Home » Someone Maybe Should Explain To This Fox News Show Host What The Hell Catalytic Converters Actually Do

Someone Maybe Should Explain To This Fox News Show Host What The Hell Catalytic Converters Actually Do

Cat Theft Wrong Top

Now, I know this is going to be a tricky thing to point out without getting too political, but I’m going to try, because fundamentally we’re an automotive site, and when hilariously wrong information about cars is bellowed out from someone seemingly in a position of authority and trust to at least some segment of the population, we should probably make note of it, and do what we can to clear things up. In this case, the someone is one of the hosts of Fox News’ show Outnumbered, Emily Compagno. And even though she has no fucking clue what a catalytic converter on a car does, that doesn’t stop her from pretending like she does, and in the process manages to be just about entirely wrong. And it all started with the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile.

You may recall that just recently America’s premiere sausage-based vehicle, the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, had its catalytic converter stolen. I don’t know how I missed covering that here, and I apologize for that. Anyway, catalytic converter thefts are a huge problem in America right now, and the fact that our favorite hot dog car isn’t immune hurts, and it hurts bad. Of course the media was talking about this, with varying approaches and angles.

Over at Fox News, we got this angle:

Oh jeez. Okay, even if we put the absurd and ham-fisted attempt to make this into a highly political issue aside, we have to address what Compagno says about catalytic converters, specifically this remarkably confident-sounding stream of bullshit:

“The reason everyone is stealing catalytic converters all across America is because under Biden’s watch, then gas is so expensive everyone needs the part that makes cars run more efficiently. This just shows that no one is immune to it, including Weinermobiles.”

Wow. Okay, so, none of this is true. A catalytic converter is absolutely not the part of a car that makes it run more efficiently, as though that was even somehow possible with a bolt-on part. A well-maintained cat should not affect fuel economy at all, though if you have one in poor condition it’s possible it may contribute to increased exhaust back pressure and cause your engine to be less efficient, but if it’s in good shape, a cat has just about nothing to do with fuel economy at all, certainly not improving it in any way.

Nobody is stealing cats to put on their cars to get better fuel economy. There’s no one out there with a Geo Metro and nine cats bolted to each other in line getting 174 mpg. It’s not a thing, and it never was a thing, and it never will be a thing. People steal cats because there’s valuable platinum, palladium, and rhodium inside that can be sold for currency, which can then be exchanged for other goods and services.

Also, catalytic converter theft isn’t a new thing that just now happened as a direct result of relatively high gas prices. People have been stealing cats for years and years, though there seems to have been a spike around 2019, and grew a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What’s especially funny is that this is not the first time I’ve seen complete bullshit about catalytic converters used to make some half-assed political point. I wrote about one particularly insipid example a few years back, if you’re curious about the history of how morons willfully misunderstand parts of the exhaust system to make questionable political statements.

I think it’s the tone of assurance that really gets me here, the unwavering sense of confidence that comes through as an absolute fabrication is uttered, loudly, to make some sort of political point. I get that not everybody knows or even cares how cars actually work, but does nobody fact-check this stuff? I mean, clearly not, but holy shit, people, this is just stupid.

 (thanks, BoingBoing!)

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The Ultracrepidarian
The Ultracrepidarian
1 month ago

Well on the other hand, Under Biden’s watch we’ve effectively cured Covid, AIDS and Unemployment. So what if gas is a little more expensive, just buy electric cars!

1 month ago

Based on their coverage/support of Crooked Trump, we should always assume that whatever is reported by Fox News is full of lies, bullshit and half-truths.

This latest idiocy is just par for the course.

1 month ago

“There’s no one out there with a Geo Metro and nine cats bolted to each other in line getting 174 mpg.”

Of course not. For numbers like that you have to connect them in parallel, not series.

1 month ago

WTF? It’s right there in the name people! They convert catalytics! I’m not sure on the specifics of how they work, but I would guess they chop them in half to make two boats out of one.

1 month ago

The really funny thing is that there are so many right wing talking points they could use in a catalytic converter theft discussion, and they went for the one that is objectively wrong.

1 month ago

During the last rash of catalytic converter thefts, one of my coworkers scoffed that these things wouldn’t happen if people would just make sure their car doors were locked. >.<

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