David Horowitz (consumer advocate)
|Born||David Charles Horowitz
June 30, 1937
Bronx, New York, United States
(1973 - Present)
David Charles Horowitz (born June 30, 1937) is an American consumer reporter and former journalist 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. He has been on the FCC advisory board and advisory board for the Los Angeles District Attorney.
Horowitz has been described as a consumer advocate; he personally shuns the description, noting that he always tried to maintain an objective point of view toward both the consumer and the businesses he profiled.
David Horowitz attended Bradley University, where he became a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, and graduated with high honors in 1959. Horowitz earned a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, then worked at newspapers and TV stations in the Midwest, including KRNT-TV in Des Moines, Iowa. 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.
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").
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.
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. Horowitz approached the organizers of the campaign and asked to be a part of it.
"Stay aware and informed, Fight Back and don't let anyone rip you off!"
- "Eight newsmen receive CBS Foundation fellowships" (PDF). Broadcasting. April 16, 1962. p. 78.
- McDougal, Dennis (June 5, 1988). "David Horowitz: The Consummate Consumerist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
- "Notable Alumni". Alpha Epsilon Pi. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- "Helping consumers, helping Bradley". Retrieved 23 December 2013.
- Benet, Lorenzo (1987-02-19). "Life is One Long Mass of Fine Print for Consumer Advocate Horowitz". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
- Rosenberg, Howard (1998-10-28). "The High Price of Advocacy". latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-02-28.