By on March 4, 2009

Personally, I crossed the Rude-i-con a long time ago. After some soul searching, I’ve made peace with the fact that telling the truth about cars means poking our collective nose into those dusty hidden corners that are NOT on the official tour. But it’s clear that some of the more recent members of our commentariat are not willing grasp the rake that mucks. They’ve expressed their displeasure at our editorial tone. As usual, I’ve deleted comments that flame the site, or threaten to yank the thread towards introspection, rather than the subject at hand. Also as always, I’ve given them my full attention and consideration. Given the increasing number of “you’re a bunch of nasty negative fucks” remarks, I’m opening this thread for debate re: TTAC’s tone. Yes, yes, we all know there’s plenty of poisonous grist for our editorial mill. Even so, should we ease up? Are we fair but mentally unbalanced? This week, TTAC may crest 1m unique views per month (the autoblogosphere’s SAAR) for the first time in its history. But we can always do better. As Mayor Koch used to say, “How am I doin’?”

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173 Comments on “Ask the Best and Brightest: Is TTAC Too Negative?...”


  • avatar
    Robbie

    Not when it comes to the GM-Chrysler-Ford coverage; the rosy picture sketched in the other media is emperor-without-clothes type behavior.

    The somewhat woman-unfriendly tone of some articles you may want to change; for example, I think you do not want to have a term like “milf” anywhere in this website.

  • avatar
    Bancho

    Negative? Yes.

    Too negative? No.

    I’ve noticed some of the newer members complaining but honestly, they don’t present any arguments that prove the negativity unwarranted. Do I always agree with the negativity? No (I own a 2008 xB, ha! ) but I can respect the analysis and opinions and keep rolling.

    I’d prefer that the site *not* ease up. If I want the punches pulled, there are already plenty of other sites that cater to that.

    robbie:
    I think you do not want to have a term like “milf” anywhere in this website.

    I agree because that could cause confusion with the “Moro Islamic Liberation Front” (a radical group in the southern Philippines). I would prefer the term cougar if possible.

  • avatar
    mikeolan

    Yes. People can whine about how everyone else is putting on rose tinted glasses on a bad situation, but TTAC can turn into a bunch of whiny droning. C/D used to be known for striking the right balance, but they’ve been watered down to the point where they’re about as far off as TTAC is.

    But then again, what AM I talking about? This is a site where people whine about other people’s cars.

  • avatar
    Ronman

    As long as you’re saying the truth and your negative views are not based on a grudge then hell ya dont let them rest.

    but on another tone, we’re commenting and reading TTAC because we love the car and the industry that makes it , so a little “that’s what we think should be done”, would be great from time to time.

    I’ve said this before and i say it again, kick out the guys running GM and Chryco into the ground and replace them with abunch of guys from TTAC’s B&B.

    and Robert you doin just fine, in the current world of blinds, the man with one eye reigns supreme….. translation… as the automotive industry sinks, the critics get more ratings….

  • avatar
    aug1516

    I don’t think that you should change a thing. Some of the editorials to seem to be on the extreme end of things but it makes for interesting reading just the same. I like the fact that I can come to this site and get a totally different view on something compared to other auto news/blog websites.

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    Negative? Probably more often than positive.

    Too negative when it goes that way? Well, the boundries sometimes are a bit further out than needed to make the point.

    Critical of automotivia that is wearing no clothes? Yes. We’re going through a bad time right now. The opportunities to shine a light on the Dark Side are like shooting fish in a barrel.

  • avatar
    diaf

    I actually joined yesterday to point out the failure of Mr. Berkowitz’ post on VW’s sales decline. I thought he let his negativity get in the way of the facts. His bashing of the Rabbit as a “Golf with a stupid motor” obscured the fact that the 17% decline in VW sales is still pretty much head and shoulders above the rest of the industry, and VW turned a record profit last year.

    If he wanted to be negative, let’s talk about the 68% decline for Hummer, or the fact that only Subaru and Kia posted sales increases for the same time period.

    Haters blow.

    And for the record, the Rabbit is a Golf with a stupid name, not a stupid motor.

  • avatar
    nudave

    A wise man once observed that passion and intellect rarely coexist.

    Said another way – if I met a rabid dog, foaming at the mouth, I would not doubt his sincerity, but I wouldn’t want him as a friend.

  • avatar
    Beelzebubba

    TTAC is to automative journalism what Piper is to the Charmed Ones = Pessimistic, Surly, Uses Sarcasm (and Power to Blow Things Up) to cope with adversity…but also the voice of brutal honesty and reason. And she looks HOT thru it all, too! lol

    Can you tell guess what show is on TNT right now?

  • avatar
    jkross22

    This site has carved out an interesting niche in the blogosphere – you know, the truth. And the truth hurts. Sometimes. Especially over the last 12 months and what’s happened to the auto industry.

    Many people don’t like the truth. These types would rather hear a warmed over version of said truth to keep in their happy state. These folks also tend to have a thin skin for debate, and instead of a vigorous discussion, roll over and aim for the lowest common denominator – the accusation that “You’re mean/negative/unfair/rude/.” This is not a site for the dispassionate.

    Keep on keepin’ on.

  • avatar

    I like reading TTAC because you guys spit BITTER HATE at the products you don’t like – and you manage to do it in an unbiased way.

    When I see you actually praising something – I infer that it must be good.

    Some people don’t like brash reviews that don’t show a highly structured breakdown of each feature.

    I write reviews on Epinions.

  • avatar
    FromBrazil

    Mr. Farago:
    I think the site does a wonderful job as is. You know, if I wanted to read official press releases I’d just go to gmfastlane and such, and if I wanted to read half-baked semi-official blabbering I’d spend my time on other sites like autoblog or msn.

    However, I think that what newer members may be complaining about is that the site cuts absolutely no slack for those dim lights we can all see at the long end of the tunnel (CTS, Fusion, ‘Bu, new Taurus). Maybe what they want to see is you letting these little lights flicker for a while. Though I do agree that if we all become too complacent Ford and GM will revert to business as usual.

    And also, maybe, just to cheer them up, some negative meritless negative pieces on Jap Inc. (very tongue in cheek!!). I for one sometimes get very frustated at all the negative bullshit I read whenever Fiat comes up. If it riles me enough I write back (in a non-flaming way). Sometimes I ignore it. But all’s good for me. I can take it. What I’m saying maybe you shold throw some scraps of meat to the dogs sometimes.

    As to women, oh God! Please don’t be so politically correct. Love’em babes in bikinis;)Much better than Muppets characters!

  • avatar
    mattb

    you guys are the Gregory House of the auto news world: not always pleasant, but always right. keep doing your thing and I’ll keep reading.

  • avatar

    Too negative? Probably but then again in this economic downer how can you not be?

    My guess is that most of those comments come from employees of GM etc. The same ones that refuse to believe any complaints about their company or the cars they make.

    Remember all those comments about see you at Deathwatch 30,000 or GM will be around forever they’ll never go under. I do

    In the end we are what we are and I love this site.

  • avatar
    BMWfan

    Robert,

    I have been trolling this site for the last year and I felt that I had to register to comment on your question. The reason I like this site so much is because you pull no punches. I do not agree with all the reviews and comments, but I do agree with most. As other posters mentioned, If I want pablum, I can go to other sites that appear to be in some manufacturers back pocket. I offer you and your contributors thanks for an unbiased look at the automotive world. Keep up the good work!

  • avatar
    TaurusGT500

    TTAC’s tone?

    Hmmm… as with so many things in life the (thoughtful)answer is neither black nor white but varying shades of gray.

    Some days TTAC’s finely honed snark-o-meter hits the bulls eye squarely, skewering corporate and government nincompoops, bufoons, and crooks that dare gambol in front of its crosshairs.

    Other days? A bit heavy on the overly gleeful schadenfreude… (which then encourages the more linguistically/logically-challenged bloggers to come out of the woodwork).

    But, then again, one person’s cheap shot is another person’s righteous crusade for all that is good and fair and right in the world. (For example, I thought most JetGate commentary was unfair but at the same time I’m sure all the hypermilers here were having multiple mini-strokes over all the jet fuel being wasted).

    So, the answer? I dunno. I just wanted to work schadenfreude into a post.

    Seriously, keep up the good work. I can easily live with what I don’t like (~1.3%) balanced against all that I do like here (~98.7%).

  • avatar
    Mendicant Monitor

    As a non-automotive, non-financial type, I have learned more from this Website about the industry than any other source. As such, Mr. F. and his team should be commended for hosting this forum. The contributors impress me as a very learned group and I, for one, thank them for their submissions. You are educating more than a few of us. (“No”, I’m not an RF shill!)

    As far as a negative tone to the editorials and other contents, that is not the word I would use. Hard-hitting and without sugar coating would better describe what I read.

    I sense an undertone of frustration and anger in many of the opinions. This is easily understandable for anyone who follows the Detroit Three. One can only beat one’s head against the wall for so long regarding the resistance to change the dominates these three companies – management and labor.

    I have detected one undertone in the contributions that I find tragic and sad – despite everything. That is, that there would be some joy and relief if the Detroit Three would go belly-up. Mr. F has referred in past articles to the tragedy that such corporate destruction would have on thousands of families and communities. I would hope that realization and sentiment would remain in the forefront of the minds of site readers and contributors.

  • avatar
    autoemployeefornow

    It’s your website, do/say what you want. People will always disagree and complain when your opinion differs from theirs but isn’t that what your website is about. Talking about cars, good or bad. I don’t care what you report on, just don’t lie.

  • avatar
    RetardedSparks

    Well, you don’t want to turn into Autoblog now, do you?
    I don’t think the editorial tone is too negative, and as others have said the truth is sometimes very negative indeed.

    What crosses the line sometimes is the vicious frenzy that develops in the comments to mercilessly tear something to shreds. There seems to be a bit too much glee in it.

    Oh, and lose the politics, until you can demonstrate a party that is blameless in this whole mess.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    I like the site just the way it is. It’s a good balance to all of the press out there that refuses to report the truth either because it doesn’t fit their view of how things should be or because it would not be not financially rewarding to do so.

    My brother-in-law works for Delphi, and I would hate to see the US auto industry go under. However, it is the lack of truth in reporting that has allowed the morons at the top to run these huge manufacturers into the ground. Maybe if the truth had been out there 20 years ago, something could have been done to truly save these businesses (versus prop them up with tax dollars like some welfare program).

  • avatar
    Viceroy_Fizzlebottom

    If you don’t report the negative that would go against the whole goal of this site, which is to present the TRUTH about cars.

    Sure, sometimes the authors of this site can get a bit cynical; but it is entirely understandable given the situation at hand. How can you not be cynical when you read that the gov’t is taking your tax money to prop up failed businesses? (and not just in the automotive business, HELLO AIG, how was that 61 billion dollar Q4 loss?)

  • avatar
    zoneofdanger

    The tone is why people visit the site. For nicey-nicey, there is Motor Trend.

  • avatar
    chris123

    Robert, not necessarily too negative. I appreciate your effort to call it like it is. I think that sometimes you become frustrated with being the lone voice in the wilderness and can come across as strident, but not unfair.

    What I do miss from earlier iterations of the site are the literate vehicle reviews. You still have them, but not as many as you used to. You need to break up the news and editorial content more.

  • avatar
    brickthick

    My thoughts mirror Lumbergh21. Keep it the way it is. If the newbie’s can’t handle it, they can go back to reading Autoblog.

  • avatar
    FishTank

    Interesting question.

    One would assume this site was born of having seen too much fluff and sugar-coating of the “issues”, and a need for a more “objective” view of things. It’s hard to sit idly by and listen to damage-controlling diatribe without feeling a need to counter that or offer your side.

    I look at it like this – you praise where you see fit just as often as you damn, so what’s the issue? Both for and against arguments are well-informed, passionate and entertaining. You’re obviously doing something right. Your numbers are up and the economic timing is right.

    As for the “complainers” – I actually read in one of the posts that somebody thought sports cars/cars in general were a stupid pursuit – telling of how some of the new visitors just don’t “get it”

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    No, you are not too negative, but your negativity is fully used covering D3 issues. Sure, they have given plenty of ammunition to use, and they deserve (mostly) what you have attacked them with. Their management is abysmal and deserve being called out on the mat. I suggested that my father dump GM stock a long time ago and, after discovering this site, reminded him again. His response both times was that GM was too big, couldn’t happen. Good ol dad, such a blue chipper.

    However, one would think after reading here for awhile that there is not a single D3 product worth owning, save the ‘Vette, any maybe the CTS. And you would think that all foreign car companies are like Honda and Toyota. If you put Honda and Toyota on top and D3 on the bottom, there is a lot of “in between” that does not get too much coverage. What is TTAC going to do when GM and Chrysler dies?

    Sum it up here: Not too negative, but not balanced. Investigate other companies with the same vigor as Detroit; there is plenty to be found. I expect the “it has to be good, it’s imported” from people who know nothing about cars; I don’t expected here.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    I’m sure that most of the comments labeling TTAC as negative are related to the bailout coverage, so I’ll focus on that.

    Lets look at the assumptions that people on both sides of the issue start with:

    The Detroit Automaker Apologists:

    -Detroit is hanging by a string, with only the automotive industry left. If that goes away then there is nobody in Detroit smart and entrepreneurial enough to replace it.

    -Standing on a line doing work that a robot or a Chinese peasant could do is all the human potential that UAW workers have.

    -The auto industry is the pinnacle of US technology and R&D.

    -Nobody can do a better job than the managers that ruined the Detroit automakers.

    -Customers are too stupid to buy from a company that is official “bankrupt”, even if the company and its warranties are backed by the government during reorganization.

    -Customers are too stupid to realize that GM and Chrysler are already bankrupt, and will fail the second that government aid is taken away. Because of that incremental government aid is the best way to keep the zombies walking.

    TTAC:

    -The US legal framework that has been put in place to deal with failed companies should be respected with regard to the auto companies. The US should respect the rule of law like the notoriously non-corrupt Scandinavian countries like Sweeden (which let Saab go Ch. 11) do.

    -The US has a huge number of successful engineering, biotech, pharmacy and information technology companies with strong exports. Our country’s greatest minds are not tied to the fate of the Detroit automakers.

    I don’t know, it looks like the Detroit automaker apologists are much more negative people.

  • avatar
    bucksnort

    Your texting acronyms are not offending us over 60 readers. We don’t know what most of them mean.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    TTAC should be a more “hopeful” site.

    TTAC should accept that these problems in the American auto industry are not problems too big for American taxpayer pocketbooks to overcome.

    TTAC should smile more and criticize less the policies and practices the management of America’s vital manufacturing base and those ever poorer taxpayers who will save them – if not by their consumerism, then by legislative rapacious budgetary fiat.

    ;-}

  • avatar
    ScottMcG

    I’m happy with the current level of bile – there are plenty of places I can go to get sugar coating or press releases.

    Open and honest discussion of the auto industry is a good thing, and I can’t help but think that if the auto makers themselves were more open to this level of honesty that they would be in somewhat better shape now.

    I’d like to see more reviews, but I can see that it’s not as easy for you guys – the makers aren’t exactly going to line up to spoon feed you eval cars. The reviews of older cars are really cool though, and I’d like to see more of those. Hell, I’ll write those too if you’ll publish them.

    So keep it up. The bluntness is what keeps me coming back.

  • avatar
    garllo

    Sometimes it’s refreshing to see someone ,anyone, tell it like it is!

  • avatar
    bill h.

    It’s about cars, after all.

    Brings out the passions we have about them, mixed with the aftereffects of testosterone poisoning (pace ladies on the site). Every day I read stuff here that makes me think “what PLANET are these jokers from?!” both in the postings and the comments. And I’ll bet I’m not alone in that sentiment.

    But we keep coming back. It’s a drug after all, but one that’s a lot less harmful than the stuff they’re fighting over in places like Mexico.

  • avatar
    gusplus

    Unlike many news outlets, this site wears its hat at a jaunty tilt, smokes cigars and has a serious case of smart-ass. That’s why I’m here.

  • avatar

    I feel TTAC has been very negative about dealers lately.

  • avatar
    mikey

    All of the above.Is TTAC negative?Yeah without a doubt TTAC is negative,but it is what it is.One needs to spend some time here before one can judge

    The GM bashing can wear a little thin.At first glance one might think that TTAC is cheering on the demise of the domestics.TTAC has denied such acusations,and I do believe that RF is sincere when he states that TTAC would love to see the domestics prosper.

    The same can’t be said for some of the commentators.Though the domestic supporters are given lots of room for self defence.

    Negative?sure,but if ain’t broke,why fix it.

  • avatar

    I personally think sometimes that the reviews are a bit too harsh, or fail to take into account a real cost/value proposition. The truth is that even the most basic of cars is a glory of engineering and human achievement, and cars today are substantially more powerful, comfortable and safe than they have ever been before. Occasionally when reading an extra-harsh review it will seem that the writer has become carried away with the brand or car-bashing.

    I personally believe that despite the shortcomings, cars are marvelous machines and driving them is one of the best parts of our current human experience. It’s all a bit rosy, but I’m predisposed to give cars a break, so sometimes things come across a bit overcritical.

  • avatar
    RichardD

    Imagine asking this question one year ago. How many people in the comments do you think would have said TTAC was too negative? How many would consider it absurd to suggest GM was on the verge of collapse?

    Sometimes, negative is right.

  • avatar
    FromBrazil

    @no_slushbox

    Totally agree with you and this may be off topic, but… I think the industry and the people, communities etc. built around them need a chance. “Everybody’s doin’ it so should we” is not an argument, but at this moment…Get rid of the top management and give them a chance. I think it’s worth it.

  • avatar

    No problem with the level of negativity, I’d just try to dial back on what GT500 refers to as the “gleeful schadenfreude.”

  • avatar
    h82w8

    Don’t change a thing, Mr. Farago. You do a great service in countering today’s chokingly obsequious, politically correct BS – driven media. Negativity to one man is honesty and forthrightness to another, and the latter is what you provide and what sets TTAC apart.

    Far too many people today simple can’t handle the truth, and refuse to accept reality for what it is and what it implies. Those who feel TTAC’s artfully blunt prose is too “negative” should either go elsewhere, or start their own “kinder gentler” blog.

  • avatar
    sjd

    Too negative? No. Cynical? For sure, which is why I come back every day. I do think you’ve gotten more negative as the site has seemed to move away from honest car reviews to more a critical blog site. I know that it’s probably hard for you to get press cars or get invited on press junkets but I miss the honest reviews you used to do. They are too few and far between now. I don’t care for the older car reviews either.

    I work in the auto industry and there are many of us who can’t seem to see fault and want to maintain the status quo. However things are changing and no one can stop that.

  • avatar
    holydonut

    I think the only time things get “too negative” are when you post late at night drunk and your Mr. Hyde takes over and ratchets the negativity to eleven.

    Like those relentless “what is wrong with this picture” posts. The one with a Porsche parked in front of a Home Depot is just a photo. You would never think to post a “what is right with this picture” with a picture of 65 Vette parked in front of ice cream stand.

    And the tirades against Bob, Bob, and Rick are usually good examples of the extreme negativity.

    To me, the most horrible one occurred when you basically accused the patrons of the Dream Cruise in Detroit as being ignorant because they liked classic cars (I’m sure you used other adjectives, but the point of your message was not lost).

    But as it stands most of the time your tone is reasonable and sets the stage for the site – which is great. But I would suggest you avoid the late-night anger posts.

  • avatar
    7

    You can’t always look at the bright side of life, can you ?

    TTAC might be “negative”, but isn’t the whole world a bit negative these days ?

  • avatar
    MBella

    Is TTAC negative right now? Yes. The thing is, TTAC covers cars and the auto industry. Right now, not many positive things are happening. The editorials that don’t relate to the industry help balance things out, ie the Chrysler Convertible editorial. It’s not like you can just start talking about how nice and rosy things are going. Times suck right now for the auto industry as a whole, and you really can’t change that unless you start to loose quality and become the Detroit News/ Free Press.

  • avatar
    nearprairie

    Please continue mukraking with a pointed stick. What this site truly needs is a text editor.

  • avatar
    Orian

    Leave it as is – most people view the truth as negativity or as being hostile when it really isn’t. As a society we’ve been trained to accept media blurbs and marketing as the way things are when in fact entire infrastructures have been rotting away behind the facade.

    This site has been putting out the facts of what was going on behind the the scenes at the US manufacturers for years and predicting much of what is now happening…all the while being blasted for being “negative” or for having a grudge against the domestics. Seems to me that if this site really wanted to see the domestics fail they never would have pointed out the problems in the first place.

  • avatar
    bjcpdx

    When negative stuff is happening, honest reporting will seem negative to some.

    We need more reality-based sources, not fewer. Don’t change.

    BTW, try as I might, I can’t figure out what I’m supposed to be looking at in the photo above. Will someone please enlighten me?

  • avatar
    BDB

    The only thing that grates sometimes is too much politics, and even that is usually confined to the comments section.

    Also just (maybe once in a while?) post about how Detroit is doing something right. Because sometimes they do.

  • avatar
    pobaoill

    I am a news junkie and a gear head. I have worked for Toyota Financial and a few dealers of the same brand. My sole GM vehicle was a hopped up Trans Am during high school. Needless to say I moved on.

    I take a sadistic pleasure from seeing the current plight of domestic automakers.

    Still, I would never use an article found on this site as basis for logical/fair minded/non bias conversation with others due to the site’s historical tone towards these firms. In my opinion TTAC represents just another media source from which to draw your own conclusions. The “truth”, in this case, represents an extreme view. It should not be taken as a sole basis for generating individual opinion.

  • avatar
    Caffiend

    The Truth sometimes hurts like that.

    There have been times I question reviews don’t seem to jive with the star ratings. The GT-R as a 3 star overall, doesn’t jive with the write up. Nor does the latest Accord review read as a 4 star car. But on average, that isn’t a problem.

    At times, it seems writers are looking to cast a product in a negative light, and find strange things to bring up in support. Like the power outlet cover on the TL. Seriously? That car was uninspired, but 1 star? That’s an example of the worst on offer? So would you give Chrysler Sebring a minus three?

  • avatar

    mattb :
    March 4th, 2009 at 10:33 am

    you guys are the Gregory House of the auto news world: not always pleasant, but always right. keep doing your thing and I’ll keep reading.

    mattb +1

    Furthermore, I find myself in the exact same camp as RF: Desiring a Big 3 (or 2) turnaround, and pissed off because they can’t seem to get anything right!

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    RF,

    You are what you are. There are plenty of automotive news and op/ed sites where the tone and manner are considerably less caustic, why be one of them?

    Some of your posts drive me nuts and piss me off but I keep coming back for more. Keep up the um, good work.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I think TTAC is right on the mark. I’m tired of reading some other online pubs that just drink the Kool-Aid without a critical eye, although they have their place, too.

  • avatar
    TaurusGT500

    Mendicant Monitor: …. that there would be some joy and relief if the Detroit Three would go belly-up.

    Mr MM very artfully nailed what I was trying to say with my “gleeful schadenfreude” comment.

    Skewering the D3 for every dumb, stupid, and generally unwise decision they’ve ever made – and continue to make – is fair game. This site is refreshing in its mission to pull off the blinders and call it like it really is.

    What bothers me, along with Mr MM, is the unfettered joy that seems to comes from so many of the bloggers here at the prospect of three large companies, located in one small area, ceasing to exist.

    I’m sitting here watching the figurative storm clouds roll over MI and at Ground Zero it’s not pretty. We may deserve what’s coming but it’s not a whole lot of fun.

    Trying to find an apropos metaphor; I’m thinking it must be kind of what it was like in late 2001 if you were a goatherder/part-time Taliban lookout when waves of US Warplanes made the sky go dark.

    You may not have known the diff between a bald eagle and a Screaming Eagle but you probably had a pretty fair idea things weren’t going to end well.

    Probably not a perfect analogy but that’s kind of like how it feels here.

  • avatar
    clive

    Does every other article have to have “fuck” or “shit” somewhere in it? I’m not being prudish, but using profanity too often just dilutes the message.

    Articles trying to make intelligent, well-researched and thought out points (as they usually are on TTAC) about the industry can surely come up with better words than a 5th grader.

  • avatar

    @ BDB:

    Can you please give a few examples of what the Big 3 have done RIGHT recently (that TTAC missed)?

  • avatar
    Stu Sidoti

    No…TTAC is not too negative.

    But…many of the ‘replys’ are.

  • avatar
    br549

    Here’s my $.02:

    I think TTAC is absolutely over-the-top negative, sarcastic, jeering, glass-completely-empty, etc. in its coverage of the auto industry. But, hey, that’s what TTAC does, and I can’t resist visiting this doom-soaked sanctuary on a daily basis.

    However…

    I recogonize that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who realize they are wearing interpretive lenses, and those who think they’re the only ones who aren’t. B&B, I love you guys, but your blacked-out, gargoyle incrusted specs are planted firmly on your faces every bit as much as the rose-colored variety are perched on the noses of Detroit apologists.

    Examples…

    Chrysler builds, according to Consumer Reports, the SUV with the HIGHEST residual value of any in the U.S. Their CUV, the Journey, outsells the Ford Flex. The Japanese are now rumbling about gov’t aid. Etc, etc. Just a few items not trumpeted very loudly around here.

    This whole discussion reminds me of a poll the editors of Slate.com conducted among its staff. It found that @95% of its people consistently voted Democratic. Their take? That’s great because that gives them the moral authority to critique liberals. If Slate is down on the progressive crowd, then something must really be amiss.

    This applies, conversely to TTAC and the auto industry in general. You play a part, fill a slot, what have you, and anyone with a modicum of intelligence will realize that before clicking the mouse.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    These are indeed some interesting times. I would say that the last couple of years and the years following this could very well be the most interesting times the car industry has had at least for some 30 years or so, since the japanese explotion. Or perhaps since the turmoil of the second world war, and the dividement of the world, where the american companies ruled supreme on the homefront, and the english companies ruled supreme globally. Mid fifties, the english where the worlds largest exporters of cars, just because everybody else catered for their home market and nothing else. What will come out of these recent turmoils could very well change the foundation of this industry as we know it.

    The point is, TTAC is the ONLY place, where discussions can be held, with no bars hold. The frustration noticed, is all about the the spin, all the constant bullshit and the lack of seeing the king as he really is, with no clothes, that pervades the ENTIRE car industy, and the ENTIRE media. TTAC is the watershed there isn’t anywhere else.

    And as is, the discussions may be negative, but that is only mirroring what is or is not happening elsewhere. The tone could be described as negative sometimes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. The negativity felt is felt for a reason, and it has to be expressed. TTAC has, as said earlier, cut itself a nice little corner of the blogosphere. And whatever comes out of it, as long as the TTAC:ish spirit of it pervails, it will continue to do so, until all truhts are told. Take the spirit away, and it’s gone. As long as TTAC stands true to its spirit, I will be here, and so will everyone else, I hope. TTAC has always been a take it or leave it-kinda place. If you don’t like it, then go somewhere else. If you feel the need of talking some sense into people, then try to do so. It is what it is, it is what you make of it.

    In short, continue as is. The path is set, stay true on course. It’s the right way to go. Never change a winning formula. Vagina-faced cars be damned…

  • avatar
    Kurt.

    I would think that if we were in boom times in the auto industry with a new 911 or Ferrari or American supercar coming out every month, great small cars to talk about, comfortable classy sedans that perform yet make us look sofistictated to our clients; TTAC would bbe as cheary and as gleeful as every other new outlet.

    Unfortunately, we are not in a boom time. We are in an economic melt down and not even the release of the long promised Camero on April Fools Day will bring a smile to our faces (although finding out the Gremlin was intro’ed same day almost brought a chuckle).

  • avatar
    BDB

    @MgoBLUE

    Sure, just recently it was said that Hyundai Genesis sales were “chugging along” at 1,263 units sold. This was mentioned in the Hyundai sales post.

    In the Ford sales post, there was no mention of the MKS selling 1,364 units despite it being targeted at the same market as the Genesis.

  • avatar
    07Frontier

    Your tone is a bit negative, but it hasn’t stopped me from reading you. As others have noted, if I wanted only butterflies and happiness, I would read the manufacturers’ press releases and websites.

    But I could do without the R rated language. IMO, cursing just shows one’s limited vocabulary skills. RF, you have a wonderful command of the English language. The cursing just demeans you, and this site. You can easily get your point across without it.

  • avatar

    Having grown up reading the regurgitated ad copy in the mainstream buff books, this is a valid reaction. TTAC does not need to worry too much about pissing off the “mother ship” from whence all test cars come, along with (back in the day) that trip to Cannes to test drive the car, spouse included.

    Instead, we beg, borrow and steal.

  • avatar

    In the past, if you wanted to know what was lacking in a car, you needed to read the test of the replacement car. For example, “The last belchfire 8 had squishy brakes which didn’t match the rest of the car”, or “the unfortunate engine block replacement program” of the last model, which is why the Belchfire has a new engine design”

    None of which ever saw the light of day pre internet otherwise save a very few enthusiast groups.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Too negative, not generally. Missing some targets which deserve more scathing coverage: You bet. The situation is analogous to the one Warren Buffet wrote recently (in his case, business opportunities for Geico): “As we view GEICO’s current opportunities, Tony and I feel like two hungry mosquitoes in a nudist camp.”

    Mercedes-Benz, for example, has been screwing up badly for many years now and has not figured out how to effectively counter the challenge mounted by Lexus in the important US market, but we haven’t covered that very much here. So not too negative, but perhaps too narrowly focused.

  • avatar
    FromBrazil

    @MgoBLUE

    Not wanting to defend Detroit but:
    CTS, CTS-V, Corvette ZR6, Malibu, OnStar, even maybe the Impala is defensible for some uses. New Fusion, new Taurus, Flex, the Synch thing.

    Very few but these are glimmering spots of light.

  • avatar
    nearprairie

    Grammatical correction to my previous post: Please continue raking muck with jagged, pointed tines.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    Of course this site is too negative. I view TTAC as right-wing extremism masquerading as “truth” so you don’t have to be responsible to anyone but yourselves, and pretend that all other viewpoints are wrong.

    Your car reviews are particularly awful. I’ve driven quite a few cars, and it’s been a while since I’ve driven something absolutely awful (Honda Fit *ahem*), but I find that automotive reviews are for the most part useless because they don’t consider my set values in purchasing a car. I’ve driven the Acura RL, which you’ve given 1 star; while it’s not my cup of tea, it’s not a bad car. You’re like a Dan Neil or James Healey, making a big deal out of nothing. I’m still waiting for you to trash your next car because the key fob is too big.

    I only come here because you’re the only site (other than CanadianDriver.com and Insideline.com)that has a daily turnover of content. Now, I just scan the headlines, because I already know what you have to say before you say it.

  • avatar
    Sanman111

    Is TTAC negative? Yeah, I think there is a generally negative tone. However, I also think that it is within reason. I mean are there really that many debates to be had where everyone agrees and the outcome is universally positive? The news about the car industry certainly isn’t positive (Perhaps a ‘Ford only slips 48 percent in sales’ headline???).

    As for the Deathwatch series, can we go back and say that you’re wrong about it? I think that Alan Mullaly has been given credit and the fact that he is still attempting to navigate a damaged ship out of icy waters is true.

    I guess that you could cut some slack to cars in the reviews as everything is built to a price, but I do like to know where corners are being cut.

    I’ve been here a while and seem to keep coming back, so you’ve obviously done right by me.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    Cars, for many people, are emotional and irrational. This is particularly true for Americans who equate car ownership with freedom. And, to be sure, there are a lot of choices out there, domestic and foreign, seemingly one for almost every taste. What frightens me more than anything else is that the collapse of the Detroit automakers will carve huge swathes of choice out of the market. I realize that this is, perhaps, and irrational fear but there it is.

    Now to answer the question. Truth is hard. We need to hear it. But there is the issue of malaise resulting from addiction to bad news. I see this as a major factor in prolonging the economic mess. Never underestimate the power of fear.

    Hey, Toyotas are great cars. For most people. But they leave me absolutely cold. The same goes for Honda and Lexus. I had the opportunity to test drive a Charger R/T (with the Hemi) the other week and I found that there was a hell of a lot to like about it. I seriously considered buying it. Who makes cars like that? Not Toyota or Honda. Or anyone except Detroit. If we lose that choice, the world will be a poorer place.

  • avatar
    Stein X Leikanger

    When did truth become negative?

    There’s a spectrum – from correct to delusional. Too much of the discourse is in neutral to delusional territory, and anyone straying into saying things as they are is charged with being negative, when they’re actually just pointing out the obvious: “No, you can’t build cars at a loss for five years running, 9 million cars each year, and pretend you’re doing OK.”

    Oh, don’t be so negative.

  • avatar
    dilbert

    If the truth hurts, then hurt them!

    I’m sick and tired of zero depth, no balls game that the big media outlets play with the automakers that are taking tax payer money. Hit them hard, be the voice of the disgruntled. If we wanted to hear fake niceties, I’ll turn on the TV or something.

    Besides, it’s working out nicely for you isn’t it?

    Edit: negativity against cars, car companies, and incompetent management is ok, but don’t play stereotypes against minorities and women or India or China or other religions, or the Russian mafia. Ok, eff the Russians because they suck, but you know, be nice to the other people.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    Introspective threads like this are the evidence that TTAC will never stray off course. Tell me another place, where the readers has this much input? Taking the liberty of saying: “I don’t always know best. I don’t always know the right way.” is what separates true leaders from psychopatic wannabes. The point is, a good leader listens to the crowd, but that doesn’t necessarily means he has to go where the crowd points. It just means he has the ability to take in information from all fronts, before he makes the right deciscion. I have noticed these kind of threads now and then, and it is good. Asking yourself “Is this the way to go?” is a good question.

  • avatar
    Jared

    Yes, I think the tone is too negative and at times the level of reporting is poor. The whole Chrysler jet-gate story is one bright example — your negative view led you to try to create a negative story where there was none.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    I’ve been a regular reader for a few years and it seems to me that the tone has become more negative that it used to be. It’s easy to be negative when the global economy is in the state it’s in. The challenge right now would be to find some good news actually. But the main reason I come here is for the reviews, not the editorials. And the reviews are as good as ever and seem, as always, an honest opinion of the reviewer, nothing more or less, which is what I enjoy regardless of whether or not I agree.

  • avatar
    Jason

    I think TTAC is in danger of becoming Simon Cowell. He used to say “cruel” things because he didn’t curb his honesty, and he became known for it. Now, he’s a character of himself and he says cruel things because he’s “Simon Cowell”, who says cruel things, and if he truly thinks these things is no longer the point. It’s just a role now.

    So, yeah, I often find myself thinking that TTAC is now straying away from the truth to just playing the bad-ass, fair or not to the subject at hand.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    “The challenge right now would be to find some good news actually.”

    Good news for good news sake? That’s telling a lie. If the truth is that there’s an awful lot of bad news happening, then, the truth be told. I’m sure that when real good news turns up at the end of the tunnel, they will be told.

  • avatar
    roadster

    The question is as rhetorical as it can get, you already knew the reaction: ease it up and you’ll probably lose 70% of your audience.

  • avatar
    LKre

    I was born in the USSR and came to the US at age of 25. The names of Buick and Chevrolette were dreamy, galactic words behind the Iron Curtain. They implied utter, forbiden fruits of capitalism. The managers of these companies destroyed those dreams; they destoyed what Americans think of as a birthright. I drove Pontiac G6 for a month last year, while my Accord was in a shop due to an accident, so, as a reader, I suggest you continue with your absolutely sadistic coverage of GM and Chrysler.

  • avatar
    dew4au

    I’ve been following this site for some time now; somewhere around the time the bailout watch first started. I seem to remember more car reviews mixed in with the D3 criticism back then. Some of the posts I’ve seen lately were borderline rants. (Car dealers suck) I still really like this site, but I think it has become more negative.

    I agree with Jason somewhat. Just make sure you don’t turn into the Simon Cowell and everything will be OK.

  • avatar
    Bancho

    Just imagine how incredibly positive things will get in 2010 when all the new vehicle intros happen! That year will be truly magical!

  • avatar

    Not all Big 3 doom and gloom: CTS-v: 5 stars. CTS (Take Two): 4 stars. CTS: 4 stars. 2009 Chevrolet Corvette Z51: 4 stars. 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible: 4 stars. Malibu: 4 stars. 2009 Ford F-150: 4 stars. 2010 Ford Mustang GT: 4 stars.

    Although, FromBrazil, I would not consider OnStar a positive.

    Perhaps BDB is correct in saying, “In the Ford sales post, there was no mention of the MKS selling 1,364 units despite it being targeted at the same market as the Genesis.” and perhaps acknowledging that Chrysler is at least putting some of our money they got towards incentives to get rid of their cars is a good thing.

    Overall, though, I think TTAC does well.

  • avatar
    Raskolnikov

    I come to TTAC almost daily for a unique spin on automotive news, but often I am turned off by the “let’s dig deep for any reason to lambast Detroit” stance often taken by the writers and commentators. (This was going on long before the bridge loan/bailout extravaganza).

    “The truth about cars” is also comprised of facts and stats about what cars and their manufacturers are doing well. Even in this current global recession, nay, sin repayment we’re experiencing there are nuggets of goodness from even the most subfusc corners of automobiledom, yes, even Detroit. May I suggest that instead of digging for lead all the time, you dig for gold once in a while?

  • avatar
    chitbox dodge

    i am with many that say “leave it be”.

    ive shown this site to a few others who have become irritated at me since. they all view this site as being negative to domestic makes, but my reply is “what is there to be positive about?”

    the truth will always be the millstone to any pathologically positive person’s neck. if no one else has noticed, or cared to notice, weve been fed a constant base of positive thinking will get you out of any jam for at least 20 years now.

    its how you get people to go into work everyday, even though they havent recieved an appreciable pay raise in 15 years.

    its how you get people to accept that maintenance of an empire that drags a nation into economic despair is acceptable.

    its how you get people to never realize their money is genuinely worthless.

    it makes people think they have the highest standard of living in the world even though reality is completely different.

    it makes people feel they can reasonably expect to be paid double what they paid for a home in just one year.

    its what makes people think that banks, stocks, and commodities exchangers know whats best for america and americans in general.

    i could go on and on, but you get my point. i for one love this site just the way it is. its a small, bic-lighter-sized beacon of truth, in a nation/world thats overwhelmingly in denial.

  • avatar

    I feel like the only companies doing anything wrong are GM and Chrysler. Sure, they’re up shit’s creek, and I’m better informed due to this site, but how about some of the garbage (political, managerial, or sheetmetal) coming out of Asia and Europe? Last I checked, Mitsubishi still wasn’t doing so hot in the states, Mercedes is only recently making cars worthy of the name again, and the Brits can’t sell cars here profitably (unless the Germans have control). Sure, there’s a jab here and there, but problems are problems, right? Truth isn’t restricted to Detroit, yes?

    The coverage does have that “this is the truth because I say it” feel, as though the level of imparted bias is amped up rather than toned down. I don’t come here for the truth, I come here for the viewpoint. While there’s truth to what’s said here, harping on telling the truth is akin to Fox News claiming to be “Fair and Balanced” when they’re just as unfair and unbalanced as any other “news” source. I love the mission, but I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve stopped gaining any new insight from about 75% of the articles in the last year or so.

    All said, I come back daily (still), but I don’t read everything that’s posted any more. Or post comments.

  • avatar
    dilbert

    I think you’ve been too harsh on Tesla though, no, they are not perfect, but at least give them props for doing something new, that very few people have been willing to do.

    If everyone just remembered that it’s easy to be a critic and 100 times harder to be the doer, then we are all good.

    I’m not saying to be hush hush about Tesla’s failures or shortcomings, but the tone has been a bit over the top for what they are.

    Detroit coverage however, you can twist the knife even more and I would be happy to read them and link them to friends.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    Hit GM and Chrysler until it hurts.

  • avatar
    davey49

    I don’t think TTACs editorial is negative but the commenters are a cranky bunch. A lot of casual readers assume that commenters on a blog equals editorial policy.
    I would accuse TTAC of having no nostalgia about car history or being car fans.

  • avatar
    heaven_on_mars

    Too negative, maybe at times, but TTAC is not proclaiming to be “Balanced” like the very unbalanced Fox News Channel. At least this site is willing voice their raw opinion. No water down of views for fear of pissing off a sponsor.

    Anyone reading the articles on this site would be foolish to make this their only source on a topic. I love seeing a variety of opinions in the media. If everyone was the same, then I would say the world is in deep trouble.

    For the sake of keeping the world safe, keep calling like you see it, even if some do not like raw delivery that TTAC takes at times.

  • avatar

    Mr. Farago, et al –

    You (and your ‘negative’ tone) do a great service for those that love cars as well as those that make them. Even if some do not always appreciate the honesty as it occasionally slips into slanderous bile territory – that is a small price for having our palate cleansed from the constant barrage of bulls&#t normally seen in the automotive press.

    That your portion of reward is complaints and recriminations is unfortunate – but should not slow you from your stated mission.

    Great work!

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    I’m happy with TTAC as it is. I’ve been reading car magazines for more than 30 years. And for more than 30 years, I’ve read copy that goes like this:
    “The new National Motors Columbia is a fantastic car. We like the sound of the engine, etc.”

    Three years later, “The second version of the National Motors Columbia is much improved over the past version. We hated the seating position. The engine thrummed like a hummingbird on acid….”

    In other words, it was a piece of junk, but we had to tell you otherwise, or we’d be out of work.

    The number of times I’ve read an honest, from the heart piece in any of the car magazines has been few and far between. I can think of a very honest Jamie Kitman rant about Saab. I can think of a very in-depth article about helmets, ratings and price in “Motorcyclist” that cost them a bunch of accounts.

    But that’s all I can think of.

    So keep at it. I’m really tired of the Main Stream Media’s lack of performance on Carmageddon.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    It is hard not to be negative about cars and the OEMs these days.

    The cars are bloated, ugly, and over gadgeted. I have been trying to think of single line of automobiles that is better now than it was in prior years, and I can’t.

    The OEMs are a disaster area. GM and Chrysler are bankrupt Ford is close and even the Japanese companies are bleeding.

    Robert: You were brave to start the Death Watch, 3 years ago. Now you are a prophet. Keep up the good work.

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    Raskolnikov said most of it for me.

    TTAC gets interesting when exploring other areas of the Industry, or offering multiple opinions. “Car Dealers Suck” was enlightening, and the second take reviews give another viewpoint of a tested car.

    Why not explore more auto politics/events of Europe, China, automotive R&D, advertising? Those help set TTAC apart from the others.

  • avatar
    austinseven

    SOMEBODY has to counter balance the bottom feeders such as AJAC and Motor Trend. Ustabe Sweet Pete, but he’s given up, I think. What’s noticeable is the irrelevance that creeps in when it’s a slow news day. Better not to report it if it’s just one big yawn. But DON’T change the tone, it’s fine the way it is. After all, who else is going to point out that the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes?

  • avatar
    asickmf

    wah wah wah. it’s an editorial blog about automobiles and the auto industry. you don’t like it don’t fucking read it. if you don’t like the damn OPINION of the writer that does not mean it is WRONG. let the babies leave.

    Every comment here that thinks it’s too negative on ttac, is someone who just doesn’t agree with the opinion of the bloggers or lives in some fantasy world where no one’s feelings get hurt and no one has consequences for their actions. me i like the world where someone has the balls to speak their unbiased opinion, good or bad, agree or disagree.

    Raskolnikov – “May I suggest that instead of digging for lead all the time, you dig for gold once in a while?”

    Maybe these guys are just digging for the TRUTH!
    Keep it the way it is If i want to read gold i’d go to motortrend, automobile, car and driver, autoweek, etc. they get paid to give a good opinion, because they write about their advertisers.

  • avatar
    thalter

    Don’t change a thing!

  • avatar
    grog

    Negative? Yes.

    Too Negative? No

    Truth? Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. You have a strong bias and call it “truth”. Now, as long as your biases are my biases (dealer bashing for example), them I’m down with calling it truth. When your biases don’t match mine (you hate everything short of any given “enthusiasts” wet dream of a car) then I tend to snort hard at your “truth”. I’m guessing that attitude is common on the internets. I know I read it somewhere so it must be true.

    The libertarian undertone of some of the editorials and definitely in the comments sometimes raises doubts about your “truth” but it rarely goes overboard.

    It’s your site, do with it what you want. If nothing else, it makes very interesting reading for fellow “enthusiasts” who don’t think the Corvette is a dream car.

  • avatar
    PaulieWalnut

    Hi Robert,

    The reviews are great. The best on the internet as far as I’m concerned. However, the blog posts are too negative a lot of the time. This website is dominated by Bailout Watch, Death Watch, Birth Watch, Suicide Watch etc. In a world full of bad news TTAC digs about for…more bad news. It’s depressing.

    However, I’d especially like to single out “What’s Wrong With This Picture,” for your attention.

    Here is a picture. Now, can you guess what’s wrong with it? Basically, you’re posting a picture and establishing that the comments should have a negative tone.

    The picture of the Opel Ampera, for example, comes to mind. It’s a good looking car with an interesting powertrain. With car-taxes here in Europe becoming increasingly emissions orientated, it might also have a reasonable purchase price. Another choice on the market. As a car lover I thought that this was a good thing? However, under the format of “What’s Wrong With This Picture,” my positive opinion would automatically be a dissenting one.

    My suggestion would be that you never post a picture or video without explaining why you posted it. What’s the point you’re trying to get across?

    Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Keep up the good work.

  • avatar
    Scorched Earth

    YES TTAC is way too negative. Every news item posted is put in a negative light, even if it could’ve been neutral.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    Too negative? Personally, I don’t think so. Maybe a little smarmy at times, but I can live with that.

    I love cars, and I get my information on all things automotive from a number of different sources. I think you, and your other writers, present honestly-held opinions with a decidedly critical eye. I also think the writing is, generally, very good. You also provide great analyses on the various aspects of the auto industry meltdown that you can’t find in other media, and I appreciate that.

    And one other point – you do an admirable job of controlling comments, which I think is key to keeping a board viable and intelligent.

  • avatar
    Autopassion

    I remember all the car magazines I began reading as a youth in the 60’s that enthralled readers with the capabilities of cars like Lotus, certain esoteric Fiats, Alfas and the like, but which also kept enthusiasts in the dark about the questionable reliability of many of these same machines.

    It’s the same today of course, which makes TTAC my absolute favorite resource for automotive information, and a boon to all car enthusiasts.

    Maybe it bums out some folks to read negative reviews, be they about a certain car or a corporate strategy, but until the perfect car or corporation is achieved, I want the unvarnished truth – I can go to other sources if I want “rah-rah”.

    Also appreciated is TTAC’s stringent prohibition against flaming, and the absence of such a policy on some other sites is exactly why I left them.

    But I also think that TTAC has wandered a bit lately, and it feels like the site trying to increase readership by being purposely – and needlessly – “controversial”.

    Two recent examples come to mind. First, the distressed American auto worker whose lack of facts and perspective bordered on something you’d expect to see on some outlier blog (Obama is a secret terrorist!) TTAC wouldn’t think of posting an article that had it’s automotive facts wrong, and I expect the same due diligence if someone wants to analyze why consumers should or should not buy an American car.

    Second was the article about felony speeding on a freeway. Most TTAC readers responded with appropriate dismay; I see no reason why this site should provide a forum for such reckless behavior.

    There’s more – but that’s enough for now!

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    Negative…yes. At times, unnecessarily so. But then again, with amount of buffoonery and stupid moves that various automakers are making (the Detroit Big 3…sorry, 2.5, being the main culprits) I can see where it’s hard NOT to be negative. But you could lighten up at times. Going through every nook and cranny to expose the truth is one thing, but when something positive crops up, don’t toss it in the trash in favor of finding more negative (and more often that not, useless) crap to report.

    That being said, I always support your editing and reporting style. It’s a dirty job, but SOMEONE has to do it.

  • avatar
    shabatski

    I, like many here, read many automotive publications and can see where some bias lies with each of them. Although I read more negative bias towards the American auto industry at TTAC, I see it as more of a ‘want you to do better’ thing… i.e. I know we can do better (GM, Ford, Chrysler) – so DO IT!! Detroit, if you read this, just take it as constructive criticism – ok?

    TTAC – keep doin’ what you’re doin’.

  • avatar
    frozenman

    TTAC is not too negative in my opinion.I am not looking for another “ray of sunshine” glossed-over,pandering review of vehicles or the companies that make them.That kind of drivel is rampant elsewhere, as most here realize.The range of comments, good and bad, are what keep me coming back to this site on a daily basis,keep it up!

  • avatar
    golf4me

    Not too negative, just too biased.

  • avatar
    KMII

    I would not say it’s too negative – it’s just that the environment surrounding us is not rosy and calling a spade a spade isn’t a bad thing by any stretch. In fact it’s moderately refreshing and definitely one of the reasons for reading the site.

    Another plus point is allowing people with divergent views to post articles as well – making it much more interesting to read :)

  • avatar

    Sometimes, you’re a little too negative, but that must be because you’ve seen it all.

    Honest question time, regarding a certain graphic novel-turned movie: if you were a character from Watchmen, who would you be?

  • avatar
    Colinpolyps

    Sure the death watches grow tiresome, but the gems between make this a daily read. Niedermayers, Langs, Sajeevs are always sought. That is what makes it for this reader.

    Thank you Robert for a tireless effort.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Maybe not sunny skies.

    I love that TTAC reflects my own beliefs and views about the industry. I think TTAC has influenced other MSM to paint the big picture more realistically.

    I have no doubt that we all would love for the big 2.8 to succeed beyond our and their wildest dreams. But realistically, that’ll never happen. This contraction of especially the domestic brands/market has been a long time coming, from years (even decades) of sometimes shitty product, to the unnatural sales phenomena of post-9/11 where millions of sales were pulled forward through layer after layer of incentives.

    It’s the new reality, and TTAC didn’t cause it…they just report it. And the stupidity infested in the business, of which reporting I’m thankful for. I do believe Peter D. deserves a hat tip for being the first on the block with the new reality, including his early “WTF?” rants about Zarella and branding.

    Congrats on the 1m threshold – big ballers, all of you. Thankfully I can tell my grandkids I knew you ‘back in the day’.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Sometimes, but don’t that let stop you from expressing your views. If you can stay clear of smug stone throwing and stick with professional candor then TTAC will continue to grow.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    Robert,

    TTAC reflects the state of the car industry. Since the entire industry is shitting the bed right now, I think a bit of negativity/realism is to be expected.

    I do not want TTAC to become a cheerleader for companies that can’t get their act together.

    Do you know who makes the best cheerleaders?

    Happy customers.

    Once auto companies figure that out, everything else falls into place – including websites like TTAC.

    -ted

  • avatar
    BobJava

    Short answer: No.

    When you say TTAC’s tone, there are a couple ways to look at it.

    If you’re talking about toning down individual articles, reviews, and editorials, I think that’d be terrible. Not to imply you have no editorial standards, but I always looked at TTAC as a forum for many “truths” of various writers rather than the slant of one particular person. I think that’s the case. Placing some sort of artificial slant on a large group of writers makes no sense. It’s the editorial freedom that readers cherish here.

    Now, perhaps you can look at the “mean” or “median” tone. Again, there are two ways of looking at it. You can tone down (or up) the extremes or simply provide more “enthusiast” and consumer/purchasing content to balance out the negativity. I think the latter is the way to go. The older car reviews, capsule reviews, and Steven Lang series have been top-notch additions. And the Autobiography series from Paul Niedermeyer was the absolute best. I’d love to see more content like that.

    But watering down the snark and cutting insights? Hell no.

  • avatar
    raast

    Don’t let up.

    Personally I’m sick of supposedly “objective” views/news/sites/etc elsewhere that – plain and simple – aren’t. (Payola, fanboys, plants, infomercials, you name it.)

    I’d say if the reader can’t stand a reality check, they’d be better off reading some ad copy, it’ll leave a much better feelgood residual.

  • avatar
    cardeveloper

    I intentionally forwarded two commercially published articles, one pro Detroit 3, one negative D3. It was interesting to see the negative article was republished on TTAC, but the positive article wasn’t even mentioned.

    I was part of the D3 and had a lot of insider info and insight into the business. While they have done some really stupid things, what’s even scarier is watching the entire economy imploding around the D3. They are little at the epicenter of this coming financial mess. Just shutting down the D3 is going to have cascading economic impact that may not be controllable. I do know that something needs to be done and needs to be done quickly.

    http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/ has two full length movies that are well worth watching. The first movie is on the right side, 2nd on the left. First movie mixes in a bunch of religious stuff, but imo, the meat comes from the discussions on the banking system and how it is leveraged. After watching the movies, it becomes clear how the banks are failing and why the fed govt is pouring money into the system. In a nutshell, our banking system is already way over leveraged… based on highly inflated assets. As the system is beginning to implode, those inflated assets are beginning to return, magnifying the over leveraged situation. Banks are trying to control the over leveraging, at the cost of money availability. What are the two things people almost always have to finance, cars and houses. What’s imploding right now, cars and houses! Unfortunately this is a downward spiral that the govt has chosen to fix by printing more and more money… which will lead to hyper inflation combined with wage deflation. Those two together are very dangerous to any monetary system.

    To answer the question, TTAC is too negative, but is also too focused on one side of a very complex industry.

  • avatar
    Gary Numan

    No it’s not too negative. This site offers absolute candor with very little bias. If one wants bias, then one can use advertiser supported general media for their “sheltered” information source.

    Would one suppose that the “whiners” toward TTAC being too negative share one or all of these characteristics: 1) Used to receiving trophies just for showing up, 2) Reside in Detroit and 3) work for GM or Chrysler which now rely on taxpayers and not actual market performance for their very existence

    Keep doing what you’re doing and avoid any and all personal attacks.

  • avatar
    MM

    This is the ONLY site where “GM” and “Bankruptcy” were whispered 3 years ago. Candor, integrity, and TRUTH… t’aint gonna find it elsewhere. Skew on, RF.

    “Petarted” Peter Griffin could not have ruined GM as fast or as thoroughly as Gettinfingah, Nutz and Bagginer.

    These jackholes are about to bankrupt a once-proud American institution and ruin the lives of (potentially) millions of employees, retirees and suppliers. And throttle the Dow in the process…

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I’m no Detroit Defender (obviously), but bad news delivered in a snarky tone will predictably provoke a harsher response than the same news delivered in a more neutral tone. That difference comes with the territory, and I suspect that some — not all, but some — of the criticisms of the site are incited more by the tone and frequency of the commentary than by the underlying data.

    There’s a fine line between wit and schadenfreude. I think that we need to make some allowances for the fact that not all of us draw that line in the same place, and that the differences don’t just arise from bad faith. If you are going to combine sharp, continuous criticism with obvious sarcasm, then you just have to expect that some people will believe that you are cheerleading for the death of Detroit, whether or not that’s true.

  • avatar
    TaurusGT500

    asickmf: wah wah wah. it’s …. about automobiles …. you don’t like it don’t fucking read it. ….. let the babies leave.

    clive : Does every other article have to have “fuck” or “shit” somewhere in it? … Articles trying to make intelligent, well-researched and thought out points (as they usually are on TTAC) about the industry can surely come up with better words than a 5th grader.

    Yeah…what he said…. Totally agree on Mr. Clive’s point. You can be scathingly witty, brutally clever, charmingly whimsical, endlessly snarky, erudite, informative, insightful, yada yada yada… all without sounding as if Andrew Dice Clay taught your high school English class.

  • avatar
    Mildman

    My main gripe is that you are the site where more similes are tortured than prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

    Aside from that, in the immortal words of Alice Roosevelt, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me.”

  • avatar
    AWD-03

    The site can be too negative, but that is mostly in your car reviews and in the comments section.

    I just don’t read the reviews on the site any more as they don’t ever “speak to me.” It has been harped on in other comments, but the stars don’t relate to the written word. I believe that reviews should be more objective, so that the review is more useful to more readers. Some of your reviews read like the guy went in with a bad attitude and wrote from that perspective. While others, like the recent GT-R review, read like the guy was driving around with a constant erection. Then he only rates it a 3? But that’s just what I like.

    As far as the comments section goes, would you really want to filter that? If it is overly negative, so be it. I love reading the comments.

  • avatar
    oldguy

    Robert:
    Sometimes, the truth hurts, and many times it is not what some people want to hear. I, however like many others on this site, want to hear the truth and could care less if others deem it ‘negative’ or ‘biased’. There are lots of other places on the net for those who don’t want to hear the truth. Keep it coming.

  • avatar
    cc-rider

    I completely disagree with WaftableTorque. Why would you hang out here and comment if you didn’t have anything good to say about the site? I’d love to hear your defense of the Acura…

    TTAC’s reviews are done in the viewpoint of the enthusiast. If you aren’t an enthusiast go elsewhere for bland, generic dribble masqerading as a car review.

    I’d read J. Lieberman’s reviews of a tricycle any day of the week. The people on this site “get it” in a way that no one else does. If something is done poorly it isn’t defended or glossed over here. I love Steven Lang’s columns and Sajeev’s first new column yesterday.

    Keep up the good work!

  • avatar
    campocaceres

    no, sir. it’s been a refreshing change of pace compared to all of the other auto news outlets since day 1 of my visting this great site.

    in some ways, i would say it’s part of this site’s “branding”. maybe in a more stylistic manner, but the association is there, nonetheless. even the open nature of discussion on here (and elsewhere too) tends to have a focus on the negative. why try and dilute that?

    i personally would eventually move on if it was all sunshine and the brighter side of things. it’s the internet… it’s still fairly “raw”. let’s keep it that way, we are what we are.

  • avatar
    unsprung weight

    What about all the positive truths about cars and automakers? Is it just that that’s being done to death elsewhere? Or is it that negativity just works? I don’t think many people are here because they hate cars and the people who build them, but for anyone that does, this is the place to be.

    So, yeah, TTAC is too negative. For me, anyway.

  • avatar
    derek81

    hell no! i’d rather hear the truth, however negative, than the biased spin from the MSM claiming everything’s going back to normal “soon”

  • avatar
    dougjp

    ” Are we fair but mentally unbalanced? ”

    Trolling for compliments, are you?

  • avatar
    npbheights

    I really like this site and I have been following it for close to a year now. I can see the newer followers viewpoint that ttac is negative, but there is a lot of negative news right now that needs to be covered. The “news” part of ttac (ie: GM’s sales) should stick to the facts, and not have editorial comments in it. Opinions should be in the editorials, thats what editorials are for. If the Rabbit has a stupid motor, that sounds like an interesting story or podcast topic (hint hint) on its own – (sorry Justin-I think you’re cool) I enjoy reading peoples opinions on ways to save the US auto indusrty and make it better and profitable over the “shut it all down and go home” stories. Thank You for asking, Robert

    Another note, Asking for our complete auto owning histories was a great idea. Very interesting read and wow, what a response! How many people signed up just to share on that article?

  • avatar

    Variety is the spice of life.

    +Yes, you’re a cranky bugger.

    But I HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE hearing the putain de salope conasse enculé de cochon du président George Bush du baise-vache de Dick Cheney et le cirque des vilains vapid BS that comes out of the Today Show +NBC News; -so it’s nice that you don’t bullsh*$ Kathie Lee Gifford here.

    But look at several different facets, mix up your viewpoint, tone, style, vocab, and don’t say the same damn thing, the same way, all the time.

    1 Note does not a symphony make.


    I’d Love to hear a post on the pension funds and the impact to Real People,
    like retired school teachers named Jane Miller from Milwaukee, who has 4 kids and 3 grandkids, who’s looking down the barrel of a CRA+Countrywide BS Balloon Mortgage of $720k to a guy who makes $15k/yr with a FICO of 290 and interest-only of $550/mo with a Beta of 4.9, repackaged by a CDO Bucket Shop in Boca Raton by a guy named Barry, Sold to Lehman, which retranched the risk levels and fraudulently rewrote the ratings up to AAA, against which Michael Lewis bought Credit Default Swaps from AIG, which were all killed by David X. Li’s correlation formula, which crashed the market, and Hemlock Society’d her CREF-Invested, UAW/Waggoner-Raided, already crap 403b investment,

    and now all she has is a box of saltines and some worthless stock certificates she uses to light her budget cigarettes in a living room that’s less kept up than it should be.

    her children really worry about her, but are struggling too.

    They’ll probably have to move in together in 18 months; because things won’t turn around by then.


    -something more like that; every once in awhile.

  • avatar
    nonce

    Being willing to say what others won’t say is a positive. A great positive, in fact.

    The thin-skin that TTAC has about itself, however, distracts from that.

  • avatar
    Sutures

    Well if anyone is still reading comments this low…

    Does the current level of negativism, bile, muck raking and schadenfreude bother me? Heck NO!

    What does bother me is the lack of positive truths. Even my favorite blind pig (Chrysler) has managed to find a few ears of corn, yet they are seldom (OK, possibly never) mentioned here.

    The Truth is a two edged sword… you need to use both ends to claim it rightfully.

    …besides, a well timed pat-on-the-back can oft times be more humiliating than a direct kick to the backside.

  • avatar
    NoSubstitute

    Rude’s OK.

    Repetitive’s not (see anything with “…watch” in the title.)

  • avatar
    alexnunez

    I wouldn’t change a thing. As a daily reader (who also happens to be an Autoblog guy), I personally feel that TTAC works as well as it does specifically because of its tone.

    To be sure, it may not agreeable to everyone. Those people should get over it. No one is being forced to read TTAC (or any other website, for that matter).

    Robert points out the site’s growth. That speaks for itself. It sure hasn’t happened because anyone pulls punches over here. The opposite is more likely. I say leave it alone — it’s working.

    Oh, and speaking entirely for myself: the Lagonda concept is hideous. It sucks.

  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    Keep it the way it is. The only people that I see complaining about the tone of this site are big three nutswingers. (best word I could come up with.)

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    Not too negative, but sometimes bad news can be seen in another way, which could be mentioned. “Truth” isn’t always “negative.”

    For example, Saturn Astra is losing GM money for each unit sold? That’s bad. And dumb.

    On the other hand, losing 1k or so per Astra could also be seen as a long-term plan to help GM’s reputation for offering high quality small cars. The 1k per car could be seen as the “cost” of changing GM’s image and also offering a truly competitive small car that would help increase brand loyalty, etc.

    Lexus lost money on their first cars. Thousands and thousands per car, actually. Don’t have the exact number. Still, the plan worked and created a loyal base.

    So you see, there’s always a good/bad side to everything. If one is looking for negative things to report on GM, every story is going to seem 100% bad/negative (even the ones that might not be disastrously bad). You might not notice some good side effects of the bad news.

    Overall, I don’t think you’re too negative. It’s very hard to be too negative when carpocolypse is coming. Still, there could be a little more balance. :) Hope this helps.

    -romanjetfighter, TTAC reader since 2006!!

  • avatar
    200k-min

    I work in a design profession, and when in college we would present our work to the professors in a “critique.” They would chew up our work and spit it out, but hey, that’s how we learned….from criticism. If I was coddled and told the world was nothing but unicorns and rainbows I’d be worthless as I wouldn’t have learned anything. Life is hard, deal with it.

    So…please continue being a bunch of negative assholes.

    I realize that most fanboys take their vehicle brand of choice very personally, and honestly, who is reading a auto centric website but fanboys? I’ve made several comments about my opinion that VW makes an unreliable POS product and suddenly half a dozen people come out talking up their “high mileage” example. That’s fine, I enjoy the debate. Some people can’t take that type of criticism and if they can’t they can go visit a forum for their beloved make/model where everyone can stroke each other’s egos. I on the other hand welcome someone saying my opinion is wrong. I was taught long ago to defend my position.

  • avatar
    dilbert

    Oh I get it! This is another epeen waving to tell the advertisers that you get lots and lots of feedback when you ask a question about this site.

    FWIW, this is my third comment on this article.

    It worked, well done!

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    I’m with Kazoomaloo….yeah, you guys cross the line from time to time, and your stance that anything less than best in class by definition therefore sucks is somewhat tedious from time to time, but don’t change a damned thing…..we of the B&B know when to take y’all with a grain (or a block) of sodium chloride.

    There’s a lot to be said for consistency, so if ya change now, we’ll always have to question if ya are holding back…..But ya always entertain, and ya usually educate. What else can a readership ask for?

    Rave on, as Bob Talbert used to say.

  • avatar
    Monty

    There are many blogs and forums and websites who “say it as they see it”, but there’s far too few that “say it as it is”.

    DO NOT CHANGE A THING, please. It’s cool to tell the truth with a bit of a ‘tude. And those that don’t like it or are uncomfortable with the unvarnished truth have many other options to pursue.

    (Full disclosure: I’m okay with the bikini clad babes, but you may have to offer something up for the ladies once in a while.)

    P.S. I may not agree with some of your contributors (travelling 123 MPH on a Florida Interstate, for example, and I may not have as nmuch of a hate-on for the VW Rabbit as somebody else), but I thoroughly enjoy reading their editorials. It’s what keeps this site from being a giant circle-jerk.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    Too negative? Is this site about the TRUTH about cars? If so, then NO, you’re not too negative.

    If your mission is the Truth, then you have to follow the mission parameters. I believe you have been doing so.

    If your mission was about fairies, rainbows, and unicorns, well then…you’re off track, because I haven’t ready any articles lately about those topics.

    On the other hand, there was that one article about the “Depreciation Fairy” and her bodily functions, as well as her evil partners, the “Waste of Time Fairy” and the “Typo Fairy.” But that was a funny read; I really enjoyed that banter!

    But no Robert. You’re right on track. Sometimes the medicine has a bad taste. That’s why we call it MEDICINE, and not candy.

  • avatar
    the duke

    I’ll be straight. I don’t always agree with you on everything, but if I really didn’t like the site I wouldn’t visit it would I (I really can’t figure out why flamers visit a site they hate – if you always disagree go elsewhere)? TTAC has gotten where it is by voicing off where others don’t and I wouldn’t change that, even if it means occasionally I’ll think you’re beating a dead horse (insert domestic automaker here).

    But if you want an improvement suggestion, I would suggest more reviews and articles about what is good in the auto industry. Telling the truth doesn’t always have to be negative. I’d love to see more capsule reviews of old cars, reviews on the cars the editors like. Op-ed pieces that highlight greatness. You’d still be TTAC, but it would lighten up the environment a little.

    And for the record, I fully support milf. If anyone is uncomfortable with its use (male or female) they can go to Autoblog.

    Vote for milf!

  • avatar
    walksatnight

    Too negative? I don’t think so…. Really what is there to be positive about in the Industry in this day and age? A few things but not much.

    The cold hard reality is this: Go to the title bar of this page and click on car reviews. Then click on the select box nect to Find Reviews by Make. Within the next 18 months a healthy percentage of the brands listed there will be gone. It’s tragic but inevitable.

  • avatar
    LXbuilder

    I wouldn’t come here for the “truth about cars”… but I will return.

    Too negative… do ya think? I mean death watch… WTF?

    Some place between TTAC and the rest of the auto media is a balanced sweet spot waiting to be discovered. Don’t worry when I find it I’ll still be back.

  • avatar
    CAHIBOstep

    It goes without saying that if you don’t like the tone of TTAC or its writers, you don’t have to read it. I have been reading the site for a few years now and I have a personal opinion about the current level of negativity. But I don’t see the point in sharing it.

    Even if every single commentator said “yes, the site is too negative,” I don’t really believe TTAC would change anything just to please everybody. To be fair we have been asked these types of questions before. For example, everyone agreed that picking on other car websites or writers was in poor taste. But it hasn’t really stopped.

    When I first found TTAC, it felt like a daily conversation with people who wake up smiling because they get to drive their cars.

    It feels more like a daily pissing contest to me now. Yet I keep coming back looking for things that interest me. If I lose my interest in TTAC I will go somewhere else, and there may only be 999,999 unique views a month. No big deal.

  • avatar
    esg

    TTAC- Keep on telling the TRUTH like you do. Keep it simple and clear. Bravo.

  • avatar
    DeanMTL

    No, you’re not too negative.

    I say DESTROY what needs to be destroyed. This is WAR, consumers versus manufacturers trying to skin us alive financially and pull the wool over our eyes. Take them to the cleaners when they go too far.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    The people who complain about TTAC being negative are simply not the intended audience for the site. They can head right on down to Autoblog or Insideline for some regurgitated press releases.

  • avatar
    George B

    I expect The Truth About Cars to be a Pollyanna-free zone. Car manufacturing capacity has to shrink to meet lower demand numbers that the recent peak. The process will be brutal, but it has to happen. Seems reasonable that pissed off customers should get to vent a little when their own money is used to prop up lower performing companies [cough Chrysler cough] that would normally bear the brunt of industry downsizing.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    Yes.
    Yes.
    Sweet Lord, yes!

    Especially when the idea here is the “truth” about cars (small caps intended). It went from funny and insightful to bitter and somewhat hyperbolic a while ago.

  • avatar
    beken

    Negative? Yes
    Too negative? Probably not
    Positives? Sometimes.

    But TTAC doesn’t seem to be contributing the to recovery of the auto industry. It’s easy to point out the negatives and they make for good reads. It’s not so easy to come up with solutions. Maybe we need to come up with a GM Resurrection watch and list out (if) anything GM is doing that might help them succeed. Okay, we seem to want them to recover under C11, but what can they do in or out of C11 that would turn them around?

    I would suggest that GM’s marketing model needs to change from generate demand by showing a concept that’s going to take 5 years to maybe produce (Camaro, Volt and others), to pleasantly surprise the potential customer by producing a well thought out car that will hit the market at the right time at a reasonable price. GM should stop producing concepts that they have no intention of producing. There I go, being negative again.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    The truth has a negative bias.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    the truth about cars is currently negative. if i wanted the fuzzy bunnies about cars, i’d go to edmunds. when i want the pothead blacksheep uncle about cars, i go to jalopnik.

  • avatar

    The car business dealers/factory, literally spend billions annually bullshiting, marketing, and brainwashing the public. Yes this site is negative, but you must be to equalize the reader b/w the bullshit and reality. Car biz like no other is so inflated with marketing hype buzz bullshit it’s contagious. I welcome your slam down tactics to dillute our brains back to factual, pre-bullshit; pre-brainwash; pre-jonestown data.

    Everyone lined up and drank the kool aid, and now it’s time for jim jones himself to take his own advise (rick) pary’s over dude.

  • avatar
    KnightRT

    You’re asking fellow lions whether you ate too many gazelle. I can predict what the comments will be before I even read the articles. Of course they’ll tell you you’re “just right”.

    Frankly, I find Autoblog more unbiased than this site. They don’t bother to have an opinion. The opinion here is universally against domestic makes, facts be damned.

  • avatar
    Bridge2far

    TTAC obviously is dedicated to the RELENTLESS pounding of GM. Anyone thinking otherwise is in a fog. Negative? I can’t stop laughing…

  • avatar
    PJG62

    I haven’t read all 153 comments, but all in all I LOVE this site for the practial views it gives on current events in the auto industry. Your view on killing the Corvette was a pisser though.

  • avatar
    Dangerous Dave

    This is TTAC, not the Detroit News. People have to realize the truth often hurts.

  • avatar
    Bridge2far

    Runfromcheney :
    Hey, can I become RunfromObama?

  • avatar
    Andy D

    When I reach the saturation point, I will stop reading the Deathwatch threads. All the economic news is bleak lately. I get my news from the Daily Show

  • avatar
    TheMagicTiki

    Don’t change a thing.

    I am a relative newcomer to this site (I probably started reading about six months ago). What brought me here in the first place was that most excellent blend of intelligence, humor, and true opinion. We know how you guys feel for real AND you encourage discussion and debate, which is also why we’re here.

    Some folks will dislike that, and will go elsewhere (Edmunds, anyone?). It happens. You guys are unqiue because you have an attitude and a fresh perspective you can’t get anywhere else. Don’t change it.

  • avatar
    Captain Tungsten

    I find TTAC entertaining, especially when talking about cars, (rather than the car business). It’s editorial stance is not “too negative” in my mind, more like Rush Limbaugh, thundering away with opinion, not knowing as much as he thinks he does, but mostly fun to listen to. I find myself reading certain commentators (editorials and/or comments), those whose words are based in fact, or are well presented arguments.

  • avatar
    Lynchenstein

    A: Yes, but only when editorialising. The reviews are great.

  • avatar
    210delray

    @ 07Frontier:

    But I could do without the R rated language. IMO, cursing just shows one’s limited vocabulary skills. RF, you have a wonderful command of the English language. The cursing just demeans you, and this site. You can easily get your point across without it.

    I agree totally on this point. Otherwise, I’m fine with TTAC as is. As others have pointed out, if you want “happy, happy, joy, joy,” read Motor Trend or Autoblog.

  • avatar
    tedward

    The editorials range from unnecesarily objective to personal and snarky, but they mostly wind up somewhere in between. That isn’t really a criticism, becasue you seem to self-correct on your own whenever a spate of editorials goes too far one way.

    Personally the snark that rubs me the wrong way is the small stuff, such as the comment, “Sign here, we get the money, you get money. Sign me up!” which you just posted in In Bailout Nation Saab Buys You!. You seem to have a reflexive criticism switch that throws at the slightest hint of government financial involvement in private industry, as if that hasn’t been standard practice throughout the (relatively prosperous) history of western capitalism. Fairly criticising that practice really requires its own venue, not a pithy sideswipe. On the other hand I deeply appreciate the site’s intentionally inflammatory aspects (letting the near crash story through, just using the title “Deathwatch”, and yes, the flying vagina), probably because they are far less subtle.

    Regardless of what any commenters suggest, if the site is growing because of your current product you might want to hesitate before volunteering to ramp up the self censorship. Besides, I really wouldn’t read this site if I agreed with every point of view expressed here.

    And milf references are almost always awesome. Why should the panther platform crowd get to dictate site etiquette?

  • avatar
    fincar1

    I think the tone is fine. If the truth is largely negative these days so be it. That’s life.

    It is all very well to speculate on what GM should do re brands, dealers, models etc. to move forward and to try to be successful, but after reading about six hundred comment threads about this subject it is hard to see anything new. Other than that subject, I very much enjoy the give and take among the commenters.

  • avatar
    KennethL

    I’ve been meaning to sign up oh, for ever, but this post gave me the impetus to finally do it: Because I happened to love cars since the cradle I choked down 40-odd years of automotive media mediocrity. You have no idea how pleased I am to find someone who is telling it like it really is in the car biz. Please Mr. Farago: do not let up, do not hold back. As for those who express displeasure at your editorial tone, they simply affirm that you are doing something right. Go get ’em!

  • avatar
    Greg Locock

    The editorial/news articles are usually OK, but I must admit many of the B&B comments strike me as being uninformed me-too-isms.

  • avatar
    kamikaze2b

    I have not read one other reply, but here’s my input. This site is called the truth about cars.” Again TRUTH, I subscribe to all of the car mags and I expect them to soften (putting it mildly) their criticism of the vehicles they test. This site is fluid and real-time, and while it may appear to some to be overly negative, unfortunately this site just reflects the times in which we live. Keep it real, and keep it truthful.

  • avatar
    Morea

    The use of four-letter words in editorials devalues the content. If I want cuss words I can read the graffiti on the subway.

    Provide investigative pieces whenever possible (e.g. who owns Chrysler, how are Federal bailout funds being spent, how are pension slush funds being abused, etc). This is a public service that the major media outlets do not provide any longer.

  • avatar

    Your site is not always too negative, but definitely too much so at times. Sometimes it seems you’re being negative just to pretend you’re “telling the truth,” or being “edgy.” Sometimes it seems like the reviewers are just trying too hard to be like Jeremy Clarkson and failing. Note, not all, just some. To be fair, there is only one Jeremy Clarkson for a reason. If anybody could do it, he wouldn’t stand out. Oh and removing negative comments is ironic considering what your site is about… If you can dish the truth, you need to be able to take it. Just my 2 cents.

  • avatar
    kid cassady

    It’s good to see another reader mention it: please tell your review writers to give the overwrought similes a rest. Extensive simile use is too often used as a mask for a poor grasp of writing technique.

  • avatar
    Caraholica

    IMO, to coin a phrase you actually do ‘tell the truth about cars’ and those that make and sell them. It is refreshing and sometimes humorous to have someone (thankgod) to point at the alternate universe of pablum and nonsense dished up by the PR and media folks of today. This site actually has an informed basis for points of view expressed, as opposed to some of the less credible, uh, shall we say extremist, points of view. Having said that, the tone that I infer, because the written word is a pretty inexact transmission of spoken word, occasionally seems argumentative and contrarian for its own sake. Not an altogether bad thing in the balance of things of the blog, and I quite enjoy the independent spirit with which you folks approach topics. Autoblog is happy and friendly, Jalopnik is somewhat bohemian and you folks are the scrappy intellectuals of my blog world. Thanks for spicing up the blogosphere.

  • avatar
    bprobinson

    I had only been viewing this site for a short time and I’d already noticed the dearth of positive comments regarding cars you’d reviewed.

    Then I came upon this post.

    The fact that you are self-aware enough to actually ask people is proof enough.

    However I guess that is part of your mantra: if all you did was wax effusive it would be ‘the celebration of cars’ instead of TTAC

  • avatar
    AlexD

    Most auto review sites and newspapers read like giant suck-ups to the manufacturers supplying the car, a full tank of gas and trips to auto shows.
    I come to this site and read it because of the tone, humour, and – sure – the harshness of the reviews
    I also enjoy reading the comment threads which is more than I can say about other Blogs.

    Seriously, there’s some solid stuff here, don’t mess it up.


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