Daily Podcast: Presented by… Me
I received a dozen emails today inviting me to check out Jalopnik's new sponsor. Sure enough, the words "Presented by Acura TSX" are now prominently displayed next to the site's name. While searching for the footnote "no definite article need apply," I noticed that Jalopnik is festooned with ads for the Acura TSX. So I called Gawker's main man, Ray Wert. I asked if the new deal is a New Deal for the site's editorial independence. Ray assured me the Acura gravy train would have "no effect whatsoever" on his ability to run "positive or negative coverage" of the manufacturer in general, or the model in specific. Ray pointed-out that "presented by" is not the same as "sponsored by." And Jalopnik launched with Audi's sponsorship (the TT reflected in the logo lollypop sucker's sunglasses). He said Audi never yanked Spinelli's chain. Only they did. And, eventually, after a negative review, bailed. Ray's got integrity all day. But it's not enough to BE independent. You have to avoid the APPEARANCE of being Acura's bitch. Those of you who know Ray will know that the aforementioned comment will assure the man's fierce examination of everything we do to sniff out the slightest whiff of hypocrisy. We welcome the scrutiny.