Picture this: The Ford Mustang GT500 was just unveiled to the press. The car rumbles to life and gives onlookers reason to lust. You back-up to take a few pictures of the car when you hear two men behind you talking. "What kind of car is that?" one gentleman asked the other. You think to yourself, "Why the hell are these people taking up precious space during press days?" while you hold back an urge to snap. You take deep breath and take a few more pictures. Unbelievable but true. The amount of people that were covering the car show that had no idea about cars was alarming to me and should be for you also.
I am an automotive nut first and foremost. Cars are on the brain, all the time and that?s the way it should be. The people that bring you automotive new and opinions should have that addiction but it?s not what I witnessed at press days.
The guys at the Mustang display were not an isolated case. Let me fill you in on the scenario that was playing out next to me at the media center and I?m sure this happens often. The culprits work for a large publisher with multiple publications, which I will not divulge the name of because it would be unfair. I did not know what specific one they were writing for.
A woman would come in whose automotive knowledge was the extent of, ?I turn the key in my silver car and it goes?. She would be assigned to a press conference with her pen and pad and take notes and report back to the ?lead? guy who never left the media center when I was there. She would spew back information (sometimes incorrect because she did not have the background) and then go out to the next show. It was disheartening to think about the people who were going to get their information from this source.
On the second day, after the Charger SRT-8 unveil, another gentleman sitting behind me in the press room was on the cell phone with what sounded like someone he worked with. ?I saw a Charger Daytona on display. What is that? Why didn?t they show that also?? I almost turned around and said, ?It?s a limited edition that was announced at the Chicago Auto Show. It will be available in two colors; Go ManGo and Top Banana which is the color on display,? but didn?t feel it was worth my time. Even worse was that the person he was talking to on the phone had no answers for the guy either. Ugh.
I guess this rant was written for two reasons; to get it off my chest and to warn others. You can pretty much bet that most of the enthusiast car magazines are written by ?enthusiasts? but when non-automotive press get their hands on some information and try to convey it to the masses, it tends to be very unsuccessful and that?s how many ?normal? people get their auto news. (I use ?normal? versus the obsessed like us)
I consider myself lucky to be able to write to you via Autoblog. Dave and I are car nuts who enjoy putting our love down into words. It?s passionate. It?s knowledgeable. And it has to be fun. Many of the people I observed weren?t having a great time, at the same time I felt like a kid in a horsepower candy store. Leave the automotive writing to us, the car-loving community; tell grandma taking notes at the press conference that there?s a flower show at the arboretum that needs scribing.