Toyota Crash Victim Speaks Out Against Media Smearing Automaker
Independent journalist and blogger Michael Fumento doesn’t pull any punches. A quick scan of Fumento’s blog posts regarding the Toyota recall fiasco shows that he’s not afraid to be blunt. He calls Prius driver James Sikes a
“media whore liar.” blatant liar. [NOTE: We misquoted Mr. Fumento – our apologies.] He takes big media to task for glossing over key facts and details. He outlines the conflict of interest between GM, Chrysler, and NHTSA. At first glance, Fumento definitely seems “pro-Toyota.”
Maybe so. But a story from Fumento’s past would seem to indicate that he doesn’t have a lot of love for the automaker:
While driving with my future wife along California’s scenic but treacherous Pacific Coast Highway in 1991, my brand new Toyota suddenly fishtailed and dove straight off a cliff…I was uninjured, but my wife suffered both a broken neck and crushed skull. I was told I would probably lose her, but she had a miraculous recovery and today only suffers epilepsy. A week after the accident I read Toyota was replacing the model at half year because, according to one car magazine, driving experts said it suffered from sudden “terminal” oversteering.
If any journalist has a reason to dislike Toyota, it would be Fumento…so why is he producing so many articles that seem to be in defense of the automaker?
The answer: He’s not. Fumento says that “The bottom line appears to be that Toyota doesn’t know what the problem is,” when it comes to all these acceleration complaints. He’s critical of Toyota’s CEO, their Japan-centric management, and their poor P.R. work.
But he’s also been critical of the media for failing to report the truth. He’s careful and diligent in analyzing the actual facts surrounding these unintended acceleration incidents. Frankly, he’s saying a lot of the things we’ve been saying…but he’s got a much better journalism reputation than we do.
- Fumento received his undergraduate degree in political science while an Army paratrooper
- In 1985 he was graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law and is currently a member of the Pennsylvania bar.
- He has been a nationally syndicated columnist for the Scripps Howard News Service, a legal writer for the Washington Times, a science correspondent for Reason magazine, editorial writer for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, and was the first “National Issues” reporter for Investor’s Business Daily.
- He was an embedded journalist a total of four times in Iraq and Afghanistan, seeing combat with the Navy SEALs and the 101st Airborne Division.
- Fumento has been a finalist for the prestigious National Magazine Award.
- His articles have appeared in such magazines as Readers’ Digest, The Atlantic Monthly, Forbes, USA Weekend, The Weekly Standard, National Review, The New Republic, The Washington Monthly, Reason, Policy Review, The American Spectator, and The Spectator (London).
- He’s published in such newspapers as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribunethe Christian Science Monitor, The Sunday Times of London, The Sunday Telegraph of London, and the Jerusalem Post.
- His television appearances include Nightline; ABC World News; ABC News 20/20; numerous programs on CBS; NBC; CNN; and Fox; PBS; MacNeil-Lehrer; CNBC; the BBC; the Canadian Broadcasting Network; C-SPAN; the Christian Broadcasting Network; Donahue; This Week with David Brinkley, ESPN, and many others.
Basically, Fumento is the real deal. He’s got personal negative experience with Toyota, and yet he still manages to say that Toyota is being railroaded by uninformed and uneducated members of big media.
If you haven’t already done so, check out Fumento’s blog.
Filed Under: Auto News