Daily Podcast: One Step Ahead of the Shoe Shine
I don't normally read Car and Drivers' letters to the editor section. But the sub-head over a readers' missive caught my eye: "Is our BMW Bias Showing?" I'd just finished editing a comment accusing Justin of anti-BMW bias in his Infiniti G37 review. As a matter of policy, I delete any and all accusations of brand bias against TTAC from our comments' section. Although I recognize the importance of this issue (which a new writer will address in an editorial on Monday), these comments inevitably lead to rancor and flames. I always email the offender and invite them to discuss the issue via private email. In this regard, Car and Driver enjoys the luxury of both quarantine and unnatural selection; they publish what they like, edit it as they please and respond at will, without any chance of reprisal. So anyway, subscriber Dave Kress makes his case and asks "Were you guys born BMW biased or do you work at it?" Instead of denying the charge, it's "We work hard at it– Ed." Jim Lucas then chastises Car and Driver for not highlighting the new M3's high price. "Our job is to tell you how the car performs. Your job is to figure out what you can afford– Ed." Greg Williams upbraids C&D for inconsistencies in the mag's M3 stats. "Sounds like we've stumbled ino the Nerd City Internet Chat Room." And there I was thinking (some? most?) car dealers are the only auto biz folk who still treat their customers like shit.
@f8 Not to mention, you frequently see photos online before that copy of c&d even arrives in the mail.
Robert, I don't disagree with your general assessment of the "buff books." But fair is fair. You say you don't normally read Car and Driver's letters section. If you did, you'd know that responses to letters are intended as facetious and/or sarcastic humour. A regular reader who writes to CAD would not expect anything else. That kind of humour is typical of CAD, which has never taken itself too seriously. That's why, before the web, I preferred CAD to R&T or MT. You don't have to like CAD's brand of humour. But treating sarcasm and facetiousness as sincerity is much akin to quoting out of context.
fishiftstick : I was being facetious when I said I don't normally read C&D's letters to the editor section. How funny is that? Anyway, listen: I heart sarcasm. I snort sarcasm. I AM sarcasm. But I never direct my sarcasm towards my paying customers. That's just wrong.
As a long-time C&D subscriber (Jan 08 is THE end), they have for years made jokes at the expense of the writers, and for the last few years made jokes of the "reviews", the content of which appears to be simply re-written press release information. I got all exercised about it until I realized they were no longer in the editorial business, but were basically in the entertainment business. For me, when I want entertainment, I read a book or rent a movie; I get my fix of informative auto opinions on TTAC... Besides, perhaps Car and Driver have more business than they need!