It wasn’t alleged murderers or rapists that the reporters at Crime Watch Daily, a soon-to-premiere syndicated show, spent six months investigating for their first big scoop. It was Uber.
At a panel at the recently-wrapped Television Critics Association Tour, where the networks unveil their shows for entertainment journalists, CWD‘s producers showcased their big “Uber takedown.” Though, to be honest, the investigation was mostly anti-climactic. CWD tapped three former jailbirds, convicted of crimes like speed racing, theft, and harassment, to apply as Uber drivers.
All three passed the background check for UberX, the rideshare’s low-cost service. But the fact that they sailed through wasn’t a surprise to anyone since Uber, when conducting background checks, only looks back seven years on a potential driver’s record; the most recent crime committed by the show’s participants was in 2006. The seven-year rule was explained by an Uber spokesperson through the following statement: “The seven year requirement is actually the maximum allowed by law. We are going back as far as we possibly can. We cannot go back any further legally.”
Though the CWD investigation is missing a smoking gun, news of the report (check out a snippet out below)—which doesn’t air until September 14—comes at a bad time for Uber. After airport officials moved forward with plans to allow pick-ups by Uber and other rideshares at LAX, the city council put the decision on hold. In the midst of that, a taxi industry representative reported to a city official that four Uber drivers recently ticketed by airport officials have criminal records that would prevent them from obtaining taxi licenses; those crimes include child exploitation, identity theft, manslaughter, and a DUI.