By on January 24, 2017

In November of last year, I asked you, our loyal readership, for your input on how to guide this website into the future. You spoke to the tune of 300 comments, and I replied with the following:

When it comes to politics, we must walk a fine line, and we must define the meaning of political discussion. There’s no doubt that politics, government, regulation, and the automotive industry are intertwined like a well-stirred spaghetti. If we’re to ignore those aspects of the automotive environment in America and globally, we aren’t doing our jobs. However, there’s a vast difference between politics and partisan rhetoric. It’s the latter that’s become an issue.

So, we’ll eschew partisan rhetoric unless it’s germane to the story at hand. Otherwise, TTAC will not take part in the dissemination of rhetoric itself. Still, we’re about to enter a new era in American politics, where rhetoric plays an even more active role than it has in years and decades past. Keep this in mind when reading our reports. We cannot and should not ignore the words escaping the mouths of politicians, elected officials, regulators, and bureaucrats. To do so would be a disservice to you.

Well, dear readers, I’ve done you a disservice.

Yesterday, I approved the publication of an article that didn’t meet the standard outlined above. After reading your comments and emails, I decided it would be best to retract the article.

Unfortunately, retracting the article caused some fallout. Bark has decided to move on. I wish him the best of luck.

I truly believe every cloud has a silver lining. I’m far from infallible and make mistakes daily. However, I always make it a priority to learn from missteps so they are not repeated in the future. In this case, I’ve gained some perspective in what TTAC needs to do in the future.

  1. Focus on the cars and the industry: A number of you mentioned the article yesterday must have done “huge traffic,” but the reality is our best-performing articles are those that directly relate to cars or the automotive industry. As I promised you before, I intend to sharpen that focus. I hope you can forgive me for my moment of personal and professional weakness in not holding our content to the standard you all expect.
  2. Be inclusive: Before you bemoan inclusion, remember that we all have one thing in common — we love cars. We should do our best to serve those who love cars and the industry regardless of gender, race, or political belief. The reality is more people in America would rather look at cat memes than read about cars, and we can’t afford to ostracize a group of people just for the sake of sharing an opinion about something completely unrelated to the topic that’s brought all of us here in the first place. I personally apologize to those people excluded by commentary posted by TTAC in the past.

Thank you for sticking with us.

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420 Comments on “Retraction of Article Posted January 23, 2017...”


  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    I’m down with this.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I just happened to log on here as this article appeared.

    I saw the train wreck yesterday and wondered what consequences would occur. Mark Stevenson, it takes a man of conviction to recognize and amend a mistake. You have my respect.

    Best of luck to Bark (or Mark), I hope things work out for him.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Thanks for letting us know Mark. I still don’t know what the purpose of yesterday’s article was except to inflame the readership. And it just got worse as the comments went on.

    I’m sorry Bark has moved on – he contributed greatly to our little club. But yesterday was a misstep for him.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      Agreed 100%. I didn’t disagree with the premise of the editorial, at least what I thought should have been the premise based on the headline. That as autonomous cars eventually become better and more accepted those of us who wish to choose to drive our own car need to be ready to assert ourselves to defend that privilege.

      The problem wasn’t that premise. The problem was that it was terribly written and devolved into a strange rant about women marching and setting things on fire and I don’t know what else. It was almost painful to read.

      And I think that Mark Baruth quitting because of this one retraction is a little unnecessary and even silly. He wrote one bad editorial that became needlessly controversial. We all swing and miss every now and then. I am sure even Gordon Ramsey burns the occasional roast. There is no need to pack up and quit because of it.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      I agree, Dave.

      I regret Bark’s departure and hope he someday reconsiders. But Mark, I believe you’ve done the right thing. Thank you.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    I thank you for this Mark. It was the only real option and has restored my respect and faith in this site.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      The article was yesterday and would have quickly receded into the past. I would not expect many people to look at old articles once they move off the front page (or maybe page 2). Therefore the impact would quickly have dissipated whereas now we have a potentially troubling precedent set. Where a vocal minority did a comment storm which then forced editorial changes and essentially forced out a contributor they disagreed with. If that happened from the other side of the political spectrum they would be the first, correctly, to complain.

      • 0 avatar
        Sloomis

        It didn’t force anyone out. Sounds like he left of his own accord. And do you really think an extremist left-wing diatribe wouldn’t have met with the same shitstorm here? Readers have said they don’t want politics here, and smart business people make sure they give consumers what they want.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Sloomis – I completely agree that if here had been a left wing article there would have been a vocal minority complaining vociferously. The point is now there is a precedent set where if sufficient complaints are made then an article can be deleted.

          Mark B left of his own accord, but it can be viewed as his writing an article, approved for publication, then complaints come in from some and then his boss (Mark S) decides to publicly retract it. One reaction is to accept that, the other is to leave.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m going to try to stay away from adding anymore fire to the situation than what I’ve already explained above. However, if you believe a group of readers who subscribe to a certain political ideal has influence over our editorial policy, you’re dead wrong.

        The issue here, as explained above, is the article in question didn’t meet the standard I’d set in November. It was my mistake to publish it in the form it was published. It was my decision to rescind the post. It was Mark’s decision to leave based on my actions. That’s it.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Mark – thanks for the clarifications. However I believe it is fair to say (as you have) that Mark B left based on your actions. If you had not retracted the article then he would be here today. Just an observation.

          I personally don`t think articles like that should have been written – one course of action was to prevent them in future. The other was to retract – a choice.

        • 0 avatar
          MrGreenMan

          Your tenure has been marked by these continuous kerfluffles. You admit it was your mistake to let it through. OK, you’ve got no Bark now.

          Are you the editor, and you will approve articles, and, if this happens again, you will resign?

          Are the others still editors? When your newsman gets political, a line he continues to walk, will those news articles be pulled?

          Given the frequency of these sorts of posts, is this the right strategy? Have you considered that perhaps, instead of being the tone police, you should do something with the software to let people opt in and out of these things? Why don’t you make a filter that lets people set and remember – I don’t want to hear from these authors; I don’t want to see tags of a certain type – and then flag the political, the click bait, etc as such?

          You clearly have multiple kinds of readers, and you are clearly trying to force one specific rule down on this website, and you are failing, because you had to do this article.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            It was a mistake to let it through, agreed, and Mark S belatedly realized that as well, this is his mea culpa. However, when questioned, the author of the piece clearly stated (and I am paraphrasing as I understood it to read) that he himself had full editorial authority to basically post what he wanted and when he wanted, it didn’t matter what other editors thought of the post and he had carte blanche to post what he wanted on this, a platform that belongs to someone else. Apparently that was not the case after all. There is a pecking order, Mark S. appears to be in charge.

            The author of the post in question also clung to the sinking ship and became argumentative in the commentary without being able to elaborate or really defend his position. It was interesting that Jack didn’t seem to step up in his defense, unlike in prior instances of criticism. Of course, Jack certainly could have been otherwise occupied at the time At the end of the day it was viewed by most as what it was, a very thinly veiled political attack piece whose very thin automotive veneer could have been written about it many different ways, all of them much less incendiary. The way to get others to potentially turn and agree with your viewpoints is certainly not to denigrate those people.

            The author then apparently decided to leave this outlet, as is his right, but leaving certainly didn’t make anyone think that he was vindicated in the position he took, more that he just decided to take his ball and go home. Which is fine. We’ll go back to playing with cars instead.

      • 0 avatar
        WildcatMatt

        A data point, I routinely run about 2-3 weeks behind and usually start reading on page 10. If I hadn’t caught the headline in the Recent Comments I wouldn’t have known until February.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    He’ll be missed by some of us.

    Mark, thank you for the explanation and honesty. I am surprised and pleased to read that the automotive articles provide more traffic than the political poo storms and I hope that TTAC does well in the future.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      The B&B look at the number of entries to a story as an indication of hit points. I’m sure that TTAC’s site registers every time a story gets opened. That is different than replies.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Thanks Mark, though you would probably do well to dump his brother’s entry today as it’s not much better.

    TTAC is, for me at least, an escape from the political nonsense.

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      Just scroll on. Baruth Bros are always worth a read.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Jack’s article today may be political, but it’s squarely about the automotive industry. I happen to disagree with his argument, but I think it’s perfectly appropriate for TTAC.

      Yesterday’s sh#t-fest had basically nothing to do with cars, other than the thinnest reed which may as well have been grafted on as a sop to the name of the website. It read like a teenager trying to teach himself political argument by reading Milo Yiannopoulos.

    • 0 avatar
      Secret Hi5

      No, don’t. One of them is clearly a better writer.

  • avatar
    Sloomis

    Bark has decided to move on? Jeez, which side is the one full of snowflakes now? Too bad though, I can’t deny I enjoyed a lot of his articles. Even yesterday’s was fun, even if it was inappropriate.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    What article? Never got to read it, very busy yesterday and didn’t have time to look at everything. I’d like to read it just to see what all the fuss was about!

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Judging by the comments, it was a missive of political flamebait with a thin veneer of automotive relevance slathered on top.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Same here. Too busy all day to follow TTAC.

      I suppose just mentioning what the article was about would stir-up stuff that is best left alone.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      The title was something to the effect of, “Is It Time For Drivers To March?”

      You can draw conclusions as to what the article contained and how the comments went.

      • 0 avatar
        vagvoba

        It’s fortunate that I didn’t get a chance to read it. If the content was anything similar to what the title suggests, that would have likely been the last time I visited TTAC.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      It’s best that it has gone away.

      • 0 avatar
        vagvoba

        Thanks for the link. My nausea forced me to quit reading at the second paragraph. Good that Bark is now gone. I think first I’m gonna wash out my eyes with bleach and then decide what to do with my TTAC bookmark.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          It may not have been the best article but surely hyperbole to say you have to wash your eyes out. That is what is wrong with this country people not wanting to see things outside of their bubbles – and they exist on both sides of the political spectrum.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            “It may not have been the best article but surely hyperbole to say you have to wash your eyes out. That is what is wrong with this country”

            Very true and a sad commentary, as well.

        • 0 avatar
          Yurpean

          I used to be a regular reader but I deleted my bookmark. Checked in today to see the fallout and am somewhat pleased with the outcome.

          Even Jack, the old misogynist, penned an article that really pushed old leftist arguments against Free Trade. Namely, that offshoring is an attack against domestic environmental and labor regulations. Welcome to the reality based community, Jack. 40 years too late to the party but welcome none the less.

          As to the drivel posted by his brother yesterday, I sent a few emails to TTAC advertisers with appropriate screenshots. Some of the advertisers are my long-term customers and I am going to have interesting conversations with senior leadership when the time is right; no need to be overly dramatic at this time, but it is definitely something we will discuss over a glass of scotch.

          I am always surprised about the assumption that “liberals” (whatever that means, as it seems to be changing constantly, mostly to describe anyone who is not onboard with the current mouth foaming hate and/or stupidity) don’t hold power positions or economic and social clout.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Wow. Talk about overkill.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “As to the drivel posted by his brother yesterday, I sent a few emails to TTAC advertisers with appropriate screenshots. Some of the advertisers are my long-term customers and I am going to have interesting conversations with senior leadership when the time is right;”

            See this here? *This* is getting into actual SJW territory.

          • 0 avatar
            mindgymnast

            You genuinely have no idea how internet advertising works, do you?

          • 0 avatar
            WawaHoagies

            Way overboard. Overcompensating?

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            Thank-you for being the Arbiter of superior moral authority that this site clearly needs. I would bow down in worship, but that wouldn’t be good enough for the likes of you.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          Reading opinions of those with whom you disagree causes that much physical pain? It’s a wonder you managed the strength to reach the keyboard to express such discomfort.

    • 0 avatar
      srh

      Google “site:thetruthaboutcars.com time drivers march” and select cached.

      Really an unnecessary article. I don’t expect great car content at Breitbart, and I definitely don’t expect Breitbart articles at “The Truth About Cars”.

      I’m sorry to see Mark go, I thought his insights on the dealership experience were valuable, if occasionally completely out of touch with reality, but if he’s unable to contain his political ramblings and too insecure to work at a blog where he’s asked to draw between the lines, then the site is better off without him.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Mark, thank you. This will give Bark time for some badly needed help.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    Thanks Mark,

    I look forward to more cars, less click bait. For what its worth I no longer click on any story written by Jack. I love his car / racing insights but am put off by his need to infuse most every story with “other” stuff. I will miss Bark but yesterdays story should never have been published here. I don’t want to argue with the B&B about politics. I want to talk cars!

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      I quit reading Baruth1 years ago. I also boycotted Baruth2 once I realized who he was, initially for guilt by association, but catching the occasional comment in the sidebar confirmed that my initial judgement was correct.

      • 0 avatar
        Shane Rimmer

        I like Jack’s work when he’s not blowing dog whistles. He’s gotten better about that lately, but there was a low point a couple of months ago where I pretty much had to just quit reading his posts.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      I agree that his work would be much better if he did not feel the need to inject gratuitous comments about politics, his sex life, feminism, etc., into nearly Every Single Post. (But at least most of the article is relevant, instead of just a thin layer of auto-related veneer over a political rant.)

  • avatar
    kefkafloyd

    Mark,

    I was going to write a comment this morning about how memory holing the article was bad form, but having a public retraction helps, somewhat. It should have been ready to go. If Bark is leaving over it, then so be it. I wish him well in his future endeavors, but I will not be seeking out his writing anymore.

    I really considered removing this site from my RSS feed yesterday, and I’ve been following since the Bertel days. I come to this site for the following reasons:

    1. Reviews. I realize this is difficult to source cars all the time, but it’s the number one reason I read things here.

    2. The unique car related content (junkyard finds, Sajeev’s columns). There’s still enough good content here to keep me checking in.

    3. Jack Baruth’s columns, when they have something interesting to say. He hits far more than he misses, but the misses have grown lately. I usually find that when I disagree with him, I can understand or learn something from him. The case hasn’t been true lately with Bark, and someone’s comment the other day about this place turning into the Baruth Brothers joint started to ring a little louder to me.

    I recognize that building cars and the running of car companies has political elements to it (and I have no problem reading news articles that discuss the current goings on of regulations or trade), but if this place starts turning into “Breitbart but for cars,” I’m out. It was getting dangerously close there for a bit. There is a way to blend cars with interesting social commentary or musings on life, and it’s done every week by the guys who write and film Regular Car Reviews. That’s what TTAC is competing with these days, and this site looks more and more like a dinosaur as it succumbs to the ravings of guys with no self-awareness or obvious trolling. As long as the site sticks to facts and truthfulness, even unpleasant, then I will keep reading. This also goes for those content pieces I listed above.

    My advice on improving the site:

    1. Replace this antiquated comments system. Get Disqus or IntenseDebate or SOMETHING. This is TYOOL 2017, the built-in wordpress comments feature does not cut it anymore. Disqus isn’t perfect but it’s miles ahead of what is currently in place.

    2. Hire more people to write unique columns I can’t read anywhere else, or give Sajeev and Murilee more to do. This costs money, to which brings up my next point:

    3. Allow for a subscription that gives benefits such as ad-free viewing and explicit support of the site. I subscribe to various outlets and contribute to places I care about. If tossing $5/month to TTAC allows you to hire more writers who put out good content, then so be it.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d give $5 to read the offending article. I was too busy working yesterday to read anything until after midnight. Curiosity is getting the best of me.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Google’s cache is your friend.

        • 0 avatar

          I should have thought of Google cache but a brain fart left me momentarily helpless.

          Ok. I read it.

          I could defend Bark easily but to save the horrors of discussion that would follow, I’ll just skip that today.

          But I will say this:

          I’ve run businesses all my adult life. I’ve hired hundreds of people and fired a hundred or so. Every business has to have standards and TTAC has every right to create and state a standard, then discipline an employee as they see fit if those standards are violated. Having said that, something I learned really early in my career is don’t create a standard that will yield results you can’t live with. And don’t discipline in a way that will yield a result you can’t live with. I’m afraid these standards, applied in a heavy-handed manner, will continue to run off good writers. And, possibly, readers.

          My vote would be this: If it’s published under the heading of an Editorial, and it’s well thought out and well written, it should be published and TTAC should run it. Most major newspapers run editorial columns they don’t personally agree with. Do they slam these columnists and run them off to a competitor? No. They simply move on. If the columnist is widely read, they’re a winner no matter what he writes.

          Seems like that would be a good policy here. Do you really want as much readership as you can get, or only the readership that agrees with you?

          Personally, I enjoyed reading Bark’s articles. And I enjoyed the offending article yesterday. It made me laugh and it made me think about autonomous vehicles in a different way. On that basis, it seemed OK to me.

          I will still enjoy Bark’s writing wherever he lands next.

    • 0 avatar

      Your suggestions:

      1) In the works.

      2, 3) Let me handle #1 first.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Just say no to Disqus. There is no reason to give away your content to a third party that isn’t going to pay you for it.

      • 0 avatar
        kefkafloyd

        That’s fair. As long as it’s something that allows for proper notifications / comment threading, I’ll be OK with it. I don’t particularly care which platform or method you go with, it just has to be better than this.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        I can’t agree more. The commenting system is as modern as stone knives and bearskins. Please allow the abilty to post photos, or at least a photo. Often the refrain is: No photo, no believe.

        re: Yesterday’s $h!tstorm…the article was trash. Well below what I expect from TTAC. I’ll accept that most car enthusiasts are likely right of center. Hell, I bought a car that likely has the most conservative base of owners. But I have no interest in politics here just for the sake of argument. Cars are clearly the most regulated item that most folks deal with on a daily basis, so political discussion that relates tightly to cars is fine. But I don’t want to read “editorials” like that. This site should be somewhat of an escape. People who share similar worldviews as mine are likely to be saddened by the news on a daily basis for the next four years if today was any example. I don’t need more of that here.

  • avatar
    jjster6

    Yesterday’s article was garbage. It appears TTAC realized this and pulled the article. But Bark’s moving on over this? C’mon. He has his opinions. Some of them may be wrong. Some of mine may be wrong. But moving on? Learn form this and go on. Challenge your own opinions. Don’t shy away from this.

  • avatar
    FBS

    I rarely comment despite reading TTAC nearly every day, but I want to say that I appreciate that you recognized this mistake, corrected it, and owned up to it.

    Yesterday’s article clearly crossed the line from industry relevance to deliberate antagonism. Bark has made many quality contributions to the site, but if he was unwilling to back off from his piece and comments from yesterday, then TTAC is probably better off with his departure.

    • 0 avatar
      GS 455

      Winnipeg Jets and Texas? #gojetsgo

    • 0 avatar
      Ben

      this is pretty much what I logged in to write, with one addition:
      my issue with the article has nothing to do with Bark’s political leanings, but with his sexist, anti-feminist and trollish ranting.
      it didn’t feel like an authentic opinion, more like a teenagery attempt to shit disturb. I don’t find any of this offensive, since I can just not read it, but I felt strongly enough about sexist crap showing up on one of my favourite sites to contact TTAC directly, for the first time.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      A Jets fan in Texas is a FAN.

    • 0 avatar
      RedEarth

      FBS – 100% agree. I did enjoy Bark, but there is a difference between political and disparaging, and his comments made things worse.

      Thank you to all those who called him out on his BS. Now hopefully we can just get back to cars / the auto industry etc…?

  • avatar
    Rochester

    If there is a political connection to an automotive story, I would like to see it at a less specific nature to individual politicians. There’s no other way to say this than to be explicit… feelings about Trump are not political, they are ethical. If you bring him up, people will be understandably angry, and that’s not the mood you want for this website.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      I think you have put the situation into words most elegantly.

      It is no longer about politics, per se, but about fundamental ethics decisions (ends justifying means, feelings versus duties, majority and minority concerns, etc.).

      I will miss Bark, and I’m a reader of both brothers’ works and a listener to some of their podcast appearances. That being said, I was a bit stunned yesterday. As a moderate politically, I try to listen to everyone’s opinions, but the referenced article yesterday fell into diatribe.

      Bark was obviously offended deeply by the protest, and was looking to vent that emotion in an opinion piece. While I certainly don’t disagree with anyone’s right to their own anger, there was a lack of empathy in that article that went WAY beyond their normal elbow-in-the ribs writing style. This is what confused many of us, who having, ahem, aged a bit, may lean conservatively with regards to money and resources, but we also understand that people have to be allowed to live free in this country, and that gives them the right to walk in the streets to try to feel some sort of empowerment.

      Our president’s comments during the election were meant to generate controversy, but their collateral effects cannot be dismissed by those of us in a majority. Yes, Bark and anyone else is free to disagree with their reasons for protest, but many of us have daughters, and to pretend that their lives are as free from worry, threat, and harassment as ours is just plain wrong.

      Disagreement is welcome, attack goes too far. Back to regularly scheduled programming…

      • 0 avatar
        Rochester

        My wife and my daughters and I all agree with you, Willyam.

        The protests since the inauguration were the first time in months that I felt a genuine moment of hope and pride. Because otherwise, how we feel right now is exactly what it felt like after 9-11.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Some of us have felt the opposite for the past eight years. Perhaps the real tragedy is for at least the past sixteen/seventeen years a large percentage of the population has felt such a way at any given time.

          • 0 avatar
            Rochester

            “Some of us have felt the opposite for the past eight years.”

            Republicans? Sure, that’s understandable.

            But we’re not talking about Republicans, we’re talking about trump supporters. The people who used to say horrible things under their breath, and only to one another. Now we have to witness thugs openly intimidating people with hate and alternative facts, even attempting to run our government.

            Do you see the difference? I would hope you do.

            And if you’re wondering why things are so polarized… it started 16 years ago when a President was elected after losing majority support in the nation, and continues today with an illegitimate president getting elected after losing a significant majority support in the nation.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Yes, 28. My wife and daughter were happy with the election results. For some, it all depends on whose ox gets gored.

          • 0 avatar
            True_Blue

            Agreed. The political pendulum is a cruel mistress. These violent sways to extreme right and extreme left alienate half the population at one point in time.

            I don’t see moderation coming any time soon.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            My wife is a committed Republican. She worked as an LA for a (still-serving) GOP member of Congress, voted for every Republican nominee for president since 1997 when she first became eligible to vote, supported first Jeb Bush and then John Kasich in the 2016 Republican primary, and opposed 90% or more of what Barack Obama did in office.

            But… she voted for Hillary Clinton while holding her nose, feels despondent about almost everything that’s happened (except the abortion EO) in the first days of the Trump administration, and told me yesterday she would have marched if we didn’t have a 1-month-old at home, purely to protest a lot of things about Trump.

            This is not a normal political situation.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @dal:

            I found a surprising number of Republican women at that march the other day.

            You’d be surprised how much opposition they have to him.

            What worries me is that Trump will be the loudmouthed buffoon who gets all the press, while the ultra-rightists sneak a garbage agenda in while no one’s looking.

            While I was marching, I had no illusions Trump cared one whit. But 200,000 people showing up on a cold-a** January morning should send a real loud signal to every elected official in Colorado – we’re watching YOU, and we can swing any election. Tread carefully, boys.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            “But we’re not talking about Republicans, we’re talking about trump supporters. The people who used to say horrible things under their breath, and only to one another. Now we have to witness thugs openly intimidating people with hate and alternative facts, even attempting to run our government.”

            The people donning black shirts and using fascist tactics to riot and smash windows, burn cars, beat people up at political rallies, etc. aren’t Trump supporters and most assuredly, are not on the right. They are the fascist Left.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            The people donning black shirts and using fascist tactics to riot and smash windows, burn cars, beat people up at political rallies, etc. are the Black Brigade. You’ll see them at every WTO meeting, G8 meeting, World Bank conference, etc. You will not see them at your local polling place pulling the lever for the Democratic nominee.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @Rochester – “But we’re not talking about Republicans, we’re talking about trump supporters. The people who used to say horrible things under their breath, and only to one another. Now we have to witness thugs openly intimidating people with hate and alternative facts, even attempting to run our government.”

            Very well said. I was a Republican, until Trump won the election. As I stated several times below, I’ve been a Republican for longer and worked more for the GOP more than he has despite being half his age. And I was not, and will never be a Trump supporter. What he has done to the party and to this country is stomach churning and I do not plan to quiet down my criticism of him at all over the next 4 years.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Nice points guys.

            “The people who used to say horrible things under their breath, and only to one another.”

            That’s right because no other socio-political group is guilty of such a thing, ever.

            “Now we have to witness thugs openly intimidating people with hate and alternative facts, even attempting to run our government.”

            The thugs of the past year have been time and again proven to be paid leftist shills. Regarding “alternative facts” you have never, ever, been given the 100% truth from any media outlet since at least the 19th Century. This isn’t all of the sudden, oh there is alternative news full of lies, you have always been lied too, you are told what they want you to know and what they want you to think. Remember the Maine!

            “it started 16 years ago when a President was elected after losing majority support in the nation”

            I agree, things were so divided then and now.

            “with an illegitimate president getting elected after losing a significant majority support in the nation.”

            Your point of view is too partisan. If the most transparent administration eva’ to be at war every day is considered legitimate, than the one who was elected with two recounts in key states is too. If we want to talk illegitimate sure I’ll agree to Bush 2000, but so the Democratic candidate highly illegitimate as was the DNC leadership caught in a conspiracy to rig their party’s candidate selection. Although from my point of view, nothing has really been legitimate since at least 22 November 1963. Like 2008, it is what it is. Just pray the President/leaders etc can prevent the planned implosion of the nation (at least for a few more years until I can get my ass out of Dodge).

            @True_Blue

            That’s my overall point.

            @dal

            I hope your wife is feeling well. From a policy standpoint I’m not sure what the hubub is about thus far (1. weaken Obamacare, 2. federal hiring freeze, 3. withdraw from TPP, 4. foreign abortion ban, 5. keystone XL). Until this guy goes full Stalin my suggestion is be chill.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Thanks, 28. My wife is doing great except when she thinks about politics. :)

            “’m not sure what the hubub is about thus far (1. weaken Obamacare, 2. federal hiring freeze, 3. withdraw from TPP, 4. foreign abortion ban, 5. keystone XL). Until this guy goes full Stalin my suggestion is be chill.”

            She was most upset about Spicer’s two press appearances, not any of the policy stuff. Her view is that Republicans have been the stronger party on the First Amendment until now and that Trump has undone all their good work on press freedom. But she also didn’t like the first three things on your list.

            1. The executive order was so vague it was impossible to understand what was actually being ordered. As someone who has served as staff and tried to follow instructions, she wasn’t happy about that.

            2. A federal hiring freeze is a cheap PR solution that doesn’t solve what she sees as the real problem (a government structure that tries to do too much). From a personnel standpoint it’s horrible. The best federal government employees are the ones who have private-sector options. The good people leave, you get stuck with all the deadweight, and you can’t take any steps to fire the deadweight or get new good people in. The way to deal with federal government bloat, she feels, is for Congress to actually make decisions to cut stuff.

            3. She is even more of a committed free-trader than I am, like most of the capitalist wing of Republicans. She is a fan of TPP in particular — she thinks it’s well organized. I don’t have enough information to evaluate her feelings, but my sympathies are pro-trade too.

            4. She’s fine with this one. I’m the one tearing my hear out over it.

            5. This happened after our conversation, but I’m sure she’s fine with it.

            She is also not a fan of several of Trump’s Cabinet appointments, particularly the imbecilic Betsy Devos or the la-la crazy Mike Flynn.

            Oh, and one more thing – she’s a pro-infrastructure Republican and vigorously opposes the part of the Heritage Foundation budget plan, that Trump seems poised to adopt, that slashes infrastructure spending (including roads, bridges, rail, mass transit, and airports) by more than half. The one thing she liked from his campaign was the promise for an infrastructure bill, a promise which is now in a very uncertain place given the budget plans.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            “You will not see them at your local polling place pulling the lever for the Democratic nominee.”

            You will see them organized and funded by Robert Creamer, husband of Rep. Jan Schakowski (D-IL), the same Robert Creamer who is on the official WH log as meeting with Obama and/or his underlings over 20 times during Obama’s two terms. FBI has him under investigation.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @dal

            That’s good to hear. I don’t have the deep understanding of the First Amendment as you do, but I do believe it is important. I personally believe the information flow has been tightly controlled and manipulated by media for over a hundred years on some level, but at the same time as Woodward and Bernstein demonstrated, occasionally the free media actually lives up its name. I look at the events of the past thirteen or so months and I think the practice of journalism has largely been intentionally disregarded for pure propaganda and what is now being called fake news. I think it is a serious national security issue when your mainstream media nearly all act in such a way. My suggestion to the president is simple: anti-trust suits. Outside of Facebook and Twitter, nearly all US media is owned by six corporations. Break them all up to start (and probably Facebook too).

            Trump the man may not largely agree with the First Amendment but I have no doubt many around him and in his party do, but just look at what they are up against. Russian hackers, but no proof. Golden showers (which is a bizarre personal attack), but no proof. Then this crowd picture controversy (which is so juvenile, and the fact it is even being discussed by MSM shows the level they operate on). This is just since the election, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of what was and was not covered during the election. Can you imagine the outrage if any medium level to major media outlet published a fake report on alleged sexual proclivities of the former President or either of the Democratic candidates? You’d hear the outrage on Mars. Heck I bet the current thud of hypocrisy on the part of media can be heard there too. My .02.

            1. I did read the first one on Obamacare but I don’t have the legal background to fully interpret it. If he made it vague, it was probably on purpose so people implementing it can do whatever they want in “exempting” from Obamacare. I also find it interesting the Executive branch can essentially order the gov’t to interpret law from the Legislative branch any way it likes. Could one also issue an EO to say, well Interior Dept you know that law about not drilling in ANWAR (I couldn’t think of a better law)? Well if you allow say the use of a laser to dig the whole that’s not drilling and you are free to allow that to happen.

            Am I thinking this through correctly?

            2. I agree, but then again the man just got there and there has probably not been any discussion with Congress for a better solution. Personally I’d like to see the re-emergence of Neutron Jack because let’s face it, Fedgov is full of personnel bloat. But the changes have to be thought through and properly implemented (which I hope occurs).

            3. The secretive way it was handled suggested to me it was not going to be in my (or most other’s) best interest. I believe it was thew NZ gov’t who published their copy and seem to recall a section on corporate tribunals. Here’s Wapo:

            “One strong hint is buried in the fine print of the closely guarded draft. The provision, an increasingly common feature of trade agreements, is called “Investor-State Dispute Settlement,” or ISDS. The name may sound mild, but don’t be fooled. Agreeing to ISDS in this enormous new treaty would tilt the playing field in the United States further in favor of big multinational corporations. Worse, it would undermine U.S. sovereignty.

            ISDS would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. laws — and potentially to pick up huge payouts from taxpayers — without ever stepping foot in a U.S. court. Here’s how it would work. Imagine that the United States bans a toxic chemical that is often added to gasoline because of its health and environmental consequences. If a foreign company that makes the toxic chemical opposes the law, it would normally have to challenge it in a U.S. court. But with ISDS, the company could skip the U.S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company won, the ruling couldn’t be challenged in U.S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require American taxpayers to cough up millions — and even billions — of dollars in damages.”

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/
            kill-the-dispute-settlement-language-in-the-trans-pacific-partnership/
            2015/02/25/
            ec7705a2-bd1e-11e4-b274-e5209a3bc9a9_story.html?utm_term=.4663b44102ef

            4. I’m not terribly familiar with it myself. I read this is something which has been happening every turn of the presidential baton, one bans, the other lifts the ban etc.

            5. I’m not sure this is all that and a bag of chips but I will enjoy watching certain heads explode over what in the grand scheme is a relatively minor thing. I will also enjoy seeing Buffet lose his quasi monopoly in oil transport by rail (which the former President helped protect).

          • 0 avatar

            28,

            The media has many problems, but the straight up attacks on them from Trump instead of just going after when their wrong just seems bad. More so coming from a guy has publicly stated he wants to reduce freedom of the press.

            I agree the rumors published as facts are going a bit far. On Russia hacking at this point Trump says they did it, which I have to assume means the CIA has some damn good evidence.

            On the pipelines my issue is with eminent domain used to take the land for a private pipeline.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @mopar4wd

            Given the way the press acted prior to the election, I could see why he has it out for them. The fact some of them since the election have engaged in obvious collusion while presenting no evidence of claims is not helping the “free” press argument. The best result for everyone, in my view, is anti-trust suits to break up the large media organizations as opposed to whatever draconian ideas Trump may have in mind.

            The press stopped being free when every major organ began pushing the same agenda and literally making up facts in some cases. They are a most definite threat to national security when they literally are in lock step with an agenda (as the Podesta emails have shown in some cases). I watched Conway’s interesting interview over the weekend and at one point she stated something to the effect “you’re not an opinion show, you’re supposed to report the news”. I literally started clapping (despite the rest of the interview which was heated and annoying).

            Even Morning Joe Scarborough admitted after the election the MSM made up a conclusion (Wicked Witch) and then went searching for evidence of this conclusion. He added something to the effect of “we stopped reporting the news”, and he was right. Two to tango, this isn’t just a narcissistic President projecting on the “innocent” media, MSM has lost the plot big time and should be broken up before long. I hope he bankrupts them all, at the end of the day he is still President for the next four years.

            Additional: The Morning Joe video

            youtube.com/watch?v=zY3nRgEZTm8

          • 0 avatar
            Willyam

            @mopar4wd,
            In this flood of well-thought-out opinions, I hope you come back to this. Your point is a great one that I don’t hear discussed much, if ever. It is one that the ranchers in Idaho, the Native Americans, and us, the Farmers/Land Owners all cross parties to agree on. (My family has farmed since the 1730’s from Virginia to Kansas, and we still own a good bit of leased acreage).

            Farmers in Nebraska are fighting eminent domain that will allow a foreign (let’s repeat for emphasis, FOREIGN) entity to make profits. Eminent domain (not a lawyer but play one online) should be enacted for the public good of US Citizens, not just corporate profits, and certainly NOT for foreign interests. Running pipelines (or fracking infrastructure, access roads, whatever) can do hella damage to productive farmland.

    • 0 avatar
      Eiriksmal

      Are you the same Rochester from Maxima.org who moved on to G37 something or other.com?

      You sound as mature as him, if you aren’t. (This is a good thing)

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    Misery loves company.

  • avatar
    WalterRohrl

    Thank you. It never ceases to astound me when people who are NOT self-employed or otherwise able to survive independently and are also easily identifiable go completely public with their own very personal views, one way or another; but usually it is those that are most extreme that do it and are then surprised when there is a backlash.

    As an employer myself, I consider my employees to be the face of my business, if their behavior risks jeopardizing my business by having people actively avoid it by their presence, then they won’t (can’t) be my employee for long, whether or not their behavior occurs on my time or their own time.

    Mark recently stated that whenever he (or his brother) enter a room, (any room), they are by default the smartest people present. He appeared to be completely serious, or at east I understood it that way. Part of actually being smart is having the humility to accept the possibility that maybe, just maybe, what someone else says or thinks has value and that it is possible that one’s own opinion is incorrect or that a different opinion has merit. Blind adherence to an opinion without the possibility to compromise is arrogance, not intelligence, and is easily identifiable.

    I wish Mark well in his future endeavors. Now let’s get back to cars!

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      “Mark recently stated that whenever he (or his brother) enter a room, (any room), they are by default the smartest people present.”

      Ha! I used to feel similarly. Especially during my public school years. Then I went to university to study to be an electrical engineer. Suddenly, I often found myself to be the dumbest person in the room.

      It certainly was uncomfortable for me for awhile, but I got over it and I would like to think that it was a good experience for me.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I had the same experience when I went to law school. That comment of Mark’s stuck out for me too, and after reading it, I wanted to put him in the same room with some of the people who graduated with high honors.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          Intelligence is a many faceted thing… at the heart of it is pattern recognition.

          As kids, Bark and I were both prodigies. I was reading at a high school level when I was three years old and programming in assembler when I was seven. But that was a lot of concussions ago, for both pro-bmx me and state football champ Bark.

          Seventeen years ago I went to MIT to launch a project with some of the guys from the AI/media lab. While I was there I had dinner with Stallman. I’d say that was the first time I’d ever met somebody who thought at my speed when it came to problem solving and technical concepts.

          Bark is a lot like Stallman. Right down to the temper when he is contradicted. The difference is that he’s also a salesman by profession so he doesn’t permit his eccentricities as much room to grow.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            What’s your IQ Jack? What is Mark’s?

          • 0 avatar
            MPAVictoria

            In my years in academia, public policy and the private sector I have found that the smartest people in the room don’t feel the need to brag online about how they are the smartest people in the room.

            Food for thought.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            Holy crap Jack. I have been in the field 20+ years and Assembler may as well be from one of those planets in Interstellar.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            319583076 asks: “What is your IQ?”

            The last time I took a proctored IQ test was in school, many years ago.

            I got all the questions correct.

          • 0 avatar
            Middle-Aged Miata Man

            Of course, ‘smart’ is quite distinct from ‘intelligent’ in many ways. I was also recognized with a high level of intelligence from a young age, but there have been PLENTY of examples where I was quite stupid in applying it (including here at TTAC.)

            Personally, this is the best piece of advice I’ve ever heard… written by the ridiculously flawed and flaming Leftist, Aaron Sorkin.

            “It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. If you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.”

          • 0 avatar
            jjster6

            OK Jack, I call BS.

            Anyone who thinks IQ is actually a measure of intelligence, or that intelligence can even be boiled down to a number, ain’t that intelligent.

            I think it time that the Baruth boys learn that if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

            If you really think you are always the smartest guy in the room then what you really are is the most arrogant guy in the room.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            “Holy crap Jack. I have been in the field 20+ years and Assembler may as well be from one of those planets in Interstellar.”

            I did assembler in University both as an undergraduate (MIPS) and graduate (ARM). It really isn’t so bad.

            Now VHDL, that was the one that kicked my ass.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            Jack writes: “Intelligence is a many faceted thing… at the heart of it is pattern recognition.”

            Jester writes “Anyone who thinks IQ is actually a measure of intelligence, or that intelligence can even be boiled down to a number, ain’t that intelligent.”

            Good thing I didn’t write that! But if you think IQ is entirely useless as a measurement you’re kidding yourself.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Rock on, Jack and Mark! Illegitimi non carborundum …

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            ‘Personally, this is the best piece of advice I’ve ever heard… written by the ridiculously flawed and flaming Leftist, Aaron Sorkin.

            “It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. If you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.” ‘

            You left off his last line in that bit of advice: “And don’t get high on your own supply.”

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            But what was your IQ based on acing that particular exam?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            UGH. IQ proves nothing regardless of how you measure it. John H. Sununu (former Governor of New Hampshire – former Chief of Staff for George H.W. Bush) supposedly scored in the 99.9999th percentile for IQ tests. He still was stupid enough to get caught taking personal trips (skiing etc.) and reporting them as official business.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            IQ proves how good you are at certain kinds of tricky logic questions.

            It has little to do with success in the real world, which is 10% technical knowledge and 90% good relationships with people. I’ve been much happier to see that my older son is emotionally intelligent than that he’s IQ intelligent, although so far he seems both.

            It’s no accident that “high IQ” communities online and in the real world, where IQ is seen as a piece of identity, are filled with very strange people.

          • 0 avatar
            Daniel J

            And EMACS is still rubbish….

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Jack Baruth andd Mark Baruth were CHILD PRODIGIES AND HAVE I.Q.’S ABOVE 290!

            Can’t you SEE THIS!

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Even though JACK CAN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO STOP CRASHING IN TO IMMOVABLE OBJECTS WHILE BMXing LIKE A 12-YEAR OLD AND INJURING HIMSELF.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “Be inclusive”

    I’m not going to start liking turbo-4 engines or CVTs or crossovers.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    So let us all wax poetic about our missteps and the departure of Mark.

    Let us all ignore the elephant in the room that Mark was one of the few contributing traffic driving content to TTAC.

    If Jack leaves, TTAC will cease to exist.

    Vertical Scope is at the hands of Torstar – TTAC Deathwatch.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      No one is irreplaceable, and if B&B really think they’re the King Spits of Gerd Mountain, they can start The Alternative Facts About Cars and let the clicks fall where they may.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Only a tiny percentage of the audience will ever post a comment, and only a few of those will become regulars.

      In light of that, you can’t use the comments section to judge site traffic. I would expect car reviews to get the most readers, as those will pull in traffic from search engines.

      • 0 avatar

        Car reviews typically draw the most traffic, followed by non-news features, then news.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        I suppose that could be argued. TTAC used to stand out as kind of a good analysis of the industry, even from an insider’s point of view. That of course led to some great insider info from the audience that gravitated towards it.

        So what you’re saying is I should go to AOL autos since this site’s content is increasingly becoming that of the norm? Why exist, then?

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Even when Farago ran the joint, car reviews were the main draw. He niched the site by making the reviews a bit more colorful than the norm.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Jack’s going to leave next.

          I’ve been watching the signs & overt hints here & elsewhere.

          In fact, MarkB may have posted what he did knowing the plan.

          Jack & MarkB had already planned on transitioning reviews and politically-oriented pieces and everything in-between over to their site once the timing was right (a big enough core base to have a chance at multiplying by ten or twenty-fold.

          The most memorable & distinguishing things about TTAC (IMO) are Jack’s op/ed pieces (Jack is closest to Farago’s rebel spirit, but Jack writes better, and connects better with a larger audience; Farago seemed much more aspie than Jack claims that he is) on things Porsche-Hublot, auto/watch/clothing marketing, Continental, Cadillac, Bentley, used vehicles (I’m forgetting a few gems), industry insider (suppliers, manufacturers, dealers, et al.) info that’s revealed in the comments section, junkyard finds, and the stock photos recycled – and a much more opinionated, older, skeptical reader/commenter base than something like Jalopnik (where the average commenter seems as if they are 22) or cars.com forums.

          There should be extremely little censorship among the staff or commenters, here, period.

          Let people pretty much write what they want and the collective mob can sort it all out.

          I realize that there are more complexities in terms of having front-page essays being pre-approved, approved and then published by the editorial staff, which seems to be the case involved here, but still…

          The less censorship or concern about conformity group-think, the greater likelihood that there will be better, more entertaining, and even more thought-stimulating exchanges of ideas (even if some/many people are offended – too bad).

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            There is extremely little censorship among the staff or commenters here.

            Bark’s article wasn’t pulled down because of the comments. The post didn’t meet the editorial standards Mark set a few months ago.

          • 0 avatar
            Frank Galvin

            The Baruths are a known commodity – and have been for a while. Censoring their output is not in this site’s best interest. I can’t stress this enough, a reader who clicks a Baruth article should not be surprised at the content and viewpoints expressed within. After all, isn’t that why most click through anyways? Putting a restrictor plate on their output is self-defeating. It gives into the mob thereby creating the loathsome “safe space” for those easily offended. Inclusivety should not choke the viewpoint of those contributors whose views may differ from others. As a reader, I want this site to engage me, I want to read different viewpoints other than my own, and if I feel strongly enough about it, I’ll chime in one way or another. Keep in mind, Howard Stern built his audience on feeding his fans what they wanted and keeping it ribald enough so that the “haters” (yeah – Trump reference there) couldn’t turn the dial and stayed. Eventually, some of those were turned into fans. So – with Bark and Jack, either do one of the following; ditch your content parameters and allow them the full throated platform that drives dialogue, or give into the perceived as the TTAC audience – the braying comment section of the perpetually aggrieved if that will drive the bottom line. I’ll bet on the former over the latter any day.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            too many believe they’ve the right to not be offended. Instead of scrolling past that which offends their eyes, they’ll demand that that which offends them be stricken from the record. There’s a lot of that going on these days, and I’ll always find that type of thinking illogical and dull.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @Adam, the post was most certainly removed because of the comment and/or the hate mail that it generated.

            Had Mark truly been concerned about it meeting the standards of the site, and actively editing with those standards first and foremost it either never would have been published. If it was a case where for whatever reason Mark was unable to review the article before posting then it should have been removed before Bark was able to fan the flames with his attacks in the comments and his arrogant rant about how being an editor gave him free reign to post what ever he wanted, even if it was against the standards set for the site.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            The whole thing is a lesson learned. I am disappointed that we are this point. I like Bark and enjoy his writing. I’m sad that he is gone.

            Mark said that he made a mistake by letting the piece get published. All we can do is move forward. There are enough shoulda, coulda, and wouldas to go around. Maybe if I would have said something to Mark right after the post went south, things would have ended differently.

            I don’t give a $hit about safe spaces, snowflakes, alt-right, fascism, etc. Politics are intertwined with cars, but we all need to do better.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            We need great American things like Continental, Mustang, Bronco… oh and a better water pump design too. Yes we can!

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            Editorial standards are not censorship. Different concepts, and the misuse suggests you think you are in a public space, when you are in fact in Verticalscope’s house. Mr. Stevenson has the keys.

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            Agree, this site is blog style commentary on the industry at it’s heart. Would Peter Delorenzo put up with this crap? Would Farago put up with this Crap? Go re-read the GM death watch series…THAT is what put ttac on the map.

            Good on Bark for leaving, and if he and Jack start their own site or go to Jack’s blog, I will read it. They are what make ttac better than autoblog. I don’t want autoblog.

      • 0 avatar
        Paragon

        I know exactly what you are saying, Pch101, as I read this site daily for many years before ever creating a login name in order to be able to comment. I used to come here to be both better informed and entertained. Then there finally came the day I just had to join in and share my comment. There was also a time I visited Jalopnik and AutoBlog daily, and the same way, after merely reading stuff I eventually got around to commenting at times. Yet I don’t always feel the need to share all of my thoughts and opinions on every article every day. Because I lack the time to do so, in reality, even were I so inclined.

        Got to mention that I first started Reading TTAC in the Farago days, with the GM Death Watch series of articles. And, to be clear, I am completely fine with a diversity of thoughts and opinions, so long as things don’t devolve into personal attacks.

    • 0 avatar
      Reprimerdaheap

      I disagree: if Jack leaves and TTAC ceases to exist, then it already is dead.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree Tres.

    • 0 avatar
      Rochester

      You give him way too much credit. His writing was clever, but it was also obvious that he considered himself way more clever than his skills & opinions demonstrated. It’s a common trap for writers.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Even so, this site is dying. His departure isn’t helping.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          I think Bark leaving is the first step to making TTAC great again. I personally usually avoided his bites columns as the click-bait trolling nature was ever increasing. What happened yesterday was the logical culmination of his efforts. I’ve venture to say that for every click he generated, particularly the many responding to his own articles with an “nu-huh” ripped right from grade school recess, robbed the site of many future clicks.

          Clicks today are great and definitely the foundation of the business but doing so at the expense of other current and future clicks is suicide.

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        “His writing was clever, but it was also obvious that he considered himself way more clever than his skills & opinions demonstrated. It’s a common trap for writers.”

        More common among those who comment here…

    • 0 avatar
      56BelAire

      @tresmonos…..I agree. TTAC Deathwatch time.

      I have been here since Farago and witnessed the ups and downs. With Mark gone and Jack probably soon to follow, TTAC has yet again lost key contributors. The inmates(B&B&D….best, brightest, dumbest) have destroyed the asylum.

      Best of luck Mark, I really enjoyed your industry and dealer insider articles, it’s really hard to find that insight. Thanks.

  • avatar
    scrubnick

    I am very disappointed in this site for how the post was treated. Sure, it stirred some controversy but I think the rant about the march and protesting was actually very important to the actual car-related point. It is obvious that there is a large group of very vocal people who try to shame and guilt people into following their ways. The need for a counter-protest in the future might actually be a good idea, given the way things seem to be headed. I blame the readers just as much as the author for ignoring the car-related portion of the article just to focus on lead-in and its relationship to ad revenue.

    Basically, I think everyone dropped the ball here. Now let’s get back to cars. And trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      I missed the article, but I can picture it anyway from the comments on the Nissan Rogue article from earlier this week that somehow tied Rogue sales into the Women’s March. It wasn’t just nasty, it was genuinely crazy.

      There’s a significant chunk of weird right wing frothing loons on this site, there always has been. I’ve been coming here on and off for 12 years or so, it’s always been that way. It’s ugly and stupid and it has nothing to do with cars. If it was bad enough to get formally retracted by the people who tolerate some of the nut jobs around here, Baruth must have been way over the line.

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      Agreed. Much ado about nothing. People need to lighten up a bit. It’s can be entertaining to read the lockstep on both left and right. So much bloviating by the ill-informed. Life is way too short to harden hearts. Again, lighten up.

      That said, now to the Abarth!!!

  • avatar
    BerlinDave

    Where is the article – surely it is archived somewhere?

    Now, I am curious (nosy
    , perhaps).

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Thanks Mark. For what it’s worth, here is why I visit TTAC:

    -Industry news and articles, with an analytical approach
    -Sales analysis and commentary
    -Critical design reviews
    -Commentary and editorials about cars and car culture
    -Reading comments from other readers

    Car reviews are not really why I come here, but they’re a good read too.

    The comments section is a goldmine. I’ve learned so much about the inner workings of the industry from folks in sales & finance, engineering, production etc. I’d love to read more editorials about these kind of things, like the relationship between design and engineering, sales tactics, design challenges etc. HOW the cars are produced is even more interesting than the actual cars themselves, to me anyway.

    At any rate, I’m glad the political stuff will be set aside and that cars will become again the focus of the site.

    Edit: I used to read Automotive Design & Production and while it was a good magazine, it was too PR-esque and polished. TTAC strikes a good balance of showing the good and bad sides of the industry.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    It’s a shame Mark tied in the women’s march with the main point of his article, which was that the advent of self-driving cars poses a political threat to our ability (I’ll stop short of saying “right”) to keep and freely use human-driven cars. Powerful people – some for motives like safety and the environment, some with a pure profit motive – will seek to ease us away from individually-owned automobiles and into shared ownership, Uber, or public transit.

    As automotive enthusiasts, we need to discuss how to achieve a future where self-driven and human-driven cars share roads and parking without new restrictions on those of us who want to continue driving ourselves. I wish Mark had stuck to the topic at hand: how to keep our vehicular freedom.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I missed the whole thing yesterday. Anyway, I come to sites like this to escape politics, and I try to avoid ranting or being drawn into flame wars. I know that in a site like this that carries articles on autos and government policy, some of it’s unavoidable. But still, writers and commenters alike should try to keep a cool head.

    Mark, I know this is a Canadian site, but of course, there are lots of Americans like myself that post here. It would be nice to see a breakdown of posters by country (just out of curiosity).

    As for me, I’ll miss Bark.

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    Mark,

    Thank you for your straightforward message and for the intent to continue to focus on what matters – cars.

    Best of luck.

  • avatar

    Seems reasonable to take it down. Shame about Mark, like I said yesterday he has written really insightful articles about the biz. I’m fine with someone posting an opposing opinion, but yesterdays article was like a Trump Supporters version of a Jezebel post. Or as some one on my twitter feed put it White people identity politics.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    What happens to the incredible surplus of Ford Kool Aid if Woof isn’t here to drink it?

  • avatar
    notwhoithink

    That’s too bad. I normally enjoy reading Bark’s columns and articles, and I feel like I have learned quite a lot from them. His articles were something that I looked forward to regularly. But then I saw that article yesterday, and it was so full of such condescension and derision for people who simply had and expressed a different political view than Bark’s that I couldn’t even finish it. I get that every once in awhile you’ll get a side dish of political commentary rolled into the automotive articles, especially when you’ve got the POTUS making threats to the auto manufacturers over offshoring. But the article seemed like politics with a side of automotive info. I was so surprised to see what amounted to a political diatribe that I honestly can’t remember what the car-related portion of it was supposed to be.

    That being said, if he starts writing for another auto site with articles similar to what he’s written here in the past, I’d certainly keep reading.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Thanks Mark, the article was clearly outside of the scope of the plan for the future of TTAC and in the comments the author flaunted that fact and claimed it was his right to post anything he wanted even if it did not fall within the scope of this site’s direction.

    The fact that he posted it in the first place and then has decided to take his ball and go home rather than play by the rules shows his true character.

    Apparently I’m not the only one who had mainly stopped reading his work and only got sucked in to clicking on it by seeing the firestorm in the recent comments side bar. When he comes crawling back and you know he will I sincerely hope that you tell him his services are not required. If you do give him a second chance I hope that all commenters chose to vote with their clicks and not get sucked in by his trolling “opinion pieces”.

    Thanks again.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I get that Adam and Kyree have a fairly weak power-level by design and you usually aren’t around to police things, but I’d also like to throw out that I wouldn’t mind some stricter moderation.

    One part of the comment section making jokes about safety pins, safe spaces, and snowflakes while the other part fires back about Cheeto People, Putin, and golden showers isn’t helping anything. You’ve banned people for less than what I’ve seen allowed to go on in the past three weeks.

    I’m not saying to ban anyone the first time things get heated but a “hey, cool it” interjection or deleting the content of a deliberately inflammatory comment won’t hurt much.

    • 0 avatar
      NickS

      I agree. I really don’t understand the kid-glove treatment. I moderate a couple of forums for professionals in my industry, and there is very low tolerance for deviations. Anyone who uses it as a springboard for political or cultural wars is given 1-2 stern warnings, sent to the bench for a while and then allowed to come back with a very short leash, or banned for good. It’s very easy for me to enforce that. There are a few others helping out. We usually have to discuss a rare case once a year or so. I know for a fact that the membership is very diverse in all manner of ways.

      The last thing I need is more of this inflammatory commentary. I admit I am not very tolerant of extreme views, or anything that reeks of doctrine, partisanship, ideology and rigid mindset. American politics has become impossible for anyone who wants to have a reasoned debate of pros and cons. It’s turned into an argument about which religion or cuisine is better. All the very vocal minorities and those who stoke them have made it impossible to have a conversation and see common ground on anything.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      I think that’s fair. After all of this, I think I should be more proactive about some of the comments. I purposely stayed away from Bark’s article yesterday for a number of reasons. The biggest was that the author of the article was continuing the political tone of the article into the comments. I try to stay out of the political talk, but it is apparent that I can’t do that. Talking policy is fine, but it has devolved into insults and name calling (much like actual politics).

      I’ve been hands off quite a bit because things were mostly good. The last couple weeks have changed all of that. I’ll make sure to focus on B&B following the rules.

      I appreciate the feedback. Thank you.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Hopefully things will simmer down a bit in general.

        I saw the article, and got maybe a third of the way through the comments before coming back here. It could have been handled by a simple “you’ve all seen the tenor and tone of the demonstrations in Washington over this past weekend; don’t be surprised if that sort of fervor happens when the time comes to try to outlaw non-autonomous vehicles!” And gone from there.

        All that stated, the sheer vulgarities coming out of the protests themselves were what offended me. Unfortunately, civility doesn’t always have a place in 2017.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      Ajla, in agreement about seeing a fair amount of mildly offensive comments from both sides of the political aisle from even before the election. No matter whether people are happy or unhappy about the outcome, seems like some people can’t help but bring a little bit of politics into the car site on a regular basis. So long as things don’t get out-of-hand, I don’t really have a problem with it. While I agree that it’s not needed on here, I certainly don’t want to see many people being censored for something so very minor. So, I give Mark credit for letting some stuff go, yet recognizing that some stuff crosses a line and must be dealt with. Considering we’re all adults, well at least most of us, Mark, along with Adam and Kyree, treats us as such and thankfully usually gives us a bit of leeway.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    A lot of problems could be solved if cliches such as “SJW” and “statist” and references to the likes of Hitler and Alinsky were included in the spam filter.

    In the alternative, we could just play Right-Wing Bingo, with TTAC providing cash and prizes when we get five in a row on our cards. The downside to this plan is that it would quickly force you into bankruptcy.

  • avatar
    omer333

    While I may not agree with either of the Baruth Brothers’ views, they do have their right to have those views. I normally enjoy their stuff, but yesterday’s article had no place on TTAC.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      I totally agree with you, I greatly value living where everyone has the right to hold and express their views (even vai flag burning) but the right to hold and express views isn’t the right to have someone else publish it.

  • avatar
    Acd

    Sorry to see Bark leave–just one less reason to read TTAC now. I’m sure he will reemerge somewhere else and I will gladly follow him.

    Now the left wing cabal of commenters on this site can do their happy dance since they managed to shut up someone who disagrees with them.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Mark B. hasn’t in any way been shut up. He has his own widely read blog and writes for multiple other outlets. He chose to leave TTAC because he couldn’t abide by an editorial decision.

    • 0 avatar

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/01/retraction-article-posted-january-23-2017/#comment-8851481

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Acd, I’m not happy about this at all. I valued Bark’s automotive opinion very much. He even helped me with my car search a few months ago.

      It’s not his opinions…it’s how he presented them.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @ACD I don’t think many are doing a happy dance that Mark was driven out. I doubt that was the goal. Plenty of us enjoyed his industry insight and shopping advice, even if there was political disagreement. That being said, the article yesterday was hardly car related, and mostly him venting about the protests over the weekend. He wasn’t “shut up”, he chose to leave. And for the record, before I get called a liberal, despite being half Trump’s age, I’ve been a Republican longer than him, and probably put more work and effort into getting Republicans elected than he did (I’ve been volunteering for Republican campaigns since before I could vote). However, I cannot in good conscience be associated with him and I will no longer register, identify, nor reflexively support Republicans.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Stand-up move, Mark.

    I hope we’re still early enough in the Thumpification of North America that Prinz-Albrecht-Straße won’t reach out and personally touch you.

    (Heh… one more for Pch’s filter)

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Mark, I think this was the right decision. I’m sad to see Mark Baruth go, but I think it’s on him if he couldn’t deal with one decision like this. He and his brother have their own blog which seems to be pretty well-read, so it’s not like you’re taking away his only outlet.

    There’s a fine line, which I think you’re doing a good job of walking, but which I’d like you to continue keeping in mind. A throwaway comment here or there (which Jack excels at) can be funny and engaging at the same time that it’s irrelevant and disagreeable to a lot of the readers. Don’t ask your writers to get rid of those. But sometimes the throwaway comments turn into something that is sustained and feels like a full-on assault on a part of the readership. Mark’s post yesterday was way beyond that point.

    I regret my “Cheeto people” remark and apologize for it, but I’ll offer in my defense that it was in response to an extended, largely counterfactual jeremiad targeted at people like me.

  • avatar
    arach

    This is the kind of thing that gives TTAC journalistic integrity.

    I commend this action largely, and thank you for it.

    I first wrote a more verbose response, but doing so didn’t help prove my point.

    I’ve loosely followed TTAC for a long time, but have found myself gravitating more and more to it lately. We are here for a common interest, and I’m glad you are devoted to focusing on that common interest instead of divisive topics unrelated to our common interests.

  • avatar
    stars9texashockey

    “Still, we’re about to enter a new era in American politics, where rhetoric plays an even more active role than it has in years and decades past.”

    Unfortunately by making the above statement, it shows your inherent bias.

  • avatar
    Reprimerdaheap

    So, being as we’re on the subject of inflammatory topics: I have a social oriented question for y’all:
    I was checking out Barrett-Jackson last week, and I saw only ONE black (afro-american) person in the audience during the whole thing. Seriously, why would that be? Car love IS absolutely universal.
    Okay, I’ll be in the basement…

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      People at Barrett-Jackson are mostly very rich and older.

      Black people are very underrepresented among the very rich, even more so if you take out the entertainers and athletes, who are mostly young.

      Look around in less exclusive venues of car love and you find a wonderful amount of racial and ethnic diversity.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Try going to a boat show. It’ll make Barrett-Jackson feel like the Apollo.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      Whoa! How did that guy make it past security? It will be investigated, rest assured.

      Kidding of course.

      I had someone wave the race flag at me yesterday because I said I’m not attracted to black men. I responded by saying my best friend, a black woman, has told me she has never been attracted to white men, and her husband is black. So, is she racist? Am I? No. Neither of us are. You can’t help who you’re attracted to. Part of “coming out” as gay is exactly that, saying you can’t control who turns you on and who doesn’t, and that you now admit who does.

      I do not hate (or judge) black men just because I’m not sexually attracted to them. That’s ridiculous. She doesn’t hate white guys, as I’m pretty sure I’m white, and I’m among her closest friends. She has referred to me as her “white son” lol.

      Put it this way: she leaves the keys to her Tahoe, main gate and house in my possession when she’s out of town. Clearly she mistrusts and hates white people, men in particular.

      Back to your point, I don’t think there is any reason you can point to as to why there aren’t many black folks at Barret Jackson. Seems to be 90% “old money” types, maybe the black folks with money choose to spend it on things other than collector cars. But, that is hard to believe, since many of my black friends are avid car enthusiasts.

  • avatar
    Click REPLY to reload page

    Keeping politics to a minimum and not tolerating personal attacks will certainly make this site much more enjoyable and true to its mission.

    There are so many interesting stories that could be put forth. Personally, I would like more emphasis on real-life anecdotes and adventures involving cars – weird situations that led to an accident or near-accident, the strange breakdown and how you managed to work your way out of the predicament, auto auction adventures, buying and selling stories, the car your neighbor had that you wish you could have bought, the best or worst car you have ever driven and why, what’s in your garage waiting for restoration, and so on.
    Also, since the majority of car and truck transactions are for used cars, focusing more on them would make this more relevant for real-world experiences. The corporate money is in the newest and latest and greatest, but many, many real people are not new car buyers, for many reasons.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      “weird situations that led to an accident or near-accident, the strange breakdown and how you managed to work your way out of the predicament, auto auction adventures, buying and selling stories, the car your neighbor had that you wish you could have bought, the best or worst car you have ever driven and why, what’s in your garage waiting for restoration, and so on.”

      Here here! I have been tempted to write an article for “Ur-turn” but I haven’t yet. My stories almost always involve cars most of the B&B despise, so I didn’t think it would be successful.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Oh come on now. If you wrote a Tempo story you’d get 150 comments. Sure, most of them would be Tempo hate, but people would love coming in and reading even if only to trash the Tempo. Do it.

        • 0 avatar
          GeneralMalaise

          Nobody got time for the Tempo!

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          Lol dal,
          I’ve owned over 130 cars. Not all were Tempos or even Ford products. But I get your point. Besides, wouldn’t story would be the same if it was all Honda Civics and Toyota Celicas? My fear is, no.

          True_blue, you’re not the only one. A few among the B&B have at one time or another admitted that the Taurus is a good car, that the original was groundbreaking, etc. The few that give me crap about mine are vocal, but inconsequential.

          My main discouragement is this:
          My point wouldn’t be to convince anyone that they should be driving a Tempo or a 20+ year old Taurus. That’s what I drive and I didn’t choose it by accident, BUT it isn’t for everyone and that fact isn’t lost on me.

          What I’m afraid of is the entire story would be lost among all the “you drove a FORD ASPIRE? WTF?” comments. What is the point of writing an article if the only result is trolling the cars I like? I can get that in the comments of virtually any article lol.

        • 0 avatar
          April S

          Hey, lets not be hating on those Tempos. They were fine motorcars. And don’t forget, it was the only car out there that shared its name with an antacid.

          :D

        • 0 avatar
          Dingleberrypiez_Returns

          Dal, you want a Tempo story? Here is an amazing one. Not even an ounce of Tempo hate in the comments.
          http://www.curbsideclassic.com/cars-of-a-lifetime/coal-1992-ford-tempo-gls-sho-little-brother-that-you-didnt-know-existed/

      • 0 avatar
        True_Blue

        If it was Taurus related, I’d back you up.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    these people go around here and all you hear “automated cars, automated cars, automated cars…” These are not people who love cars. These are people who love robots. May be they should marry one.

  • avatar
    Von

    I’ve enjoyed Bark’s car reviews, everything else of his I skim over and usually close the tab after a few seconds. His article from yesterday fell solidly into the second category.

    If the readership is expected to follow a set of rules for commenting, then the contributor are fair game for enforcement. If he wants to leave when the site decides to enforce the rules that are in place and which are clear to him, then the decision reflects on him rather than you Mark.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    While I applaud Mark’s efforts to stick to his guns, I am still disappointed to see Bark go. Guess I’ll follow him on other sites.

    I may be in the minority here, but I never got offended or riled up by anything in these blogs or the comments that followed. I never really cared that much for the “non-car” related articles, so I would skip them. In the grand scope of things, this is for entertainment value. There is always going to be hits and misses.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, that sucks. I enjoyed Bark’s articles on cars. He also helped me in my car search a few months ago with some good advice on leasing. I appreciated that.

    What I won’t miss, though, is the “I’m obviously superior and you’re obviously stupid and/or a beta male” attitude when it comes to politics.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    Read the cached version of Mark Baruth’s and, um, yah…
    That was awful. His doubling-down in the comments was also very telling. His tripling-down by leaving over the retraction is all I really need to hear.

    I enjoyed his factual reporting but editorials like those are counterproductive. If he’s taking his ball and going home over the retraction then, well, don’t let the door hit you where the deity of your choosing split you.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I’ll miss Bark, not for political stuff but for his dealer insight (even when we disagreed).

    I always went to the dealer/sales-drone thinking they must know as much/more as I do about the vehicle I’m going to try to make a deal on.

    Nope. Enthusiasts should not be better informed than people who actually try to make their living off of the thing you are enthusiastic about.

  • avatar
    tlk

    Sad and completely unnecessary. While the article itself may have been a little over the top and off topic, it was not factually incorrect.

    Running off one of the best writers on this site because a vocal minority got their feelings hurt by reality is a huge mistake and a loss for everyone.

    The solution was obvious and simple. Just have Bark publish his future off topic stuff on his personal blog. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater is always poor execution.

  • avatar

    I come hear to read and talk about cars. While I think the post in question was in poor taste, I had no problem with it being there. After reading the first few sentences, I moved on. The fact that Bark has moved on, well, it’ll just make it easier to ignore his rants.

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    1. Can’t stand Bark, but unless he wrote kiddie porn (missed the article) I do not see a reason to get worked up on it. If you don’t like it, don’t read it, don’t comment on it.
    2. Bark leaving on article retraction is consistent with his internet persona (little man syndrome)
    2. I don’t like Jack either, but his writing has style and mostly he does have a point whether I agree with it or not. His articles are an addiction that I can’t shake off, hopefully he will continue to contribute.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    But who else will be willing to not only buy but write about, photograph and *proudly publish* his addiction to goofy little cars like Bark was?

    Admittedly, there were some neat colors.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    “Still, we’re about to enter a new era in American politics, where rhetoric plays an even more active role than it has in years and decades past.”

    This, this, a million times this. And guess what? It’s not all right wing hot air. On Saturday, I went downtown and marched in freezing cold with my oldest daughter and my S.O. I carried a sign. I shouted.

    I then joined a Facebook page with other marchers. One woman – someone I’ve known for years – posted something to the effect of “well, since some folks want my reproductive choice compromised, men should have to go without Viagra.” I made the mistake of suggesting that such an attitude could be construed by certain men as misandry, which a) solves nothing, and b) is politically counterproductive given that men comprise about 50% of the voting public. Maybe a better idea might be to compare birth control to something like vasectomies, since a male birth control pill or device doesn’t exist, and Viagra would do that job quite poorly?

    She assumed I was arguing that her birth control shouldn’t be covered – a curious political position for someone who marched Saturday, but whatever. Others called me “horrible” or “hypocritical,” and chimed in with a bunch of comments about how men who think birth control shouldn’t be paid for out of insurance should be deprived of erections for life (however, curiously enough, no such bad wishes of no future sex were to be visited on the *millions of women* who also share an identical political opinion…hmmmm).

    Nothing sexist there…move along.

    To repeat: I was one of the marchers. I’m on HER side. But you’d think I was calling for women to be chained to a stove, with a permanent supply of sperm directly attached to their ovaries, the better to force them to do nothing but have babies, from the responses.

    And then, on this site, we had people calling male marchers “beta males.” My own brother called me a “snowflake.” Other folks on Facebook have called me a cuck, even “fa*got”.

    This, people, is why we had the election we just had: there is no room for respectful disagreement anymore. If Mark can make this site a little better in that regard, then huzzah.

    That doesn’t mean politics has no place here. Far from it. Indeed, with a few notable exceptions (and I’d include Bark among them, unfortunately) who would rather call names, this group is smart, funny and willing to share new ideas. Let’s not ruin that.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I don’t use Facebook. So this is a serious question – are the people insulting you on your friends list? How do they even access your comments? I’m feeling better about my decision to avoid that site.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        On Facebook, if you comment on something you or one of your friends reposts, anyone else who comments can see and respond to that comment, regardless of their relationship to you.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Zhivago is right. Honestly, I’m thinking of responding with something like “well, gee, if you think that *all men* should have to go without something like Viagra because *some* of them oppose covering contraceptives on religious grounds, maybe you should let your husband / S.O. know, especially if he takes the stuff. Why don’t you tell him that right before that right before you fool around, just for effect? Good news is, I hear your couch is quite comfy, so when he throws your pillow and a blanket at you, and tells you to sleep there, you actually might sleep pretty well.”

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I never post on Facebook anymore except to do things like announce the birth of a child. I don’t friend people there unless it would be socially awkward not to. The political discussions there have become no different than the internet’s worst comment sections. There are purist echo chambers on both sides and anyone who disagrees, even a longtime ally, is immediately assumed to be evil.

          I’m a committed partisan on one side, but I have no reason to think the people on the other side are evil. 90% of them are decent people and mean well, no matter how misinformed or poorly reasoned their arguments may be. And the starting point should be an assumption that people mean well until you discover otherwise.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            This is close to my experience as well. I know that my political views don’t jive with the majority of my friends and acquaintances, at least, the ones that are most vocal about it. If any of my friends repost political stuff that I know isn’t conducive to real discussion, I just click “Hide posts from [source] but stay friends with this person.”

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            +1, dal.

            I mean, seriously…I was *one of the marchers,* and that’s how I got treated.

            Unreal. Whatever. I’ll let these folks live in their own little echo chamber.

        • 0 avatar
          NickS

          FreedMike, don’t use fb to exchange ideas. its an okay tool to stay in touch with friends mostly. and you’d need to try really hard to set up a fence to limit what the whole wild internet sees about your activity. fb is not a platform to have a serious or productive conversation with anyone. Sad but also the consensus.

          online interactions and convos will invariably attract the most ideological and radical voices and there is no room for you to be anywhere in the middle. You either agree with the whole manifesto or you are an infidel to be quashed like a bug.

          To the particular incident you describe, I’ve had similar experiences in the workplace around women’s issues and equity. There is no honesty in the most vocal part of that movement. It’s as if all men are by definition evil and unfair, and that putting a woman in power instantly will bring fairness. It’s a very reflexive response rife with bias. The other day my wife had to remind another female colleague that the “ape in heels” comment was not made by a man, yet, 10 seconds later it was back to how everything that’s wrong is because men are involved.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Well, unfortunately, I learned the hard way that Facebook is a vast political discussion wasteland.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Had to “mute” my best friend on Twitter, and unfollow on F/B, because of the constant barrage of political stuff. Hopefully I can remove the restrictions once things settle a bit.

            Hopefully, everybody will calm down in a month or two. But in the current climate, it’s damn hard to get anyone to agree to disagree.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I never signed up for farcebook and some of my friends and family members thought it odd back then.

        Now, many of these same people openly regret that they did, and can’t delete the trove of data farcebook has collected regarding them, nor their actual account – and they experienced varying degrees of stress-trauma instigated by political differences between friends or family they otherwise would not have even bothered to discover existed (the like thumbs up feature is helpful in creating massive drama-mama debate).

        I will never buy Alexa-anything, nor any other electronic device, even if it’s given away for free, that listens in on my conversations and background household or office noise for the exact same reason I never opened a farcebook account.

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          Damn, DW, now that we aren’t hatarZ, I find I agree with you a lot.

          F Facebook.
          F both 2016 candidates.

          I’m not upset that trump won, because I despise Hellary, but I didn’t vote for him and question his tactics.

          There really was no good choice, so I chose neither.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I never had any issue with you.

            I immaturely trolled up you at times re Ford.

            I really have no problems with anyone.

            I can be pi$$ & vinegar at times.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            “It’s a two-party system. You have to vote for one of us.”
            “Well, I think I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.”
            “Go ahead. Throooow your vote away! Ha ha ha ha!”

        • 0 avatar
          Paragon

          In agreement about farcebook, DW. While I’ve had a cell phone for 11 years, only last year…finally…got a smartphone. Too many negatives in regards to the social media site. They couldn’t pay me enough to create a farcebook page. Want nothing to do with it.

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      Facebook is not your friend. And how dare you try to insert your cisnormative self into a Womyn’s March!?!?!?

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      @FreedMike,
      The slow migration of internet culture from the PUA community to 4chan and Reddit and on down has led many young men (almost exclusively younger men) to pick up this particular insult to use online. Usually anonymously, but it’s interesting that it has made it’s way to fb.

      A great long-read is tracing the origin…I won’t post a link, but Google the title “Fear of a Cuck Planet”.

  • avatar
    mshenzi

    Thank you, Mark. I’m sorry that Mark B decided to leave and have appreciated other things he’s written, even though I thought his article yesterday was a travesty. I imagine that his decision made yours all the harder, but I think you did the right thing by pulling the article, explaining why, and re-committing to the principles you stated a few months ago.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I read Mark’s piece yesterday and thought it was either a world-class troll or the product of someone under the influence of some negative outside force (drugs, alcohol, some personal tragedy). His response to the comments made me think the “negative outside force” was the more likely explanation. I will miss his contributions to TTAC, although not this one.

    I suppose it’s an antique notion now — based on what I see in lots of places and the widespread stupid ideas like mainstream journalists tweeting — but, when I started writing for a newspaper in 1973 it was fully accepted that there were these people called “editors” who stood between the authors of articles (reporters, opinion writers and columnists) and publication. These people had a valuable function: they were not just “censors” or spell-and-grammar checkers. They asked questions that illuminated areas that the author — perhaps inadvertently — had overlooked; and, ultimately, they were responsible for the “look and feel” of the publication. So, if a story was sent back by an editor or even “spiked” (i.e. killed and not published), it usually was not considered a basis for the author to resign. So, I consider it unfortunate that Mark Baruth was unwilling to accept the E-I-C’s authority and, if you will, discipline.

    TTAC is your world, and you have the right and obligation to see that all of it meets the standards that you have set.

    As for the article itself, somewhere in there was, I believe, a good point. And, I think it could have been written in a way that was both less inflammatory and more thought-provoking. (I have no idea whether you have the time to discuss a complete re-write of an article with its author, or whether the author would have freely — and not resentfully — participated in that discussion.)

    As a weak-sauce Trumpista, I’m fully aware that there is a group of people, who by dint of fancy educational credentials or whatever, feel that “they know best” and feel completely free to tell others what to do and what to think, using the power of government as their enforcer. The woman who got removed from the commercial airline flight after lecturing and hectoring her fellow passenger as soon as she sat next to him is a good example of this behavior. And, I venture to say, that most of the people who marched in Washington and elsewhere yesterday hold that attitude to some degree.

    Mark Baruth’s point, I believe, was that self-driving cars provide the opportunity for yet another facet of American life to be dictated by those kind of people. Being a driving enthusiast, he resents that fact, as millions of Trumpistas resent all kinds of what they believe are unnecessary government intrusions into their lives — mandated use of CFL bulbs that must be handled like the toxic waste they are, nationally-mandated low-water volume toilets (we don’t all live in semi-arid climates like California, New Mexico and Arizona) that often fail to do what they are supposed to do are two examples that come to mind.

    I think the trade-offs between autonomous and individually-driven vehicles is a subject worthy of discussion on this site. Assuming that the capability to have such vehicles eventually will exist, there are good arguments about whether it should be mandated or optional, etc.

    But, I agree with you Mr. Stevenson that Mark Baruth’s article wasn’t a good way to start that discussion.

    And BTW, I disagree with your comment that “rhetoric plays a more active role than it has in the past,” which I read as a pejorative. First, debate is the mark of a healthy society. Second, increasingly what we’ve heard from the Left in America is not an effort to debate but an effort to silence and shame those who disagree (e.g. “the science is settled!” “you are a fascist!”). It seems like a critical mass of people are pushing back against that kind of “discussion.” It’s unfortunate when they push back in kind.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      Needs editing.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “Second, increasingly what we’ve heard from the Left in America is not an effort to debate but an effort to silence and shame those who disagree (e.g. “the science is settled!” “you are a fascist!”). ”

      Agreed (see my post above), but what “the left” hears from many on “the right” is “liberalism is a mental disorder,” or “you’re a beta male for joining the women’s march,” or some such nonsense. When people throw garbage like that in your face, it’s easy to get your back up, just like it’s easy to get your back up when someone makes some idiotic “you’re a Nazi” comment (or the “you’re a communist” silliness you hear from some conservatives…all that means is that the person flunked eighth grade social studies, because contemporary American liberalism or conservatism bears zero real similarity to either political phenomenon).

      As pertains climate change, some of us on the left who’d like to do something about are frustrated or disdainful of people who seem bent on ignoring the best advice science has to offer, even if their findings aren’t strictly “100% provable,” if you will. A lot of us suspect that this kind of attitude is bought and paid for by the companies who have the most to lose if we do something about climate change. Just sayin’.

      And speaking of the women’s march, those of us who did march didn’t appreciate Trump’s “well, you should have voted” response. How ’bout “I hear you, folks. Let’s work together and find a solution that makes sense for everyone.”

      When the president and leader of the Republican Party is spewing that kind of B.S., it’s hard to point fingers at “the left” and say “clean up your act, fellas,” even if that act needs a good cleaning, you know?

      I’d say we all have a long way to go in this regard, Bruce.

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        The fact that Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter tried to engage the Soviets to help derail the Reagan Campaign and that John Kerry was a vocal supporter of the Sandinistas rests with each of them. One shouldn’t tar all Democrats with that brush.

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        Tell the truth Mike… are you the guy who said he was standing behind his woman… where he belongs?

        http://louderwithcrowder.com/crowder-womens-march-undercover-transgender/

    • 0 avatar
      Sloomis

      “I’m fully aware that there is a group of people, who by dint of fancy educational credentials or whatever, feel that “they know best” and feel completely free to tell others what to do and what to think, using the power of government as their enforcer.”

      Sounds like you’re talking about Republicans to me there…

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      It’s funny how the right-wing is so quick to reject expertise from, you know, actual experts.

      I suppose that’s inevitable when one has a life philosophy that is dedicated to believing “facts” that aren’t true. Who needs scientists when we can have a guy who barely made it through high school who believes that his views based upon ignorance are equal or superior to those of people who went to the trouble of knowing what they’re talking about?

      • 0 avatar
        Sloomis

        We have to look at both sides of the issue! What science says, and what my pastor/the Koch brothers/Glenn Beck says!

        Though to be fair, science denial isn’t limited to the right. Talk to your average anti-vaxxer about that…

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “It’s funny how the right-wing is so quick to reject expertise from, you know, actual experts.”

        True of the left wing, too, PCH.

        Example: I’d say those of us on the left have pretty much rejected the business expertise of a certain person living in a certain white mansion in Washington, despite the fact that he’s obviously an expert. Ditto for the guy who wanted to live in that same house four years ago.

        (Now, how *ethically* that expertise was used is debatable, and how it translates into an effective political leadership is questionable, but…)

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Sorry, but no. There is no wholesale rejection of science on the left, nor is there an entire media sector that is dedicated to lying…er, “alternative facts”. No comparison.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Your observations on climate deniers is spot on, but I was talking about a rejection of “expertise” in general, not science, PCH. The left has its’ own list of experts it ignores, just as the right does. It’s all done to suit a particular political point of view, that’s all.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Again, no. I know that it sounds fair to claim that “both sides do it.” But both sides don’t do it, so it’s actually quite an unfair claim to make.

          • 0 avatar
            Sloomis

            Not to the same extent, I’ll give you that, and left-wing science denial does not have a whole denial industry backing them, like right-wing denial does. But I can assure you there are a fair number of left-wingers who engage in science denial when it suits their belief system. I’ve debated with them in comment boards on left-wing publications.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Can you name even one anti-vaxxer who is a Democratic member of Congress?

            I can name some who are in the GOP. Plus, we now have a president who is a Republican anti-vaxxer. That’s in stark contrast to the Democrat who previously held that position and the Democrats who sought the office in the 2016 election.

            I realize that there are some anti-vaxxer mommy bloggers in Marin County, but they don’t represent the Democratic party. The representatives who they elected such as Boxer and Feinstein came out against the anti-vax position and did not sell out in order to appease the anti-vax crowd. So this is really night and day.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            I would say Dennis Kucinich but he isn’t in Congress anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            In that case, to hell with him, too. (Personally, I never cared much for Kucinich, anyway.)

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            I don’t know if he is an anti vaxxer at this point. I do remember him being concerned about thimerosal and mercury in regards to vaccines “linked” to autism.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            Really?

            What are your thoughts regarding the average intelligence of American whites vis-a-vis Americans with Asian ancestry?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Rabbit hole, dead ahead!

        • 0 avatar
          NickS

          “those of us on the left have pretty much rejected the business expertise of a certain person living in a certain white mansion in Washington, despite the fact that he’s obviously an expert.”

          well, I personally have a strong feeling that if/when the tax returns are released, we may find out that this supposed success is a combination of really creative accounting, massive use of various loopholes and shirking of tax obligations. Or, it may be mostly true. No-one knows really.

          So far, an expert in bankruptcies.

          And let me add another data point on that perception of expertise: an expert in negotiation and deal-making does not reveal their weaknesses. Is there any doubt that so far his weak spots are around the tax returns, and unfavorable press? As a leader, you make yourself a target for those things. There is already a long line who would love to get a hold of those tax returns, a vid of golden showers … someone may already have that and waiting to bring it out before their next incursion or other strategic move. There will be an eventual falling out with Putin, if history is any indication. What is the negotiating strategy then? Alternative body count numbers?

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Trump’s no “expert” in business, unless the business is leveraging banks (via their own stupidity) to loan you ridiculous amounts of money on crapshoot-at-best projects, and then negotiating a sweet, sweet deal for oneself while in bankruptcy re-organization and then, ultimately, liquidation.

          Trump realky is an expert promoter.

          Trump really is not a “business expert.”

          The chasm between those two things is wider than even many on the left fail to grasp.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “Trump really is an expert promoter.”

            …which is part of being a good businessman. Thanks for making my point for me.

            I never had a problem with Trump the businessman. The BKs and rumors about screwed-over vendors? Well, that’s business sometimes. It’s a nasty game. I’m sure Warren Buffett has dicked over his fair share of folks too.

            I just wish he’d have stuck to building ugly buildings with his name on them, a task at which he excels, and which generates net income for the economy, BKs or not.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Thank you, DW, for that.

            I consider myself a ‘businessman’ (although, yes, I’d prefer a gender neutral term). Every time I hear people give Trump a free pass on his behavior, because “he’s a business man”, I cringe. That’s not how it works in any company I’ve been a part of.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            VoGo, “free pass”?

            I think you misunderstand. His business practices were DEFINITELY a campaign issue.

            Were those practices acceptable or unacceptable? If you’re talking about Trump the private businessman, I’d say that’s up to whoever does business with him. That doesn’t give him a free pass on anything – it just means the business world’s a nasty place. When you swim with the sharks, you get bit, all that.

            Like I said…I wish he’d stuck to building gaudy casinos.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            You don’t understand business.

            Promoters are people that businesses or groups of investors hire or otherwise have pitch ideas, and put the best case scenario out there, shiny patina side-up.

            Promoters may or may not have some equity stake in the concept they are pitching.

            In business circles, “promoter” NEARLY has a pejorative connotation, as in “Ewww, that guy’s just some shady promoter.”

            Good promoters can earn a lot of money, however, since there are few truly skilled, highly intelligent, very persuasive ones.

            You, too, have been Trump’d if you actually believe that Trump’s gift of promotion makes him, by default, some sort of business expert.

            Read the factual story as to how Marvin Roffman, who actually is a business expert, predicted the precise failure of the Taj Mahal, because Trump literally had no idea hoe much money he was spending and how much revenues his casino/hotel was generating, on a monthly basis.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            That’s why I said “…which is part of being a good businessman.”

            I suppose I could highlight the word “part.”

            Obviously there’s a lot more to being successful in business than being a good promoter, or self promoter. But that ability sure helps. Ask Steve Jobs. Or Oprah Winfrey. Or Lee Iacocca. Or…

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Trump sounds like the ideal candidate to run FCA.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            RAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      Well said, sir.

  • avatar
    its me Dave

    A man’s got to know his limitations. Bark’s pretzel stretch to tie autopilot with gun rights with the women’s march and Jack’s in-conclusion-protectionism-is-a-land-of-contrasts hot take demonstrate both writers have been outdriving their headlights for too long. I can get my fill of those hackneyed arguments from from my uncle’s facebook feed and my dad’s email forwards. I respect your solid apology and wish you luck in the future Mark, but I’ve lost all confidence in your judgment.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Long time reader, part-time/occasional responder. Not much to add here. While I initially enjoyed both Baruth Brothers, they kind of got to the point where I skipped over their articles, as they tended to fall into the same pattern over and over again. Agree that Mark offered some truly valuable insight into the shadowy world of car sales, and that was always appreciated. That will be misses. But the “better than you” and over the top ranting wore thin, and if it truly was his decision to leave, then that fairly well closes the discussion on this. TTAC has seen contributors come and go, and is still here (kudos). As long as it remains the “Truth about Cars” and doesn’t devolve into a sandbox romp as where name calling and derision is the norm, all will be well here.

    We can all agree to disagree from time to time on our opinions about which marque we love (or don’t), or which piece of automotive legislation we support (or don’t). But at the end of the day, I’d hope we all remain civil to one another and remember that we are all supposed to be auto enthusiasts who share a common love and passion.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Sad to see Bark choose to go over that article, it wasn’t up to his standards nor TTAC’s.

  • avatar
    Sceptic

    What about the freedom of speech? Freedom of expression? It’s okay to riot in the street and use foul inflammatory language, but it is somehow inappropriate to condemn that type of behavior?

    • 0 avatar
      Sloomis

      This isn’t a government mandate, it’s a business decision in response to consumer demand. Nothing more American than that.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Oh, there was plenty of foul inflammatory language to be had in the article.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Bark has the same freedom of speech he did yesterday. He is better positioned than the vast majority of people to use that freedom, having a well-read blog and still being a contributor to several other outlets.

      What he did went well beyond condemning any behavior. It was also off topic for the particular outlet for which he was writing.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      No, it’s even remotely OK to riot as political expression. I hope everyone who did it spends a long, long time in jail.

      Yes, a privately owned publication has every right to determine what does and doesn’t publish. No, that doesn’t violate the First Amendment.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “What about the freedom of speech? Freedom of expression?”

      Both are questions that need to be asked time and time again in an effort to maintain a successful democracy.

      There are limits upon Freedom of speech and of expression. Limits are placed because I can’t fully exercise my rights if they impinge upon another person’s rights. That is another area that members of a society needs to examine and re-evaluate on a frequent basis.

      Ethical decision making is a process of determining the best course of action when there are overlapping rights or rights that appear to contradict each other. Everyone should take a course on the subject.

  • avatar
    JRoth

    Well I for one appreciate it. As I clicked on the site just now, I thought, “Why am I even visiting? For uninformed, half-assed political commentary?” If I want that, there are newspaper comment sections. TTAC should aim a bit higher.

  • avatar
    April S

    It would have been nice if Bark offered some apologies before he scampered off. Not because he took personal shots at me but the overall tone of his post and the replies he made to others.

    P.S. Is there a real chance we can get some moderation before things get so ugly?

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    Mark,

    For a time, I directed live news in mid-market television and I always felt horrible knowing 60,000 people watched every mistake I made, even though there were only ever a handful of people (ie, coworkers) who I had to immediately answer to and that was as an invisible, anonymous button pusher in the back of the building. Or some embarrassing mistakes made as the editor of my high school yearbook that are trapped in amber for all eternity.

    I appreciate your willingness to stand up and say “I screwed up and this is the fallout” and submit yourself to the audience. Thanks for that.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Mark S – That was the right thing to do. I was a bit upset at it for making fun of the women’s march. My wife took a long bus trip there and back because she’s afraid of what will happen to the rights of women in this new political climate run by old white guys that still think they own women’s body parts.

    It’s too bad that Bamark took his ball and went home but I’m not surprised.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Where is BIG TRUCK when you need him..

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    His Fem-Hate Finale and Postlude will be seen as the greatest contribution ever made by Bark to TTAC.

    300 comments, easy.

  • avatar

    I came back here to see if Bark (or anyone else) had responded to my comment in his article yesterday.

    I’m glad that TTAC took swift and decisive action. Also, I will miss Bark’s articles, but I won’t miss stuff like what happened yesterday.

    Anyways, political opinions are BS, let’s get back to the real issues at hand…cars!

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    This is sad to hear. Kudos to Mark for sticking to his editorial guidelines. I’m sure it was a tough decision if he knew how Bark would react, but I don’t think he had any other choice.

    I doubt Bark leaving was just over this retraction. If it is, that is seriously thin skin. Who knows how many other pieces Bark wrote that needed a heavy edit or couldn’t be published. I bet this was the final straw for Bark.

    While I’m not a fan of Bark’s politics, he did some heavy lifting in carrying the enthusiast torch at this site, and I will miss that. Hopefully Mark can find other contributors to antagonize the hair shirt brigade.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    I just read the cached version, and it was far, far worse than I expected. To be blunt, Mark S, it’s absolutely shameful that it made it past you. As they say on the Internet, You Had One Job.

    I sincerely hope you’ve learned from this, but given that your previous commitment to avoid politics resulted in a post that wouldn’t have been out of place on 4chan, I’m not sure how optimistic I am.

    In the future, you should probably be more careful about running articles that insult your readers and their wives. This really shouldn’t be something people need to tell you.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      I am genuinely interested to know the original justification and anticipated reaction to yesterday’s article.

      What did TTAC HQ *think* was going to happen?

      What changed between yesterday and today that made them decide it wasn’t such a good idea?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      You’re writing here in the retraction thread, which Mark S posted after some reflection. I’d say the lesson has been learned.

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        “You’re writing here in the retraction thread, which Mark S posted after some reflection. I’d say the lesson has been learned.”

        Perhaps, but as I mentioned, there was a previous commitment – based on a previous lesson learned – to focus on cars and avoid politics. That one didn’t appear to take, so it will be some time before I’m convinced this one has.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’d be interested in reading it…how does that work?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      PeriSoft –
      In Mark’s defense, one has to trust the people you work with to do the job they are supposed to do. Bark claimed that as an Editor he could post it. It does appear that he violated that trust.

  • avatar
    bluegoose

    I always felt that Bark lives in Jack’s shadow as a writer. Jack provokes in an eloquent way. Bark just doesn’t have the writing talent to do that. He is just hitting a mosquito with a sledgehammer. When I read his little editorial yesterday I was like “Not This Again.” You could see it coming a mile away.

    I am disappointed Bark took his ball and ran home though.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Glad I skipped it.

  • avatar
    mikey

    i followed about 90 percent of the comments yesterday. Yes it got ugly, really ugly. My thoughts have already been voiced by others.

    Mark S. Ya did the right thing. Mark B…Sorry to see you go, but you crossed the line. Good luck in any future endeavours .

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    I think there are already enough venues for posting paranoid angry man rants. TTAC can’t compete with them, and shouldn’t try. Just as Kelly Anne Conway probably doesn’t spend a lot of time ranting on camera about the repair difficulties of the CT6’s composite structure.

  • avatar
    16b

    Given the other outlets that Bark writes for, it’s safe to say that TTAC needed Bark more than Bark needed TTAC.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I had to pull up the cache to find the article. I skipped over it yesterday. I figured it was just a political rant, and I wasn’t disappointed in that regard, but was otherwise. I have mixed feelings about the march. I don’t like that it was ultimately just a pep rally for a liberal democratic agenda (I went to the organizers page and read their statement of beliefs) and was very let down to hear that pro-life feminists were excluded or unwelcome. I think it was a missed opportunity to bring in people like myself who are to the right of the political spectrum but anti-Trump to stand up for common ground issues, like the fact that his misogyny should be unacceptable.

    Either way, it shouldn’t have been posted here. It wasn’t really car related. It was an intentionally provocative political rant. It had no business being on a car site. I’m sad to see Bark go, though. I wish he had made a different decision on staying. I enjoyed his industry insight, his car reviews, and his buying advice.

    Sadly, this sort of thing is becoming the norm. People are unable to respectfully discuss political issues. A car enthusiast facebook group I’m in allows non car related conversations on Sundays, and one political meme sent the place into meltdown. The admins closed the thread. As I said, I’m generally politically right of center, but I’ve been vehemently anti-Trump from the moment his campaign began. Despite being half his age, I was a Republican for more years, and thanks to starting to volunteer for campaigns at 16, probably contributed more time and effort into getting Republican’s elected than he did. Unlike him, I’ve never given support to a Democrat. And yet, the fact that I have vehemently and vocally opposed him all along, find him so distasteful that my conscience wouldn’t let me vote for him and now caused me to leave the Republican party automatically gets me grouped with liberals. People care more about party, rhetoric, and sticking it to the other guy than any actual principles.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “automatically gets me grouped with liberals”

      Yeah, me too. But *I’ve* been promoted to SJW status!

      *huffs on, polishes nails*

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I should clarify that no one gets to claim “SJW” on his bingo card because you used the term facetiously.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          Glass ceiling for white men! I’m bein’ denied here! Glass ceiling for white men!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @OldManPants – your comment is the sentiment of the typical angry Christian uneducated (grade 12 or less) white middle-aged middle-classed rural (under 50k town) male.
            The underlying feeling among them is the sense that things are worse for them that previously and that other groups: women, LGBT, blacks, Hispanics, immigrants,foreigners, other religions et cetera are more “entitled” than they are. Statistically that demographic is doing better.
            Polling of those other groups yield decidedly different results. Those groups feel that they are all much better off than they were in the past but feel there is room for improvement.

            EQUALITY IS NOT A ZERO SUM GAME!

            Their gain does not mean my loss.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Mark S.: Two wrongs do not make a right. Mark Baruth’s articles on the insider aspects of the retail auto industry were the postings that I most looked forward to on TTAC.

    I fully understand his belief that he had to resign. By rescinding his article you ‘pantsed’ him in public.

    Better to have allowed another member of the staff or the B&B to post a counterpoint, or just add a disclaimer that it was his personal comments/opinions and not those of the site.

    Losing such a valued contributor is not a step forward.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      I’m not clear on how this was “two wrongs.” If Mark’s article violated TTAC’s editorial principles – and I’m not seeing many people arguing otherwise, particularly the EIC – then retracting it is simply doing too late what is proper to be done.

    • 0 avatar
      Reprimerdaheap

      I disagree: holding an editorial line is not a “wrong”. I have to work within hundreds of constraints and sometimes I get set straight by some one who’s job it is to maintain standards. I don’t cry or pout, I accept it and soldier on.

  • avatar
    first_eored

    While I’m saddened that Bark decided to leave, I did find the post in question to be way over the top in terms of political opinion and bias in perspective/selection of “facts.” I hope that going forward we can all respect our shared passion for vehicles and driving without insisting that a view or post focused on power and speed is somehow more legitimate than one espousing the virtues of efficiency and economy. To me, they are both engineering challenges and driving skills.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    It’s a shame that the piece made it through editing and cost the site a writer and probably a number of readers.

    It did have the kernel of a worthwhile topic; here in the SF Bay Area there’s a lot of excitement about self-driving cars, and where’s that going to leave those of us who don’t even want cars to shift their own gears? We’ll resist, unless the car enthusiast community decides it’ll only accept the ideologically pure.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “It’s a shame that the piece made it through editing..”

      And how was Mark S. supposed to deny publication to Mark B.?

      Once the whopping turd (with trailing commentative droplets) was steaming in the sun and covered with flies, then he could take action. Before that, internal politics.

      • 0 avatar
        Secret Hi5

        At my job, I’ve seen managers rubber-stamp work by senior or well-regarded employees. It just wasn’t feasible to check every document in detail, so the managers have to decide whose work to review. I’m wondering if this were the case with the deleted article. (Comment not intended as a slight to Mark S.)

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I feel that the “blow up” between the two Marks occurred because Mark S. trusted Mark B. to post stories that met the mission statement. Mark S had to pull rank and pull the Editorial. I’m assuming that Mark B. and Jack both had the privilege of posting their stories without clearance by Mark S. That is the most logical scenario. I can’t see Mark S approving it before hand.

  • avatar
    2manycars

    I fully admit to being an extreme right-winger, somewhere to the right of King Henry VIII. In fact I generally consider Republicans to be liberal bedwetters. I’ll leave my opinion of Democrats to the imagination.

    Although I have certainly responded to leftists’ political posts my preference really would be to keep it about cars.
    If they can keep politics out of it then so can I.

    (Even when it comes to cars my opinions are probably unpopular. I believe going into debt for a car is foolhardy and would consider a reborn Studebaker Scotsman to be the ideal vehicle.)

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      ” In fact I generally consider Republicans to be liberal bedwetters. I’ll leave my opinion of Democrats to the imagination.”

      Considering that you are willing to call someone a particularly stupid name based on a simple political disagreement, I fully concur with your decision.

      • 0 avatar
        2manycars

        Considering the names I’ve heard coming out of certain quarters to describe their political opposition, I’m being quite mild here.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          You’re right, but do you want to be part of the solution, or the problem?

          Is politics about ideas or name-calling?

          Saying “but he did it first” stopped working for me right around the second season “The Brady Bunch” was on the air.

          • 0 avatar
            2manycars

            Post-election, it is hard not to notice that all of the screaming, crying, throwing of fits, rioting, name-calling, threats of violence, and death threats, as well as actual violence against people who dare to hold opposing political views, has been perpetrated by one side of the political spectrum. That would be the side that claims to be open-minded, compassionate, understanding, inclusive of all, and peaceful.

            You might want to go give those guys a lecture on proper conduct before worrying about what someone such as myself thinks of Republicans and Democrats.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            “Post-election, it is hard not to notice that all of the screaming, crying, throwing of fits, rioting, name-calling, threats of violence, and death threats, as well as actual violence against people who dare to hold opposing political views, has been perpetrated by one side of the political spectrum.”

            You are so right:

            http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/305749-republicans-employ-double-standard-to-discredit

            Really, let’s not get partisan with this. There is a small radical element within most groups and opinions and it doesn’t reflect the whole. Hell, Superbowl outcomes cause riots.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Oh, spare me…plenty of conservatives screamed, cried, threw fits, etc after Obama got elected too. S**t happens.

            As far as the violent ones are concerned…they’re hooligans, period. And if you want to hang “the left” with the idiots who are breaking windows and beating up folks, then I guess it’s fair to paint Tim McVeigh, or Eric Rudolph, or the folks who want to assassinate abortion doctors, or the guy who shot up Planned Parenthood in Colorado as being associated with “the right.”

            Of course, neither description is accurate. I’m a liberal and I’d never riot, or beat someone up, or destroy property over a stupid political disagreement. The only thing the liberals I know of are blowing up is Paul Ryan’s voicemail (which is currently quite overloaded, I’m happy to say).

            You darn sure wouldn’t blow up a building or shoot up a medical office because you’re conservative either. Nor would any conservative you know. That’s why I don’t tag right wingers with the likes of anti-government, anti-abortion nutjobs, even though conservative ideology definitely has an anti-government and anti-abortion bent.

            Whack jobs are whack jobs…but “whack job” doesn’t really fall anywhere within the normal right/left spectrum, does it?

            Again, we can be part of the solution or part of the problem. Assuming that someone is of good faith and just disagrees with you is the former. Trying to tie a disagreement to some vague connection with a violent whack job is evidence of the latter. I don’t do it and neither should you.

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    I read the article yesterday when it ran. My initial thought was that he was trying to write something that might be like what Yates could have written for C&D back in its heyday, but it was not as cleverly done as Brock would have written and instead was rather ham-handed. I did get the point he was trying to make, though, was not offended by it, and moved on. Then later I read the comments and some of his responses there. That seemed to me to be where he went off the rails.

    Ignoring his commentary after publication for a moment, he made good points in the article regarding the perpetually outraged, the always-offended, and those who feel the rules do not apply since their way is the only true way forward. It is quite conceivable that government may well decide to take certain privileges related to automobiles and their use away. Just ask any cigarette smoker about that, regardless of what you may think of them or their habit. Someday a politician will use the phrase “automobiles are the new smoking” and away we go. The BS in this country has got to stop, from the national media, from the legion of SJWs on social media, from the extreme right wing loons, from politicians, and from those pulling strings behind the scenes. The ultra-polarization needs to stop.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      RedRocket – SJW’s exist on both sides of the political spectrum. They just have different opinions as to what “social justice” is.

      If the citizens of the USA (or any country for that matter) cannot come to terms as to what constitutes social justice then that society is doomed.

      Yes……. “The ultra-polarization needs to stop”

  • avatar
    Kato

    Support for the editor-in-chief. I’ll miss Bark’s automotive insights. I won’t miss the vulgarity or the arrogance.

  • avatar
    285exp

    I’ve always found that if I didn’t like an article or if the commenters were getting too obnoxious for me, I could just quit reading it. Oh well.

    I’m sure that there will be a crackdown on extraneous political commentary now, since we’re not allowing that sort of thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      The accepting of and promoting of diversity has been promoted as a good thing for all. Yet, sometimes, the expressing of some thoughts, ideas and opinions are not accepted in that same spirit of diversity. Therein lies the problem. It is something we might want to think about. And, obviously there are some things that are truly too horrible to fall under the umbrella of diversity. In no way am I defending the now deleted article from yesterday, as it was an article I glanced at, due to other things to do, and was going to read today. Like a few others, I sometimes read an article a day or more after it first appears, as other things sometimes take precedence. Again, I am not defending Bark’s deleted article, so no attacks nor assumptions need be leveled against me. It is possible that Mark let it appear as he thought we were capable of dealing with it.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Hmmmm… Bark is still listed as an editor on the right side of the page.

  • avatar
    abercrave

    I’ve been reading and enjoying TTAC since the B9 Tribeca review, but the politically-charged, non sequitur rants were beginning to test my patience. I’m happy I won’t have to begin the long and likely fruitless search for comparable reading material to TTAC at its best. Thanks, Mark.

  • avatar
    Frank Galvin

    Mark:

    You should not have retracted the article, especially after you approved it for publication. Last November, you solicited feedback and established some new standards. It was plain that some, but not all, of the commentators did not appreciate certain articles and/or the content. So, with the new standards you put in place, you exercised your judgment and published the piece. But what does retracting it say? That you forgot these standards or that its appropriate to substitute comments for your editorial judgment? Either way its not a good look. By this point, its not a mystery where a Bark M column may go. I would have hope that rather than retracting, you let pieces fall where they may, and then followed up with him.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Shorter Frank Galvin: Whatever you do, never reflect on your actions, listen to anyone else, or admit a mistake.

      • 0 avatar
        Frank Galvin

        Bulls**t. I said nothing of the sort. Accept the outcome – then follow up. He can reflect, listen, and admit all he wants – the point is, he should have lived with the initial decision and followed up with Mark.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Oh, I’m pretty sure that you’d have a meltdown if Breitbart, Daily Caller, National Review and those other sources of tripe started pushing liberal commentary.

      • 0 avatar
        Frank Galvin

        You don’t have a f**king clue what I read. And they wouldn’t – they know their audience, as does Huffpo, Buzzfeed, and Slate.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          Frank, Don’t waste your time with that one.

        • 0 avatar
          GeneralMalaise

          He’s a known contrarian. Lives in a dump off of PCH in Seal Beach, which is appropriate, as he often blows a seal or O-ring.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          What a bunch of whiners.

          I saw the rant just before it was taken down. It really had nothing to do with cars.

          If this was BreitbartAutosandConspiracyTheories, then the rant would have been appropriate. But it isn’t, so it wasn’t.

          If that’s the crap that you want, then go find a political blog that floats your boat instead of trying to turn this into an alt-right blog that is masquerading as a car website. (Basic rule of thumb: If the content would play well at The Blaze or Alternet, then it probably doesn’t belong here.)

          • 0 avatar
            Frank Galvin

            Am I whining? Nope didn’t think so.

            You’re not the arbitrator of what is or is not appropriate here, and you never will be.

            And I’m doing nothing of the sort to turn this into an alt-right blog.

            Get a grip sunshine, and try walking around without being aggrieved all the time. You may find other outlets.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            When you’ve dismounted your hypocritical high horse and ceased issuing edicts to the editor (i.e. a guy who doesn’t report to you), then we can chat.

  • avatar
    5280thinair

    Obviously it would have been better if Mark had decided not to publish the piece in the first place, rather then retracting it afterwards. I’ll be sorry to see Bark go, as his articles about the industry could be very informative. However, as this piece clearly violated the article guidelines, he should have been able to deal with it getting pulled.

    The reason he couldn’t could be rooted in one if Jack’s replies above. People with really high IQs can have just as much difficulty dealing with the general population as those with really low ones, and Bark’s reaction to being told “no” isn’t necessarily what most others would have.

    That said, if he wants to publish political screeds he should submit them to an outlet intended to carry that type of content, not push it here where it had little or no relevance.

  • avatar
    Whittaker

    Lots of good comments.

    I have one question.
    Why did Bark think he had the authority to publish whatever he desired, when he clearly didn’t?
    I suspect the answer to that question may be the real reason he resigned.

  • avatar
    Chan

    There was a guy who stuck with his principles and did his job in managing content by said principles.

    There was a sour grape who got fed up and stormed out the door.

    Sorry this had to happen, but TTAC did not do anything wrong.

  • avatar
    2manycars

    “Oh, spare me…plenty of conservatives screamed, cried, threw fits, etc after Obama got elected too. S**t happens.”

    Did conservatives riot, burn cars, break windows, and have to be pelted with tear gas? Did they attempt to obstruct Obama’s inauguration? Did they physically attack Obama supporters? Did they attempt to overturn the election by cajoling and even threatening the electoral college? Did they attempt to stop the oath from being administered at Obama’s inauguration? Did any celebrities threaten to blow up the Obama White House? Were Obama’s kids aggressively accosted? Not to mention the special snowflakes crying and having to hug puppies.

    Pu-leeze… there is only one side of the political spectrum that specializes in this kind of behavior. As I said, the “inclusive, compassionate, non-violent, open-minded” side. This is not from a tiny group either, it’s very widespread amongst people of that political persuasion. They’re acting like 2-year-olds that have had their lollipop snatched from them.

    But whatever. As I said I’d prefer to keep it focused on cars here. If the “open-minded, peaceful, compassionate, inclusive, understanding” set are willing to do that then so am I.

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      So it is written.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      2manycars –

      Someone said earlier that we shouldn’t paint everyone by the same brush. There are extremists in every political camp just like there are opportunists that will hide within a peaceful protest to cause physical harm.

      If you want to mud sling you must realize that post 9-11, there has been just as many deaths caused in the USA by groups defined as “extreme right” as there have been by “Extreme Muslims”.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    So, you guys know I try and avoid politics. I really just want to talk about Sierras and 3800s and bad Buicks. I hope I’ve earned enough respect around here by treating people well to speak my mind a bit.

    Also, I have been reading and commenting less, not so much because of politics or rhetoric, (though I don’t care for it) I’m just really busy.

    I’ve definitely noticed in Jack’s posts of late the need to scroll through some 2 or 3 completely unrelated paragraphs to get to the meat. Whether I agree or not, why am I having to scroll through posts about the Redskins name and how many first nations are ok with it to get to an excellent article about riding summer toys in winter. That was a really excellent premise, wrapped in some eloquent writing, topped with poo and sprinkles. And I’ve noticed that this was either treated with advice of “Scroll past the stuff you don’t like”, which I do, but shouldnt have to, to outright aggression “well, if you don’t agree with this non-topical sidenote, go buy a CUV and sit on a cactus and question your grasp on life”. Jack, I would respectfully submit that your own blog is more suited to the upper parts of your articles of late. Whether I agree with them or not, I just don’t feel they belong here. You sir are a fantastic writer, and more than capable I am sure of treating these sorts of issues with a respectful submission, but your tone has been very aggressive and demeaning of those not in exact alignment with you of late, and that combined with the off-topic tangents has been what I see as an issue. I’m all for considered, thoughtful discourse on touchy subjects but I don’t think thats what this sort of presentation fosters.

    I happened upon Bark’s article yesterday in a slow moment, when it had about 6 comments. I checked back later and was not surprised it was gone. I’m disappointed Bark chose to part ways, but I definitely felt the article, even if it had a decent premise buried deep, was not suitable for this website. I agree that action needed to be taken.

    Anyways, I hope civility will continue to be the order of business at TTAC. Its still a great resource for insider news, non-press fleet related car reviews, excellent informed opinion and discussion.

    I promise you that this reader is very happy for a bland factual news repost and a well considered auto-related editorial, without some of the toe-ing of the line we have been seeing of late.

    Just my 0.02.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Thanks Dave

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      It’s no secret that TTAC has very little money for things and that’s one of the biggest problems. We’re the TVR of automotive sites.

      Jack and Bark are both great writers but because TTAC doesn’t have a budget to give them an NSX to drive around in a race series or go to Europe to test a Miata this is what we get. Not to snark, but they aren’t sending us their best. They save that for R&T and Jalopnik.

      It’s an even bigger issue because whenever TTAC does snag a new writer with promise, they just get sniped away by someone with bigger pockets.

      I honestly think the reason Jack and Bark stuck around TTAC still is just out of some degree of long-time loyalty and because they are (were?) given a wide berth to use the platform to editorialize on politics.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        “Jack and Bark are both great writers but because TTAC doesn’t have a budget to give them an NSX to drive around in a race series or go to Europe to test a Miata this is what we get. Not to snark, but they aren’t sending us their best. They save that for R&T and National.”

        R&T gets manufacturer vehicles because their the old guard, with glossy rags in physical form and an online presence built off of their legacy roots.

        Jalopnik, as far as I can tell, has negative net worth, being part of recently BK’d Gawker, but its main office is in New York City, and it slobs the known of any and every automaker, offering up literally no criticisms of their products supplied.

        R&T can be okay, if cliche, while Jalopnik plain sucks a$$.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Thank you, Mark.

    See ya, Bark.

    Today when I clicked the TTAC bookmark, I thought again, “Why am I coming here?” It certainly wasn’t to debate the merits of the women’s march, or Trump’s tin-pot reign. I come here for escape, plus a little enlightenment, as texture of dashboard plastics in the latest Asian econobox really mattered.

    I come here for stylish writing, too, so please don’t go away, Jack. But you might just try to think about how the whole automotive experience unites us, with its prides, envies, joys and obligations. There’s going to be more than enough division and faction and friction to go around.

  • avatar
    MWolf

    As with any site, there are going to be things that any one person may disagree with. Best to simply click the “back” button and simply read a different article. The truth is, it’s difficult to not have politics pop up, as someone’s politics is generally a part of who they are and how they think. Can it be presented in a less abtasive way? Of course. Bark left. May he find a place that suits him better.

    I myself am probably far different than anyone who reads any comment may think. But that’s ok, I keep what I say to the topic of cars.

    TTAC is one of my favorite places to be online. I visit at least once a day. I don’t come for politics, I come for the news about cars, and of course, Junkyard Finds.

  • avatar
    Dingleberrypiez_Returns

    Better get my two cents in before the comments get closed.

    I will miss much of Bark’s content, but I can’t say that I’m surprised. During his recent time as a primary content contributor (as opposed to when he started), Bark has been an expert troll. He knows exactly how to rile folks up to generate page views and comments. Nonetheless, he did provide some interesting insights. Yesterday’s post was way over the top, but not surprising in it’s inflammatory-ness. I think I read about three comments before checking out. Just too overwhelming.

    Props to Mark for having some standards. I’m loathe to bring this into the equation, but in this era where truth truly seems to be under assault, I’m glad that Bark was dismissed for his absurdly incorrect view of the world.

    I’m worried what this means for Jack, who clearly shares his brother’s views, and similarly relishes in ruffling the readerships feathers (albeit with more tact and with way better writing). I would hate to see him go.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      LMAO
      Bark wasn’t “dismissed”, he left on his own. And his post wasn’t redacted because the editor disagreed with his ideology (although I’m sure he did), it was because it was political flame bait.

    • 0 avatar
      Trucky McTruckface

      “…in this era where truth truly seems to be under assault, I’m glad that Bark was dismissed for his absurdly incorrect view of the world.”

      In other words, everyone who disagrees with me is wrong and stupid. Nice.

      And this is precisely the sort of attitude (from both sides) that’s going keep this site circling the drain if management doesn’t crack down on the endless politics from the contributors and commenters. Most of us can’t handle it without calling the other side stupid and/or a jerk.

      • 0 avatar
        Dingleberrypiez_Returns

        Bark was bending the facts like crazy in his post. I don’t like when that’s done from the left or the right. I think his characterization of the women’s march was flat out incorrect. I’ve run out of patience for that sort of thing.

  • avatar
    volcker

    Guys, isn’t Iit obvious? The solution to all that ails TTAC is to bring back Bertel Schmitt.

  • avatar
    John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

    I liked most of Barks articles, especially “I bought a Toyota because I don’t know other cars exist” one. For that, he’ll always have a place above his “buy a Toyota or its a huge risk” brother.

    I didn’t read the article in question. I can only surmise that it was not a Trump-bashing piece, or nobody would be complaining.

    I really like FreedMike, Dal, and many others here. I don’t want to think of their political ideology when discussing a refreshed Honda Civic or a new Chevy concept car that everyone loves so they won’t build. I want us to just be CAR GUYS (or gals), that’s it! That’s why I’m here!

    I don’t like Trump, and certainly don’t like the Clintons. But, more than that, I don’t like discussing politics or religion because it turns friends into enemies.

    I’m not happy Bark left. But, I do hope its the beginning of the end of the political rants on this site.

  • avatar
    pecos bill

    Mark seemed to think that because he called on car dealers while working for Autotrader, he knew all there was to know about the automobiles business. Some of his “insights” could not have been further from the truth. Hell of a writer, though.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      “Mark seemed to think that because he called on car dealers while working for Autotrader, he knew all there was to know about the automobiles business. Some of his “insights” could not have been further from the truth.” So true

      “Hell of a troller, though.”

      Fixed that last part for you.

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    I don’t blame Mark for pulling the article; It never should have been posted here. And if Baruth the Younger wants to quit over the retraction, that’s his loss; Embellishing automotive articles with shades of political commentary is one thing, but posting a partisan diatribe that didn’t even try to tie into the subject matter of this site is another. The author has at least one other blog of his own, and such postings belong over there.

    On the whole, Bark was a pale facsimile of his brother and won’t be missed.

    However, if Mr. Stevenson wishes for his pledge to tone down the partisan rhetoric to be taken seriously, then he really needs to reconsider the comment moderation policy. It seems lately that every article that references Trump (And there’s at least two a day now) quickly devolves into partisan vitriol and flame wars. If Mr. Baruth, who still is listed as an editor on the masthead of this site, doesn’t have license to post his “alt-right” ramblings on here, how is the liberal sh!tfit that the comments section has become any more justified? I’ve seen some of the more infamous right-wing blowhards get (deservedly) censored or banned in the past for stuff that’s no worse than what some of the most vocally liberal have been getting away with around here lately. And if Mark or the moderators can’t see that, much less address it, the ugliness is only going to continue.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      … or people will continue to leave.

      It’s a free site with content we’re all interested in reading, but to Trucky’s point, the comments from Mark’s article yesterday made TTAC less enjoyable. I’m not sure how that’s fixable – censorship defeats the purpose of this type of site, but so does expressing a fanatical devotion to one’s view of national politics and political figures.

      It seems many have forgotten or choose not to live by the golden rule – don’t be a d-bag. Politics + anonymity brings out the worst in some.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    I had to read it in google cache because the first time I decided to skip it in the first 2 paragraphs. That article didn’t belong here. I’m very sorry that Mark B. felt he had to leave following its retraction.
    Mark S., you continue to impress me with honesty, maturity and professionalism in a time when those are sadly not the default expectation. Thank you.

  • avatar
    LBJs Love Child

    ‘Snowflakes Are Dancing’ was a fun recording by Tomita.

    Dance on.

  • avatar
    210delray

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Mark S for stepping up! The article in question was totally despicable and I won’t shed a tear for the author leaving this site. He’d been working up to yesterday’s broadside for quite a while. Good riddance!

  • avatar
    SnarkyRichard

    Judging by the Riverside Green website it’s apparent that it’s only a matter of time until the other braggart brother is gone . After all they’re so much smarter , richer , and more attractive by anyone lessor (snowflakes – apparently too dumb to come up with their own word for political moderates or leftists despite their superior IQs) than their superior standards . Hint- writing an automotive article works better if you don’t put yourself so high above the average Joe and works even better when you keep extreme political views out of it !

    • 0 avatar
      Trucky McTruckface

      So you don’t like their “extreme” politics and are apparently incensed at the superior air both brothers affect in their writing, yet you follow their blog anyway? I’m sure they appreciate your page views.

      Also, if you can’t see that the whole arrogance thing is just a shtick, there’s no helping you. Trump does the same thing. So does Rush “Talent on Loan from God” Limbaugh. It’s a troll, and you fell for it.

      • 0 avatar
        56BelAire

        Spot on Trucky. I thought of the same analogy. When I first listened Rush nearly 30 years ago, I knew much of his “act” was just “shtick” to get into the liberals heads.

        How about Muhammad Ali…..”I am the Greatest” shtick.

      • 0 avatar
        SnarkyRichard

        I just discovered that blog site due to the banned article and don’t plan on returning there . And the just kidding claims from Lardbutt , Vanity , O’Lielly , and the Command-DORK in Cheeto in the White House are the REAL TROLLING arrogant shit sticks !

  • avatar
    nickoo

    There’s only a handful of people who make this site worth reading. Jack and Bark were two of them. Some of the commentors, such as deadweight, and our former BSTR were two of the others.

    I could easily call out the people who are ruining this site from the B&B, but I’ll refrain. The BIGGEST PROBLEM this site faces is that most of the cancer on this site that brings it down is from a handful of the B&B that think this site should exclusively cater to their special snowflake sensibilities, and if one single article is outside of those humors (the medical term, look it up), they get all in a tizzy and start overheating without a fan to cool themselves! This same cancerous element that permiates this site has attacked me on occasion! They are bitter, arrogant, grandstanders who think they have everything figured out, and can’t stand to acknowledge that someone might have a different perspective. Without a doubt, we would all be better off if that cancerous element would wall itself off on a containment site such as Reddit where special snowflakes can form their own communities of ostriches with their heads in the sand!

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    I’d just be happy to find some corner of the web that isn’t infected with American politics. I thought cars would be ok, but apparently not. Maybe I need to take up an interest in collecting stamps of the British Empire in the 19th century, surely that should be free of US politics? Or maybe ethical tea farming practices in India? That’s got a be a place Trump will never go.

  • avatar
    DudeMcLovin

    I really want to read the retracted article!

    Can someone give me the lowdown?

    Bark will be missed. He was Boss.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Didn’t Bark write a very similar article a few months ago, “autonomous cars are awful, and real drivers should co-op the tactics of (feminists/gun owners/smokers/Bronies/other vocal group) to show the elite who’s boss?”

    Unfortunately, a few writers have decided their social politics are relevant to the auto industry (but how?), and seem to be setting the tone of what’s acceptable for the commentariat. Politics are inseparable from the auto industry but random bitter musings on feminism are severely irrelevant. I liked a lot of Bark’s stuff, but this is an element of the site I won’t miss.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    To think I was one of the few to cogently respond to the premise of the question. Here it is reposted. With Drzhivago’s response.

    Drivers lobby? Seriously? Well there is the AAA. We’ve had 70 plus years of pro-auto policies. From a federally financed interstate highway system while great and necessary was not all good when it carved through some cities causing displacement and blight(Even Ike thought they should not have run roughshod through them) which is now in many places being rectified.

    Subsidized mortgages which gave us the rise of suburbia and are the largest tax subsidy, the mortgage interest deduction in the tax code. The second largest is the employer health insurance deduction. Plus low, compared to the rest of the world fuel taxes. I as well well as most Americans have benefited from most of these policies.
    No mode of transit is free. We already subsidize air travel.All are public goods that require some sort of subsidy. If there was profit in these areas wouldn’t there be a General Dynamics or Halliburton rail company or division? Imagine what we could do with the funds from the F-35 cost overruns. Shifting a few dollars to mass transit and bike/ped imposes no hardship on drivers. It even makes their lives better.

    Signed, A daily subway rider. Lifelong car geek who can rebuild a carb. Change the points and condenser on a Slant-6 Mopar, Corvair fan belt with the tensioner and change and rebuild a VW Beetle engine. As well as perform normal maintenance on my 1995 Ford Thunderbird LX V8. Yes, I marched on Saturday.

    Drzhivago138
    January 23rd, 2017 at 7:57 pm
    Did…did you just…comment on the actual subject of the article?! Stop that!

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      You didn’t benefit from subsidized mortgages. The mortgage interest tax credit was part of a larger compromise to pass the federal income tax, which was only supposed to apply to a few top earners in society, the 1%, as the bottom 99% didn’t earn enough to pay federal income taxes

      Now, Thanks to Ronald Wilson Reagan and the TRA of 1986, you don’t get to deduct regular interest, simply mortgage interest, and mortgage interest rates are so low, which prop up the price of purchase of a home, most people can’t itemize past the standard deduction, hence providing no benefit, and *actually creating barriers to entry to youngish folks for home-ownership to the people who should be buying homes. And also federal income taxes apply to most everyone, taking the largest chunk from their paycheck, not just the wealthy, who largely earn their money from capital gains, which are taxed at much lower rates than income, and aren’t necessarily subject to payroll taxes such as SSI/Medicare.

      In other words, the poor and lower earners in society have been reduced to dogs begging for scraps from their masters who live off the fat of land. And we’re supposed to be THANKFUL for those scraps? First they implemented the biggest theft ever foisted on the American Public with the federal income tax, which they slowly snuck in using lies, and have wittled away at it ever since, with tax base extensions down to the poor, federal reserve policies that hurt those who don’t own assets, the tax reform act, the special tax breaks for income earned from capital gains, etc. Most of us see what has happened and for those of us under 35ish are living it. In my case, when 47% of my income is stolen off the top before I even get to sales taxes, and I can’t afford to live a normal lifestyle that my parents lived earning less than half of what I earned, and the same applies to millions that is why Donald Trump won in 2016.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        If 47% of your income is taken in tax, either you’re a very high earner with no mortgage interest deduction living in a state with a high income tax or you’re doing something badly wrong.

        I have a top 5% income and my effective income tax rate bounces around in the low 20s. If I still lived in DC with its high district tax, it would be right around 30%.

        • 0 avatar
          nickoo

          I’m a high income earner, living in a very highly taxed state, with a cost barrier to entry for shacks that makes it all but impossible, and not to mention, a foolish life choice, to buy a shack to live in. But that’s what 30 years of neoconservative and neoliberal globalism has brought us, it has separated us into two classes, the very well off who had assets before this madness came about, and the very poor, with no room for a middle, because the middle are getting squeezed from both sides until there is nothing left.

          Some of darkest days of this country’s history are from 1980-2016, when globalist stooges did everything they could to destroy the idea of a middle class.

      • 0 avatar
        Paragon

        Thanks for the historical perspective, nickoo. People who know seem to have forgotten that while Mr. Trump ran as a Republican, for most of his life he WAS NOT a Republican. While I generally try to stay away from politics, I think it needs pointed out that what may have gotten him elected was the simple fact that he was not a career politician. We know that many of our career politicians are lawyers, more accurately, crooked lawyers. I tend to believe that the whole world recognizes that the opponent he beat was a crooked lawyer politician. For people trying to understand the election results, that might offer a different perspective. This might in fact be relevant as he seems to have already had a generally positive impact on the auto industry, while having just taken office. I say positive in regards to not tolerating job losses due to outsourcing to other countries. Whether truly valid or not, I’ve seen a few comparisons of him to another strong leader of the past, JFK. Like Trump, JFK came from wealth but he was generally seen as a good person who genuinely cared about the American people.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    I would hope that anyone upset by the presence of a partisan political article has stopped visiting Jalopnik.

    You can’t scroll through a single page without seeing 2 or 3 articles containing left wing vitriol.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Garrett,
      Could you please provide 2-3 examples of articles in the current Jalopnik that contain left wing vitriol?

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge

        They have a lot of things cross posted from the former Gawker sites. I don’t know how much is vitriol, but I could do without Hamilton Nolan posts.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          I see. I never noticed the X-posts; just focused on the car stuff. It’s juvenile, but rarely political, from what I’ve read.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            Deadspin has way more X-posts. Most of the time, I just read Deadspin for Drew Magary’s weekly posts and occasional feature. I really liked one of their food writers before he stopped writing Foodspin and decided to mostly write political things and complain on Twitter.

          • 0 avatar
            Garrett

            Adam beat me to it.

            At the end of the day, the continued association with the other “Gawker Media” sites really detracts from what would be a decent site.

  • avatar
    corntrollio

    It was a poorly written article, and Mark Baruth knows it. He’s usually a good writer, so it’s sad to see him go, but he should have made his stand on something worthy.

    I thought this stuff would go away after the Racist Ronnie incident a few years ago (can’t believe he’s still here!) and after Mr. Stevenson’s editorial, but I’m glad there was a retraction.

  • avatar
    maestromario

    I just read the article, thanks Google cache. To me it was more a draft than a polished text, but the desire to entertain and make us question ourselves was there. It was certainly not vanilla ice cream but thats exactly why I follow sites like TTAC on the web. To me “political correctness” belongs to 20th century medias. I understand that some reader’s reaction made Mark Stevenson the editor uncomfortable. I’m dissapointed that this leaves TTAC with one less writer, specially an original and outspoken one like Bark.

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      It’s not a question of politically correct versus politically incorrect – it’s a question of being inclusive versus being divisive.

      Especially since the presidential election, we all know how far divisiveness can take someone.

      It’s fairly obvious, too, that the internet is a fabulous conduit for divisiveness.

      Time for the pendulum to swing the other way, at least at this site. Hence I welcome the managing editor’s decision.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Need to target dead center and not merely a “swing the other way”. My .02.

        • 0 avatar
          gottacook

          But who decides what constitutes “dead center” between maximal inclusiveness and maximal divisiveness? And for that matter, what’s wrong with maximal inclusiveness?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Either extreme is in no way inclusive. In fact I would not define either “side” of the political divide as being inclusive nor exclusive, such a thing doesn’t even enter into it.

            The crux of my statement is simply everyone here benefits from a centrist approach.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          Both parties are equally garbage. There.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          28-Cars-Later – hard to target dead centre when each side only pushes one way.

          Centrist?

          Sounds like Canada is rubbing off on you!

          There are pros and cons to each side of the politician spectrum and so far, no one wants to try a bit of both.

          There has to be a 3rd way.

          (and no, I’m not referring to socialism.)

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Personally, I don’t care if it was divisive.

        I do care that it was totally off-topic for a website with the word “Cars” in its name, and that its alleged automotive angle was merely a cynical half-assed attempt to justify posting an off-topic political rant on a website that is allegedly about cars.

        If the piece was leftist and I agreed with it, I would be saying the same thing. It really had nothing at all to do with cars or the auto industry.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          “If the piece was leftist and I agreed with it, I would be saying the same thing. It really had nothing at all to do with cars or the auto industry.”

          Exactly right. The problem is that the article was a rambling diatribe that had no point and was poorly written.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      maestromario, I had missed the article, due to non-attendance. Thanks to your mention of Google cache I was able to read it.

      IMO, much ado about nothing. I’ve seen worse on ttac in the past. And some of the far left liberals have been far harsher on those that did not agree with their “facts” and/or “points of view.”

      From a website media-management angle, “If it offends thee, cut it out!”

      Once removed from public view, rightly or wrongly, it’s no longer an issue.

      It’s too bad Mark decided to leave us. Other writers have done the same in the past.

      Better to leave with pride in tact, and save face.

    • 0 avatar
      April S

      Thing is that so-called Political Correctness used to known as the Golden Rule. Treat other as you would like to be treated. And maybe some respect and a little empathy for the other person, even if they have a different perspective.

      P.S. Wow, Over 400 replies so far.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        That’s because “Christians” don’t actually pay any attention to anything Jesus Christ said. They just pick and choose anything they like in the 10-15% of the Bible they’ve actually read which seems to support their pre-existing beliefs.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @JimZ – agreed. The self titled Christian Fundamentalists have all of the appropriate verses from the Old Testament memorized but are light on what Jesus Christ had to say. if one alleges to be Christian then what Jesus said takes precedence over the rest.
          Ironically, Muslim Fundamentalists follow a similar game plan.

      • 0 avatar
        Daniel J

        Political correctness is completely different than the “Golden Rule”.

  • avatar
    monkeydelmagico

    Great. More car reviews less political B.S.

    Seriously, MORE car reviews. Ace of Base style car reviews. Base model shootouts. Common cars. Not exotics. Every other rag in the land reviews fully loaded exotics. If I want to dream I go read those. If I want the the unvarnished truth about a car I might own some day I come here.

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    Fundamentally, the problem I have is that I’m a casual reader, and rarely post, but I do find comments valuable at times. The editorial was politically driven. I read it and I’m neither agreement or disagreement with the opinions. I know it stirs up stuff when folks don’t agree, however, with an editorial opinion.

    So the article is pulled.

    But what about the res of the comments, including on this page and every other page that are politically driven? Those comments are rarely removed and typically have very little to do with automotive news or journalism. Then there are the the automotive news pieces that have some politics in them where the comments inevitably digress into politics.

    All I ask is for consistency, and I’ve seen little of that since the election cycle.

  • avatar
    April S

    Question. How does someone report (and to whom) personal attacks in the comments?

  • avatar
    analoggrotto

    The article was silly and a bit sensationalist, but nothing really far out of line. The comments didnt seem that bad either.

    In any case this site has lost tremendous useful content with Bark M’s departure, his dealership advice has surely aided many and at least confirmed a lot of my own suspicions about that “fish bowl”.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    What happened to the original article that Mark Baruth posted?

    I wanted to re-read it to see if my opinion TTAC’s decision to retract it has changed, given recent political and the other aspects of the full American dialogue taking place since this Mark Baruth editorial.


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