I’ve shown clearly that reporters are acting with reckless disregard for the truth in the Toyota sudden acceleration feeding frenzy since my Los Angeles Times article “Toyota Hysteria” on March 9. And no article showed that more than my Forbes.com expose, “The Toyota Hybrid Horror Hoax,” of March 12.
But are some reporters outright lying? One presumes so out of so large a number; but the charge is generally hard to prove because it requires showing a state of mind. You have to catch the reporter making clearly contradictory statements or show he clearly knew a set of facts and presented them otherwise – or failed to present them otherwise.
That the person “Should have known better” isn’t enough. With that, I present my letters exchange with the San Jose Mercury News and specifically its automobile writer, Gary Richards in this Canadian Free Press article. You can draw your own conclusions.
The inset image shows the 2008 Prius shift knob of which Richards claims, “Some [of his emailers] say they are looking at the dash and there it appears you should shift the lever to go into neutral UP and not left (which is the correct way).” Really?
But the real problem is that Prius driver James Sikes stated repeatedly and explicitly that he never even tried to shift at all. Which makes everything Richards say about the alleged difficulty of shifting the Prius gears something of a red herring, doesn’t it?