90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
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 27, 2015
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) ChairmanTom Wheeler, center, joins hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, left, and Jessica Rosenworcel, before the start of their open hearing in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.  (AP)

A US-Israel rift. A win for net neutrality. “American Sniper” verdict. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Feb 27, 2015
This image released courtesy of the Lead Belly Estate shows folk and blues musician Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly. Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter never had a hit record before he died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 1949. (AP)

Going back to Lead Belly. The blues legend is back. His influences, as big as ever.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 26, 2015
Humanist chaplain Bart Campolo, center, a former Evangelical Christian youth minister, and his wife, Marty, right, mingle with students as they wait for the start of a forum at the University of Southern California, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP)

More Americans are turning away from religion. We’ll look at how to live a moral life without it.

 
Feb 26, 2015
This Feb. 20, 2015 photo shows an arrangement of peanuts in New York. (AP)

New breakthroughs on peanut allergies – treatment and prevention. And a question: are we too clean for our own good? Plus: did giant gerbils from Asia really bring the bubonic plague to Europe?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Two Congressmen Weigh In On DHS Funding
Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland present their views on the ongoing Congressional budget fight over Department of Homeland Security funding. (Spoiler: They do not agree on a resolution of the crisis).

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February
Friday, Feb 20, 2015

We explain what happened with the old podcast feed this week and last, share some other Oscar categories and reminisce about the golden days of Double Rainbows and Honey Badgers who just don’t care.

More »
Comment
 
The 87th Academy Awards, As Heard On On Point
Thursday, Feb 19, 2015

Want the inside scoop on who will win big on Sunday’s 87th Academy Awards? (Look elsewhere, sorry). But we’ve got great shows on some of the year’s best movies, all right here.

More »
Comment