Bark's Bites: The Blazer Might Be the Meteor That Kills the Journosaurs

Mark "Bark M." Baruth
by Mark "Bark M." Baruth
bark s bites the blazer might be the meteor that kills the journosaurs

It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.”

Dr. Suess, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

2019 Chevrolet Blazers are available for purchase at dealership near you. No, really, they are. Like, right this second. You could buy one. Some people already have. This is interesting because it’s pretty much impossible to find a review of one anywhere on the internet. A search for “Chevrolet Blazer Reviews” brings you to some news of the initial auto show reveal, and that’s about it.

To you, the TTAC reader and automotive enthusiast, this news probably doesn’t rock you to your core. But there’s a group of people that are wringing their hands nervously about this product launch.

The journosaurs.

Chevrolet decided that no media launch was required for the Blazer. No farm to table luncheon or five star resort full of journalists eager to copy and paste the press kit into WordPress, perish the thought. They just sent them to dealers. And people bought them! Turns out that for most consumers, just going to and reading the specs directly from the source works just fine.

Well, as you might imagine, the journosaurs of the internet aren’t happy about it. They don’t have the ability to create content, you see. They can’t tell stories. They don’t even have it in their budgets to rent said Blazer from the Emerald Aisle. (You can be damned sure that I’m going to look for one at Atlanta Latoya Jackson Airport next week.) All they can do is take the free press trips and write positive reviews of whatever car is shoved in front of them.

The journosaurs in the private Facebook groups really don’t like it when I share their names, but one gentleman, whose Facebook page has 516 followers and whose website doesn’t rank on Alexa, seemed particularly perplexed that GM did not personally invite him to wax poetic about the Blazer before daring to ship it. “It’s like they don’t want us to talk about it!” No kidding, dude.

What would happen if the OEMs decided, en masse, that the journosaur should go extinct? It’s hard to believe that GM just forgot to put together an event for the Blazer — the failure to launch was intentional. While it’s likely not expected to do the volume of the Equinox, the Blazer is slotted in the larger two-row CUV segment, long the domain of the Edge and the Grand Cherokee. In other words, GM needs and expects its reboot to do well.

The Bark prediction is that the lack of journosaur reviews by websites with fewer followers than many celebrity dogs will impact the sales of the Blazer by exactly zero units. When that prediction comes to pass (and it will), then what’s to stop GM from killing off the next journo launch — and the next, and the next? What’s to prevent the other OEMs from following suit?

In a world where the journosaurs provided any intrinsic value at all, this would be a bad thing. More press is typically a good thing, not a bad thing. More opinions, more perspectives, more diversity of thought are valued in the real world. Of course, the journosaurs provide none of these things. They simply regurgitate what they are fed, and then they hop the plane to the next event.

No, this would actually be a good thing. The reviewing would be left to the publications that are financially solvent and free to be independent of the influence of OEM PR reps. The internet would no longer be swamped with vanilla, beige takes of every car on the market. You’d only get high quality reviews written by qualified drivers and talented writers.

So let me say this — good job, Chevrolet. You’re helping the signal-to-noise ratio on the web. You’re putting hacks out of a job. And I applaud you for it. I can only hope that you’ve started a trend that will ultimately end in the extinction of the journosaur.

(Editor’s note: There *is* a Blazer test drive occuring right now, in San Diego — no doubt to Bark’s chagrin. That doesn’t mean OEMs won’t read this column … and perhaps walk away with an idea.)

[Image: General Motors]

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2 of 122 comments
  • Bcoul Bcoul on Jan 28, 2019

    Passionate about cars I am and many times have had the desire to write. Somehow though, I'm always a bit concerned about the legal implications about publicly posting negative comments about a brand or a specific vehicle. Is it the same for the "journosaurs" you refer to? Other than not being invited to previews or getting the hot news, is there any risk of a lawsuit for speaking your mind about car manufacturers? Thank you for your feedback!

  • Radio Freedom Radio Freedom on Jan 31, 2019

    Um...this sort of thing (short-lead press events after the vehicle is already on sale) happens all the time. Mark would know this if he was a real "journosaur" and not a dealership hack pretending to be a real journosaur. Is TTAC so hard up for talent that they have to publish made-up controversies from wannabes with massive conflicts of interest? Don't we get enough of this from the White House?

  • Tassos BTW I thought this silly thing was always called the "Wienermobile".
  • Tassos I have a first cousin with same first and last name as my own, 17 years my junior even tho he is the son of my father's older brother, who has a summer home in the same country I do, and has bought a local A3 5-door hatch kinds thing, quite old by now.Last year he told me the thing broke down and he had to do major major repairs, replace the whole engine and other stuff, and had to rent a car for two weeks in a touristy location, and amazingly he paid more for the rental ( Euro1,500, or $1,650-$1,700) than for all the repairs, which of course were not done at the dealer (I doubt there was a dealer there anyway)
  • Tassos VW's EV program losses have already been horrific, and with (guess, Caveman!) the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory growing by leaps and bounds, the future was already quite grim for VW and the VW Group.THis shutdown will not be so temporary.The German Government may have to reach in its deep pockets, no matter how much it hates to spend $, and bail it out."too big to fail"?
  • Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.
  • Inside Looking Out I did not notice, did they mention climate change? How they are going to fight climate change, racism and gender discrimination. I mean collective Big 3.