Journalism in the 21st century is a really tricky thing. Between the Internet, magazines and newspapers, anyone can write these days. Sadly, that doesn’t mean they have to actually know what they’re talking about when they write it, though.
I was very saddened to learn that actor and amateur racing driver Paul Walker had died on Saturday while supposedly a passenger in a Porsche Carrera GT during a special event for the charity he co-founded, Reach Out Worldwide. He was 40-years-old, and his friend whom he died with, Roger Rodas, was 38.
I’ll give those of you who don’t know the details a quick synopsis. Paul Walker was allegedly the passenger in a 2005 red Porsche Carrera GT owned and managed by his friend, business partner, charity co-founder, and racing teammate, Roger Rodas. Rodas owned and operated Always Evolving Performance Motors in Valencia, California. A car show was being held at the shop as a fundraising event for their charity that sends first responders around the USA and the rest of the world to help after various types of natural disasters.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a friend said that Walker and Rodas decided to go for a ride in the Carrera GT to flesh out a stalling issue, and others have claimed that there may have been a steering failure. Police are currently saying that speed “may have been a factor”, and they’ve ruled out street racing in any capacity. A report came out saying some saw a yellow Honda S2000 around the Carrera GT at the time of the accident, but that’s been dispelled by video evidence, as well as people in the know saying that S2000 arrived on the scene to bring a fire extinguisher.
And let me just roll with that stupid point real quick: A Honda S2000, while fun and a great car to drive, no matter how modified, is not competing against a Porsche Carrera GT with a knowledgeable driver behind the wheel on street or track. Anyone who thinks a Carrera GT would actually street race an S2000 is beyond stupid and should go back to their hole and weep for the fact that they will always be a pointless human being filled with no hope. Also, any driver of such a supercar would not waste their time or gas on a car that isn’t nearly as fast as them. An S2000 is one hell of a great car to own and drive, but a street racing competitor to a Carrera GT it is not.
So many people wanted the story to be that Paul Walker was street racing. Why? Because he’s made 6 Fast and Furious movies (technically 7, since he was in the middle of shooting it) which focus on bad street racing and not-so-great car action. It was the talk of the “journalist” town.
Paul Walker was speeding and street racing, death to him! Oh, and he was driving a car that’s so unsafe and ridiculous, it can only be tamed by God! It shouldn’t be allowed on the roads!!!
Basically, the Internet is filled with trolls and assholes who have no idea what they’re talking about. Hell, even CNN had a terrible report about what made the Carrera GT so violent and insane, going so far as to list the fact that it had a mid-engine layout and that it cost nearly 500 grand when new.
The title was amazing: “Porsche Carrera GT: 5 reasons the car Paul Walker died in is different”. Even better were the points:
- It flies on the road
- It’s incredibly expensive
- The engine is in the middle
- It has no stability control
- There are only 1,300 of them
Thank God for the crack reporting over at CNN, namely Holly Yan and Martin Savidge. I’m tellin’ ya, it may get an award.
Mashable then did their finest work telling you absolutely nothing in their article entitled: “Just How Dangerous Was the Porsche Paul Walker Died In?” They talk about the fact that the car was discontinued due to changing airbag regulations here in the States. Now I don’t actually know how true that is, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be. However, Mashable then make the ultimate “journalism” foul-up. They ask a Porsche rep, in this case Nick Twork, why the car was discontinued. Wait, didn’t we just cover that? Mashable then reports,
Although Twork declined to comment on why the car was discontinued, he said, “It’s a car we sold for a period about nine years ago — at the time it was sold, it exceeded all safety standards.”
So what are they trying to get at? Is Samantha Murphy Kelly, the writer, trying to say that Porsche stopped selling the Carrera GT that Roger Rodas and Paul Walker were driving in because it was unsafe? Once again, top notch “journalism”, I must say.
There has been so much bad reporting and speculation, basically to get “likes” on Facebook and viewership to their websites, that these assholes have literally said anything and everything.
The absolute worst and by far the most pointless article is one that’s being advertised on TMZ with the blurb you see in the photo above. The website, called Fish Wrapper, have a title that says “had Paul Walker screamed just one last word …” When you click on the link, the article written by Sarah Taylor starts off saying, “Paul Walker might still be alive today if he blurted out one word as his friend roared through Santa Clarita — “STOP!””
Wow, another amazing reporter here, folks. Worse yet, here’s what she goes on to say later:
The bottom line is that Paul Walker didn’t have to die. Roger Rodas didn’t have to be identified by the fillings he got in his teeth when he was 13 years old. Children wouldn’t be without their fathers, families wouldn’t be without their sons, and friends wouldn’t be utterly heartbroken enough to sacrifice public image by breaking down at the scene of a horrific accident, grasping at the straws of in-your-face mortality for one last chance to say things that will never be conveyed.
Paul Walker could have said, “Hey, slow down.” “Hey, let’s not do this today.” “Hey, there might be something mechanically wrong with this vehicle, how about we don’t take this chance right now.” Any one of those things could have been the thing that changed the course of events for a whole lot of people for the rest of their time on this earth, but poor Paul Walker didn’t have a clue that when he got into the Porsche Carrera GT to take the last ride of his life that remaining silent would be the last mistake he’d ever make.
Can I just ask, what the hell does she mean by “friends wouldn’t be utterly heartbroken enough to sacrifice public image by breaking down at the scene …”? Who cares about people seeing me cry when I find out a friend or loved one dies? Did I enter a universe where I’ve become some disgrace for showing emotion or grieving a loss?
Anyway, so Ms. Taylor is speculating wild speed and racing without any actual evidence. She’s reaching and saying that Roger Rodas, a responsible businessman and racing driver, was a douche bag, and Paul Walker was a wimp for not yelling “STOP!” What? Not only does she need a new day job, and maybe a smack in the mouth from the children of both Rodas and Walker, as well as Rodas’ wife. Well, let’s include the family and friends in that smack, too, since she’s just being wildly speculative and insensitive for the sake of readership and advertising dollars.
Interestingly, TMZ seem to be the only ones reporting with any respect. I heard a little bit of TMZ Live today, with hosts Charles Latibeaudiere and Mike Walters, and they seem to be in the same boat as me on this one. There had to be a malfunction with the car, simply because the skid marks were straight lines into the light pole and tree. Also, they seem to have a lot more respect for the passing of Roger Rodas and Paul Walker. They even had Randy Pobst on the show earlier, and Randy went on the record to say that both guys were very capable of driving a Porsche Carrera GT.
For those who don’t know, Randy Pobst is a championship winning racing driver in multiple racing series’, and he also trained Paul Walker for 2 Fast 2 Furious and raced against Roger Rodas in the Pirelli World Challenge.
But whether or not excessive speed or street racing were involved; no matter if it was a mechanical failure; or who knows, it could have been a health related issue. All we know is, two men who were very charitable and responsible car guys are dead. Worse than that, they had lives and families. Paul Walker’s 15-year-old daughter had just moved in with him about a year or so ago, and he was engaged. Roger Rodas had a wife and two kids. These men have parents, friends, and caring fans. It’s been reported that one of Paul’s lifelong friends, Nute, had to be restrained by police after he punched a firefighter and wouldn’t leave the scene of the accident. He was trying to extinguish the fire to save the life of his friend… just stop and think about that.
Instead of pissing on the graves of these men, and using the name of a celebrity to boost unique visitors, think about what it’s doing to their families and friends to have some asshole try and tarnish their memories with talk that they were terrible and irresponsible. Instead of making up claims that aren’t true, or saying that they weren’t good enough to drive the car they died in, maybe, just maybe, we can wait for all of the facts to come in before we rush to judge men who helped many others. Hopefully we can at least give them that respect.
The only two reports that I’ve seen that aren’t screaming terrible and false things are from the New York Post and the NY Daily News. The Post talks about a power steering leak that may have been the official cause of the accident and deaths that was reported by Always Evolving, Rodas’ shop; and the Daily News goes into great detail about the Porsche Carrera GT with excellent information. Now that’s journalism and reporting.
Today the coroner’s reports came out saying that Paul Walker died of trauma from the accident, as well as being burned to death from the explosion and resulting fire. It also says that Roger Rodas died from multiple injuries suffered in the wreck.
Police still believe that speed was an issue, but there are reports that the Carrera GT they were driving had mechanical issues in the past and that both men were trying to sort out a problem with it stalling when they took it for a 20-minute ride. Some are also speculating a steering failure.
All I know is, my thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the families and friends of Paul Walker and Roger Rodas, and may they rest in peace. To the so-called journalists and reporters out there, you should be ashamed of yourselves.