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FOX asks if hybrids are dangerous

Reported by Chrish - June 11, 2008 -

In introducing what was supposed to be a fair and balanced discussion of the supposed dangers of hybrid vehicles versus all-gas cars, FOX and Friends host Steve Doocy claimed "some say you definitely should not get a hybrid car because they're not safe." The chyron read "Hybrid Hazard - More dangerous than regular cars?"

Sam Kazman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Deron Lovaas from NRDC agreed right off the top of the segment that the engine was not the issue, it is the size of the vehicles in the hypothetical accident that would matter. Yet the segment continued, over continuous chyrons that read "Peril of paying less - upping fuel standards dangerous?"

Kazman argued that more stringent fuel-standards imposed by Congress are going to force automakers to make smaller cars, and at that point we'll have a federal standard killing people in some very substantial numbers. Lovaas countered that new technologies make some smaller cars (he used his own Honda Civic Hybrid as an example) some of the safest in the industry - the trade-off isn't as relevant as it used to be. Kazman sighed loudly as Lovaas informed that the new standard has been redesigned so that it reduces the incentive to downsize; Carlson giggled and rewarded him with the last word (which went on for 40 seconds) and in which he reiterated that bigger cars kill occupants of littler cars.

Lovaas was allowed to counter again, saying that a Ford Escape gas-only and a Ford Escape Hybrid in a collision are the same size, and one is much more efficient.

Gretchen Carlson took the last word, saying "only if they're in town" - she knows people who drive hybrids and say they don't get any better mileage on the freeway.

So the one segment not promoting drilling in ANWR and discussing alternative, efficient energy was not fair or balanced - between the prejudicial chyrons and the host refuting his point at the very end with no further discussion, Lovaas was outnumbered.