Everyone has heard about the Radio Payola scandals throughout the years. Record companies would pay DJs to give their records heavy rotation, ensuring good sales. Well Robert Farago from the Truth About Cars website, has a little to say about how automakers have been doing much the same for print journalists for years and now it's spreading to the web journalists.
This should really be no shock to anyone. When the auto companies invite large groups of journalists to beautiful destinations, or a single journalist is given an oportunity to test drive a new car in Hawai or Itally at the companies expense, is it any surprise that the car is wonderful? Go over and read Bob's article. I found it over at Bob Schultie's CarsCarsCars! site, glad to see Bob has recovered from the Flu, and sorry to see that Bob doesn't rate any graft. But Bob, you have to stop calling the automakers names! Bill Ford is not going to send you to far off places to drive exotic cars and caress beautiful women, if you keep calling him an idiot.
And while I don't consider myself a journalist, just to prove that I am human, if Bill Ford wants to have me compromise my principles, it would take something like this. Of course with all the nice stuff I write about Ford, they really wouldn't feel the need I guess.
But if GM or Chrysler want MyChevyDreams or MyDodgeDreams, let's talk. I'm only human and I could learn to like a Vette or Viper.
Just to clarify, this was written as humor not indictement of journalists. In any industry, there are junkets and perks, and for the most part it's an accepted part of doing business. Just look at the healthcare/pharmaceutical/medical inudstry, they spend millions flying doctors around on junkets. Hell, as I look at my desk, I see free coffee mugs and calenders from several vendors I deal with. So take this more with tongue in cheek, than a knife in the back of the auto journalists. Don't get me wrong, I still think Brock Yates and most auto journalists are jerks, but I'm sure they wouldn't like me either.