|Editorial reply from the publisher of HybridDriver.com:
(Link to watch CBS Hybrid report )
|No technology can compensate for irresponsible driving. Consumer reports' auto guru, David Champion, knows that, but he still screeched around curves at or near tip-over speed to prove that the '04 Toyota Prius is just another car, nothing special and not worthy of the hype. No mention of near zero emissions, no mention of the seven month plus waiting period to get your hands on one and no mention of the simple fact that the most important part of any car is the nut behind the wheel.|
Anthony Mason said that buyers (plural) are complaining. Well,
one person at least. We know there must be more, but to Anthony
Pete Blackshaw of Cincinnati was the poster boy for the
disenchanted. A one-person
focus group whose 20 seconds on camera out of a 2:08 story told the
story. He was gypped, taken to the cleaners, hung out to dry by
Honda. Pete only got 32 miles per gallon. The EPA sticker said he
get 47, and Mrs. Blackshaw, whose face and voice we never see or hear,
ticked. She taped a homemade documentary of the whole, bloody
ecstasy in the showroom, to the agony of buyer's remorse. Why did
tape the saga? Blackshaw never really had the chance to tell
Doesn't everyone videotape their new car purchases these days?
isn't about Pete and his wife, whose lifestyle we know nothing about,
education levels we know nothing about, whose previous taste in cars we
nothing about. For all we know, Pete's Civic might have a license plate
that says "MY OTHER CAR IS A HUMMER." Just kidding, Pete,
although with a Hummer the only promise would be that you could squish
and not even notice the bump. All we do know is that Pete
Mrs. own a video camera and feel they were hoodwinked by a car dealer
and a car
company. What a concept. Would the story have been any
we had heard 30 seconds of Pete's interview...a minute...5
actual voice of Mrs. Blackshaw? We'll never know.
Hi Bernie, how’s it goin'.
Busy day Hal. What can I do for you?
Well, there is something. You know SUV commercials account for about a third (Ed: guess) of our news commercial revenue. And the big, heavy, expensive freeway bombers are taking quite a hit in the news these days. Meanwhile these little hybrid doodlebugs are coming across like the last hope for the future of humanity. But nobody buys airtime for those things because they seem to sell themselves. We're in for some dark times if we can't bring this thing into proper perspective. Anything you can do, Bernie.
I think so. We’ve got a producer in the mid-West that got a call from a guy who says the mileage promises for the hybrids are bogus. He bought one and he and his wife are really unhappy. Now, get this. The wife taped the whole transaction when they bought the car. I'm told it's lousy quality, like undercover spy footage. I don't know if that's what it is. But if we squeeze it down, it will look OK. I think the car guy at consumer reports will go along for credibility. After all, it is true that the actual gas mileage is lower than the EPA figures. We'll send Mason out to work the Consumer Reports angle, have the crew from Cleveland or Detroit go down to Cinci and do the interview. Mason can do a standup at some Toyota dealership, maybe near his home in Connecticut. We won't show the dealer's name, of course. And, presto! I've got a good story on the Rather news, and you don't have quite as big a problem. I don't think we've crossed any ethical lines. Besides, we all like to eat.
(Think about it, Dan.)
(Bob Lawrence is
co-founder and publisher of www.HybridDriver.com
and owns a
2001 Prius. He spent 20 years in broadcasting, sixteen of them
and anchoring TV news. While anchoring news for an Ohio TV
station he was
sent to New York to tape promos with Dan Rather (see photo
above). He and his
two colleagues were then invited into Dan's small, private office for
of conversation. Dan was warm and friendly, and spent the entire
asking questions about what the viewers back in Toledo thought of
They told him the folks back home liked him just fine. They
know. But how could you say that to a living legend?)