The broader point, though, is that it may be time to start connecting the dots on regulation.

Frontline last night aired a scary story about regional airlines that found, among other things, that the FAA can’t say how many inspectors it has devoted to the growing sector. The pre-crisis collapse of the financial regulatory system has been well-documented by now. Heck, The New York Times last month found problems with the oversight of linear accelerators.

News organizations with stretched resources can’t be everywhere, but with regulatory systems running out of control like so many Toyotas, some big-picture thinking might be in order. This is an area that clearly doesn’t lack for stories.

Ends 7/31: If you'd like to help CJR and win a chance at one of
10 free print subscriptions, take a brief survey for us here.

Dean Starkman Dean Starkman runs The Audit, CJR's business section, and is the author of The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, January 2014). Follow Dean on Twitter: @deanstarkman.