Is the DetN Biased Against Detroit?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
is the detn biased against detroit

Yes, I know: that's a bit like asking if Hillary Clinton believes in social Darwinism. But given the amount of grief TTAC receives for its purported "anti-GM' and "anti-Detroit" bias, I want to point out that we avoid editorial decisions that unfairly portray Motown's playas as incompetent. For example, we don't report every Big 2.8 recall (fairness would demand coverage of all recalls). And we take exception to the Detroit News column " Teacher is plagued by theft of 15 Chryslers." Neal Rubin's piece blithely calls Chrysler products "easy pickings." "Historically, says director Terri Miller of Help Eliminate Auto Thefts [HEAT], Chrysler 'has not been as proactive as other automakers at putting standard anti-theft devices in their vehicles.'" That's it? HEAT is a tip line that doesn't break down of thefts by manufacturer. Rubin also unfairly disses Chrysler's customer service. "Among Jenny's suggestions [emailed from Chrysler] was to park in 'lighted areas, garages or neighborhoods without a history of stolen vehicles activity, whenever possible.' 'Great," Fulton fired back. 'Are you going to drive me to work?'" (Nice 'tude.) In his conclusion, the writer casts aspersions on Chrysler's current security systems. "Most of all, she wonders about this new Sentry Key, an ignition immobilizer offered on every Chrysler product except the Dodge Viper since last year. The company says it's foolproof. Says Fulton, 'We'll see.'" I call hatchet job– which is what you won't see here.

[You are free to discuss TTAC's bias or lackthereof in this thread]

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4 of 8 comments
  • Jaje Jaje on Feb 19, 2008

    I think Chrysler has some of the best theft deterrent devices in the industry - by making their current lineup so poorly built and atrocious that no one wants them. It's the build the car like rubbish concept that keeps them completely anonymous to thieves (so that the Ford F.... things parked next to it have higher thievery demand).

  • 50merc 50merc on Feb 19, 2008

    Like they used to say about British cars: "Lucas electrics--the original anti-theft system."

  • Ralph SS Ralph SS on Feb 19, 2008

    As for the questioned asked: Is the Detroit News biased against Detroit? (assuming reference to the Detroit based auto manufacturers). I think they are between a rock and a hard place. Certainly, if I was looking for an unbiased appraisal of the Red Wings, I am not likely to find it in the DetN. Bias can come from what is said and what is NOT said. Obviously they are much closer to the Big 2.8 than they are to Toyota et al. So they really can't be fair due to a skewed system. And since the gloves have been taken off I would say that here at TTAC the same could be true. How much more access does TTAC have to the inner machinizations (sp?) of the big 2.8 than they do to others not based in this country. But I am convinced that TTAC, if harsh on Detroit, is so because they want them to be better and succeed.

  • Chaser Chaser on Feb 19, 2008

    I've never read the Detroit News so I can't comment on that. However, I have read a couple of lockpicking guides and they said Chrysler locks were good to learn on because they're very easy to pick. When I locked my keys in my Scion last year, the locksmith asked me who made the car. When I said Toyota, he groaned--said those were especially hard to jimmy open. Luckily (in this case) Scion lived up to the cheap rep, and a slim jim had it open in about 20 seconds.