I’ve been reading Consumer Reports since I was a teenager. Without a doubt, they the most authoritative consumer product testers. And they know it.
I’ve always been amused by their combination of geeky testing regimens and their 1930’s-derived Socalist practices (purchasing a subscritption to the magazine makes you a “member” of Consumer’s Union and eligble to vote for their directors).
But they’ve always been both supercilious and self-righteous. For years, they claimed “no advertising” but gleefully pumped their (now-made-useless-by-the-Internet) car pricing “service.” Finally, after years of duplicity, they changed their claim to make an exception for their own ads without blinking an eye.
But when they decide they don’t like something, look out. They’ve tortured Suzuki (who deserved it) and Bose (who didn’t). CR was the earliest — and most smug — detractor of SUVs.
Unlike almost any major American news outlet today, their masthead contains zero, none, nada email addresses for readers’ responses. Alone among American journalists, CR doesn’t need to hear from anybody. Even the blog post I am about to blast doesn’t take trackbacks…their bubble is complete.
On now to a piece of advice I read tonight in CR’s auto blog. Tony Giorgianni’s mostly banal post on getting the most from a new car (offering wisdom like RTFM and “get winter mats”) also offers the surreal advice that new car owners should “Change a tire. It’s…a good idea to do a trial run with the jack and spare tire…”
Now I don’t know what planet Tony and CR’s editors are on, but I absolutely guarantee that nobody…and I mean no one…is going to test changing a tire. It’s so ridiculous that only CR could give this advice with a straight-laced face.
You betcha, Tony. When I get my next new car, I’ll suck down a large dose of fish oil and prune juice, then run right out and practice changing tires.
Update: As of the day after I posted a comment with a link to this post on Consumer Report’s original post, they haven’t approved my comment. Sure, they could argue I am trolling for traffic. But I’m not, and I don’t think they really believe that either. They’re just keeping the membrane impenetrable.