Auto journalist crashes Lexus IS F because he's an auto journalist

Illustration for article titled Auto journalist crashes Lexus IS F because hes an auto journalist

This wrecked Lexus IS F gave its life so you can read about what it's like to drive an IS-F. Oh, wait. No it wasn't. It was crashed because automakers team up with "professional automotive journalist organizations" for these annual drives that only create any journalism when someone wrecks a car.

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How would you drive if there were no real consequences? Short of killing yourself or someone else, there's no consequence I can think of for shunting a press car at a track during a drive. Go wild.

While some track-day crashes are just unfortunate accidents, others are the inevitable result of over-privileged "journalists" given free rein over press cars at a track. The kind of "journalists" who show up to a friendly driving event dressed in a full racing suit with their own helmet in tow (that's not a joke, that happened in Texas).

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People who think they're invincible because, if they have enough readers, they are.

Right now, the International Motor Press Association (New York NAMBLA) is in the midst of its Fall Rally at the Monticello Motor Club. It's raining, so of course some journalist (a Canadian non-Canadian, we hear) went full tilt into a corner, crashed, and then walked away. Actually, they probably walked over to the CTS-V to go have a few more laps.

Other regional organizations (California NAMBLA, Texas NAMBLA, Midwestern NAMBLA) run these kind of events on a regular schedule. Yet, you only hear about it when there's a wreck.

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And it pisses me off. Not because I'm standing up for journalists or because I think, if I were there, I'd drive any better. Hell, our Senior Editor Mike Spinelli is running the thing.

It pisses me off because these are the same press cars that I'm used to getting on a weekly basis and when someone, say, drives a Viper into a tree, I don't get that car any more.

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See? We're all a bunch of over-privileged jerks, but at least I'm willing to be honest about it.

UPDATE: A representative for IMPA contacted us and made it clear that every safety precaution was followed and the cone was speed-limited due to the conditions. He also made it clear the driver who crashed the vehicle was not allowed to drive another vehicle today.

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Photo Credit: @mdeslaueriers

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DISCUSSION

I'm sorry but honest journalism in this country is a joke.

Freedom of the press. Powerful words there. People can write anything they want as long as it's true. Even if it's opinion, as long as your opinion does not slander anyone and isn't considered libel or harmful to anyone, you are 100% free to write what you like. That is a wonderful thing and we really don't fully appreciate it because it hasn't been taken from us.

But what does that generate? Journalists reporting the actual truth and facts? We'd hope but even those great, self-proclaimed bastions of journalistic integrity are lying sacks of goat poo. Why?

Simple really. Freedom of the Press. They hide behind that Constitutionally declared freedom that shouldn't be impinged upon. They use the right it gives them to report the news and facts and when they go too far or twist something in a way to get eyes on the page, they hide behind that very same right. It's a bastardization of that right and not only does that abuse make it that much less enforceable but what's to stop the enforcement from abusing it too if you can't draw a clear line between what that law actually protects and what it doesn't?

Then again, you know why people like Jeremy Clarkson so much? Freedom of the Press. He's an op-ed so the majority of his stuff is based on his experienced opinion with a car. If he likes it, he uses flamboyant prose, colorful analogies and heaps praise and accolades upon the object of his exuberance. If he doesn't like it, he uses the same to tell you so. But he doesn't make stuff up. Maybe in editing stuff gets twisted around but when he's reviewing a car, he'll tell you it sucks or it's great and tell you why. His years of doing this and his injection of intelligence, humor and reasoning in to it lends him credibility. Not just on Top Gear but on his other shows and specials as well as the columns he's written. When he's doing something factual, he has said repeatedly that while he is avidly interested in engineering, he has very little clue about it and consults actual engineers on the subject. Then he tells you what they said.

That's journalistic integrity. While he doesn't take himself very seriously and his humor and satire come out in abundance in his pieces, you never get the feeling that he's lying to you, been bought out or is insincere.

On the flip side, you go to places like Consumer Reports or Car and Driver who routinely put the same vehicles in the top of the class, always. Even though the stiff competition from other brands has made marked improvements, the now dated favorite still seems to win the accolades. Why? Who knows but when a rag like CR has to tout it's journalistic integrity, it makes you wonder why they are being so loud about it? Especially when any schlep with two eyes and a functioning brain can see that Toyota has been on a very slippery slope as of late and many of it's competitors have stormed past them, even the Koreans. Yet here we are, CR has still listed the now 4 year old Camry platform as one of if not the best family sedan even though it avidly tries to kill it's occupants. Car and Driver still has a hard on for BMWs as well and you wonder why 'cause again, BMW is stagnating so what BMWs are Car and Driver looking? Not the ones I am it seems.

So if all these rags want to do is get readers and/or pay the bills, they will skew anything to get a view to rake in an ad dollar. They seem to take bribes and handouts because of the results of their "comparisons" and such. So if that's how the businesses run that hire these "journalists" why are you so surprised these assbags treat these events and the vehicles that aren't theirs with such lackadaisical concern?

Those of us who would love the opportunity to be a journalist and get to test cars all day rarely get the chance. Especially tech oriented people because the writing styles don't get eyes on a page even if the reviewing is spot on and top notch. So us tech people get to sit here and read tripe from snot nosed weenies trying to be funny and getting things wrong (not about Jalopnik so don't get your panties in a bunch). Then these same snot nosed weenies get mad and berate their readers because their readers hold them to the wall concerning the misreported/misrepresented facts.

Then again, this kind of behavior is present in every profession. I'm in IT. I have a very advanced background that I got through hard work, sacrifice and taking opportunities presented to me that others wouldn't have the balls to take. I get very frustrated with less experienced people who think they are more experienced than they are demanding some level of respect beyond what they actually deserve. I lose it when they talk down to someone who is obviously their superior in every way but rank in an organization.

So you're not alone but the only thing you can really do that makes a difference is be true to yourself, behave ethically and honestly and check your facts. You can leave your opinions in the mix but don't pass them off as fact. One of the BIGGEST things that would help out the vast majority of "journalists" out there is to understand the difference between subjectivity and objectivity.

Yeah, I'll stop ranting now. But I will point out that when the Jalopnik Commentariat is on the editors cases about content, stories and facts, it's not so much about the content, stories and facts but more about a warning that the journalistic integrity that it seems Jalopnik strives for is perceived as slipping. Nobody wants to see that.

After all, we all came here because the blog reported news we cared about without the BJ's from corporate entities forcing the stories to have a false slant. Much the same reason that we all started watching Top Gear. We all stuck around for the community that sprung from it.