Call it esprit de car.
Brian Ross‘ investigative reports on “runaway Toyotas” have led to two massive recalls, including Thursday’s announcement of an additional 2.3 million vehicles to correct sticking accelerator pedals.
For Ross, ABC’s chief investigative correspondent, the story is the gift that keeps on giving. But in a week dominated by the Haiti earthquake disaster and baby daddy John Edwards’ mea culpa, Ross’ latest scoop has had heavy competition.
No worries, says Ross, 61, who has won every journalistic award worth winning. Before joining ABC in 1994, he put in 20 years at NBC.
“It’s the nature of our business,” he says. “In a different week, it probably would have been a bigger deal. There’s a lot going on. Everyone makes their own decisions on how much play to give any particular story. It’s where your resources are.”
There’s no dearth of investigative resources at ABC, Ross says. News division chief David Westin has made “a solid commitment” to the 14-person investigative unit, according to Ross, and the unit’s Website has undergone a major expansion that has led to several broadcast stories.
Going after big corporations is a tricky business, however, and Ross knows how easy it is to get burned. Literally.