When We Say TTAC Homecoming, We Mean It

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth

Long-time TTAC readers will recall that some time ago, I accidentally became embroiled in a Facebook-wall argument with Motor Trend editor (and TTAC alum) Jonny Lieberman. When Jonny’s best friend and boss, Edward Loh, quite sensibly leapt to his defense, I said a lot of mean things that I probably should have just thought quietly to myself. Sometimes I forget that it’s not my job to make sure other people adhere to particular standards, ethical, aesthetic, or otherwise. I’ll do a better job of remembering that in the future.

As part of TTAC Homecoming, I’m featuring one of Jonny’s videos. In this episode of “The One”, Jonny pretends to be a British auto journalist as he drives the Challenger SRT-8 “Core” around what I think is probably the Streets of Willow. While I will freely admit that this sort of automotive journalism is not for me — the last straw on the proverbial camel’s back is probably when Jonny talks about his “good friend” Ralph Gilles, I’m of the opinion that our readers, not the PR people, should be our good friends — it’s definitely unique and it’s all part of the MT YouTube channel which, I am reliably informed, is the biggest automotive media source in North America. Not bad for a guy who used to write here for free, huh?

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Aug 24, 2013

    It left me confused, because I prefer both the Challenger and Kate Middleton to the alternatives he mentioned. What a train wreck; I just had to watch.

  • Harvey Harvey on Aug 24, 2013

    It's not hard to get Jonny's panties tied, though. A number of friends of mine do that all the time because we're Motor Trend Forums alum dating back for years-- I started in 2008, and others were around even longer and have been moderators in their time. Since then, traffic (at least good traffic) seems to have decreased not just because of the people, but the lack of updated software and the magazines shift in direction. Personally, I'm a bigger fan of the old Editor in-Chief Angus MacKenzie than his replacement, Ed Loh. Angus straightened Motor Trend out for a number of years, keeping content relatively consistent and the layout clean and sorted. Now it's been going through the switch-over for years, and the editors still haven't quite captured a winning formula. Regardless of how I feel about the switch from MacKenzie to Loh, one of the other things that bugs me lies with Lieberman and his attitude, predictable nature, and (enlightened by fellow forum mates) an amateurish style that would be better suited as an "associate editor" (staff writer) than an actual editor. If I want to read a hack, I'll just write it myself and not give the Adam-Savage knock-off, Lieberman, the satisfaction of attention.

    • See 1 previous
    • Harvey Harvey on Aug 25, 2013

      @porschespeed Not saying Angus is my favorite auto journalist. I was speaking of what he'd done for the magazine. Compared to what the editor before and after him (Kevin Smith and Ed Loh respectively), he's the better in terms of where the magazine was. Not perfect, but better in ways I liked. The Figure-8 test for testing handling/transition, braking, and acceleration in one place makes an interesting contrast to old-fashioned slaloms. That came under his watch. The initial start of "Best Handling Car" was a flop because it was far too focused on data and numbers, so it became "Best Drivers Car." BDC is still teething, but at least gives other aspects than just lap times. In terms of favorite auto journs? Not really sure. There's far too many, and each with loads of content to try and keep up with. When we're arguing about what's a better car, now we're supposed to argue who's the better writer? I can tell you that as a presenter, I think Chris Harris on /Drive does things well most of the time. Besides, what auto mag isn't a sad shell of their former glory? Everyone is so caught up in the race of online and video content to be tops, it kind of becomes noise.

  • Henkdevries Henkdevries on Aug 25, 2013

    Maybe TTAC writers should not become editors in chief. Perhaps it's the power that corrupts eventually. A Dutch saying seems appropriate for this behaviour; uit de bocht vliegen.

    • Harvey Harvey on Aug 25, 2013

      There's a difference between being editor and Editor in-Chief.

  • Johnny Canada Johnny Canada on Aug 26, 2013

    In a polite world, Jonny sends Robert Farago one hell of a nice thank-you card each year on the anniversary of his signing with Motor Trend.