Mainstream Media is Crushing Public Confidence

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com 

Recently, a new Gallup poll delivered some bad news to mainstream media–only one fourth of people asked believe what it says.  The Gallup story said, “Americans continue to express near-record-low confidence in newspapers and television news – with no more than 25% of Americans saying they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in either.”  (Click here for the complete Gallup story.)   

This is not a recent trend according to Gallup and other polls done on this subject.  Last summer, comedian Jon Stewart of the “Daily Show” was “Most Trusted” newscaster.  I wrote about this in a piece I did last year called “The Soft Truth.”  I said, “He had almost as many votes as Charlie Gibson and Brian Williams combined.  Katie Couric, according to the Time Magazine poll, came in dead last.  Boy, if that is a not a wake-up call to mainstream media, I do not know what is. . . . Doing superficial event type news programming is something I call “The Soft Truth.”  It is more or less superficial news and is cheap, fast to produce, and you will not make enemies. The news in mainstream media has mostly become just the stuff between the commercials. Then, there is what I call “The Hard Truth.” This story is not cheap, it ties up the company lawyers and management and, if done right, you will piss some people off.  And even if there are cutbacks because of advertising shortfalls, you can still ask hard questions.”  (Click here for the complete soft truth story for September of 09.)  

Do you see any reporters even asking any hard questions these days?  I guess I should be happy the mainstream media is in the tank because Internet sites like this one and many others are gaining popularity for exposing “The Hard Truth.”  I am also not exactly sure why the mainstream media acts this way.

Maybe the press, as a whole, is just not brave enough to put out the real story.  Some journalists are doing good reporting, but often their stories are downplayed or are accused of spreading unfounded doom and gloom for telling the truth.   Maybe corporate America, which owns most of the mainstream media, is subtly distorting the news to make things look better than they really are.   The mainstream media completely missed the financial meltdown of 2008 and covered it like some unforeseen event.  There were plenty of signs we were headed for trouble, and no one wanted to report on them except a few people.  Here is what I said on CNN in March 2008.

Now, we are headed for trouble again and, yet, the mainstream media is engaged in this idiotic debate on whether or not there is going to be another plunge in the economy.  Nearly all the signs are pointing down, and difficult questions are arising about the solvency of America.  Recently, Laurence Kotlikoff, an economics professor at Boston University, cited an IMF report and said the U.S. is “Bankrupt.”  Why is this not news and at least worthy of as much equal time as the pin-headed Jet Blue flight attendant that slid down an escape hatch at JFK airport?  Please tell me why the USA being “bankrupt” isn’t of profound importance to every single American?  Every week, the mainstream media makes my point by pushing worthless cheap content.  It budgets for superficial stories (The Soft Truth) and ignores the really important stuff (The Hard Truth) that might call for some tough questions and ruffled feathers.

I worked for ABC and CNN for 9 years as an investigative reporter.  I didn’t get a story on the air without approval from the company lawyers and management.   The networks and cable are doing a lot less of that kind of work these days because they don’t want to spend the money.  Mainstream media is putting its resources on superficial stories instead of covering news that really affects your life.   So, when I hear polls that say people do not trust the mainstream media, I am not surprised.

Comments
  1. Steve

    Greg, I was curious what exactly these jokers are doing about a failure in confidence. Is the “internet kill switch” the answer? Even if you shut down blogs which disseminate real information, do network execs really think that folks will “tune back in” to the propaganda? Do they put out a bunch of disinfo on the web to attempt to steer folks back to their propaganda machine? I’m sort of at a loss as to why businesses with large profit margins as evidenced by the actor/executive salaries at these networks that these outlets wouldn’t attempt a different strategy when threatened with advertising revenue loss. Or is this more of a bureaucratic process which cannot right itself?

    • Greg

      Steve,
      Good point on the “kill Switch.”
      Thank you.
      Greg

  2. JJ

    Greg, Thanks for speaking truth to power. Thanks for telling the “hard” truth

    • Greg

      Thank you JJ for your support.
      Greg

  3. David M

    Greg, this was an outstanding article. You articulated what I have been thinking for a long, long time. Thank God there are web sites like yours. I am so sick of the Roman circus presented to us every day by main stream media news. There are so many critical events taking place in the world that the MSM never talks about while CNN keeps us entertained and brain dead with uninterrupted coverage of police chases. Sick. Web sites like yours and short wave radio are my source for real news. Please keep the reports coming. Thanks again.

    • Greg

      Dave M,
      Thank you for posting this comment. I appreciate your support.
      Greg

  4. Jeff Thompson

    Don’t forget Helen Thomas. 25% of Americans do not believe the media, and yet – the rest do not want to know the truth either. Where does this leave us?

  5. Daniel Paape

    “Maybe the press, as a whole, is just not brave enough to put out the real story.”
    “Please tell me why the USA being “bankrupt” isn’t of profound importance to every single American?”

    Maybe it’s because you still don’t want to believe (or want others to contemplate) that MSM is “owned” by an oligarchy that wants to fashion the truth in their own image.

  6. niphtrique

    Most people do not realise how bad the economy really is. The mainstream media are associated with the government and corporate interests. Therefore they are not necessarily telling the truth, especially when the truth could disrupt the current social order.

    Comparisons with the Great Depression tend to underestimate the real magnitude of the problem. The main differences between the Great Depression and the current economic situation are:
    – Economic statistics are adjusted in such a way that the economic situation looks better than it really is.
    – Oligarchic interests are running the affairs in Western world, especially in the United States. This has effectively ended what was left of democracy in the West.
    – Markets were relatively free before and during the Great Depression, so market forces could correct imbalances. Now markets are manipulated and therefore markets cannot correct imbalances until the system breaks down completely.
    – Before the Great Depression, people had more savings and government budgets were more balanced. Now many people and governments are deeply in debt.
    – Derivative products may result in a meltdown of the financial system. During the Great Depression there were no derivative products.
    – Before the Great Depression, living standards were relatively low compared to now, and less people were living in cities, so people could adapt more easily to the new situation. People in the US today are accustomed to a high standard of living, while they are deeply in debt. Social unrest is lurking.

    Story continues on:
    http://www.naturalmoney.org/howbad.html

  7. MarkM

    Hey Greg,

    Do you think the “dumbing down America” theory is valid?

    To recap (layman’s definition): The dumbing-down-America theory requires the MSM, schools, and leaders to “train” citizens to focus on Lindsey Lohan (SIC), Brad Pit (SIC), et allia, so that socialism can be implemented for a fair and just society. The MSM participates by airing “soft-truth,” or Katie Couric type segments.

    Is this theory too conspiratorial?

    markm

    • Greg

      MarkM,
      Maybe, I don’t know but this is something to ponder. Thank you.
      Greg

      • MarkM

        Hey Greg,

        Do your peers in media talk or think of middle America as “fly-over” country?

        Are we just too dumb to understand what good things they want to do for us?

        markm

        • Greg

          MarkM,
          Yes, to question #1 and NO, to Question #2. Thanks Mark.
          Greg

  8. Rich

    It seems everything is rigged…the news, the markets, state budgets, pensions, employment data, elections?….very unappealing world we live in.

    There appears to be a limit beyond which the rate of quotes “overloads” the commodity – “everyone but a few” – quote services that virtually all investors and traders have access to.

    This limit has been “discovered.”

    This fact now allows those people who buy a premium quote product from the exchanges to discern a market price that is different than everyone else sees.

    And that, in turn, would allow those same participants to create a dislocation in pricing that they can then exploit – effectively creating a “front running” opportunity that would not otherwise exist.

    http://market-ticker.org/archives/2603-When-Will-We-See-Handcuffs-Market-Manipulation.html

    • Greg

      Rich,
      This is a weird world we live in. Plenty of people are upset about aht is going on. Thank you for your comment.
      Greg

  9. umop ap!sdn

    The free market hath spoken! The traditional media is bad and getting worse, and the underpaid bloggers are doing a better job. I guess the next step will be to erect some sort of blogger-barriers in order to keep the traditional media solvent (as if any of us would ever again trust those who have failed so badly).

    I’m glad there are sites like this available to those with just a cheap internet connection. Good job, Mr. Hunter! The truth is a powerful thing.

    • Greg

      Umop,
      Thank you for the support and comment. The Truth Works!!
      Greg

  10. Bill Thompson

    If the media told the truth, can you imagine what would happen in November. Bill

    • Greg

      November should be ugly for ANY member of Congress who voted to keep the actions of the Federal Reserve secret.
      We have debt money which is no money at all. Thank you for your comment.
      Greg

    • Bob

      If the media told the truth the next day would be crazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzy and November would be the last thing to care about.

      • Greg

        Right on Bob.
        Greg

  11. Be Minn

    Sadly does the average American really care? The average financially indebted Joe is near comatose on the national issues preferring in his spare time to play electronic games or watch the boob tube. Joe is an overworked slave of the gov. and banks. He over eats to relieve stress. He hopes for fun and materialism. He prefers to not get involved. He has voted his God given freedoms away for a free lunch as in free health care, unemployment benefits, food stamps, section 8 housing, and social security, with the promise the gov. will make all his important decisions and provide for him. He lives under a Marxist regime but voted for the messiah anyway preferring to attend the fourth of July parades, hopelessly complain, and label his Country a democracy. He suffers from no hope knowing the politicians are not “public servants” but vampires. Wall Street to him are gangsters picking his pocket right along side the gov..
    He knows he should have applied for a gov. job when he first joined the work force so he would now live better. Joes only hope is when he hits bottom and has no income, no house, and no retirement benefits;then, he will become a revolutionary and hit the streets. This time will come but not today. Today he will go to work so he doesnt loss his house, car, or get thown in jail for not paying his taxes.

    • Greg

      Be Minn,
      There is a lot of truth in what you are saying but I hope and pray you are wrong. Thank you for weighing in on this subject.
      Greg

  12. lowjack

    Hi Greg,

    In my family I have come to nick name MSM “Newsertainment” Since it does not hold any real value except to entertain you.

    Keep up the good work!!!

    • Greg

      Lowjack,
      Funny, true and good all in one comment. Thanks.
      Greg

  13. Charlie

    Spot on Greg!

    I used to trust the media to tell me the truth, but now I’ve seen the payoffs everywhere I look. Who do you trust when everyone’s a crook?

    Revolution Calling?

    • Greg

      Thanks Charlie.
      Greg

    • JJ

      got the album. Nice

      • Greg

        JJ,
        I think this abbum is scratched all to heck!! Thanks fot the comment!
        Greg

        • JJ

          “Revolution Calling” by Queensrÿche late 80’s my album is not scratched but I am not sure where my husband put the turntable when we move. I hate to say this as I do not want people to think I’m a kook but I think “Revolution Calling” lyrics fit out situation and we should ALL be singing it in November when we vote these low life pond scum politicians out of office.

  14. Jan

    Everything is agenda driven, follow the money. Newspapers publish PR News Wire releases as news stories, not PR for special interest.

    We get the science we pay for, “peer reviewed” studies are now paid for reviews to a pre-drawn conclusion – the one that will support the sales of the drug or treatment under review. They down play side effects until people start dying of heart attacks. An FDA slap on the write fine and all it good.

    Financial “white papers” again, paid for by special interest and not disclosed the author was paid to write the paper.

    The media buzz words “epidemic” first it was tobacco and now we have an obesity epidemic. We had a flu pandemic – opps maybe not and WHO had ties to the drug companies pushing the Swine Flu vacine. Not much press there.

    I note the new “sway” the little people is to convince them to rent, not buy a home. One article noted that rentals will be big in the coming years and REIT’s will be very profitable.

    Health care is the holy grail consuming vast sums of cash. In our state we have quasi-insurance companies funded by the state and federal government. These companies contract with doctors and clincs to see their clients. The doctors are paid a set fee to be a provider for the quasi insurance company. This all sounds great until you lift the cover and understand how the system really works. Quasi insurance company does not pay hospitals. The majority of clients are non English speaking. They are urged to go to the ER. The cash not spent on services allows the quasi agency to keep the unspent cash, pay great salaries and benefits. The doctors are happy, they have been paid to see patients who will never enter their offices. The hospitals are going broke.

    The media – they dare not print the truth – owners and advertisers don’t like the truth.

    • Greg

      Jan,
      Thanks for taking the time to put this comment together.
      Greg

  15. rob cooke

    Thank goodness for guys like you and Jim Sinclair to tell it like it is to counter the mindless uninformed drivel written in the popular press and on tv.Keep up the good work in trying to educate what is actually going on.

    • Greg

      Rob Cooke,
      Thank YOU for your support!
      Greg

  16. Mickey S

    Greg, the MSM is controlled period. Even “Fox Biz” is controlled by the owners of the federal reserve privately owned banking cartel who sets ready to chose what is released to the public,case in point,March 25th,2010.The CFTC had a open hearing where the subject was the on-going investigation of the Silver/Gold markets. When a trader in London had informed the enforcement division of the CFTC on how employees of JP Morgan bragged how they were Manipulating the Silver Market, this trader told the CFTC not only how it was done,but told him by email when it would happen right down to the date & time.He was not allowed to be heard by the CFTC panel,but his emails & phone records were read by a member of GATA. Fox was suppose to air parts of the CFTC’s the next day,but it was Stopped from airing on any of the MSM’s outlets.The banksters & political hacks kept this story from being Headline news. HSBC & JP Morgan have been manipulating the Silver/Gold markets at will, there is no Free Markets, its all rigged,just like GS derivative scheme.
    Soft Truths is all you get from the MSM, for the Hard Truth,I rely on JSMINESET.COM,GATA.ORG,SILVERBEARCAFE.COM,SHADOWSTATS.COM,KINGWORLDNEWS.COM & YOU GREG! Millions of Americans will be un-prepared for the dollar crash,here in the rural area of TN,there is a group of us that were coin collectors,we know the meaning of real money & have used the data “you & others provided us” to get peoples attention to take those dollars to buy “insurance”,that has never went to zero over the last 5000 years. Just think,one Rare Coin can be traded for a heck of lot of insurance! Those that hold the most Gold,make the rules & look just what nations are quietly stocking up on the physical gold & silver. Keep up the great work,Greg,these elitists would love to shut up people like you.

    • Greg

      MickeyS,
      Good info for our readers. Thank you.
      Greg

      • JJ

        Even “Fox Biz” is controlled by the owners of the federal reserve privately owned banking cartel. Greg is this correct, my husband laughed whn I asked

        • Greg

          JJ,
          I don’t think the Fed has any direct control over FOX News. Also, FOX News sued the Fed in a similar way Bloomberg did under the Freedom of Information Act and lost. Bloomberg and FOX wanted all information on what happened in the 2008 financial meltdown. Only the Bloomberg case was allowed to go forward and is now probably heading to the Supreme Court.
          Greg

      • George

        I’m told that wheat has never been worth zero either. Gold was/is valuable due to its properties and its scarcity. Platinum is less scarce than gold it’s just harder to mine so in reality we have less than gold. I think gold will be worth something in the future but so will a can of soup. Paper money, not so much.

        • Greg

          George,
          Yes “paper money not so much.” Thank you.
          Greg

  17. David H.

    Thanks for another great article Greg! This seems to have been going on for several years now. The so-called National News is more about what happened on Dancing with the Stars or who got kicked to the curb on Big Brother. Anything that has to do with real economic news is generally just a repeat of whatever the White House says. It’s a joke!

    Thanks again for all your articles! I enjoy reading them weekly.

    David

    • Greg

      David H.,
      Sad but true and you can see it all the time. Thanks.
      Greg

  18. Edward Ulysses Cate

    Do folks really think Gannett would ever print anything negative about their largest major shareholder, JPMorgan Chase? Actually, it’s all too late. What do you do after a (financial) train wreck? One simply must start cleaning up the mess and learning from the disaster. It’s not the first time financial sociopaths have destroyed a land, and it won’t be the last.

    • Greg

      Edward,
      Our media machine is broken and controlled buy bankers. This spells doom.
      Greg

  19. James M

    It is quite obvious that the mainstream media is not reporting the truth. If these reporters spoke the truth they would be fired immediately. On TV all you will get is propaganda, plain and simple. You get a false left right argument similar to watching pro wrestling. You get pro corporate, pro big government, pro interventionalist foriegn policy arguments and pro global governance propaganda. It is not news, it is a scripted tv show that should fall under the category of drama but is getting close to falling into the category of comedy. Comedy Central already has the most trusted news show. It is Orwellian doublespeak. Up is down, down is up. Do you think that NBC will ever run an anti-war news story? General Electric would never allow it, never. You will never recieve the truth from someone that has a financial stake in what the truth is.

    • Greg

      James M,
      So true man!! Thank you.
      Greg

  20. htukk

    NY Times has NO credibility left with me because of writers like Paul Krugman a Nobel Prize Winner :-O

    “To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.”
    -Paul Krugman NYT August 2002

    • Greg

      HTUKK,
      This is pure gold!!!!! Thank you!
      Greg

  21. Joe

    Greg,

    Great reporting, keep up the good work.

    Thanks

    PS: after reading your responses to comments i like it even better.

    • Greg

      Joe,
      Thank you for your support!!
      Greg

  22. rosemary

    I think it is time to forget the old broadcast and print media and to forge ahead with an e-media where we can get information on important topics like finance from people who have actually investigated the material in depth. I’d be happy to pay to subscribe to sources covering the topics that are important to me and suspect that lots of others would too. In addition to finding the facts we need, having such sources would save lots of time. We wouldn’t have to wade through the junk to find the nuggets sometimes buried in it.

    • Greg

      Robert and Rosemary,
      Thank you both.
      Greg

  23. robert heartland

    You mean the news media that is privately owned and controlled by the super rich who are bankrupting this country and getting away with it?

  24. Rick

    Do you think it may be possible that the market ”dips and crashes”are not only possibly manipulated for profit, but with a side bonus of scaring people back into mainstream media for info?

    • Greg

      Rick,
      Maybe. Thanks for the comment.
      Greg

  25. GrannyB

    Greg – great information! I haven’t given credence to the MSM for about a year. Anyone who does is in for a very rough, probably life-threatening time – and sooner rather than later, I fear. I used to wonder how the Roman citizenry got so hooked on the circuses and entertainments provided by their leadership. Yet, here it is, happening again! “Everything old is made new again.”

    I have no doubt that the power behind the power is working determinedly to shut down the internet (they probably hope without causing a revolution)! Without access to sites like yours, those of us who are trying to keep up with the truth and be prepared will lose our source for what is really happening. I wasn’t really ready to get a shortwave radio, but guess I need to, just in case!!

    Just know that you are appreciated and that a lot of us out here depend on you and your expertise and your willingness to lay it on the line!!

    • Greg

      GrannyB,
      I am humbled buy your comment and support. Thank you so much.
      Greg

  26. bcone

    Greg, while I think your article is a valid reminder this has been covered in dept in the book and subsequesnt film: Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky. You might consider having a look given that this reinforces your viewpoint on this subject.

    • Greg

      Bcone,
      Thank you for the info and the comment.
      Greg

  27. Kenny G

    Greg, you do a very thorough job of disecting and explaining this tsunami of financial chaos that is headed toward our country…our leaders are acting like the Marx Brothers, while they steer us into 3rd world statis……keep up the good work and keep exposing the crap that is being spread by our bought and paid for media.

    • Greg

      Thank you Kenny G.
      Greg

  28. Jason

    I stopped watching TV news many years ago when it became obvious that the broadcast was little more than a series of short infomercials posing as news. There was truly no content of any value in the news programs.

    • Greg

      Jason,
      I have to watch to see what they are going to say next. Sometimes a little truth slips out. I love it when that happens.
      Thanks man.
      Greg

  29. slingshot

    Greg,

    “You can’t handle the truth”. What a line that tells it all.
    Keep up the hard punching editorials. I await the “Great Awakening”.
    The kicker is, what will be the monkey wrench that gets it started.

    • Greg

      Slingshot,
      Love it!
      Greg

  30. Brad

    Greg:

    I’ve heard of contributors going on major financial news networks and being told to “keep it positive” by producers before the show. If not, they don’t get asked back on. Is this a situation where the rules are “unspoken” so that no one has to really say anything to the employees of the network? How does one defend against this? Like you said, if the producer doesn’t shut it down, then the attorneys do.

    We have all been in situations where we knew what was expected of us but no one would dare come out and say it. I think the term used by the higher-ups is plausible denial.

    Thanks,
    Brad

    • Greg

      Brad,
      Whatever MSM is doing but it is not working. Thank you for posting this comment.
      Greg

  31. Deborah Reid

    Hi,

    Some people, who don’t know what all is happening in the U.S.A., think that socialism is their ultimate goal, but that is not so. Some other people think that feudalism is their ultimate goal, but that is not so. Most people can’t imagine what is already happening towards the ultimate goal and that the barbaric scenario is already expanding to include many millions more people.

    Since I have been in accidents, become injured, chronically ill, even to the point of getting cancer and I have had experience with the government agencies, such as social services, I realize how the government spending for social services is done. Most of the money goes to healthy people to benefit their reproduction (child birth, more for housing, medical care, and food based upon number of children in the family), not for disabled people as much as is needed for survival.

    For what social services programs there are, which the disabled sick people can get, such as for heating assistance, certain social workers will as much as possible turn away certain people regardless that results in worse sickness and death. This is a serious problem, which most people don’t know about, unless they have become disabled and learned about it from personal experience.

    No it is not socialism or feudalism that is their ultimate goal, but wiping out, mass genocide murders, the majority of certain people, whose epidermis is deficient in melanin. If needed, use a dictionary to understand.

    • Greg

      Deborah.
      I hope you are wrong but yoe may be right. Thank you for the comment.
      Greg

  32. M. A. Noyes

    Mr. Hunter,

    Unfortunatly, what you say is true. I have become addicted to cable news (Fox, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, etc.) over the last year and it is making me increasingly sad, depressed, and ready to shut off access. At least 50% of the air time consists of repeats of commercials I’ve seen a hundred times but never listen to. Of the remaining 50% it seems to be equally divided between partisan politics (e.g. – Fox conservatives vs MSNBC liberals) and total trivia (news you can’t use).

    Why is this the case? I think that they understand that most young (25yrs – 45yrs) Americans that they target, regardless of their income, are pretty much historically and economically illiterate and would not tolerate (have the patience to listen to) in-depth coverage of an issue by a journelist. And the MSM do not hire journelists. They hire newsclowns and commentators that fit within the demographics that they target and they attempt to identify with. The best example is Morning Joe on MSNBC. Note the commercial interludes that show photographs of Joe and Mika strolling the streets of Manhattan like a couple of models. Note how Mika stairs at Joe while he is talking or gazes into the camera with an approving or disapproving look on her face. I’m sure she’s an intelligent woman but she looks like a Poodle in a dog show.

    Fox is no better. Fox will not hire an ugly woman. All Fox women fall within the demographics and wear short skirts and have plunging necklines. The studio layout accentuates these properties.

    These things would be amusing were it not for fact that there was a lot of real news that you din’t get while watching their broadcasts.

    Thus we have the Internet. On the Internet there is just the news. It is not an attractive female or male deliverer. There are not necessarily any demographics involved. You just need to determine if the news is true or not true (that’s the tough part). And mass media cannot stand it because they lose their competitive advantage of demographic identification and mass advertising.

    What do you think the end result will be?
    A. Shut-down the Internet?
    B. A new normal where bandwidth will allow bloggers to hire sensational looking news hosts speaking the “news” with intervening commercials.
    C. A combination of the above where only “approved” Internet news outlets funded by the MSM have access.

    My guess is C.

    Martin

    • Greg

      Thank you Mr. Noyes,
      Greg

  33. ManAboutDallas

    Pretty simple, really, Greg. We’ve now produced two generations of functionally-illiterate “journalists”, most of whom have no capacity for critical thinking.

    What other outcome was possible, given the paradigm described above, than the “vast wasteland” we see now ?

    Newton Minnow was just waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of his time. But prescient.

    • Greg

      ManAboutDallas,
      Good to hear from you! Thanks for the comment.
      Greg

  34. James

    Investigative journalists are heroes. Don’t let mulitnational corporations in your TV set. It’s preferable as static.

    • Greg

      Thank you James.
      Greg

  35. Saq

    I enjoyed the article and believe you are right. However your replies are rather monotone and neutral… what gives?

    • Greg

      Saq,
      It’s hard to reply to so many people with original content. Often I reply just to let people know they were heard and I want to simply acknowledge them. I do give longer answers when appropriate. I don’t mean to be boring. I hope this answers your question. I appreciate your support and comment.
      Greg

  36. Kay Larson

    NEWS RELEASE /NHTSA Petition for Rulemaking February 14, 2012
    Cause for Action/Petition: The European Union, Canada and other countries have passed law to modernized auto theft prevention with the safe and effective “immobilizer” technology. Most auto makers have this technology in production. Despite these cogent facts, the NHTSA/United States has fallen behind international auto theft prevention and safety standards, and should pass Rulemaking requiring actions that update automobile regulations in the United States to be in accord with international safety and auto theft prevention standards. Facts:
    FMVSS 114 is responsible for the auto steering lock equipped on most vehicles since 1969. The spring loaded steering lock is an obsolete, hazardous, and failed pro theft device that causes accidents by steering lockup, while allowing auto theft to increase dramatically. Steering locks have no merit whatsoever, and constitute the worst design error in automotive history.
    In November 1995, the European Union (EU) adopted Directive 74/61/EEC, which made installation of an electronic engine immobilizer mandatory in all new passenger cars sold within the EU as of October 1998.
    The electronic engine immobilizer has been the security device of choice for legislators looking into ways to reduce car theft. Member countries of the European Union made application of the device in all new cars mandatory in 1998, Australia followed in 2001 and Canada in 2007.
    Mandatory application of the electronic engine immobilizer has been highly successful in reducing the overall rate of car theft. The immobilizer caused the rate of car theft to go down by 70 percent in the Netherlands and by 80 percent in England and Wales:
    http://www.nber.org/public_html/confer/2011/SI2011/CRI/van_Ours_Vollaard.pdf
    Most auto makers have this technology in production. Despite all of the above, the NHTSA/United States thus far, have ignored these international auto theft prevention and safety standards, and should, therefore pass Rulemaking relegating this new technology as a production requirement, consequently updating vehicle theft prevention regulations in the United States, in accord with international safety and auto theft prevention standards.
    Due to importance of expediting all safety matters, ASF submits the above for immediate Rulemaking.

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