Chrysler 200 Critic, Scott Burgess, Resigned After Review Controversy

By on Mar 19, 2011 in Automobile, Headlines, United States, World Comments

According to several news reports, Scott Burgess, auto critic of the Detroit News resigned on Wednesday after he was asked to change several phrases of his Chrysler 200 review.

Chrysler 200
Chrysler 200
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Scott Burgess‘ original review made it to the print edition on March 10 on the newspaper’s “Drive” section. However, the online version was edited and some of the critical words such as calling Chrysler 200 a “dog” were removed. This was done after an advertiser reportedly complained that the review was “acerbic and disrespectful.”

Burgess said that he resigned after meeting with Jon Wolman, the paper’s news editor and publisher. “It’s just a matter of principle,” Burgess was quoted saying.

“I regret not standing up and saying, ‘no, we can’t change this.’ I felt I’m just as guilty letting it happen. I kind of felt like a deer in the headlights. I didn’t know what to do,” Burgess added.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Wolman acknowledged the mistake and apologized on the March 19, 2011 issue of the Detroit News:

While our intent was to improve the piece by making these passages less grating, our decision to make these changes after fielding an advertiser’s complaint was a humbling mistake. As publisher and editor, I want to apologize to our readers and of course to Scott. Once the review was published we should have maintained the wording in all our formats and avoided any sense that we were acting at the influence of any interest aside from our readers’ interest.

According to reports, the original version of the review has been restored online and can be read here.

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