Inside The Auto Blogging Industry: Editor Switches Dildos

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
em inside the auto blogging industry em editor switches dildos

WARNING: The content following the jump, albeit taken from a popular car site, could be viewed as highly objectionable when viewed here. It could also get you fired at YOUR workplace, or get you in DEEP trouble at home. DO NOT click the jump if this offends you, and DO NOT complain if the warning is not heeded. Mature language. Parental guidance is advised.

It is now common knowledge (at least, it is familiar to the folks who are into this stuff) that longterm TTAC writer Steven Lang departed TTAC. His great stories about the secret world of car auctions, and his first person insider reports from the drive here pay here underground will be sorely missed, and I don’t mean this in mean jest. I keep telling people that nobody is irreplaceable, but Steve is. He will be, unless we find the owner of a drive here pay here joint, who is also an auto auctioneer, and who can write – an unlikely combination of talents. Wherever he goes, read his stories. But is Steve safe where he goes? It looks like he might be jumping from a small frying pan into sustained fire.

According to his story at Jalopnik, Steve departed TTAC over the use of a word that stands for short-haired women loving women, along with “random articles that feature sex toys and general meanness at total strangers.” (The Jalopnik story linked to the respective shocking stories at TTAC. The story also repeated the D-word, which I don’t D-are to repeat for fear of waterboarding.) Apparently, he thinks he is in subtler hands at Jalopnik and Yahoo.

People have varying thresholds for disgust, I understand. What I have a hard time understanding is that someone with such well-developed sensitivities is proud to write for Jalopnik, a site, which we all know, knows no shame. This is no value judgement. A good journalist should not be bashful.

To assist Steve in his career, we developed this multipart look Inside Of The Auto Blogging Industry – with a special emphasis on Jalopnik and its corporate owners at Gawker. This is useful information to any new writer at Jalopnik. Gawker will exert much more influence on Steve’s stories than Verticalscope on ours. Which is easy to do: VS never exerts any influence on stories at TTAC, never did, never will. I have been reliably informed that Steve not so much wanted to have a cleaner TTAC, he may have sought a job as the chief of the august publication. There is one way to create an immediate job opening: Make our corporate owners change or influence a story on TTAC, and I will immediately leave.

Too much has been written already, therefore, we let pictures speak for themselves. Here, we provide a pictorial insight into the social dynamics that await a not so young writer at his new Jalopnik workplace. We provide the pictures with full links as proof that we did not make it up. If you want to shoot someone, don’t shoot the messenger. Last chance to leave, we are entering the world of Jalopnik

At TTAC, Steve was upset about a regular, albeit high quality dildo. (Jack Baruth loved the sex aid.) At Jalopnik, Steven sees himself confronted with a Christian dildo, used as an illustration for “ Cab driver banned from displaying crucifix because it looks like a penis.”

At TTAC, Steven had to endure pictures of floppy ears. At Jalopnik: Pictorial cruelty to animals. Nobody seems to care, as shown by the headline “ Well, There’s Your Problem.”

Jalopnik seems to be obsessed with reproductive organs: “ Russian Drawbridge Defaced With Giant Penis.”

Jalopnik has a special section for Penis size News , Videos, Reviews. Probably just to fool Google, but they fooled me. Here, news about “ Penis Size and Speeding Tickets: A Sizable Correlation.”

More reproductive organ obsession: “ Yes, That’s A Snow Penis.” It’s huge, considering that it’s cold.

Save the whales: “ Pam Anderson Forces Russian SUV-maker To Circumcise Whale Penis Leather Interior.” And more penis fixation.

Stereotyping, Lamborghini edition: “ Meet The Most Stereotypical Lamborghini Owner In The World.”

Stereotyping, Lamborghini edition, 2: “ Meet The Most Stereotypical Lamborghini Owner In The World.”

Signs of clinical penis fixation: “ Ten More Unfortunate Street Names

The road less traveled: “ Ten More Unfortunate Street Names.” Says Jalopnik: “Take too many trips down this road, though, and you’ll end up on Cockburn Street.”

Domestic violence: “ The Ten Strangest Tanks Ever Built

Illustration for a Viper V10 topic: “ Y U NO HAVE MORE LOW END TORQUE!? Cars? What cars?

Expletive undeleted: “ Tuesday Night’s Stock Car Race Was A Total Shit Show

The Diesel Dyke!” When Jalopnik used this highly pejorative word (trucks should be up in arms and demand that author Davey G. Johnson be fired,) nobody complained – as far as we know. However, there seems to be strange self-censorship going on. Where is the picture of the diesel?

Ah! Here it is! To access this picture, a cached copy had to be used. However, now we are totally confused. Not upset. Confused. What was wrong with the truck?

Jalopnik has a special section for Gay News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip. For news like “ Top Gear “Bans” Gay Couples From Studio Audience.”

Or for reports like this one: “ VW Rabbit Most Queer-ied Car In First Quarter, 2009.” Did anyone demand Matt Hardigree’s ouster over this disparaging word?

Sometimes, Google plays tricks on us. I’m sure Ray Wert did not say this about Jim Press. However, Google makes it appear as if he did. And if you can google it, it must be true, no? Collateral damage caused by SEO saturation bombing, I guess.

Say stop. Ok, I stop. I leave it up to you: Was Steven’s outrage genuine? Or did he simply not do enough due diligence before his Jalop-hop?


The Jalopnik stories about Steven Lang resigning his editorship appear to have been mostly removed from Jalopnik. The link under the Read … leads to Kinja, and a click on the link gets this:

At least it does so on my machine.

Likewise gone is the picture of yours truly, in which Jalopnik caught me groping two men. The men are my former Typhoon offshore racing teammates Randy “Mad Dog” Schleuss (left) and Jim “J-O” Natoli (right). Subliminal message: They are all gay. As if it’s bad. Too bad we aren’t, those long nights in the camper, dragging a black 29ft 525hp raceboat down never-ending freeways would have been more entertaining.

Still there among the comments at Jalopnik is the obligatory picture of the little Dutch boy sticking his finger in the dike, along with sundry “Lesbaru” references. On TTAC, there would be smoking ruins by now. At Jalopnik: Absence of outrage.

And how do we feel about this uncurated comment? Where Steve comes from, it’s “ general meanness at total strangers” when a reporter at a Chinese auto show takes pictures of a floppy-eared booth professional who was put there so that reporters could take pictures of a floppy-eared booth professional. Meanwhile, at his new workplace, there are comments that could easily be seen as sexist, racist, and as a suggestion of trafficking. Where’s the reader revolt?

Besides, she’s not half my age. She’s 20 years younger. And, she says, “I’m not Asian, I’m Japanese.”

The discussion is open. Feel free to discuss the above. As far as the D-word goes, I have learned my lesson. I apologize to anyone who honestly felt offended. I won’t use the word anymore, now that I know that sensitivities are much higher at TTAC than at Jalopnik. The ban on a discussion of the D-word topic itself remains in place. We leave that to the other sites, and to people who need to be better at feigning outrage.

(All pictures, except Google screenshots, courtesy, Groping picture: Tomoko Schmitt)

Join the conversation
2 of 81 comments
  • Power6 Power6 on May 25, 2013

    Don't really know what to say. This site is great but there it is always headed up by some unstable individual, might be that low paying part you mentioned Bertel. You seem to have mishandled this whole thing sir, you can't hide the "waaah" crying you do by saying Steve was a great guy and you'll miss him as a preface, you are still whining. Gotta learn to let go there. I think many are angry because you have totally misinterpreted the commenting policy ehre from Farago. I never felt like he didn't hold himself to the same standard as his commentators...but you certainly do give that feeling. You're just going to have to get used to the fact that you come off like a d-bag online. I hope this blows over, with insideline shutting down and this crap I've been reading Car and Driver, they actually write about cars over there.

  • Rentonben Rentonben on Jul 12, 2013

    BS and others - keep posting articles with your own 'voice.' Don't feel you have to censor yourself. I do think the dildo/dyke jokes are crass, so I don't let them offend me. If the delicate flowers can't ignore certain writers after they've been 'offended' then that says more about their own inability to control themselves. Odd that they seek to control others by being perpetually 'offended.'

  • 56m65711446 Well, I had a suburban auto repair shop in those days.
  • Dukeisduke Yikes - reading the recall info from NHTSA, this sounds like the Hyundai/Kia 2.4l Theta II "engine fire" recall, since it involves an engine block or oil pan "breach", so basically, throwing a rod:"Description of the Safety Risk : Engine oil and/or fuel vapor that accumulates near a sufficiently hot surface, below the combustion initiation flame speed, may ignite resulting in an under hood fire, and increasing the risk of injury. Description of the Cause :Isolated engine manufacturing issues have resulted in 2.5L HEV/PHEV engine failures involving engine block or oil pan breach. In the event of an engine block or oil pan breach, the HEV/PHEV system continues to propel the vehicle allowing the customer to continue to drive the vehicle. As the customer continues to drive after a block breach, oil and/or fuel vapor continues to be expelled and accumulates near ignition sources, primarily expected to be the exhaust system. Identification of Any Warning that can Occur :Engine failure is expected to produce loud noises (example: metal-to-metal clank) audible to the vehicle’s occupants. An engine failure will also result in a reduction in engine torque. In Owner Letters mailed to customers, Ford will advise customers to safely park and shut off the engine as promptly as possible upon hearing unexpected engine noises, after experiencing an unexpected torque reduction, or if smoke is observed emanating from the engine compartment."
  • Dukeisduke In an ideal world, cars would be inspected in the way the MoT in the UK does it, or the TÜV in Germany. But realistically, a lot of people can't afford to keep their cars to such a high standard since they need them for work, and widespread public transit isn't a thing here.I would like the inspections to stick around (I've lived in Texas all my life, and annual inspections have always been a thing), but there's so much cheating going on (and more and more people don't bother to get their cars inspected or registration renewed), so without rigorous enforcement (which is basically a cop noticing your windshield sticker is out of date, or pulling you over for an equipment violation), there's no real point anymore.
  • Zipper69 Arriving in Florida from Europe and finding ZERO inspection procedures I envisioned roads crawling with wrecks held together with baling wire, duct tape and prayer.Such proved NOT to be the case, plenty of 20-30 year old cars and trucks around but clearly "unsafe at any speed" vehicles are few and far between.Could this be because the median age here is 95, so a lot of low mileage vehicles keep entering the market as the owners expire?
  • Zipper69 At the heart of GM’s resistance to improving the safety of its fuel systems was a cost benefit analysis done by Edward Ivey which concluded that it was not cost effective for GM to spend more than $2.20 per vehicle to prevent a fire death. When deposed about his cost benefit analysis, Mr. Ivey was asked whether he could identify a more hazardous location for the fuel tank on a GM pickup than outside the frame. Mr. Ivey responded, “Well yes…You could put in on the front bumper.”