IBD Blasts Award for ABC’s Hyped Coverage of Runaway Toyotas

Investor’s Business Daily is out this morning with an editorial slamming the decision last week to award ABC News with an “Edward R. Murrow Award” for the network’s investigation into the sudden acceleration of Toyota vehicles, despite ABC using a staged shot of a tachometer revving to 6000 rpm (the footage came from a parked car, not one suddenly accelerating).

Months after ABC’s hyped coverage, federal investigators with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and NASA reported no evidence of problems with Toyota’s systems.

IBD points out:

Thanks to the media's fear mongering, the world's largest carmaker took a vicious public relations and financial blow. Its share of the U.S. market fell from 17% to 15%, and when Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that anybody owning "one of these vehicles" should "stop driving it," Toyota's stock fell 20%.

[Correspondent Brian] Ross by himself did not drive down Toyota's market value and sales. But he's the correspondent who staged the famous "death ride" in a Toyota set up to accelerate without driver input. And it was Ross' report that featured a doctored shot of a tachometer suddenly racing to 6,000 rpm.

Because of his coverage, Ross and the Toyota story became virtually synonymous. Meanwhile, contemporary journalism is becoming synonymous with farce.

Read the whole editorial, “Runaway Flimflam,” here.


Business Coverage ABC