NPR 'Car Talk' Hosts Lobby with Ed Markey for Higher CAFE Standards

National Public Radio’s "Car Talk" program is a popular weekend show, as Tom and Ray Magliozzi (or "Click and Clack") trade light banter over what can go wrong with your Chevy. But even the "Car Talk" guys are acting out as liberal activists. In a letter to the House Select Committee on Global Warming, the NPR hosts gleefully sign up as part of the "barrage of lobbying" around higher fuel-economy standards, and knock the automobile industry:

The onslaught of "we can’t…it’ll ruin us… you’re denying Americans a choice of vehicles" begins every time we the people—through our elected representatives—try to bring the auto industry, kicking and screaming into the modern era. And every time, their predictions of motorized-skateboard futures have failed to materialize. Let us repeat that, because the historical record bears it out to a tee. Every single time they’ve resisted safety, environmental, or fuel economy regulations, auto industry predictions have turned out, in retrospect, to be fear-mongering bull-feathers. Isn't it time we (you) stop falling for this 50 year-long line of baloney? [Emphasis theirs.]

They also have a no-blood-for-oil paragraph asking for Congress to mandate "more appropriately powered" cars:

In 1964, the most powerful, over-the-top Mustang muscle car you could buy came with an optional, four-barrel, 271 horsepower engine. Today, that’s what comes standard on the highest rated minivans. 275 horsepower. To take your kid to nursery school? What does this say about our national priorities? Do we really want to send our kids to fight and die in the desert so that can go 0-60 in eight seconds instead of ten seconds?

The NPR hosts conclude by insisting the federal regulators impose a high bar for "American ingenuity," since aggressive regulation will make the industry more globally competitive:

Not only can it be done, but by increasing CAFÉ standards dramatically, you’ll be helping the American automotive industry compete—by forcing them to synchronize their priorities with those of the American people, and the populations of other countries where they will be increasingly marketing their cars.It’s the job of private enterprise to design and sell products. But it’s the job of Congress to set our national priorities. Trust us, the car companies won’t go out of business because America insists that they build the world’s best, most efficient cars. We urge you to set the bar high for American ingenuity. We have no doubt out car industry will make the grade—to the benefit of all Americans.

The House global warming committee is chaired by liberal Democrat Ed Markey, who happily publicized the letter and endorsed its contents: “As any listener knows, Tom and Ray are where common sense begins when it comes to cars, and when they say reaching 35 miles per gallon is feasible and the smart play for the American auto industry, people should listen.”Should our taxpayer-funded radio hosts be lobbying side by side with Ed Markey? It sounds like a question for the new NPR Ombudsman, Alicia Shepard. PS: Thomas Magliozzi of Boston is also a Democratic donor.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis