Saturday, March 8, 2008

SPEED's "Tradin' Paint" Suddenly Very Calm

There was a lot of anticipation before the Saturday edition of Tradin' Paint took to the air on SPEED. Host John Roberts had regular panelist Kyle Petty alongside and USA Today NASCAR Reporter Nate Ryan as the media guest.

It did not take Kyle Petty long to get cranked-up a bit about the Roush Racing penalties on the 99 team. Ryan offered that the penalties were right along the lines that NASCAR has followed since the COT was introduced.

Petty agreed, and decided that the point in question was really that "intent" had been the excuse offered by the Roush organization. "Intent is not in the rule book," said Petty. "Intent is not anything, take it and wipe your rear end with it."

Ryan was the USA Today reporter who highly publicized the comments of Lee White, now with the Toyota organization. Roberts made Ryan defend his story and White's comments, which he did by slipping behind the "free speech" excuse. Petty responded that White should have been questioned about why he made these comments.

"Lee White has no dog in that fight," said Petty. He continued to question why Ryan chose to use this type of comment in a national publication. Ryan was reminded that the Ford Racing management did not attack Michael Waltrip Racing and their engine additive issues one year ago in Daytona. The point was well made.

Changing the subject, Ryan responded to the Robby Gordon appeal with suggestions that the NASCAR appeal system is murky at best. Petty's point was that a mistake is a mistake, and Gordon's issue did not even merit the original penalty.

The remainder of the show featured polite conversation on topics that the Producer had chosen to offer the panelists. This season, that has been one of the problems with this program. It has gotten polite.

SPEED switched the positions of the panelists this season, which features the host in the middle and the other two panelists sitting awkwardly at the two ends of the main desk. As Jenna Fryer from the AP asked, "where do you put your legs?" It simply has not worked.

Another new wrinkle is trying to put the two panelist in a video effect featuring two boxes side-by-side. The pace of the show and the willingness of John Roberts to jump-in quickly makes this almost impossible. It might work for Larry King Live, but not for Tradin' Paint.

Roberts is the key to this program, and his role has to be defined. If this show is going to cream-puff NASCAR issues, it will join Pit Bulls on the cancelled shelf. Roberts let Ryan off-the-hook on why he chose to put a big sensationalized story in USA Today that was just as suspect as the Roush explanations it addressed.

Taped in front of a small crowd in the cold, this edition of Tradin' Paint was not exactly what the doctor ordered on a weekend packed with high-profile NASCAR news. Last season, after Petty joined the show, Tradin' Paint was on the "can't miss" list all year long.

This season, the SPEED executives need to do a little work on the set, the format and the topics to get this TV series back on-track. As the only show where non-TV media personalities are featured, it plays a vital role in exposing to the TV audience a lot of viewpoints that are not put forward by the full-time NASCAR TV announcers. It would be a shame if it faded away.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. Thanks again for stopping by.


SophiaZ123 said...


I am so glad you mentioned two things I "hate" about this season

1. The bizarre desks where we are forced to see profiles of the guest and Kyle at opposite ends of the table. Looks HORRIBLE on television, SPEED.

2. I loathe and detest the SPLIT SCREEN use for Kyle and Ryan. As you said that works for CNN or FOX yak shows but NOT TRADING PAINT.

I don't miss Kyle NOT going ballistic but this show is just odd to me this year. I think half the problem is the new table. Tonight Ryan kept LEANING FORWARD over the table and I wanted to yell "Sit up straight".

LOOKS are everything to the TV viewer on a talk show. Much like I do not like the "high chairs" on ESPN...looks awkward.

I may try this show one more time but it better get more interesting and LOSE the SPLIT SCREEN habit and the most awkward looking table on tv.

Anonymous said...

*Hate the new set where you can see the media guest's legs. Jenna was so right about that.

*I think Nate Ryan is one of the best NASCAR reporters out there, though he did look like a little kid with his sneakers dangling on his stool.

*I don't think Ryan's story was sensationalized AT ALL. Saying that it was or pointing out it was in a national publication brings back unpleasant memories of Brian France being upset with Ryan writing at 2006 season end that NASCAR's ratings and attendance had fallen. (In other words, the truth.) Just because he writes for the biggest paper that covers NASCAR doesn't mean what he writes is sensationalized and should be criticized more because more people are exposed to it.

*I thought Kyle's comparison of Carl's situation to M Waltrip's situation was weak. News flash: Mikey had any possible advantage discovered and rectified before the race. Carl won the race with a possible advantage when a Toyota - or a Chevy or a Dodge - could have won the race he participated in. Two different issues that shouldn't be compared.

*Because of the situation, Lee White had every right to comment and Ryan had every right to seek him out. Did White have to comment? No. But think about all the "sensational" comments Jack Roush has made about Toyota the past two years. Did he have to make those comments? Nope. Free speech works both ways.

* I'm disappointed that after all of today talking about the reporters doing a good job and being fair that Ryan writing something like this is accused of being sensational. After all, if Ryan hadn't written what White said, would all of those drivers have been asked later that day by other reporters what they thought and have been so candid? Was it also sensational or slipping behind a free speech excuse when the drivers spoke up? Wasn't the whole point made earlier that the drivers speaking up made SPEED and ESPN look ridiculous?

kenn said...


I wish you had written about "NASCAR Performance." The whole first segment was about the oil tank cover. Chad Knaus showed it at the cutaway car, and said there would be a downforce gain if the cover was off. Chad said he thought the screw might have backed out, but on the cutaway car he showed, it was clear to see there were three holes for three screws.

Bootie Barker said he thought it was a definite advantage yielding maybe 100 pounds of downforce. Bootie explained that every team knows this, and admitted that he had run cars in practice. He hemmed and hawed a bit but then said, he doesn't believe it was an accident. He said that a team of that caliber has so many things they double-check, it's hard to believe that it was an accident.

SophiaZ123 said...

nasc performance was more intersting on this topic oil lid.

i am getting hooked on this show...very good if you are into car details.


Anon@11:05, tell us how you really feel. ;) Incidentally, I saw the show and agree with the points you made. Good conclusions.

If it hadn't been for the print media like USATODAY continuing to follow the oil lid Gate reaction late this week, SPEED wouldn't have talked about it more objectively today and NASCAR Now wouldn't be talking about it more objectively tomorrow and Monday. And we wouldn't have seen all the snarky comments from the drivers, which were surprising. I think having one person like the Toyota rep give an opinion so openly makes it easier for others to come out of the woodwork, so to speak, when asked for an opinion. And that's what happened yesterday.

Roush called the Toyota rep an ankle-biting Chihuahua. Not nice. ;) But free speech, I guess. Get those desk chairs back, Tradin' Paint!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Last season, we did not review NASCAR Performance because it was strictly a "tech show" that featured content that was not meant to be editorial or controversial.

The Saturday night show was amazing. What does it mean when the best explanation of the problem all week long on TV comes from a show that is supposed to "talk tech?"

Chad Knaus did in three minutes what two networks could not do in a week. Tim Brewer should be made to watch this show. Love him or hate him, Knaus presented facts and nothing more.

Maybe SPEED will use his clip for Raceday. It would be a smart idea.


Anonymous said...

"This season, that has been one of the problems with this program. It has gotten polite."

The reason I haven't been watching this year was: I was sick and tired of seeing Kyle Petty yell at people and not be able to carry on a civilized disussion. (I thought the consensus here was that Kyle was too over the top last year.)

If it's gotten polite, then I'll tune in again.

SophiaZ123 said...

just wanted to clarify, I did NOT like the angry, short-fused Kyle last season at all, either.

But the awkward 'face to face' set up of the desks is ludicrous. Kyle can still have an attitude.

What is the POINT of this stupid new desk? for Roberts to pick up a chair and a whip if Kyle gets out of hand??

I think the show lacks interest because I don't think it addresses the real issues enough.

But I don't miss Kyle's tirades.

The addition of the SPLIT screen and the current set IS enough to keep me from watching.

I'd rather watch NP.

Anonymous said...

JD, I have to agree, NASCAR Performance w/Chad Knaus did a wonderful explaination of "oil lid gate" without the intent stuff. Just the facts.

Kingston, NY

batchief said...

JD, I didn't see Nascar Performance and their story on the oil tank cover but I did see Jeff Hammond show it, with explanations, yesterday during practice. He too showed that there are holes for 3 screws and also showed that the part where 2 of the screws could go does fit in a groove and if the single screw is secure can't come off. So there was some good explanation of it on Speed during the day.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Knaus made the Hammond thing seem amateurish. I know Jeff had maybe a broader audience, but Knaus was not political, just matter-of-fact and that is how this should have been presented.

I also share the issue of Kyle getting upset, but he worked to contain that and the vast majority of the time, it would up making him look foolish.

What I meant to point out was that the topics being selected by the Producer and the way they are politically correct when presented by Roberts makes things soft.

Nate Ryan should have been called out for his story and asked the reason he wrote it. Is the media on-hand to stir-up trouble as Kyle believes? Or are they on-hand to report the reality of what is going on in a news context?

Ryan's story was just like Angelique Chengelis on Friday's NASCAR Now, one side presented as fact when it was not.


Newracefan said...

I like having KP and the guest sitting across from each other but the desk itself doesn't work. I noticed that last week because it is especially bad for women who sit with their legs together but evidently even the men can't get close enough to look comfortable. I was also expecting a little more excitement from this show especially when I realized who was the guest. All I can say was that spark wasn't there and I was somewhat disappointed. I've see Kyle go off when it wasn't a topic as big as this one and now calmness prevailed, why I don't know.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty clear that Kyle Petty would prefer the motorsports media only cover the "happy" topics and just ignore anything he thinks is "negative" about the sport.

That's not repoting, that's cheerleading, and it isn't their job, whether Kyle likes it or not.

But at least he wasn't a jerk like he was last year when anyone disagreed with him.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The NASCAR print media is a powerful bunch. What they report steers the sport in the public eye.

Petty has said he is upset by things being reported that are not true. I have not heard him say things that are not flattering to the sport should be held back.


dwight said...

Bootie Barker didn't pull any punches the slot before, on NASCAR Performance. His take was that was too good a team for that to fall off accidentally.

I agree with you that Trading Paint needs to pick it up if it wants to keep me as a viewer.

Anonymous said...


Petty claims they're not true.

The writers, as you know, don't fabricate the stories or the quotes. Given KP's displayed temper and anger with stories he simply doesn't like--like the one this week with the Toyota exec quote (he doesn't say it's factually incorrect, he just didn't like it being reported)--I'll trust the writers over him.

He doesn't have to come out and say the words you suggest--his attitude toward stories he doesn't like speaks volumes.

Newracefan said...

I've been watching Nascar Performance for the past few years and have very much enjoyed it and learned a lot. Chad and Bootie were not having as much fun as they usually do but between the cold and the topic it wasn't a fun day. With Chad's history he could not afford to express his opinion about oops vs intent but he still can explain which he did very well. This is why I think he will be a good choice for TWIN, he can explain very technical things in a way that I can understand. Bootie doesn't have the history issue and can say what he thinks which he does on a regular basis which is one the reasons I like him. He also would be good on TWIN because he also explains things well. Nascar Performance is one the most under-rated Nascar related shows on Speed

Mike 24 said...

NASCAR performance as usual was on their game. This is the first time anyone actually used a visual of the oil tank/lid. Ive been wondering all along why isnt anyone showing the fans what this thing looks like?

In Regard to Tradin Paint...disapointing is the only word I can use to discribe this years show. Set up etc. should be revamped, listen to the fans tradin paint and things will only get better.

Anonymous said...

I have not heard him say things that are not flattering to the sport should be held back.

But that's the impression you yourself are giving; that the reporter on Trading Paint shouldn't have "stirred up trouble" with his story that you say presents one side (I don't agree, and I read it the morning it was online). It's as if USA Today is supposed to be a NASCAR cheerleader, as posted above, purely because it is influential and widely circulated.

I agree with poster 10:41:
Petty claims they're not true.

The writers, as you know, don't fabricate the stories or the quotes. Given KP's displayed temper and anger with stories he simply doesn't like--like the one this week with the Toyota exec quote (he doesn't say it's factually incorrect, he just didn't like it being reported)--I'll trust the writers over him.

Well put. I hope the "Powerful print media" keeps doing their job.

deborah said...

I don't understand why Nate Ryan should have been "called out" or why his story is considered sensationalized. Lee White presumably made the comments of his own free will and Ryan reported what he said. Had Ryan not reported those comments, which were news-worthy, then he would have been doing a disservice to his audience. Multiple others including Elliott Sadler and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. echoed White's comments that what the #99 team did was blatant cheating, a performance advantage and something that other teams have tested or tried before. Were those comments also sensationalized? I hope Ryan and others in the motorsports media continue to seek out comments that are actual opinions as opposed to meaningless fluff.

Anonymous said...

It's as if USA Today is supposed to be a NASCAR cheerleader, as posted above, purely because it is influential and widely circulated.

March 9, 2008 11:35 AM

In some people's thinking, I believe that may be the case. I'm a NASCAR fanatic (aren't we all?) and I've got Word files on my laptop where I save all the interesting articles during a season, because a lot of them disappear after a few weeks and aren't on websites anymore. It's also interesting to read them again after the season is over to see what the news was -so much news it's easy to forget.

I saved the USA Today article (11/15/2006) which Brian France disliked, written by Nate Ryan, I thought it was excellent and read it a few times because it talked to so many people (including France and Earnhardt Jr) and covered so many issues.

That article was also memorable because it's the only time I can remember Brian France criticizing a particular article on TV - on RaceDay. Him doing that also got written about. What was interesting is that he didn't say it was inaccurate, he said the article was "done in incredibly bad taste" and "the timing was wrong" because it was written the week of Homestead. Our local and excellent sports columnist in Charlotte, Tom Sorenson, completely mocked France for complaining, wisely pointing out that it's not the reporter's job to save a news article until after the championship is over. (I saved those two articles, too.)

So I do think some people are more sensitive to USA Today writing an alledgedly not-positive article because they want all the NASCAR news in there to be positive -likely because sponsors and such read it. I think USA Today should be treated like every other media, especially when the content is accurate.

PS: interesting quote from Kyle in that USA Today article:
"Some observers, such as third-generation driver Kyle Petty, say the season's length — from February to the Sunday before Thanksgiving — can be interminable. "I'm an idiot, and this is all I've ever done, but my God, 36 freaking races a year? Even I'm not going to tune in every week," Petty says."

Anonymous said...

I agree about not missing the "angry Kyle"." Because of his behavior the last couple of years when a "bad" story comes out I figure that he's just trying to set himself up for a cushy executive job inside NASCAR once he retires. He's just become such a yes man that it makes sense.

Daly Planet Editor said...

As a journalism major in college, I learned there was a big difference between news and commentary.

That is why I try to make sure to call my content "columns."

Both in NASCAR Now on Friday and in USA Today, only one side of an issue was reported and with lots of commentary presented as news.

Bottom line, it sold papers.


Anonymous said...

Your statement that USA TODAY presented one side of the Edwards/Roush/Toyota story is your column's opinion. Not fact.

We don't have to accept it as such and some of us won't. I do not agree that the story was commentary presented as news. I do not agree with your opinion.

By the way, I have a master's degree in journalism and worked in the industry as a hard news reporter for a number of years. Many of us in the United States (and abroad) have a journalism background. Having studied journalism doesn't make your opinion into truth, nor does it make your opinions any more valid than those opinions expressed by any of your readers - whether they have a similar background or not.

Anonymous said...

I liked the show and thought that Nate and Kyle did a good job. They stated their opinions, shared their thoughts and either agreed or disagreed in a professional manner. It was fun to watch.

I do agree with comments about Nate's posture and his shoes, though. It was pretty distracting. And the split screen stuff. That was weird. I'd rather just see all three of them on one screen. And if someone wants to wear comfy shoes that don't really go with the outfit they're wearing, put them under or behind the desk so we can't see it.

Deborah said...

JD, you read the full USA Today article right? Because Ryan wrote that Roush denied that the #99 team did anything intentional and also had comments from Larry McReynolds in which he said there's no way to know if it actually was intentional or not. In addition, there's a link to another article about the Edwards situation that has comments from Geoff Smith from Roush. It seems to me that Ryan did give readers the other side of the story, however, the main point of the article is the comments by Lee White so naturally that's what the majority of the article is going to be about. I agree with anon at 1:23 and I see very little in that article that is commentary, at least from Ryan.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Yep, I think maybe the point has gotten skewed a little bit here.

This is a TV blog, the point is that on the Tradin' Paint show, we are looking for topics that start discussions. There is no problem of issue with Nate Ryan, he is a veteran reporter.

The issue is about TV. When you have someone on like that who is high profile and now making news with a big story, you should talk about it.

Nothing wrong with the content, just that is should have been discussed as well as the reason why it came about.


NASCAR Rick said...

Wow. Suddenly there's no problem or issue with nate ryan? This is what you responded over on the Nascar Now blog when I asked if Nate Ryan was focus of the day of being blamed for Nascar's ills:
"Nate Ryan was on Tradin' Paint and was allowed to skate away without being pressed about his real agenda. The failure of this program to address this issue is contained in the Tradin' Paint column."
You first wrote the following in that blog, which is why I posted:

"Aust put things in perspective, and actually did a good job of calming down the media frenzy that Nate Ryan and USA Today did a superb job of starting."
You also said more than once upthread that this article was onesided. Now there's nothing wrong with the content. I'm shaking my head right now. When all else fails, I see it's OK to fall back on the this is a TV blog excuse.

Anonymous said...

I don't like the desk but I do like the split screen, it lets me see both guys and their reactions at the same time.

Daly Planet Editor said...

You are still not getting it. Last season, Roberts was put in the position of jumping-in and pinning down the issues resulting from the answers of the panelists.

This season, as with Ryan, he was allowed to offer his spin on his story and nothing was followed-up.

Roberts said nothing and Petty addressed another issue totally. You are confusing two issues. One is what Ryan wrote and the other is this TV show.

As you can see from my column, the point is how this TV show will present itself this season. Ryan, Jenna Fryer or even Bob Pockrass this season on the show resulted in a very different program.

Are viewers going to tune-in to see two people offer their viewpoints and then move on, or debate the issues of the day. One of them what the reason why Ryan chose to publish that story.

That help?

Anonymous said...

John - Not sure about NASCAR RICK, but it doesn't help me. You're talking in circles instead of saying what you wrote about the article was wrong. You didn't critique the performance on tradin' paint, you critiqued the content of the article. Many times. Until posters pointed this out, it had nothing to do with Roberts or the show. Now it does.

If you're wrong, admit it instead of writing explanations - the last two comments you posted - that barely make sense.

Richard in N.C. said...

Is the desk new, or just the same one as last year with the participants seated differently? I am fine with the seating arrangement, but the desk does not accomodate it well.

I think it is fair to say that Roush's comments about Toyota last year angered Toyota and they took an opportunity to give back - maybe without thinking things through enough.

Bob Margolis has written that the effect of a loose oil sump cover was well known in the garage - but I have yet to see any TV or print reporter ask a complaining driver or crew member whether he had been involved in doing the same, which I find very curious.

4ever3 said...

I know I’m running the risk of being too verbose here, but I agree with you 100%!