A couple of days ago, His Magnificent Sweetness took Karl Brauer of Edmunds to task over the site's "Most Wanted" vehicles list only including two slabs of Detroit iron. Peter's rationale? "[I]s it any wonder that the new go-to guy for auto-biz quotage for that beacon of anti-Detroit objectivity, The New York Times, happens to be none other than Karl Brauer, editor in chief of Edmunds.com?" And while I have heard people talk smack about Karl and his industry connections, I've gotta give the win to Karl's response in this matter. Click through for Brauer's smackdown of Peter and a bit of analysis.
"Interesting that Peter questions my bias when he's paid directly by the Detroit Three. Oh, this isn't a controversial statement by any means, as he totally admits to being on their bankroll in this BusinessWeek article. I think it's refreshing that Pete wants to be upfront about working for Detroit's automakers, as it's important for readers to know that you're paid by the people you also report on."
This is a dirty business we're in. There're a lot of good guys in the auto industry, people who are simply trying to earn a living and indulge their passion for automobiles — on both the manufacturer and journalistic ends of the spectrum. And plenty of journalists turn into corporate whores without even realizing it. It also colors a review when you've gone on a junket. I happen to like Toyota's FJ Cruiser very much. Does the fact that Toyota treated me like a king in Birmingham, Alabama have anything to do with that? No, it does not. Toyota's got savvy PR people, for sure. But I did point out as many of the utelet's shortcomings as I could find, and it had a few. Regardless, the fact that I liked the truck so much troubled me, because I wanted to be taken seriously, and not look like I was huffing corporate dong.