It’s Friday, it’s been a slow news day — as evidenced by the dearth of posts today — and there’s just not much going on the rest of the afternoon. So instead of doing a post on some appearance package on a crossover that you don’t care about, I’m going to do that old blogger trick of throwing some red meat to you, the commenters, allowing you to fight it out. Just like lions on the savannah.
Motor Trend, a part of the “TEN: The Enthusiast Network” machine, grabs the marketing attention of automaker C-suites in ways that this humble blog can’t — and won’t.
Using its clout, you’d think Motor Trend would dig up the goods when given the chance to sit down with Ford’s main man in Europe, Jim Farley. You’d think wrong. Instead, Motor Trend offers up this stunning, 530-word game of interview softball.
“Motor Trend,” TTAC alum and occasional minor-event organizer Brock Yates once declared, “is for people who move their lips when they read.” Were Yates still with us, he’d likely be somewhat less than surprised at the breakneck pace with which MT is attempting to transform itself into a YouTube video first and a magazine-for-morons second. It’s a sound business model; why limit your content to the even vaguely literate when you can break the shackles of the written word entirely and deliver extended advertorials to the lowest possible common denominator?
Of course, it would be both crass and impolite for us to imply that Motor Trend thinks its consumers are complete idiots who will eagerly place their lips on the corporate cloaca of “TEN: The Enthusiast Network” and eagerly lap up whatever poorly digested material is splattered into their open mouths.
It would also be unnecessary, because — as of last night — Motor Trend has made that point for us.
The temperature was already well above average on Friday, September 18 when the Environmental Protection Agency issued Volkswagen a steaming-hot Notice of Violation of the Clean Air Act. The seriousness and accuracy of the allegations are now well known. Emitting up to 40 times the allowable limit of nitrogen oxides is no small infraction, particularly when done with intent. And as a result, heads quickly rolled and resigned at the Volkswagen Group. The company continues to reel from the impact of its malfeasance as new penalties are imposed.
What has been going on at EPA Headquarters? Gina McCarthy was the agency’s Chief Administrator when the scandal broke. She is still in charge. Christopher Grundler has been at the EPA since 1980 and was the Director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) on that warm fall day. He too, remains at his post. Despite calls for resignations from lawmakers, such as Michael Burgess House R-TX, no senior EPA staffers are known to have been dismissed with cause related to the VW scandal.
It seems Jalopnik got to this before us.
It appears Motor Trend‘s Scott Evans had a long, awkward meeting with his editors and those who control Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) member pursestrings about what constitutes fair coverage regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule clarifications.
From Motor Trend:
The EPA is not coming for your racecar. The EPA is coming for the aftermarket companies that make parts to turn your street car into a racecar.
Which is, you know, kind of the same thing, at least in the eyes of SEMA.
If you’re reading this, chances are that you have little to no familiarity with Motor Trend. The audience here at The Truth About Cars, as we all know, is a superbly well-educated and successful group of detail-oriented people from all parts of the (autism) spectrum. The readers of MT, on the other hand, are almost all drooling morons who move their lips very slowly when they read, and are exceeded only in their ability to excite repugnance by the chronically inbred half-wits who watch Motor Trend videos, their crystal-meth-addled eyes jumping randomly with perpetual, idiotic surprise at the public-access-TV-level antics spooned contemptuously into the permanently dropping corners of their toothless mouths.
I’m just kidding about that last part, of course. I’d known plenty of very nice people who subscribed to Motor Trend. On the other hand, I don’t apologize for characterizing TTAC readers as Aspies. There’s something wrong with all of you. You’d rather read a Camry review than a story about jumping an Aventador over a river filled with piranhas. I love you for it. Please keep reading. I need the money.
Futhermore, there are a few men of steely courage and razor-sharp intellect out there among the B&B who are willing to brave the foetid depths of Motor Trend’s website just to get the latest breaking news about THE NEW CAMARO TELLS THE MUSTANG TO STEP OUTSIDE! or, possibly, THE NEW MUSTANG TELLS THE CAMARO TO STEP OUTSIDE! One of them e-mailed us this morning to tell a strange tale: last night, a Motor Trend editor published a scathing editorial attacking the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA), only to have it disappear in the light of the next day.
While on the Infiniti JX launch event, I met a gentleman who now works with Nissan. He had a number of interesting stories about his tenure at GM, and what it was like to work on the EV1 program, as well as the technology that he swears was the forerunner to the Chevrolet Volt.
There’s a nice comfortable cushion of years between the present and the 1970 and 1976 Motor Trend Cars of the Year, which gave our discussions about What Might Have Been a certain detachment. Today’s Car of the Year Revisionism discussion, however, takes as its subject a car that’s still with us in large numbers.
Having just spent a weekend officiating at a race with one of the perpetrators of the latest Motor Trend Car of the Year choice, I got to thinking about past controversial COTY choices… and what choices we might make today, with the benefit of hindsight. Second-guessing the 1971 and 1983 choices is fish-in-a-barrel stuff (though I think the very radical-for-Detroit Vega deserved the award in spite of its terrible execution), but you can find tough choices all the way back to 1949. Today we’re going to talk about 1970’s Car of the Year winner: the Ford Torino.
Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award has been a lightning rod of criticism among automotive gadflies ever since… well, you decide. Corvair? Vega? Mustang II? Every year, MT picks one “best” car from a market that serves a wide variety of needs, and every year, the autoblogosphere rushes to help the tottering “contest” collapse under the weight of its own pretense. This year, with Motor Trend picking Volkswagen’s new de-Euro’d Passat (a car that has received a decidedly mixed critical reception) for its highest honor, is it any wonder that the peanut gallery is frothing over the choice?
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