The king is dead. More accurately, Larry King is hanging up his suspenders after 25 years on TV interviewing essentially everybody who was anybody. His secret? A studio that “felt less like a hot seat than a warm bath,” as one critic put it. But by letting his guests spout off unchallenged, leaving the impression they were telling the truth, he has occasionally caused lasting damage.
So we saw just recently in San Francisco’s decision requiring retailers to prominently post cellphone radiation emission levels, tantamount to warning labels. In a 10-1 decision that the mayor has said he’ll sign into law, the board of supervisors is making the city the first U.S. jurisdiction to label cellphones in any way.
The board expressly stated its desire to get the rest of the nation to follow suit. And it all started when a guest on King’s show in 1993 announced he was suing a cellphone maker for giving his wife a fatal brain tumor. The media ran with the story, cellphone makers’ stocks plummeted, and all over America phones, however briefly, clicked off.
Wait until you read in my Forbes.com investigative report WHAT that guest said that set off the hysteria and how specifically San Fran came to its decision. If you don’t audibly groan, I’ll double your money back.
No incidentally, much of the article came from my January report “Celling Fear: The Cell Phone Fear that Refuses to Die.”