Chicago Auto Show Really, Really Hates Autoblog

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
chicago auto show really really hates autoblog
We love (if not admire) Autoblog's puppy dog enthusiasm for all things car. So the fact that they're on any side of a fight– any fight– is shocking. Yesterday we reported that Chicago Auto Show Internet Director Mark Bilek used his company's blog ( Showlopnik) to piss on blogs in general and mild-mannered Autoblog in specific. Autoblog kept stum about the e-contretemps, covering the show with their usual New York Timesian panache. But it seems like they can't do nothin' right. Here's, in its full sarcastic splendor, is another broadside from the Chicago Auto Show folk. This time it hails from Paul Brian, the Show's Director of Communications.

Dear AutoBlog. Amazingly, you don't seem to get it. You seem to think that auto shows are about the number of intros. Oddly enough, manufacturers, the ones who pay the bills to produce auto show, have a rather different perspective. They seem to think that auto shows are designed to make the connection between their marketing people and the public who have cash (and loans) to purchase those products. Gee, what a novel idea! Unfettered, unbeholden customers who are not on some company "X-Y-Z-A Plan" pricing for employees and suppliers. Real people. People who like big displays and the ability to view the industry in one place on one floor with the show industry's undisputed best place in which to display. You'll learn about it more when you move out of your mom's house. So, as self-absorbed as you might be, you might want to get cozy with the notion that it's really not all about you."

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  • Rodster205 Rodster205 on Feb 07, 2008

    I live in Alabama. If it weren't for blogs the only way I would know about the Chicago show at all is from very limited coverage in the near-death "car magazines" that I subscribed to as a kid pre-Internet. Not only can I see the intros (and other displays) thanks to the blogs, but I can go back and search/review them later. My screensaver at work is a slideshow of images (from Autoblog) of the Detroit show. I grew up wanting to go to one of the auto shows, there weren't any where I lived. Now I live in Birmingham, where our local show is decent but we only get a few 6 month old concepts. I was beginning to think that our show is just lame and maybe I should road-trip to see a "real" one. Now I know that I'm not missing anything other than some cold weather and a press clusterf***.

  • Johnster Johnster on Feb 07, 2008
    Virtual Insanity: Can someone please explain to me the -lopnik? Is it some internet term/phrase/meme that I’m just not up to date on? I’m still stuck on the owls and the lolcats. The word "Jalopnik" is a made-up word derived from the word "jalopy," meaning a "car," (often a hoopty, beater, old run-down car; or, conversely, a very fancy, mint-condition or unusual car) and the suffix "-nik." According to The Columbia Guide to Standard Written English the suffix "-nik" is Yiddish or Russian in origin, while a Wikipedia article claims that it is Slavic in origin. It is used to describe a person related to the thing, state, habit, or action described by the word to which the suffix is attached. Other words that use this suffix with similar meaning are: "beatnik, peacenik, and computernik." So, a "Jalopnik" is someone who is somehow related to "Jalopies," (someone who has, or likes, or is like a "Jalopy"). The nonce (made-up word) "Showlopnik" is a combination of the words "Show" and "Jalopnik" and would mean someone who is somehow related to Jalopy Shows (i.e. someone who attends, or puts on, or who is a fan of auto shows).

  • Stephan Wilkinson Stephan Wilkinson on Feb 07, 2008

    You're getting _way_ too arcane about the word jalopnik. The only important thing is that whatever its derivation or meaning, it is the name of an extremely popular existing automotive website/blog,, which means that while these Chicago Show PR guys are on the one hand deriding car blogs, on the other they have named their own blog by playing off the name of an existing car blog. Sort of like a group of angry, middle-aged feminists naming their blog, if ya get my drift. And no, please don't try to parse FILFhunter.

  • Johnster Johnster on Feb 07, 2008

    Well, Virtual Insanity did ask. Of course, he (or she) is virtually insane. Sometimes things get slow and I get bored at the reference desk.