Real content for a change... imagine that.
As I may have mentioned before, I spend some time listening to talk radio. In particular, I listen to the Michael Savage show when driving home in the evening because it’s more effective at keeping me alert than classical music, and I don’t particularly like the other music stations around here.
If you’re not familiar with Michael Savage, he’s a conservative shock-jock who broadcasts from San Francisco, CA. I like to think I can judge the integrity of a talk show host by the kind of products he advertises, particularly if he’s the spokesperson in the ads.
Michael has been advertising something called a Platinum Fuel Saver recently. The makers claim that a car with this device installed will use 22% less fuel. According to them, it increases the amount of fuel actually burned in the engine from 68% to 90%. Michael basically repeats these claims in the ads that he has recorded for them.
Alas, Consumer Reports tested this device, and they found that it has no effect at all on a car’s fuel efficiency: you basically spend $250 for nothing (more if you do some of the unscheduled maintenance on your car that the device maker recommends).
If a host repeats claims about a product on his show that don’t stand up to independent testing, should we trust him on any other claims that he makes?