Stop Press! Autoblog Embroiled In Sexist Scandal! Bentley Banged!

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
stop press autoblog embroiled in sexist scandal bentley banged

Jeff Glucker, a.k.a. jglucker, had his head handed to him by the Twitter mob. It must have been the little head. The emasculated editor of Autoblog caved in to the rabid rabble and sacrificed a supposedly sexist headline. What happened?

London’s Daily Mail chronicled a pile-up of (interestingly mostly blue) supercars in downtown Monte Carlo under the headline “Oops, it’s a £700,000 prang… Hapless blonde crashes her Bentley into a Merc, Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin.”

The British tabloid milked the blonde stereotype for all it’s worth (or not):

“This was the moment when a woman driver caused a £700,000 five-car pile-up as her Bentley collided with a Mercedes, Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Martin. Disaster struck as the hapless blonde negotiated the traffic around the Place du Casino in her £250,000 Bentley Azure.”

The Daily Mail could not possibly pass-up on the story. After all, according to Wikipedia, the Daily Mail “was, from the outset, a newspaper for women, being the first to provide features especially for them, and is still the only British newspaper whose readership is more than 50% female.” It even has a column called “Femail today.” The paper demonstrated its sensitivity towards its female readership by regaling it with statistics:

“Scientists at the University of Michihan (sic) looked at 6.5million car crashes and found a higher than expected number of accidents between two female drivers. They also discovered that women have a tough time negotiating crossroads, T-junctions and slip roads.”

Jeff Glucker also could not say no. At Autoblog, he ran the story under the headline “Female driver causes supercar catastrophe in Monte Carlo.” The Autoblog associate editor, who according to his Twitter profile loves “cars, dachshunds, good drinks and the Caribbean,” carefully resisted the allure of any alliterations beyond “causes catastrophe.” Where this reporter would have tinkered with something along the lines of “Blundering buxom blondes brutalize big buck Bentley, smash several supercars ,” Jeff didn’t even mention “blonde.”

Ever the car guy, he questioned the reported damage estimates “in the neighborhood of $65,000” which according to Jeff’s trained eye (and the opinion of his wiener dog) seem “laughably low.” That restraint did not spare Jeff the wrath of the PC-armed PC crowd. The dogloving autoblogger found himself at the receiving end of a twitter riot: “What’s w/ the sexist ‘female driver causes catastrophe’” was tweeted and reteweeted several times, thereby spreading the chauvinistic copy all over the twitterverse.

Then Glucker did something we would never do here at TTAC: He caved in. Changing “Female driver causes supercar catastrophe in Monte Carlo” to an insipid “Driver causes supercar catastrophe in Monte Carlo” did not mollify the masses.

Now he hears from his own readers: “Jeff Glucker, you have no spine.”

PS: We would not have even noticed the story and could have saved our vindictive vitriol for other occasions, would we not have received an email with the subject line “Would change headlines or content to please complainers?”

Our answer: No.

If we make factual mistakes, we fix them. If we hurt feelings – tough.

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3 of 57 comments
  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Jul 31, 2011

    We have received many requests (open and backchannel) to moderate this thread. There are minefields even the most gutsy moderator won’t walk into. This is one of them. In the future, it would be highly appreciated if religion can be kept out of these discussions. Politics seem to be inseparable from cars, but dareisayit, a Toyota Hilux serves Taliban commandos and Benedictine monks alike, with utter disregard to race, creed or color.

  • Yeahbeer Yeahbeer on Aug 02, 2011

    Love this statement! If we make factual mistakes, we fix them. If we hurt feelings – tough.

  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Ed That has to be a joke.