Pete’s 2023 Message: Know the Truth

Pete Thomson

January 3, 2023

As we head into our 12th year on the air, I’d like to set the stage for a phrase and concept you’ll hear often on the show this year.   Know the Truth.   It sounds like a bumper sticker campaign for Fox News or CNN.  Or maybe the ‘tagline’ for one of the many congressional investigations.   For me as a consumer advocate, it means holding yourself accountable regarding how you get information & data from which important buying and life decisions are made.  

In our current world, especially, even the most ardent news junkies are often guilty of not knowing the truth.   The reason is that of use live our lives in self-made echo chambers of programs and commentators we agree with.   The most obvious example of this exists in our political & news world in the US, where Team Blue spends all their time consuming the reporting from CNN or MSNBC.  Meanwhile, Team Red is busy checking their updates from Fox News and Newsmax.   The result of this….a ton of people who are well-versed on the party line but lack valuable facts. 

As we head into a new year, I want to encourage you to broaden your sources of information.   From a news standpoint, you can still watch the network that supports the ‘home team’ but add some other sources of information as well.   Personally, I’m spending much less time with the big news organizations and more time with independent journalists that are not as likely to be controlled by corporate or chain-of-command financial interests.  

From a consumer standpoint, the same logic applies.   When making a major purchase, trust but verify glowing reviews you’re reading online.   And don’t fall victim to taking the reporting of ‘fact checkers’ as having veracity.   They’re largely paid for by companies.   Even the venerable Consumer Reports, the BBB and our initiative need to be double-checked.   If you’re contacting one of our sponsors for a quote, make sure you’re getting a second opinion or a third, in some cases.

More to come on this concept throughout 2023 on The Consumer Team.  Best wishes for a Happy New Year filled with knowing the truth.