gotta love AM talk radio
in the spirit of the previous post just published, here's a slightly different example of media laziness / distortion that i encountered just yesterday:
turned on , i think, 1560 AM, here in Houston on the way home yesterday and caught the radio guys marveling over the latest batch of Stella Awards, instances
of ridiculously frivolous lawsuits.
#1 was this:
Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, who purchased a new 32-foot
Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game,
having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph
and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to
make herself a sandwich.
"Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and
overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not
putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the
driver's seat while the cruise control was set.
"The Oklahoma jury awarded her - are you sitting down? - $1,750,000 plus
a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result
of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might
also buy a motor home."
of course, a quick search on the internet shows that and the other cases
mentioned to be completely made up:
completely made-up crap read as fact on public radio, which no doubt many people heard, much ire / indignation was raised, and many other people were told about it secondhand.
how do i know? because i was one of those people - i drove straight from work to the Astros game to meet my wife and told her about it. i was sensible enough to say that i hadn't checked out the veracity of what i'd heard but i didn't have the chance to do that until at work this morning; so any people sitting near us at the game might either A) have overheard and be (misleadingly) outraged, or B) know that the case was fiction and think me a moron.
of course there are stupid lawsuits out there filed by greedy lawyers and mouth-breathing "victims" looking to score some quick cash, otherwise we wouldn't have "Caution: do not use hair dryer in bathtub with water", "Caution: Do Not Drink Paint" warnings.
point is that people who spread information to the public (even if it is on measly AM radio) should at least have enough professional self-respect to do an internet search before they start reading as gospel truth some mass-forwarded email that popped up in their hotmail inbox.