Clarkson's Patriotism and Anti-Americanism...

Ayman

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So I've been watching several TG videos on Youtube lately, couldn't help but notice the growing number of Jezza haters.
I am a huge fan of his, and one Youtube comment I did like about him
Understand that Jeremy Clarkson exaggerates to stir controversy. He? is exceptionally skilled at communicating his point, especially when he doesn't actually mean it. Makes for very entertaining television.
However,

He is often criticized for :
1) Liking every single British car, because it's British.
2) Telling lies about American cars to make them look worse in the viewer's mind.
3) Trying to link anything that's good to England.

Now, quite apart from the fact that all of these points are highly questionnable, arguable... And even refutable, I find that the issue lies much deeper than a few shallow observations.

First, I'd like to discuss Jeremy's patriotism. I'm not sure since when one's entitled to reproach another for their patriotism, but since people allow themselves to, more and more often, I'd like to clear it up. Objectivity, as a journalistic principle, has never been a guideline of TopGear's... And I can totally accept that. In TG's case, respecting it would've made for rather boring material. I completely understand how Jeremy, or in fact his colleagues might review a British car with a predisposition (Although it's more like a blind determination) to like it and say that it's great. Who wouldn't ?
It's hardly a bad thing. All one has to do is realize that what's being broadcasted isn't necessarily fully true, doesn't make it any less enjoyable if one does so, instead of switching off because they're sick of it.
One top rated comment stated
ha ha clarkson always? tries to make anything he likes british.
... This was on the GT and GTX1 Fords review. As Jeremy said
I was speaking only yesterday to a guy from Ford and he assured me that this is an all-American effort, although he was forced to concede that the wheels are German, and the brakes are Italian, and the gearbox is British and the body's British and the steering rack is from an Aston Martin Vanquish, and the chassis was set up by a couple of guys from Lotus
The fact is though, criticizing him without providing proof of his lie-telling is as pointless as watering the desert with a
watering can. It's all utterly laughable.

I could go on forever. But I'd also like to bring up Jezza's relationship with the US.
I've stumbled upon people saying he's thrashed every single American car he's tested. That simply isn't true... When he drove the Corvette ZR1 ...He absolutely loved it as a driving machine, and liked the fact that it's a cheap thrill. But still pointed out that the build quality is aweful ... Which it factually is. He HAD? to point that out, for the European market. It didn't make him any less fond of it though ! The same stands for the CTS when he first took it out on the track.
If anything, I'd say that whenever he tests an American car he really looks forward to liking it. Sadly, they all apparently disappoint. So often that every time he sees a picture of a new one, he labels it as being aweful, simply because it's American.
I truely can't blame him for that. The Americans' standards differ from his, in an endless number of ways.
He's shown on many occasions that he perfectly GETS the American way of making cars. The cheapness of the performance is a caracteristic trait of Muscle cars, and there is a certain throwability about US cars, perhaps due to the very nature of the automotive market in America...

He's a man with opinions... His fortune (by which I mean "luck") has put him in a position where his opinions are automatically broadcasted to other people... Whether or not they like them SURELY shouldn't matter to him, I guess.

This is long enough. Opinions?
 

argatoga

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Youtube comments are the gutters of the Internet. 12 year olds do not represent us all.
 

MWF

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You're thinking too much. Clarkson takes the piss out of everyone but since the UK and the US are two countries divided by a common language then America is a frequent target.

And yes, he is patriotic but not at the expense of his integrity. He has rubbished Vauxhalls and Rovers frequently in the past. It's patriotism and not jingoism.
 

Ayman

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You're thinking too much.
I don't see it as thinking too much, it's just an urge to clarify things up considering their worrying amplitude.

Clarkson takes the piss out of everyone
I know, I know. It's just that when it comes to cars... The Americans are the most targetted. The jokes they make about other nationalities and even members of their own country don't really matter to me, I see that as comedy. And I really wanted to discuss cars, nothing else.
 

Wyvern

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One of Clarkson's most hated cars of all times - and I can't say I blame him, though I didn't think it was quite as bad as he made out - was the Vauxhall Vectra. I suppose if Americans were desperate to feel all butthurt about it, it was a GM product, but still, it was badged as a Vauxhall and I'm hard pressed to think of a car he's (allegedly) had a more negative impact upon.

The thing about America as a target is that it's quite large and that does make it reasonably easy to hit... ;)
 

Amie8

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The thing about America as a target is that it's quite large and that does make it reasonably easy to hit..
It's also a tad sensitive sometimes..
 

Dino

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Either you find him funny or his pointed use of language entertaining, or you're wasting your time.

Other wastes of time: concerning yourself with youtube-anything, psychoanalyses of TV-presenters, defending anything TG on this forum, EU vs. US blablabla
 
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Lekky

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Sure he's patriotic but who isn't? He's just not afraid to state his (granted) very strong opinion on television, which means he has some balls.
And I know where you're coming from but Youtube is just a mosh pit of retards so I wouldn't take too much notice.
 

The Mouse

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You think you tube is bad? Try Twitter some time. I think it goes with the territory. Both Clarkson and Hammond (in paticular) get a real battering there (May seems curiously exempt for some reason). In the end you just have to remind yourself that it's only people's opinions and as long as their shows continue to rate as well as they do then they will probably continue.
 

WillDAQ

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The fact is though, criticizing him without providing proof of his lie-telling
That Ford quote isn't a lie, most people would be amazed how many American, German and Japanese cars make use of British expertise in various areas (suspension, engine design, chassis, calibration, etc.). However the world being what it is you're never going to see the large companies admitting it.

Classic example, the GTR: engine by Cosworth, handling by Lotus, cupholders by Nissan.
 

GauravA42

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Classic example, the GTR: engine by Cosworth, handling by Lotus, cupholders by Nissan.
Could you provide sources for that? Pretty sure that is totally overstated....from what I understand Lotus helped Nissan do the aero on the GT-R and some suspension tuning, and Cosworth assisted devloping the engine's aluminium monoblock design, and reducing crank and piston weight.
 

MWF

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Just to weigh in with some sensible balance......

American car makers have for years taken a different approach towards their products. European and Japanese car makers generally work on an 8 year life with a mid life face-lift. The American market had for years a much more disposable attitude to cars with changes being made on each model year. As a result the fit and finish was way below the quality of the European and Japanese counterparts and the quality of materials less important.

On my first trip to the States in 97 I was astonished about how crappy the domestic product was in so many ways. Large but underpowered engines, sloppy transmissions, brittle plastic and appalling handling. OK these were mid market rental cars Things have improved more recently but in the main Clarkson is right.
 

WillDAQ

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Could you provide sources for that?
Well obviously not as it undermines brand strength, I refer you to: "However the world being what it is you're never going to see the large companies admitting it."

It's one of those known secrets of the UK automotive world, like the fact Eddie Jordan wears a wig.

from what I understand Lotus helped Nissan do the aero on the GT-R and some suspension tuning, and Cosworth assisted devloping the engine's aluminium monoblock design, and reducing crank and piston weight.
Exactly, the large manufacturer does most of the work, the obscure British company makes fiddly bits and important tweaks. Now go read the Ford quote again.
 

Fairlady

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People actually READ youtube comments?
People with slow interwebs do. But even if not, it's quite amusing to see people think the most redonk things (like Steve Jobs is richer than Bill Gates).
 

Ayman

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Clarkson is right.
All I needed to hear :)

Also, just to point something out to those who seem to have flagged Youtube-commentators as worth ignoring completely, and believe the comment section is something to overlook.
To my mind, just because we're a part of this fancy forum here, in no way does it make us (by association) any more intelligent, worthy of attention or representative of TopGear's true audience. In fact, more of TG's viewers express their TG-related opinions on Youtube than on here. Far more. Moreover, not all of them are 10y goons whose closest relationship with a car was through its passenger seat. Some are actual amateurs and enthusiasts.

I didn't start this because of one or two comments that I disliked... As I stated in the original post :
the growing number of...
It's not just Youtube either... I've even seen some disapproving comments on the TG website, and on their Facebook page.

I didn't think I'd have to point this out but it seems I'd overestimated the members' ability to argue... In the same way some have underestimated the Youtube community's. I don't seek to be criticized about paying attention to Youtube comments, nor do I seek to be told that I'm Wasting My Time. Whether or not I am is irrelevant.
 
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Amie8

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For the record, Ayman, I thought your opening post was pretty erudite and asked interesting questions, considering we're in the Top Gear section of the forum.

I think the growing amount of criticism of Clarkson's attitude is probably directly related to the growing amount of awareness of a) his existence and b) his style and opinions around the world. When his views were mostly restricted to the home audience, who really cared?
 

captain_70s

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I wouldn't say JC is biased towards UK manufactures at all .In fact he has, in the past moaned about Rover, MG, Vauxhall, Morgan, Reliant, Bristol, Mini, Morris, Austin, Triumph and others I've probably forgotten about.

The only British car manufactures he raves about are Rolls Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, Jaguar and a couple of independent places that built supercars in sheds. In fact in general most (if not all) of the Brit cars JC likes are massively expensive GT cars, luxury, sports and supercars.

It is true that the US probably bears the brunt of foreign mocking but I'd say he shows disdain to more Brit cars than anything else. Hell he even went on about the Jensen Interceptor being slow and built (badly) out of bits of other cars until it was improved by the American GM engine...
 
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