Thank goodness The Truth About Cars is back up after a holiday vacation. Continually one of the more honest sites, thus living up to the site's name, TTAC has some interesting rants that always spur good discussion. Their latest is all about the wonderful world of embargos.

Sure you might know what an embargo on Iraqi oil is but what does it refer to in the automotive press? Basically it means the car companies give auto journalists photos via email or a secure website to check out and contemplate and sit on until an embargo date passes. These can often be weeks or months before the official release date passes.

Robert Farago at TTAC suggests this practice is antiquated, dishonest and doesn?t serve the public. It?s a dirty secret that just lets the car companies sell a few more outdated models before the photos of the shiny new ones surface.

As seen this weekend with our coverage of the first photos/vehicles to see their embargos lifted we obviously are following these self-imposed guidelines. While sure we could go live with every scrap we get, there sure wouldn?t be a second round of official photos coming our way. My thoughts on the topic are if we can post the information we are given as soon as it?s available we?re still beating almost everyone else to the punch. Plus you get all our quirky commentary too.

But unlike some of the folks Robert talks about, we certainly don?t cater to the auto industry just for sneak peeks at pretty pictures. If we hate the new HHR, for example, we?re going to say so. In the next few weeks there will be so many photos and coverage of the auto shows that I kind of appreciate the advanced planning the embargo dates provide.

I?m not quite sure where that leaves Autoblog in the array of auto coverage out there but I think we?re straddling the line in the right way.

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