David Horowitz (consumer advocate)

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For other people named David Horowitz, see David Horowitz (disambiguation).
David Horowitz
Born (1937-06-30) June 30, 1937 (age 77)
Bronx, New York, USA
Occupation Consumer Advocate
Spouse(s) Suzanne E. McCambridge
(August 26, 1973 - Present)

David Horowitz (born June 30, 1937) is an American consumer advocate and former reporter for KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, whose Emmy-winning TV program Fight Back! would warn viewers about defective products, test advertised claims to see if they were true, and confront corporations about customer complaints. He has been on the boards of directors of the National Broadcast Editorial Conference, City of Hope, and the American Cancer Society.[1] He has been on the FCC advisory board and advisory board for the Los Angeles District Attorney.

Early life[edit]

David Horowitz attended Bradley University, where he became a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi,[2] and graduated with high honors in 1959.[3] Horowitz earned a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, then worked at newspapers and TV stations in the Midwest. He was a writer for the Huntley Brinkley Report. He opened the first news bureau for NBC News during the Vietnam War. Horowitz was then offered a chance to develop a consumer-awareness segment for NBC's Los Angeles newscast, but nearly turned it down because they had offered it to six other people before him.[4]

Appearances[edit]

Horowitz made a guest appearance on the Super Mario Bros. Super Show! in 1989. He also appeared as himself on an episode of Silver Spoons, ALF, the Golden Girls, The Munsters Today, and Saved by the Bell. Horowitz was also a regular guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (which also occasionally parodied him as "David Howitzer").

Hostage situation[edit]

On August 19, 1987, during KNBC's 4 p.m. newscast, a gun-wielding mental patient identifying himself as "Gary" got into the NBC Studios in Burbank, California, as a guest of an employee on the set and took Horowitz hostage live on the air. With the gun pressed on his side, Horowitz calmly read the gunman's statements on camera; unbeknownst to the gunman, the news feed had been taken off the air. The unidentified man revealed at the end of his statement that the gun was an empty BB gun, and set the gun down on the newsdesk, at which point anchorman John Beard quickly confiscated it. It led Horowitz to start a successful campaign to help ban "look-alike" toy guns in several states, including California and New York.[citation needed]

Controversies[edit]

In 1998, Horowitz joined a political campaign to urge voters to defeat a California ballot initiative calling for a 20% cut in electricity rates for private utility customers and ending surcharges on ratepayers to pay for nuclear power plants. Horowitz later admitted he was paid $106,000 by the campaign.[5] Horowitz approached the organizers of the campaign and asked to be a part of it.

Quote[edit]

"Stay aware and informed. Fight back. Don't let anyone rip you off!"[citation needed]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0395285/bio
  2. ^ "Notable Alumni". Alpha Epsilon Pi. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Helping consumers, helping Bradley". Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Benet, Lorenzo (1987-02-19). "Life is One Long Mass of Fine Print for Consumer Advocate Horowitz". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-02-28. 
  5. ^ Rosenberg, Howard (1998-10-28). "The High Price of Advocacy". latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-02-28.