20 years ago in reason

“NBC might as well have been the Nader Broadcasting Corporation on November 17. For its Dateline NBC segment on G.M. pickups, the network hired a trial lawyer’s advocacy group to crash the trucks. Testers overfilled one truck’s gas tank, used a nonstandard gas cap that popped off on impact, and strapped remote controlled model-rocket engines to the truck’s frame to guarantee a fire.” 

—Rick Henderson, “Crash Dummies”

“A very dangerous principle is now being established as a social right: Thou shalt not hurt others with words. This principle is a menace—and not just to civil liberties. At bottom it threatens liberal inquiry—that is, science itself.”

—Jonathan Rauch, “The Truth Hurts: The Humanitarian Threat to Free Inquiry”

—April 1993

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