments here in the past, simply because the articles were “baiting” that behavior.
    The term “PC” exists because many people (including myself), emboldened by the anonymity of the ‘net would vent needlessly off-topic, and the “B&B” would degrade into a schoolyard brawl.
    I take the new direction as a cue to me and the B&B to stay civil and on-topic, and not to inject polarized politics that degrades the experience.
    If there is an article that (sometimes impossible to avoid) highlights the intersection of politics and cars, then let’s keep it relevant to the topic, and save the right/left generalizations for the rest of the Internet.
    In other words, “PC” shouldn’t be an insult to my “freedom” — policing one’s own contributions should be a sign of preferred civility; that my ‘lizard brain’ should not be directly connected to the keyboard.
    I certainly don’t want to be seen as a die-hard political animal, and I appreciate that a website’s content doesn’t lead me down that path.

    Edit: And that also goes for racism, sexism, etc. – it’s a CAR site :-)

  • avatar

    Derek and Mr Baruth now in charge? What could possibly go wrong? ;)

    This is great news and I’ll be looking forward to what these changes bring. I’ve always liked Derek’s reporting. It felt unbiased and fair similar to autoblog. Bertel’s contributions never really bothered me. My only problem was with the nasty personal attacks and name calling in the comments section against anyone dare call him out on his BS or false truths. Anyone who defends GM is labelled the “UAW” or an “UAW sent troll”. You’d be surprised how many GM fans have no love for the UAW or democrats, and how many democrats have no love for GM or the Unions. Bertel’s complete meltdown coincided with a rising GM stock price and falling market share for the Japanese in China.

    I would like to suggest a few things for the site, if i may…

    Invite the ex editors and other auto industry folks to write a editorial piece once in while. They can share with us what they think of the industry now.
    Link or share Michael Karesh’s car reviews. I thoroughly enjoyed reading them here.
    Make hyperlinks to other news sources open in a new window.
    Expand “Cain’s segment” to all segments, every month.
    Keep the pressure on GM without pummeling them. Most can tell the difference between criticizing with concern for their well being vs wishing for GM to drop dead.
    More coverage for alt fuel vehicles.
    More coverage on behind the scenes, informative stuff. B&B could e-mail the editors which could then be shared on this site. For example, what materials constitute an average car and in what percentages and how they have changed in the last 10 years. How does a catalytic converter work? How are cars transported to dealerships? What are the different additives in motor oil and how does each work? All gearheads can relate to these articles and get smarter at the same time. The “TTAC Things You Need to Know” Section!

  • avatar
    Jacob

    What are you, bitter insignificant worthless beings are squabbling about? I thought this web site was about cars.

  • avatar
    Rusty_Ranger

    Congrats J.B. and D.K.

    I’ve been a TTAC reader for over five years and I wholeheartedly agree with and support this new five point plan. The frequency of my visits has been dwindling from daily to weekly over the last few months, so this reboot was needed.

    This is is the only automotive blog that I visit on a regular basis since Jalopnic unapologetically changed their website layout a few years ago. Speaking of layouts, please do not ever change the layout of TTAC. It is great the way it is – straightforward and uncluttered, the way a blog should be.

    The only thing that concerns me is the abandoning of fiction. Does this mean that Jack won’t be sharing any more of his adventures with Vodka McBigbra?

    Oh, and Mr. Lang, PLEASE come back! Your insights into the used car industry are invaluable.

  • avatar
    Carl Kolchak

    Although I felt the overly Bawdy nature of TTAC under Bertel was a bit over the top (and really rude at times). I am a bit worried. Usually , when I see someone say “we won’t be political”, it usually means “Conservatives need not apply”
    Cars are, by their nature, probably the most politically influenced and influencing items one can buy. The American landscape was Completely changed by the automobile. My ’13 Focus design reeks of design due to government influence, as do all new cars. I hope TTAC, going forward, allows for discourse on automobile related political issues. If it becomes an Amen Choir for the Global Warming, New Urbanism, anti vehicular choice crowd, I, and probably many like me will be gone. Having said that, I wish the new Captains the best.

  • avatar
    mfgreen40

    J B — D K Well here you have it, a lot of very intelligent people giving some really good advice. Follow most of it and you cant go wrong.

  • avatar
    tobiasfunkemd

    Jack, thank you for writing this. I think a lot of us weren’t thrilled with Bertel’s leadership of the website, but the excellent writing and commenting (Murilee Martin! Murilee Martin!) kept TTAC close to my heart. I would make a special plea to reach out to Steven Lang, as many others have suggested, because I thought his unique point-of-view brought much to the website. He was a big part of what TTAC was, and can be once again.

  • avatar
    koshchei

    Thank goodness.

    I’ve been a long-time reader, but never created an account due to the extreme right-wing political bias and general anti-intellectual slant of the editorial commentary.

    While Jack occasionally annoys me with his hyperbolic opinions about theoretical constructs that he doesn’t understand, his writing style is excellent, and when he sticks to what he *does* know, there’s a veritable wealth of information to be found.

    I look forward to seeing the direction the site takes.

  • avatar
    manbridge

    Wow. Turns out I was wrong. It wasn’t TTAC Deathwatch, but rather BS Deathwatch all along.

    And I was this close to buying a V6 Mustang…..

  • avatar
    henkdevries

    Please get Bertel back after a cooling down period. He had a rare insight although somewhat biased from time to time.

  • avatar
    Smegley Wanxalot

    Was banned by Farago about 8 or 9 years ago for making a mild joke about Volvos. Prior to that I was here a few times a day.

    After that I forgot about the site for a few years and returned for some deathwatch reads and then started coming once a month about 2 years ago, but the arrogance of people like Bertel was repulsive. Some other authors seemed good, however. As such I’ll give it another chance.

    Don’t get the “rightwing bent” comments. What I read seems more Libertarian, which I suppose one only dislikes if one dislikes Liberty. If the bias stays Libertarian then that is a good thing.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      “What I read seems more Libertarian, which I suppose one only dislikes if one dislikes Liberty.” – so 99% of the people who bother to vote don`t like Liberty?

      • 0 avatar
        JD321

        No…They want stuff for free. They are parasites trying to live at the expense of everyone else, aka, Democracy. They want “Liberty” from productive effort so they vote for thugs who promise to steal for them. It should be obvious. It is to Libertarians.

    • 0 avatar
      shelvis

      I like having the liberty to drink clean water, breathe clean air, buy products that are safe, and enjoy a society where basic services benefit all. I also want to live in a world where my tax dollars don’t subsidize corporate profits, clean up environmental irresponsibility, or continue to support those that already have so much.

      Using buzz words like “freedom” and “liberty” do not hide the very real pro-corporate background of the Libertarian party or the fantasy world many of its followers live in.

  • avatar
    Smegley Wanxalot

    so the first comment I make in this new set up goes to moderation, although there is nothing bad in it?

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

    • 0