PLEDGE NOW
Consumer Reports At 75

75 years of Consumer Reports. We’ll talk to the editor-in-chief, and take your questions.

A shopper looks through his Consumer Reports magazine while shopping for a digital camera at Best Buy on Black Friday, Nov. 27, 2009, in South Portland , Maine. (AP)

A shopper looks through his Consumer Reports magazine while shopping for a digital camera at Best Buy on Black Friday, Nov. 27, 2009, in South Portland , Maine. (AP)

Pop singer Madonna said it straight up.  We are living in a material world, and she was a material girl.  Despite crash and recession, the U.S. is still described as a consumer-led economy.  For many, recession has meant paying even more attention to what they buy, how well it will work, how long it will last.

For 75 years, the bible of those careful shoppers has been Consumer Reports.  They test and weigh and poke and prod the washing machines and dryers and smart phones and cars that keep us rolling.

Up next, On Point:  Consumer Reports at 75.  Your questions, please.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Kimberly Kleman, editor-in-chief of Consumer Reports.

C Segment: Cut Consumerism

Dave Gardner, producer, director, and writer of the film: “Growthbusters: Hooked on Growth.”

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “BORN in 1936, Consumer Reports had a very happy 75th birthday this year. Its business has never been better. ”

Bloomberg Businessweek “Two decades ago, when Consumer Reports started evaluating treadmills, it built a test machine it called the Johnny Walker. A drum-like steel cylinder studded with green rubber balls, the Johnny Walker spins above the rolling belts of its victims, pummeling them with blows meant to simulate the footsteps of a 170-lb. runner. In the early days, after a few hours of insistent pounding, some treadmills caught fire.”

Wall Street Journal “On a recent Monday morning, inside an unremarkable, low-slung building in Yonkers, N.Y., blue-coated technicians conducted lab work. Among their calibrated tools: Cheez Whiz, pig’s blood and Maine coon cat hair.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 9, 2016
Host Tom Ashbrook and producer Sarah Platt speak to supporters of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) outside the candidate's Manchester, N.H. campaign headquarters on Monday, February 8, 2016. (Katherine Brewer / WBUR)

We’re live in New Hampshire for the first in the nation primary day, with all the latest on how the big vote is shaping up.

Feb 9, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at a Rotary Club luncheon in Manchester, N.H., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

From New Hampshire, a deep dive, from Trump to Sanders, on how the candidates would approach the U.S. economy.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 8, 2016
Legendary film critic  Roger Ebert in an archival image from his early days at the Chicago Sun-Times. (Flickr / WikiCommons)

The critic speaks. The New York Times’ A.O. Scott on how to think about art, pleasure, beauty and truth.

 
Feb 8, 2016
Sign stands outside property for rent Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in south Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

If it feels like rents are sky-high, you’re right. Some now paying more than half their income on rent. Some say crisis. We’ll dig in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Notes From New Hampshire, #6: Bernie v. Hillary — The Electability Debate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Bill and Betty are not real New Hampshire voters. But their arguments about the Democratic race for President most certainly are.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #5: Ted Cruz — The Advocate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Texas Senator and Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is an impassioned advocate, Jack Beatty writes — but mostly for himself above all others.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #4: Donald Trump — You Heard It First!
Friday, Feb 5, 2016

Jack Beatty recounts an evening rally with Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, and wonders if the billionaire businessman is really looking for an exit.

More »
Comment