The truth about writing

This article in The Truth About Cars is full of truth about writing.  Writing nonfiction for blogs, for newspapers, for trade journals, you name it.  Read it and understand authority, understand getting paid for criticism.  (Or at least how not to.)

The backstory is this:  On Thursday, the Detroit News published a negative review of the Chrysler 200.  Yeah, the car in that Super Bowl commercial.  A Chrysler dealer called the paper to complain.  They watered down the online version of the story.  The writer, the paper's auto critic, resigned in an unplanned fashion.  Jalopnik broke the story.

TTAC's wrapup talks about why the newspaperman wrote what he wrote.  Along the way, they touch on some of my favorite tropes:  why hipsters suck (car critics who heap disdain on all new cars are not credible because they're predictable), why shills suck (car critics who heap praise etc etc predictable), and why Jeremy Clarkson is so popular.

It's tough to be neither a hipster nor a shill if you're not Jeremy Clarkson.  You know who he is, right?  I found out on a vacation to London, where during an afternoon siesta with (ahem) a bottle of champagne in our hotel room, we turned on the TV and watched, of all things, the entirety of a car show.  It was Top Gear, and it was informative, hilarious, and even penetrating.  Jeremy Clarkson is one of the hosts of Top Gear.  He is arrogant, occasionally obnoxious, and enthusiastic with both praise and scorn.  His expectations are high, and when he's delighted, he lets you know.  But Jeremy Clarkson gets to drive Ferraris--hell, he gets to own Ferraris--side by side with Smart cars and other city-only vehicles that are one short step of mechanical sophistication above a golf cart.  That, and he's utterly bent.  That's why he's popular.

Anyway, read the TTAC piece.  Nod, and say 'aaahhhh, yes'.