The Vagina Dialogues Pt. 2

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

To review: BMW has banned The Truth About Cars from its press vehicles because of the "tone and tenor" of the website. Specifically, they objected to the fact that we compared the Subaru B9 Tribeca's front grill to a 'flying vagina,' and considered our review of the Lexus IS350 unnecessarily "harsh." I invited you to email your comments on the ban to dave.buchko@bmwna.com and copy TTAC for publication here. On June 12, the new-look [still-free, more on that later] TTAC will have a commentary option. Meanwhile, here's a sample of the correspondence sent to Mr. Buchko's in-box (so to speak):

"I'm a firm believer in the right to free speech, but unfortunately your so-called "new media" has opened the floodgates for anyone with an opinion, a keyboard and a good repertoire of fifth grade put-downs to set themselves up as being a journalist… You have trumpeted your wounded pride with the self-righteous indignation of a newly ass-whipped schoolyard bully, yet you fail to see that you, not BMW, Subaru or any of your other victims, are the true cause of the problem." Dave Scrivener, Motor Week.

'A year or two ago, I was sort of contemptuous of 'the websites,' assuming that anybody with a PC could do one and what's the point in that? I've learned that the best ones quickly percolate out, and currently my largest, busiest and most voracious single client, and a munificent one it is, is forbesautos.com. Who knew? As for the word, it's one I'd have no hesitation in using in Conde Nast Traveler, if there were an appropriate and amusing reason to do so." Stephan Wilkinson

"I have an allegiance of sorts to TTAC, and your attack on it is, by extension, an attack on me. In the new media world, allegiances can be more difficult to establish than when the conglomeratized corporate media provided the only choices, but those new allegiances are much stronger… I suggest you leave the moral outrage to the political pressure groups. It's not your place to determine what TTAC should write or how it should report it." Glenn Peake

"The word vagina in a TTAC review. This is offensive? To BMW? You mean the company that is in a country that has brothels and sex clubs (ever been to Hamburg, for example) that defy human description?!" Jay Jacobs

"This dispute with BMW doesn't do BMW any credit. The crack about the vagina was wrong but they promised not to do it again. Give them another chance. Free speech can only be encouraged. Many Americans, Canadians, and Germans, gave their lives for it over the last century." John Shields

"Not satisfied with circumscribing automotive content within your market stream, you are now attempting to circumscribe speech and thought. What a sad state of affairs. What an unconstitutional attempt at censorship. What a farce." Mel Zelniker

"I must say you guys are often 'too cute'; trying to hard for a laugh or clever turn of phrase instead of just reviewing carmakers and cars. The flying vagina isn't offensive, it's just stupid; kind of like what you would have written in high school yearbooks. I think you should underreact to BMW and maybe – just maybe – try to write a little more maturely and soberly. Sure you can have fun, but don't try too hard." Ole Eichhorn

"You may believe that TTAC is in poor taste or vulgar, but I assure you, there is nothing more important than trust and your consumers need to believe that BMW is prepared to stand by its products and subject them to the harshest of journalistic inquiry." Geoff Rapoport

"Man, I was this close to spraying coffee all over my keyboard. Our editor-in-chief called the Mercedes-Benz B-Klasse a 'girly car' in a review last fall and MB has, guess what, cut off access to their test fleet in retaliation. These Germans, they still labor under the shadow of Bismarck." Peter Orosz

"Any other apt descriptions you guys would like to ban? Or is it that you object to female anatomies being integrated onto the historic phallic symbolism of the automobile in general? Or do you just secretly titter at naughty words, then wish they weren't in the dictionary for everybody else to see? Cheers, and see you at the next witch-burning-at-the-stake party." Don Nash

"I will only refer to my BMW 330I as my W 330I, because truthfully, the letters BM are objectionable. Furthermore, my girl friend really appreciated this new level of moral maturity when I referred to her, you know, V part, as her grill. And she now refers to my male organ as a tail pipe. Isn't this nicer? Thanks for you helping me to really see the truth and understand the consequences for using inappropriate language." David Marks

"You gotta be kidding me… VAGINA? Take the 530xi wagon off my short list… free speech matters more." Robert Kahn

"I used to drive Bimmers. Then this 'V' thing caught my attention. So I quit driving Bimmers and started driving one of these 'V' things. What am I talking about? My new Vette, of course. What did you think I was talking about?" Lance E Shaffer

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

More by Robert Farago

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 3 comments
  • Robert Farago Robert Farago on Jun 16, 2006

    I remember arriving at Bimmer's Munich HQ to pick up a press fleet motorcycle. My wife and I had packed a suitcase for our tour on the K100 RS. Obviously, we planned to transfer our clothes to the Beemer's panniers and leave the hard shell case there for our return. When the technician delivering the bike saw the case, he said "What are you going to do with that?" "We thought we'd just strap it on," I joked. We went off to break bread with the PR guy. When we returned... You guessed it: they'd strapped the case onto the back. Now I only mention this because companies, like people, have personalities. Or, in this case, not.

  • Mike1041 Mike1041 on Apr 05, 2023

    There is no indignation like Germanic indignation.

    ‘No test wagens for you schweinhundt! You vill nicht besmirch the the wagens off the vaterland’ !!!

  • Jonathan IMO the hatchback sedans like the Audi A5 Sportback, the Kia Stinger, and the already gone Buick Sportback are the answer to SUVs. The A5 and the AWD version of the Stinger being the better overall option IMO. I drive the A5, and love the depth and size of the trunk space as well as the low lift over. I've yet to find anything I need to carry that I can't, although I admit I don't carry things like drywall, building materials, etc. However, add in the fun to drive handling characteristics, there's almost no SUV that compares.
  • C-b65792653 I'm starting to wonder about Elon....again!!I see a parallel with Henry Ford who was the wealthiest industrialist at one time. Henry went off on a tangent with the peace ship for WWI, Ford TriMotor, invasive social engineering, etc. Once the economy went bad, the focus fell back to cars. Elon became one of the wealthiest industrialist in the 21st century. Then he went off with the space venture, boring holes in the ground venture, "X" (formerly Twitter), etc, etc, etc. Once Tesla hit a plateau and he realized his EVs were a commodity, he too is focused on his primary money making machine. Yet, I feel Elon is over reacting. Down sizing is the nature of the beast in the auto industry; you can't get around that. But hacking the Super Charger division is like cutting off your own leg. IIRC, GM and Ford were scheduled to sign on to the exclusive Tesla charging format. That would have doubled or tripled his charging opportunity. I wonder what those at the Renaissance Center and the Glass House are thinking now. As alluded to, there's blood in the water and other charging companies will fill the void. I believe other nations have standardized EV charging (EU & China). Elon had the chance to have his charging system as the default in North America. Now, he's dropped the ball. He's lost considerable influence on what the standardized format will eventually be. Tremendous opportunity lost. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Tassos I never used winter tires, and the last two decades I am driving almost only rear wheel drive cars, half of them in MI. I always bought all season tires for them, but the diff between touring and non touring flavors never came up. Does it make even the smallest bit of difference? (I will not read the lengthy article because I believe it does not).
  • Lou_BC ???
  • Lou_BC Mustang sedan? 4 doors? A quarterhorse?Ford nomenclature will become:F Series - Pickups Raptor - performance division Bronco - 4x4 SUV/CUVExplorer - police fleetsMustang- cars
Next