Dump the Audience?

Figuring out what's next for my Fox Business show

After my first two new Fox Business shows, I'm taking a break for Christmas and the New Year's holiday. We resume Thursday, Jan. 7.

Again, I ask your help. Last time, most of you said: Go with global warming for the first show—Atlas Shrugged can wait—and so I did. Atlas will be the first show after the holidays.

Today, I need your help in deciding what to do with the studio audience. I wanted an audience because I enjoy speaking on college campuses and I love the spontaneous give-and-take.

Students passionately pose questions like, "How can you defend business when free markets brought us to the crisis we suffer now?!"

I like explaining that what I defend isn't business but economic freedom and markets. Businessmen—with some honorable exceptions—are usually happy to collude with government to stifle competition and harm consumers and workers. I hate that.

And anyway, it was not free markets, but meddling politicians, bureaucrats, and central bankers, along with their corporate cronies, who created today's problems.

I even think I convince some of the students. It's lots of fun.

But I haven't done so well with my studio audience. Viewers have noticed.

Rob: "Ditch the audience! I had to stop watching the show last night on health care "reform" as I couldn't take any more of the stupid comments from the audience. "Lower audience interruption (applause and booing) to allow more discussion. Your 2007 health care special 'Sick in America, Whose Body Is It Anyway?" was more informative than the interruptive health care show tonight.

Brad Jones: "Love the show, hate the audience. Where do you find these people? I think you're better to do the show without an audience!"

Kevin: "John, PLEASE get rid of the live studio audience and get back to reporting. The audience makes your show rather cheesy."

OK, I hear you. I admit I am "clunky with the audience," as one viewer put it. On the other hand, maybe I'll get better. I'm new at it. And as several emailers said, allowing the opposition to speak is a better way to convince people:

Mark: "Love the show! Like the format. It gives the opportunity to directly address and confront opposing ideas.

Tim: "I like to hear what real people have to say about topics."

So do I. So did Ben Franklin, who wrote in his autobiography: "By the collision of different sentiments, sparks of truth strike out, and political light is obtained" (The Completed Autobiography, p. 335).

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Try another path. Watch some old Phil Donahue reruns, from when he was in Chicago in the 1970s, and work the audience like he did. You will be better!

  • iamse7en||

    That's a good example. That episode with Milton Friedman is one of the great conversations on the argument of liberty vs. statism. Dr. Friedman killed it. He cleaned the floor with the statists.

    An audience is hard to work with. I think you'll tinker with it for the next couple of episodes, then you'll drop it.

    You don't need an audience to clearly articulate the opposing argument. That public option statist you had on was great. His ideas are absolute nonsense, but he was clear and argumentative. People like him can articulate the opposing viewpoint (although it's irrational and illogical). You don't need punk college students who can't speak well and who regurgitate the nonsense they read from the DailyKos or HuffPo, without understanding what they're saying.

    You can have a format of several people with opposing viewpoints. I'd kill to see Krugman/Stiglitz vs Schiff/Woods on the financial crisis. It would be entertaining and informative.

    I also can't wait to see those full shows like you did with Sick/Stupid in America. I don't know if FOX News will run a couple, or you'll run it on your show every once in awhile. I know they're a LOT more time consuming (and expensive). But those are so effective.

  • ||

    I also think a professional debate style would be a big improvement over the audience, but it's sometimes hard to get interesting pundits on shows like these. I don't know what kind of resources Stossel has over at Fox, but if he can do that I think the show would be a lot better.

  • iamse7en||

    My fault - the link to Friedman on Donahue was the 1980 episode, which still has great arguments, but for the sake of statism vs. liberty, 1979 episode is a bit better.

  • ||

    Perhaps a small panel of market-skeptic students would be a good way to go. The only requirement would be that they be students who have watched past episodes, so you don't end up re-hashing the same debates over and over.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Tara, "so you don't end up re-hashing the same debates over and over." What difference would there be if the students watched previous shows. It is not like the Libertarian argument varies. It can be summed up in a nutshell or better yet a childs cry: "I want it! It's mine and I'm not sharing!".

  • ||

    Can I have 30% of your income? You wouldn't mind sharing it would you?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    He wants more than a third of your income, heller... a LOT more.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller,I have a inkling a trade would be fun.

  • ||

    A summary of libertarian/teabagger "philosophy"

    http://i.somethingawful.com/u/.....0yd_01.gif

  • Just Sayin'||

    Cute - any other talking points to expel?

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Fl0yd - can we meet for drinks later?

  • ||

    gay

  • ||

    "Heller,I have a inkling a trade would be fun."

    Nope, trading is for selfish capitalists. What's yours is mine, right?

  • Soonerliberty||

    I guess that is better than the statist argument: "I want it! It's not mine and I'm not working for it!"

    Or Crazy's internal dialog:

    "Economics? What the fuck is that? You mean I have to realize that what we have is not a free market and stop using examples from it to bash it as if it were? Why that would mean that what I actually support is what I also hate? You also mean I would have to realize businesses are the enemies of free markets? Or maybe I'd have to extend one thought to a logical conclusion? Nope, fuck that. I'll stick with tribalist statist thought. Live on, group think. Man, my statist brain is about to explode . . ."

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Soonerliberty, I have a suspicion I know who you are but I will play later. Unless, of course you want to out yourself. Which of course would be real tough on a guy like you but hell think of this as practice.

  • Just Sayin'||

    @rather crazy that Libertarian

    "I want it! It's mine and I'm not sharing!".

    It is mine - I worked for it, I EARNED it. A basic libertarian principle.

    Unless I worked in government that is. Then I am just part of the problem.

  • ||

    The statist argument would be... you have it, I want it, I will force you to give it to me. Such behavior is not even countenanced in kindergarten, where most of us grow out of our baser impulses.

    Just because I object to being robbed doesn't mean I object to charity or sharing. There is a difference between the two. Had you ever given the subject any thought at all you would have realized this for yourself.

    The only way your view would make sense would be in a world where someone standing on the street corner asking for some money is the same as someone holding a knife to your throat and demanding money. That I even have to explain this to you says all we need to know about how poor your moral education has been and about how dangerous you are to society.

  • ||

    John, you're almost old enough to receive Medicare.
    Why not make a show on that?

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Blitzkrieg, Great idea! the show could be about the John Stossel trifecta of principles. They can start with the ocean front property that we all bailed him out of and then move on to the golf cart that we bought and I have a sneaky feeling that involves a little tax receipt benefit and then move on to medicare cause you know he's not turning that sucker down either.

  • ||

    I thought you supported all those things? Libertarians are the ones who are against those programs, not you silly liberals. Aren't you happy that your utopia has been realized?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "We" didn't buy/pay for any of Stossel's stuff/misfortune. Period.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    "We" didn't buy/pay for any of Stossel's stuff/misfortune. Period" I didn't mean to include a 12 year old in the mix. You are excused. Go back to your tonka truck.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I didn't pay for anything on your anti-Stossel grievance list. Did you?

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    "I didn't pay for anything on your anti-Stossel grievance list. Did you?" I think you may be using an old Klingon dictionary because your english translation is rusty here.

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    Not Klingon, you collectivist, statist stooge. BORG!

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller,"Libertarians are the ones who are against those programs" So you are not or will turn them down?

  • ||

    It's a little hard to answer someone who can't write coherent sentences, but I'll try:

    If you are trying to point out that libertarians who use government programs such as roads and social security are hypocrites, you're just plain wrong. There is nothing hypocritical about using these services because the government forced us to pay for them in the first place. It's more hypocritical to be in favor of the government taking our money, yet be against us using what we already payed for. So please stop using this moot point as an idiotic argument, for your own sake.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller,"libertarians who use government programs such as roads... hypocrites,...wrong. ... nothing hypocritical about using these services because the government forced us to pay for them in the first place." Yes, we all paid for the roads in the first place but now we have to pay taxes to maintain our infrastructure. Are you suggesting that Libertarians should not pay for the upkeep?

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    @rather crazy that Libertarian

    No. The additional taxes are supposedly paying for something that the previous taxes should have paid for but were not.

  • the real rctl||

    Wow, I have heard of pre-burial arrangements but tax payments that will last perpetually? Wait, I take that back. I think one on the characters asked for it in National treasure or maybe it was in Armageddon.

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    Still no substance to offer I see.

  • ||

    Here's what I - and all other libertarians - suggest: Instead of everyone being forced to pay taxes that go (after bureacratic costs of course) to an inherently inefficient road-maintenance system, why don't we privatize the roads? That way, we have a market system in which the demand for roads (we, the consumers) is connected to the supply of roads (the individuals/groups who buy the roads). This means that *gasp* consumers will have the power to influence the creation and maintenance of roads. Why don't you go read wikipedia or something next time you have such a simple and obvious question about libertarianism?

  • ||

    Also, most people here are libertarians, not Libertarians.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Around here you really should specify which John you mean. There are more of us here than in Buckaroo Bonzai.

  • John Smallberries||

    Yea, what John Tag. said!

  • John YaYa||

    +1

  • ||

    Just add some more derp to your herp:

    DERP

  • Ratko||

    It's difficult to argue against Ben Franklin. And I completely agree with the notion that giving the opposition a voice allows for a more convincing argument.

    That being said, John Stossel can be trusted to be sincere, at least this has always been my opinion. Perhaps he would be better served to survey the opposition's sentiments and merely state them.

    Such as: "Students passionately pose questions like, "How can you defend business when free markets brought us to the crisis we suffer now?!"

    I like explaining that what I defend isn't business but economic freedom and markets. Businessmen—with some honorable exceptions—are usually happy to collude with government to stifle competition and harm consumers and workers. I hate that."

    This works very well, it allows the opposing view point, and doesn't clutter up, or take away from the classic Stossel common sense flavor of insight and wisdom.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Ratko,"classic Stossel common sense flavor of insight and wisdom." Please tell me you are paid to kiss ass for writing this. Common sense FLAVOR. I would beat your ass if I were your editor but on the other hand, I can see it being used in a Harlequin romance novel: He had a common sense flavor she could not resist and then rapture took hold. Oh ya, I think I could use it if I ever write that shit.

  • ||

    Do you think these comments are truly intelligent, or are you just hoping that no one will pay attention enough to realize that you're nitpicking on something that isn't actually wrong?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Statists are brain-damaged, plain and simple. And "rather crazy" is plenty brain-damaged.

  • Just Sayin'||

    Heller - statists not brain damaged. Statists are fully capable of thought. Unfortunately, the thoughts they have are shared with all of the other minds in the collective. It's like watching army ants - of one mind and one purpose.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller, are you a lawyer? Your honor, the prosecution is nitpicking over my clients confession.

  • ||

    No I am not a lawyer. I was pointing out that your criticism of Ratko was both inconsequential and wrong.

  • ||

    It's funny that I need to explain every one of my replies to you, even though you're the one who can't write a coherent/logical sentence.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller, I don't think people should throw stones but it is notably foolish when one lives in a glass house.

  • ||

    Another pearl of wisdom.

    Can you have a conversation with someone without using non-sequiturs, idioms, and ad hominem arguments?

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    @heller re rather crazy that Libertarian

    From everything I've read from him, not possible.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    If Stossel isn't going to have trannies fight it out, then what's the point of the audience? Most of the student questions are so deeply rooted in false, unshared assumptions that you may as well try to answer them speaking in Japanese for all the actual communication that will take place.

    I don't want to hear from idiot college students. Ditch the audience. It didn't work for season 2 of Cheap Seats, and it isn't working for you.

  • ||

    Forget the audience, have some guests. One thing I'd love to see is interviews with people Mohammed Yunus, and anyone else who's demonstrating that private initiative beats government giveaways all to hell.

    -jcr

  • JJ||

    I would ditch the audience. It was interesting to hear some of their opinions, but barely. If the audience is made up of a majority of college students, most will be from a certain way of thinking. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against students, as I am finishing a degree after a break in studies to join the army, so I am a student as well. But the indoctrination that goes on in the universities is rampant. Every day the newspaper at my school pushes liberal agenda - only. No other voices are heard on my campus. Everywhere you look; there are fliers for social justice, health care reform, and global warming. Filling your audience with students is going to mean mainly liberals.

    It can be hard to convert someone who has been essentially brainwashed towards one point of view for the last four or so years. Ditch the students, and just do a show. Or keep the audience, but don’t talk to them so much, talk to experts. I want to watch your show for information, not regurgitated liberal opinions that someone is parroting from their professors. I know it’s healthy to have several sides represented, so it would be better to have experts with that way of thinking, NOT a student who honestly really doesn’t know much about what they are talking about. It reminds me of a Glenn Beck health care special he did with an audience of doctors and medical students. When asked if they wanted socialized medicine, only a handful of practicing doctors raised their hands, while almost every single student did. Is it because the young know better than the old? Or is it because someone has been pushing social justice and ideas like health care is a right for all to them for years?

  • ||

    Just make a show about old faggots who get fired for being ideological zealots instead of journalists.
    Ring a familiar bell, Stossel-boy?

  • ||

    This isn't a thread about what Blitzkrieg hates about Dan Rather, but about what would improve John Stossel's show.

  • ||

    John Stossel realizing he's 62 and retiring instead of occupying a spot that should go to someone younger would be nice.

  • ||

    First Dan Rather, now John because he's 62. I think I'm beginning to see a pattern here.

    Why all the hate for the sexagenarians? Did your grandparents abuse you when you were growing up?

    Are you an ageist?

  • tap||

    what's wrong with sexy?

  • ||

    It's such a fine line between clever and stupid.

  • Language Policeman #666||

    Ageist!

  • ||

    Rageist!

  • ||

    The audience definitely didn't work. I think a good format for you is to start with a segment where you do your investigative report on an issue, then you take the case to a strong policical panel where you can get mixed viewpoints. A panel with a Libertarian (Gillespie), a Conservative (John Batchelor) and a Liberal (Nicholas Kristoff). A group like this can get an issue to a higher level, and offer you a nice group to moderate.

  • Daniel||

    This is what I think you should do. Drop the audience, yet don't drop the opposing views. Instead of an audience, go out on the streets or a campus and ask people what they think (and of course, pick those with well put together arguments, not a Leno-esque "let's make fun of the fool" type thing). I would also advise you to interview people that are "experts" on all sides of the argument. That means going to a think tank that is counter to your position, and asking them what they think. With a hostile audience, it was a little jarring to watch.

    Though I will say, I thought was very original. Not many shows would allow these people to vent. It's just better when the show is more organized, and each side gets to have their say without boos.

  • ed||

    Dump the rubes. But if they must be there, at least set them up for entertaining confrontations with surprise guests: incestuous dads, prostitots, shemale pole dancers...the audience will love you for that, Mr. Stossel, and they'll shout your name. John-ny! John-ny! John-ny!

  • no audience||

    No audience. An investigative report to start. Then some opposing view points sprinkled throughout and finally a thorough intellectual beat down. Follow this up with a panel of sorts.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    no audience, and then end with Seppuku but give them the option before dying from boredom during the "thorough intellectual beat down"

  • ||

    Dump the audience. Unfortunately, there are far too many out there sitting in the audience who aren't thinking straight and their moronic reactions ruin the message. Your message is a good one and is needed much more than the commentary and idiotic reaction of the delusional, vocal distractors sitting in your audience.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    John, I think JGM wants parrots in the audience. Great theme. You can all dress as pirates and have the audience repeat: they want our booty! They want our booty!

  • ||

    Actually he raises a good point: no one wants idiots like you on this show. It might confuse people into thinking that you know what you are talking about.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller, " It might confuse people into thinking that you know what you are talking about." In other words,I make you think. Unlike you, I dare say, there will be no confusion, you don't make anyone think.

  • ||

    I don't want an audience, period.

    I suppose if Stossel had an unlimited amount of time to put his message across, it would be educational as well as informational to listen to the back and forth discussion between Stossel and some of his very confused and somewhat irrational audience members. Since I get an opportunity to do this daily in meatspace, I would much rather see Stossel use his limited time to concentrate on the message which is not the usual television fare. As for your assertion that I want an audience of "parrots"-- you are funny. Finding an audience of parrots for his message might be an undertaking, indeed! LOL In case you haven't noticed (which is very obvious), that's the problem.

  • ||

    On the contrary, when people actually think about what you are saying they immediately realize what an idiot you are. Giving you a spotlight on a television program will give you a false aura of seriousness, which will confuse people into taking you seriously before thinking about what you are actually saying. This is a very dangerous situation. Keep acting under the delusion that you make people think though; we all need our little fairy tales to keep us going.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller, “Passion makes idiots of the cleverest men, and makes the biggest idiots clever”

  • ||

    I'm glad this non-sequitor applies to neither of our comments. Way to go champ.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller, my thinking was logical but your conclusion that mine was "non-sequitor[sic]" is not only a fail but a non-sequitur in itself. Champ!

  • ||

    Your thinking? Or a quote that has nothing to do with what I said? I'm seriously getting tired of having to explain everything to you like you're a three year old.

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    @heller re rather crazy that Libertarian

    Again you're demeaning three year olds.

  • Evil Red Scandi||

    I agree with most of the comments here - the audience is the weakest link. It's nice to deal with objections from "real people," but I think it's better done in a more structured format where you can ensure that both points are explained reasonably well and in their best light - something that's almost impossible to accomplish in an interactive format combined with television time constraints. Most of the people you'll get in your audience are ideologues rather than intellectuals and to most of us ideologues just aren't interesting. They don't (by definition) understand their "points" and as far as changing their minds? It's more productive to reason to your furniture or household pets.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    "real people,...It's more productive to reason to your furniture or household pets" God, I love this man's arrogance. Wait, he does have a point about the libertarian argument. Yes, you may as well be talking to furniture or pets but I think whining might be cruel to a dog. I see a theme here: empty studio.

  • ||

    I also see a theme here: crying for attention. If it is so hard to listen to libertarians talk, why are you hanging around here so much? I bet someone wasn't breastfed by Mommy...

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller, you totally bored me with this one. I am almost tempted to rewrite your rebuttal. "why are you hanging around here so much?" because let's see: the irony of free entertainment value. It is a free lunch.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    You're one stupid cocksucker, rather.

  • Barack Obama||

    Hey, he helped put me in office. I need all the stupid cocksuckers I can get.

  • ||

    "wah wah, mama pay attention to me!"

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    "wah wah, mama they stole my money!"

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    "wah wah, mama they won't give me 80% of what they earned - damn liberatarians!"

  • ||

    Yes, only children complain when their money is stolen. Adults have to be mature and not complain when their money is stolen.

  • ||

    They should also say thank you to the thief.

  • csTex||

    rctl uses: "real people,... It's more productive to reason to your furniture or household pets" to make an arguement of one's arrogance... Ha, there are like 80 words between "real people" and "it's more productive"...

    It's obvious what the guy was talking about... the same can be said about talking sense to someone that has been "Hannitized"...

  • csTex||

    HA, rctl, you're a loser...

    from Obama's Nobel prize speech, using rctl's "connecting words that were used over 79 words apart" tactic...

    Obama said:

    "I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors..., to murder innocents on a horrific scale."

    wow, that's freakin' awesome... thanks rctl...

  • rctl,||

    csTex, What is your point? Am I Hannitized? A loser? Obama's speech writer? I think you have had a few too many at Billy Bob's. Put down your beer and get off the mechanical bull. I demand a rewrite.

  • C Man||

    I'm a college student, studying economics and I have watched and loved all of your specials since I was in middle school.

    I think having guests would be a great decision, or having some episodes focus on champions of liberty and private enterprise.

    It could be a more hopeful show, with a positive look at

  • C Man||

    how the world could be with freer markets.

    Maybe for every show that is critical of how the world is, there could be another episode showing how great the world could be with more people like Mohammed Yunnus, who was mentioned earlier.

    You could show the odds that these people have worked against and show their progress. Then you could interview their critics who's critiques could then be addressed.

    Just a thought.

  • ||

    If you want to become an echo chamber who only preaches to the libertarian choir, ditch the audience. If you want to convert the statist heathen, you need heathen to work out on. By all means, keep the audience! They'll give you immediate feedback. Yes, they will spout lots of drivel..and you'll get a chance to counter their drivel and - more importantly - you'll be able to see how your counter-arguments work with them. So will we. There are already far too many libertarians who only preach to the choir. What we need is wholesale conversion of the statist heathen.

  • ||

    Completely agree. It might be tough. But it's not the audience whose mind you're trying to change. It's the people watching the show. Go through a few shows. Hone your arguments.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Me three! I find the audience really helpful. I even like the unpredictability of some of them being pretty persuasive and some being total buffoons. It feels honest rather than engineered.

  • ¢||

    A student audience is an audience of belligerent morons. We're over-subjected to their ass-showing already. Rainbow-of-dorks panel shows are terrible, too. There are too many of them, too alike. Both formats make viewers pick a side and root, not think.

    Bullshit is the only effective conveyor of non-standard ideas on TV, but something like that is impossible to produce in talk-show quantities. The next best thing would be something like what Charlie Rose does, minus the offputting infomercial-for-books vibe and pretentious quietness.

    The Rose-like web show National Review does is good, but no one watches it. Copy it, stick a guest-related Bullshit-y segment at the beginning of each episode, and a solo summary rant at the end.

    Says me.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Penn & Teller's Bullshit only works because of the occasional nudity. :-)

  • WWJGD||

    Penn & Teller's Bullshit only works because of the mandatory nudity. :-)

    FTFY

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    FFS, I don't want to see Stossel nude. I already have insomnia.

  • crayon||

    Wanna see MY mom nude? Maybe we can swap.

  • Just Sayin'||

    Not while I still can see.

  • Stretchy||

    I'll go with my original comment. Have intelligent, articulate, well meaning people who oppose your views.

    Audience participation doesn't allow for an in depth discussion.

  • ||

    He's on a Fox network where only false dissent and straw-men are allowed.

  • iamse7en||

    You're a moron.

  • ||

    Right - very much unlike MSNBC where no dissent of any kind is allowed and everyone is a real straw man.

  • Barack Obama||

    I depend on MSNBC to keep My Image fresh and untarnished, which Is as It Should Be. For I am the One Shining Path. Amen, y'all.

  • jk||

    I suggest having a different NY Times columnist on each week (Krugman, Friedman, etc). You need a little comedy and their points of view would provide it.

  • jk||

    Also have someone from one of the libertarian think tanks each week - Mises Institute, Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, Independent Institute, etc. Just remember not to seat anyone from Mises anywhere near Paul Krugman.

  • Just Sayin'||

    Are the libertarians checked for guns at the door? If not - distance at the table won't matter much.

  • ||

    I think an opposing opinion is definitely valuable. I think having two people from each side is best, since it is difficult for one person to remember all the points. Having said that, I think a studio audience is not a good idea.

  • Mike||

    I'd lose the live audience, but not the feedback.

    I say integrate the show with the web in a good way. Solicit email and forum comments on your website, have a rating system to bring the best to the top, and then answer those questions on the air. Combine that with some knowledgeable critics - let someone from the other side of the healthcare debate give you their best question/argument, and then try to deal with that.

    You don't need someone live to ask the obvious questions of "but weren't businessmen the problem."

    You also shouldn't rely on the education of the people who happen to be in the audience to be asking your questions - their questions will almost never have better insight than what floats to the top of a forum debate. This kind of two pronged approach - the common man from the forum, and the educated opposition (just find the smartest liberal you know to argue with you before the show) should provide the important perspectives you might miss without the clunkiness of a studio audience.

  • ||

    I like these ideas, integrating with the web. This will add greater involvement from fans of the show and add more ideas.

  • Mike||

    Some news shows are trying to do this, but they're going about it entirely the wrong way.

    The benefit of media writers reading the comments of their users *isn't* to give joeplumber32 a platform to share whatever their opinion is and leave it at that. It's to make sure that the higher level discourse and reporting *answers* the questions that the "normal" people are having.

    Most of the time, those questions are ill-informed or logically unsound. However, if they have enough critical mass it is important to refute them or explain them. It tells you what people are concerned about - it doesn't provide (in general) useful insight that should be shared for its own value.

  • ||

    Well, the problem is this works in a radio call-in show, but on a TV show, people like to see images of both sides. Only having one face on the screen is not as engaging.

    But you don't want to turn it into Phil Donahue. I'd try to keep it professional. Have some rules of order, not a raucus mob.

  • ||

    +1

  • ratman720||

    keep the audience im sick of shows that badger home their point without confronting legitimate opposition. AGW has thrived on this one sidedness and i like to think libertarians are more apt to pursue debate in the pursuit of truth.

    acknowledge that opinionated idiots always exist in many cases by the thousands or millions. but that doesnt mean that the enlightened shouldnt hear them out we should just quash them with truth, logic and reasoning.

    in short self affirmation is lame is idiots are amusing and truth is powerful. keep the audience

  • ||

    How about a Morton Downey, Jr. type format. If someone doesn't agree with you, berate them and blow cigarette smoke in their face.
    Seriously, I think the show could use some refining. I give you props for trying something new. There are some good ideas on here - maybe some guests from both sides stating their cases, with some Q&A from the audience later in the show. If you go with guests from both sides of an argument, PLEASE do not allow them to talk over one another.

  • Mike in PA||

    Heck, I'd like to see in-depth audience participation. Instead of little questions and statements, you could ask them follow up questions until their logic obviously breaks down. Something like this:

    John: Do you think insurance comapnies should deny people because of pre-existing conditions?
    Moron: No! It's horrible they do that!
    John: Do you understnad how the insurance pool works?
    Moron: Sure, more people in the pool means more money to pay for sick people.
    John: If you could get insurance when you get sick, why would you spend money on it before you get sick?
    Moron: I wouldn't, but that's why we need to make a law to make people buy it.
    John: What if it was cheaper to pay the penalty than to buy insurance that you're not going to need yet?
    Moron: Well, then we need to increase the penalty.
    John: How much do you think the government should fine you for not giving your money away to the insurance company?
    Moron: Uh, what.. Hmmmm...
    John: What if enough people realized it was cheaper to break the law than to comply? What would that do to the insurance pool? How expensive is insurance going to be when only sick people are buying it?
    Moron: Can I take a potty break?

    Not only does it make the morons think through their ideas, it shows to others that these ideas haven't been thoguht through.

  • Brian Sorgatz||

    I vote for keeping the audience. As erroneous as they can be, they bring an element of passion to the debate that may be healthy in itself. They may be intellectual lightweights, but so is much of America. It's helpful for us to watch you do the difficult job of trying to change their minds.

  • ||

    Again, agree. I think a lot of people are only softly left-leaning because that's how TV and Hollywood have trained them.

    If you get them to think through the implications of their arguments a lot of minds will change. Sometimes you need to talk to the lowest level to communicate. You can't skip the basic simple things just because you want to move on to the more complex issues.

  • mitol||

    I like the studio audience. I loathe ivory towers. Having people representing conventional left/right viewpoints in the audience helps show the stark comparison to the alternative viewpoints the show offers.

    Other cable news shows are echo rooms. They bring people on who agree with them and talk it up with each other. When they bring on people who disagree, its people they know can't present an opposing argument better.

    In fact, I think you should up the audience participation. Perhaps find ways to use them as props. When you know what a reactionary statist response to something will be, instead of letting someone state it, you say it, and ask for a show of hands of who thinks that way, and then let the person on stage answer that criticism

    The golf cart made for good TV. Like a "government job", it can be pointed to and easily understood. Find ways to use the audience to represents ideas like the golf cart.

    If they boo, thats fine. If libertarians get insulted by the booing, thats fine. If the show is just two libertarians talking to each other, then the only people who will watch the show are other libertarians who need confirmation.

    The thing that is refreshing about your show is, cable news has given us the same viewpoint templates for a long time. The show gives voice to two groups who aren't heard from on cable news already. Liberty-huggers and normal people.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    "Fox ... they're willing to try things. They're eager to experiment." I swear to God Libertarians don't have a creative bone in their bodies. They are giving you an empty plate and you keep putting meat and vegetables on it. Try something new. Don't put food on your empty plate. First, I would hire someone who hates you (sorry, I am busy) and sees you for the full of crap "do as I say not as I do" man that you can afford to be. That person would wrangle the audience and help by calling you on it (I see plenty of opportunity there) and help with audience members who would have the disadvantage of television inexperience. I have plenty of ideas but what do you Libertarians like to say? Oh ya, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch". Btw, if you go with my idea don't let them hire another barbie doll because I am having trouble telling them apart as it is.

  • ||

    The following is a parody of rather crazy's posts and should not be taken seriously:

    "I swear to God" You swear to God? How unoriginal. I swear to God you don't have a creative bone in your body. I obviously know nothing about libertarianism, yet I am going to act like I know enough to criticize you on positions that I made up. Would it be better to argue against the principles that libertarians actually hold instead of insisting (with no explanation) that they are selfish children? Sure, but it's a little hard to because I don't know what those principles are, nor am I intelligent.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller, Hmm, maybe it's unoriginal to use the word unoriginal when you complain about a post being unoriginal but hell these guys are Libertarians unoriginal is original.

  • ||

    Obviously you don't understand what a parody is...

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller,are you exhausted your sense of humor? Jester,indulge me.

  • rather crazy Mirror||

    I am smart! I am smart!

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Rather crazy Mirror ?: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the biggest coward of them all? Mirror reply: You are RCM, now fuck off.

  • watching the morons||

    Again displaying the fine art of debate there rctL? At least Mirror can use punctuation correctly.

  • rather crazy Mirror||

    Same to you statist.

  • ||

    "are you exhausted your sense of humor?"

    Wow. Just wow.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Yeah! Why don't we force taxpayers to provide the plate AND the food? What an idea!

    Oh, wait... that's been tried. Miserable fail.

  • ||

    In fact, I think you should up the audience participation. Perhaps find ways to use them as props.

    Fuck yeah. Do little experiments in game theory and economics.

    Have them simulate an insurance pool and find out what happens when you admit people with pre-existing conditions.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    "Have them simulate an insurance pool and find out what happens when you DON'T admit people with pre-existing conditions." Great idea. You could bring in people from hospice care talk about how insurance companies made their remaining days full of joy. Why you could have John on the stage eating cake with Marie Antoinette . Bonus, I think a nice white wig would hide the plugs in his hair.

  • monk||

    No one told those people not to prepare for the en

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Monk,"No one told those people not to prepare for the en" The EN? Don't tell me you dropped dead before the end of your sentence. Sometimes preparations don't work out!

  • ||

    "Marie Antoinette ." SPACE then period????? What are you retarded????? Yes, now that I have pointed out a typo I no longer have to argue with you. I win.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    OMG, Heller you did go to catholic school. The nuns were always tough on "SPACE then period?????" Wait, "?????" is your theatric reply. Sister of the immaculate conception wants you to join the drama department. I see you playing baby Jesus: whaaa!

  • ||

    I'm Jewish. Nice try. I guess once again the irony here went way over your tiny head.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller,I only have one.

  • ||

    Yes, that's usually the case. Thanks for the info.

  • Death Panelist||

    "I like to hear what real people have to say about topics."

    Real people are idiots. If I wanted to hear idiots, I would be watching MSNBC.

  • ed||

    Ever catch the morning show on C-SPAN?
    Listen to a few of the callers' diatribes and surrender all hope for our nation.

  • Craig||

    I surrendered all hope for our nation when New Hampshire only gave Ron Paul 8% of their primary vote.

  • ||

    Here here, Craig!

  • Just Sayin'||

    Watching Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow is like being a member of the Borg. No matter what stupid shit your political allies do, it is always someone else's fault. And of course we can't have a show without demeaning those you don't agree with (read here "teabaggers"). Frankly I wouldn't teabag Maddow if you paid me.

  • mitol||

    Another idea. Just do the old Stern/Leno bit. You know what the reactionary questions will be. Just send out a guy with a mic, a guy with a camera, and get the "conventional wisdom" questions or responses from people on the street.

    When you need a segue, you have it in the can. Make having a live audience a special part of the show. Maybe occasionally tape at a college where you have prepared speakers who are good at audience back and forth.

  • ||

    I must confess that I have never watched any show on any Fox network, but I was excited to make yours my first. As soon as I saw you had an audience, I turned the channel. Please ditch them and let me know when you do, and I'll give it another shot.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    John,how sweet: "but I was excited to make yours my first." He wants to see you again! "Please ditch them and let me know". Wow a little too desperate: "and I'll give it another shot" Are you going to let him know? After all, you did pop his fox cherry.

  • ||

    Too bad no one will pop yours.

  • Jon Stewart||

    My audience loves me.

  • Mike||

    I actually think the Daily Show and Colbert Report are a good example of what you actually get out of an audience - a good laugh track, and maybe some help to the host of seeing which jokes falls flat and which ones succeed.

    You'll notice in the serious interviews of the show, though, they severely hurt real discourse. You see Stewart motioning them to quiet down all the time when he makes a biting point in an argument that they agree with, because they're preventing his guest from presenting his argument. A studio audience reduces things to who can produce the snappiest retort instead of who has the best argument.

  • ||

    The Daily Show and Colbert Report are a good example of what you get when you make admission free -- a bunch of statist free-riders.

    But, that is their target demographic, so that works for them.

  • Mike||

    Funny, because I've seen Ron Paul get huge applause on The Daily Show as well.

    Stewart makes a living pointing out anything stupid government and politicians do. If his liberal politics prevent you from enjoying that... personally I don't have to agree with someone 100% of the time to admit when they are right, and especially when they are funny. In any case, I think most libertarians would agree with him on his big political issue - that the modern news networks do a horrible job of keeping government accountable.

  • ||

    I enjoy parts of The Daily Show, and most of Colbert, but oftentimes the humor to statism ratio plunges and I hit the fast forward on my TIVO.

    That being said, those shows do a way better job of covering political news than the unwatchable MSM networks, which I refuse to watch. Just would like to seem a similar format done by someone libertarian or conservative to get the gag factor under control.

  • ||

    Maybe charge a small admission fee -- even a buck or two would weed out the most anti-capitalist, anti-free market crowd.

    Of course, you might need a MUCH smaller studio to avoid the "lots 'o empty seats" factor.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Why the hell would you *want* to get rid of the anti-capitalist crowd!? We need those people there to provide real dissent against which libertarian arguments can be sharpened.

    I missed this whole thread earlier, but seriously, the audience is one of my favorite things about John's new show purely because a hostile studio audience gives the home viewer the contrary opinions they're used to hearing, and thus pushes the home audience to think more critically.

    Forget who said it earlier, but it's like Friedman on Donahue. Donahue & his audience got pwned hard.

  • Slap Happy Jones||

    If that picture could talk:

    I am proud of the way my fart smells, thank you very much!

  • PantsFan||

    and people should win stuff just for watching

  • ||

    I have not watched the show. but I am inclined to favor the audience participation.

    Especially if it is an audience composed mostly of ill-informed progressive college kids.

    Please. LET THEM act like the sneering ignorant assholes they truly are. On national TV.

  • Chase||

    Cheers for posting the first comment that makes me think Stossel should keep the audience!

  • Some Guy||

    I agree. It's intellectually lazy to do shows where everyone is in agreement. There are plenty of those on other networks.

    Of course your network would never so anything like that.

    I'll search out statists who make their case more clearly, and I'll experiment with the role of the audience.

    Just please don't follow they typical route of your network and bring out strawman punching bags. If your aim is to actually convince people rather than to make people who agree with you (or pretend to) feel good about themselves, then the representatives of the "other side" have to actually be a reasonable approximating of what people believe.

    "Why isn't food a major debate issue?"

    It should be. Getting rid of farm subsidies would pay for a lot of the money we're about to throw away making health care worse.

  • ||

    Getting rid of farm subsidies would pay for a lot of the money we're about to throw away making health care worse.

    Not just the subsidies, but totally deregulating agriculture would be a great thing for the poorest Americans. We'd see drastic cuts in food prices.

    -jcr

  • ||

    And better health. We have distorted the market so that many less healthy foods are less expensive than they should be and healthy ones are more expensive.

    Not that I would support distorting it to be healthier but to make us less healthy is truly insane.

  • ||

    I was just watching an excellent Capilatism vs. Socialism debate (Peikoff & Ridpath vs. Caplan & Vickers) from 1984: http://www.aynrandbookstore2.c.....ber=CP01DV

    It would be incredible if your show had debates like that, between experts of completely opposing viewpoints instead of experts on one side and the audience on another.

  • ||

    John, dump the audience thing. Probably the best example I can think of that makes me puke when "audiences" are involved is Frank Luntz.

    Anytime Frank is going to be featured, I turn the channel. I can’t stomach the inane, ignorant, shallow garbage his tethered-to-a-sensor dweebs espouse.

    The average person is in-articulate, boring and cliché-ridden. They go goofy in front of a camera and seldom add anything. They are nice folks, but for God’s sake, don’t put them on camera: They only embarrass themselves.

  • ||

    Yes, down with the unwashed!

  • ||

    Keep an audience. But only let hot chicks into the audience. WWGD? (What Would Gutfeld Do?)

  • iamse7en||

    Hot chicks can solve a lot of business problems.

  • Mark Frazier||

    My take on Rand is a bit unusual. Yet it may offer a useful way to work around the hostility you may otherwise stir up in religiously and/or altruistically inclined members of your audience.

    All of us, in our lives, have been helped and/or inspired by individuals who have freely chosen to their circle of caring beyond the bound of narrow self-interest. In doing so, they have formed an "extended self."

    These extended selves -- souls? -- manifest and spread universal qualities of spirit. In spreading these qualities, they are behaving in ways that often incur costs to their narrowly-defined selves. But such actions are profoundly selfish from their extended self's perspective.

    What if they are beings formed to advance "selfish virtues" - qualities of spirit that seek reproductive success?

    E.O. Wilson and Richard Dawkins have argued - correctly I believe - that selfish genes and selfish memes predispose us to make unselfish sacrifices to ensure their reproductive success. They have pointed to a consilience in which selfish genes and selfish memes interact and evolve for mutual benefit.

    What if there are three, rather than two, streams in the co-evolutionary spiral of consilience?

    Selfish virtues -- in other words, selfish qualities of spirit -- may be the reason sentient beings widen their definition of self to include sacrifice for others who may have not have any genetic or memetic affinity.

    I believe that our acts of caring and sacrifice, in these cases, aim to ensure the preservation and reproductive success of shared qualities of spirit.

    This could explains much of the attachment we feel for noble spirits across traditional cultural, national, and other divides -- and even explains the depth of attachment we feel when witnessing acts of kindness and courage in other species.

    It may be time, accordingly, to recognize "selfish virtues" as fundamental players in the enchanted circle of consilience, as equal players with genes and memes in evolution's spiral.

    If so, what is the best name we can give to them? I'd favor "lumines."

    Hope there will be fruitful exchanges with your audience in January that help to spread Rand's memes (and lumines) among the millions who will be watching.

    Mark Frazier
    Openworld, Inc.
    www.openworld.com
    @openworld (twitter)

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Dear Mark, you are a clear example of the type of guy not to have on the show/audience. I am sure your are a nice person but if I had to listen to you I would have jumped off the Titanic before it hit the iceberg.

  • ||

    At least he is offering a talking point (however incoherent it is). What value lies in your attention-whore cries?

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller, don't tell me you didn't crack a little smile. "but if I had to listen to you I would have jumped off the Titanic BEFORE it hit the iceberg."

  • ||

    I cracked a big smile thinking of you jumping off the Titanic into the icy waters, suffering a slow and painful hypothermic death. Aren't you late for a gig doing stand-up at an S&M club?

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller, you have actually seen the Titanic movie. How sweet. Don't ruin It's Complicated for me.

  • ||

    No, I have never seen the movie. Wait: you do know the Titanic was a real ship that actually hit an iceberg, not just a movie right? God you're dumb.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    I have spent time in Cobh (the last port of call) and in Halifax where over 200 bodies washed ashore. I have had the privilege of holding artifacts from the Titanic and I never wanted to see the movie because the real history is plenty dramatic.

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    rather crazy that Libertarian - what is wrong with you? That post made sense.

  • the real rctl||

    Sentimental at night.

  • ||

    He cries for the Titanic every night.

  • the real rctl||

    Heller, If anything you are not very observant to not realize that I am female and admit that the reason you kept coming back was the game. I see you don't like to capitulate either but alas, I will change my handle again and move on to the next challenge. I do tip my sword to you because you do have a sense of sportsmanship (except for a little name calling) and I was totally diverted.

  • ||

    Not very observant of what? You're lady-like writing? It's not my fault this place is a sausage fest.

  • Just Sayin'||

    Maybe in your next life you could make some arguments we could discuss without resorting to personal attacks. Just sayin'....

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Too bad you weren't there, rather. You might have died, and we wouldn't have to listen to your big-government anti-liberty cheerleading.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    "You might have died, and we wouldn't have to listen" Oh please. You are damned thrilled to be typing away at this. Now santa skipped Heller but why aren't you playing with your transformers?

  • ||

    No one is "thrilled" when replying to you. It's more like something very unpleasant that just has to be done. Like taking out the trash, or picking up dog shit.

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    Getting an enema, root canal, dislocated shoulder reset, etc.

  • the real rctl||

    rather crazy that Liberal,you keep on coming back for more. Does a libertarian not burn his hands when he touches something hot? Superpowers? Wow, I see another theme here and Stossel you get to dress-up.

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    Still no substance to offer I see.

  • ||

    That's funny, he thinks that he actually "burned" you.

  • ||

    Studio audience equals cheese period. If there is a studio audience I'm reminded of either one of the dozens of horrible daytime talk shows or the "used to be great but became horrible" Crossfire in its dying days.

    Sure, you get instant response but guess what? If you add a cooking segment you can also get great recipes. But of course you don't need great recipes for your show. And you don't need instant response. You need a serious show that enlightens the home audience.

    Please save your dignity and our patience and ditch the audience.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Eb, great idea. Cooking theme show:

    Libertarian recipe:

    take 1 boy/juvenile adult
    add words "it's mine"
    pinch of taxes are theft
    mix with other whiners
    bake forever cause they will never be elected and voila: Libertarian fruitcake.

  • ||

    Recipe for an attention-whore:

    One (1) fresh retard
    Three (3) heaping spoonfuls of shit for brains

    It's that simple!

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Chef Heller, I am really disappointed on this one. Your soufflé has fallen.

  • ||

    Behold! One attention-whore fresh out of the oven! Don't keep him out in the open for too long, or he might start repeating himself.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    "Behold!"? I thought you said you were jewish.

  • ||

    ...

  • ||

    Can I substitute freeze dried retard or is fresh the only way to go?

  • Just Sayin'||

    Can you get them fresh this time of year? rather crazy that Libertarian seems to freeze dried already.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Beats the fuck out of government cheese.

    Does your mom have to pay for your internet access? Or do we taxpayers subsidize that?

  • Upstater85||

    First, unfortunately I've never seen a complete show of yours (your Fox show), so I can't comment on the success or failure of dealing with an audience. I have seen clips, though. They are quite good. Keep up the good work.

    Now, to the main question. I have seen other shows and walked college campuses where there are many of the same regurgitated opinions/questions. So, I do understand how this could be frustrating to deal with.

    Here's a suggestion. Could you somehow have limited questions from the audience that a panel could then discuss/debate? Perhaps even allow each pundit to pick one person from "their camp" to ask a question... Maybe something along these lines...

  • ||

    Keep the audience, just tweak how the interaction is done.

    I like the fact that you can get opposing views from the audience. In NYC that is not difficult for any libertarian, conservative or even moderate liberal, as anyone to the right of Fidel Castro is considered a KKK member.

    Most other shows, have talking heads chosen for how they agree with the host or how weak they are in disagreeing with him, or are like Real Time with Maher where he preaches to a choir and has a tough time even finding someone to take an opposing view when wants one.

    I like your format, tweak it a bit, which will just take some time.

  • crayon||

    "anyone to the right of Fidel Castro is considered a KKK member"

    That's right! Hurr! Durr!

  • Just Sayin'||

    Anyone to the right of Fidel Castro is one of his family.

  • ||

    Public transportation and the fetish for light rail and streetcars would be an excellent topic. Silly politicians in cities such as Seattle are wasting huge sums of money on these boondoggles and there is no end in sight. Unlike global warming and govt. sponsored healthcare, real taxpayer dollars are being wasted at a furious pace RIGHT NOW, not at some point in the future. Good luck with your new show.

  • ||

    Stossel, whether you blog at FBN or at Reason, I will hunt your blogs down and comment on them. I'm stalking your work in the same way a man with perpetual diarrhea stalks toilets.

    The audience, in its current format, is a no go. Either ditch it, or reform it. Quite honestly, I'm not sure how to reform it, but one way might be to allow for your audience to ask questions ONLY -- as opposed to allowing them to share their (asinine) opinions as well. During presidential debates, the audience often asks questions -- but they do not interject their own personal commentary. Perhaps you could do the same? I would much rather listen to you and your guests talk than to hear some of your brain-dead audience members "educating" America as to how cow farts are heating up the planet or why health care in North Korea is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    Heck, who am I kidding? Ditch the audience. I much prefer the 20/20 format. My second choice would be a behind-the-desk or Larry King format. Hell, Larry's getting old anyway -- your show could probably just replace his once he becomes fully fossilized. (Too harsh?)

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    "a man with perpetual diarrhea stalks toilets" John, I think you may have to watch out for some guy with stains on his pants but it is safe to say you probably can smell in him coming.

  • ||

    "you probably can smell in him coming" Can smell IN him coming????? Oh look I found a typo, you fucking retard. Go back in your hole.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller, It is kind of a Catch-22 if you permit. Now you did not respond to every post and therefore I you get coal in your stocking.

  • ||

    "and therefore I you get coal" I YOU get coal? DERP!

  • Anonymous Coward||

    rctL & heller --
    Why don't you two just get it on and be done with it?

  • ||

    Because I don't take advantage of retarded under-age girls.

  • ||

    Nah, old, ugly and petrified twat.

    If she was cute she wouldn't be posting here at 4am.

    If she was young she'd have been more recently in school and her grammar probably wouldn't be that poor.

    Not retarded either, just a bit slow and bitter for not understanding why she's so alone.

  • ||

    How about keeping the audience, but forbid applause or hecking. People should be considering the arguments on the merits, and not getting credit for saying somthing that the audience agrees with.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Theme, school teacher.

    Libertarian word list:

    forbid: as in I forbid you to have health care

    hecking: as in what the heck do you mean I should pay taxes.

    merits: No, children/sick/elderly don't merit food and care.

    credit: as in I credit reading Ayn Rand for my selfishness.

  • ||

    "as in I forbid you to have health care"

    If you actually knew what the fuck you are talking about, you would know that libertarians don't want to forbid anyone from recieving health care. Only the state has enough power to take away our freedoms without consequence, as I'm sure you don't realize, you fucking twat.

    Your other comments reveal similar delusions. You obviously have no clue about what libertarinism means. I suggest that you try to educate yourself about this before you try to argue about it (that is what you're trying to do right?). If you simply want attention and/or to convince people that you are a complete idiot, please continue.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    He thinks there's such a thing as a right to health care. No help for statist retards.

    I'm sure he'll write some "witty" remark as soon as he gets done having sex with his mom.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    The Libertarian Guy, change that to the sagacious guy. Hell, who are we kidding, you are not even accurate with the pronouns.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Thanks for the compliment. Now go back to pounding your mom's minge.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller,"that is what you're trying to do right?". A glimpse of perceptibility?

  • ||

    Just because you don't have a clear reason to be so stupid doesn't mean we can't understand what you're saying.

  • Just Sayin'||

    Excellent point heller. Statists like crayon, rctL, Morris don't know much about libertarianism so they keep throwing out their talking points and attacking others because their statist arguments are weak (or non-existent).

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Just Sayin', what bores me more than anything else is the statement "because their statist arguments are weak". Try to be creative. How about: we have a clear reason to be so selfish and it doesn't mean we can't understand what you're saying.

  • Just Sayin'||

    If you ever used logic other than "we have a clear reason to be so selfish", we could tell you know something about libertarianism. Until that time comes, you are walking, talking points-spewing machine.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Funny as hell "you don't have a clear reason to be so stupid" Heller, I am definitely going to use this sentence: a clear reason to be stupid and will laugh every time someone looks at me in puzzlement.

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    @rather crazy that Libertarian

    Self stimulation or are batteries required?

  • ||

    They'll be looking at you in puzzlement because they've never heard you put all those words together at one time AND make sense. I really love these arguments ad grammarium; keep 'em coming. You can't even point out why that sentence is wrong, nor can you offer any substantial criticisms.

  • Upstater85||

    Who's forbidding whom from having health care? That sounds rather authoritarian...

  • Edwin||

    Has anyone wondered why John Stossel is a libertarian? How can a guy in the media not be on the left? How did that happen?

    I'll tell you how. It's his awesome mustache. His mustache radiates awesomeness, which prevents him from becoming a filthy pinko reporter. They say that with great mustache comes great responsibility, and John Stossel fulfills that responsibility and more. John Stossel is the Chuck Norris of the newscasting world. Both Fox and NBC are lucky the Stossel hasn't exploded their buildings with his mustache powers.

    His mustache performs many tasks and responsibilities. When he's interviewing whiny hippy types, when he finally gets completely exasperated, his mustache will shoot out and extend around the hippy's neck and choke him out. When Stossel is driving in New York, he doesn't need to slow down to wait for silly leftist protestors - one look at his mustache and everyone gives way.

    The only political pundit more powerful than Stossel is Thomas Sowell, whose plain, simple, reality-based speaking overloads liberals' brains and causes them to explode - when he doesn't want to use his laser eyes.

    We should all aspire to the mustached awesomeness of John Stossel.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Oh please, you people make it too easy. theme: proctology set. You get my drift.

  • ||

    No one does. Leave.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller, "No one does. Leave." Are you kicking me out of your parlor? My feelings are hurt. OK, I lied and I am having fun. I feel like reading a poem. Hmm, I think The Spider and the Fly will do.

  • ||

    Of course you're having fun. Everyone is paying attention to you. Does this validate all those times your mother was working the streets instead of breastfeeding you?

  • pointing out the obvious||

    ... but heller, you are paying more attention to him/her/it than anyone else... Might consider ignoring him/her/it...

    just sayin'

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    pointing out the obvious, you cant seem to either.

  • pointing out the obvious||

    BTW I think he/she/it made a mistake in his/her/it's handle. I'm guessing it was meant to be "rather crazy than libertarian". And for the record, I now officially commence ignoring he/she/it.

  • rctl||

    pointing out the obvious/Lamar I see you read the message.

  • rctl||

    Meet for drinks later poto?

  • rctl||

    Fake rclt, poto? Really?

  • pointing out the obvious||

    rctl - slurp, slurp

  • rctl||

    poto - ride the baloney pony?

  • ||

    The fact that I refuse to ignore you is proof that libertarians can be charitable.

  • Just Sayin'||

    OK - this mustache fetish is something rather crazy that Libertarian would dream up.

  • ||

    Invite Ron Paul.

  • ||

    John, not only would I lose the audience, I'm not even sure I like the live format all that much. It's a big switch for you from your produced journalism pieces, and while I absolutely understand how hard that transition is to make, so that I'm not saying you are incompetent or anything, but I kind of felt the awkwardness and nervousness you felt doing a live show and it distracted me from the content of the show.

    Like many others, I'd prefer a format that had a panel of sorts, and I'd interject some produced pieces here and there as talking points and as a way to make sure that your pov is articulated clearly.

  • ||

    If you want to keep the audience, then I suggest you guys move the studio and show from New York City.

    Go on the road and broadcast shows from mid-sized and small US cities and towns like Cleveland, Eugine, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Reno, Denver, Omaha, Casper, Billings, Gatlinburg, Peoria, Mobile, Juneau, Tampa, Savannah, St. Louis, and Kansas City for up to one month at a time.

    That way you can do a show which will showcase the differences between the political viewpoints of the US citizens across all 50 states.

  • David||

    John,

    I also think that the live audience has not added much to the show and has made it a bit "cheesy". It might be better to keep a live audience, but have "expert" commentators, very similar to the 1980 Free to Choose series by Milton Friedman that ran on PBS. He would present his prepared video and then the rest of the show was a moderated debate between experts. It was (and still is) great!

  • ||

    I have not seen Stossel's show on Fox Business, but I really liked the stuff he did on ABC.

    I don't like the idea of an audience, for the same reason I can't listen to talk radio. I can't stand listening to amateurs. If Stossel is going to ask questions of anyone, he should pick some well informed folks that are capable of speaking in public.

    Fred Friendly produced some panel discussions for PBS about 10 or 20 years ago, that I thought were fantastic (I seem to recall they had several in the series; one was on legalizing drugs, and another was about public education). Maybe a show like that, occasionally, might be a good way to get the opposing viewpoints that Stossel is after.

  • ||

    Hey John,
    Great to see you in a place where you can shine. I'm looking forward to your Atlas Shrugged show. There are a great many parallels to the book in the current political discourse, here and abroad. If you find Galt's Gulch, let me know where it is.

    As for the studio audience, too many boneheads can make it devolve to rebutting arguments that don't deserve so much time. Maybe you can find a way to gather some folks with opposing views in a smaller setting that can promote some more nuanced interaction.

    Thanks!

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    "Great to see you in a place where you can shine." John,I thought you bought hair plugs?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    You're thinking of Joe Biden, another one of your traitorous fellow travelers.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Joe Biden,Joe Biden? Does he design handbags? That was as good as it gets when you give a crap post.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    No, but he is one of the reasons America is unraveling even faster than when it was run by the previous criminal enterprise known as the Bush administration.

    But please, do go on. Your defense of the NEW gang of criminals is amusing.

  • Just Sayin'||

    WTF? Joe Biden designs handbags? Does he sell them and make a profit? That would be so ..... capitalist.

  • Upstater85||

    Joe Biden and Monica Lewinsky are merging their lines. Some Donk is bound to buy a bag. Does that mean Democrats support capitalism?

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Upstater85, don't call Just Sayin' a Donk. That is rude because he was born that way. Go ahead Just Sayin' and rock that purse.

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    @Just Sayin'

    Fill that purse with rocks so it is just like rather crazy that Libertarian's head (except less idiotic looking).

  • AJs||

    I would love to watch the show, but I am too cheap to spring for the package that carries Fox Business... and when I went to their site to download the show, they were too cheap to offer it for free. From someone who has not seen the show, nor likely will - my vote would be to keep the audience. But what the hell do I know - seriously!

  • I declare||

    AJs,"they were too cheap to offer it for free." I guess the libertarian rule of no free lunch does not apply to your entertainment.

  • Matt||

    I agree. The audience isn't that great (especially all those shots where you stand in front of them does give off that cheesy feeling)but I do love the fact that they give counter arguments and they actually do bring up some good points sometimes. You can't just have a purely libertarian panel, you have to have a little debate. What I think should be done is have people send in questions via webcam or email for the topic of the week and have the guests respond.

  • ||

    Keep the audience. Dump the network.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Keep the audience. Keep the network. Dump pretend Libertarianism

  • ||

    Anyone who can spell wikipedia would know that Libertarians are members of the Libertarian Party, and have nothing to do with Stossel.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Heller, what Stossel is not your God? Jeepers, a lot of people are suffering the same misinterpretation . My favorite is the moustache fan but I also like toilet stalker too.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    That's rich, rather. Someone whose god is government, criticizing fans of John Stossel. It is to laugh.

  • ||

    You still don't get it you fucking rube.

  • Just Sayin'||

    I can see the reason you like the toilet stalker there rather crazy that Libertarian. Reminds you of family.

  • rather crazy than rational||

    I like toilet stalkers. Just the other day, I wound up with a rough trick after meeting one... I think it was Larry Craig, but I only saw the back of his head.

  • Anne Cleveland||

    Hi John Stossel, I recall a progran you did several years ago about schooling in this country. A great program. If you can launch a program and make it fashionable to discuss Freedom, it could catch on. Because it jhas become taboo to use the word freedom, and discuss individual Freedom and private property rights, those elementary ideas this country was founded upon, you could make it work. Difficult task, because of indoctrination into socialist ideas. But someone must do it if we expect to survive as a nation.One problem is the average person does not understand the meaning of the word, Freedom. I write a blog based upon the phylosophy of Freedom. The very idea of Freedom, must be re-packaged and re-sold to the American people. Its a case of counter-brainwashing at this stage of the problem. Some-one must do it, why not you? Good Luck, Anne Cleveland, octogenariansblog.com

  • Rog||

    Yes, drop the audience.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    For what it's worth, I say don't drop the audience. Remember that while you're never going to convince an NYU Communist Club member that socialism is pure idiocy, you are going to convince people who haven't thought about it all that much in the general audience.

    The fact of the matter is, what those kids on the Health Care show said about capitalism and markets is what most laypeople say about those things! So we're not talking about arguing against strawmen, we're talking about arguing against the points people hear from friends, family, co-workers & other forms of media day in & day out.

    Obviously you'll want to tweak it here and there, and I like some of the ideas I've read here for that - namely, that less time is wasted letting them spout off lengthy opinions, and rather ask questions.

    I think one of the reasons Milton Friedman was so successful at getting people to understand his points was precisely because he spent so much time talking to hostile audiences filled with ignorant college students. This is a good thing. Not only for the American public, but for the specific people in your audiences who may have never heard libertarian arguments made by people who know what they're talking about before.

    The general model I'd like to see is a combination between Charlie Rose, "Free to Choose", and 20/20.

    An audience - especially a hostile one (though perhaps a more respectful, less vocal one) - is important, I think. Presenting ideas to people who are predisposed to disagreeing is a very good thing, intellectually. The fact that most shows merely have sympathetic guests or strawmen on is disturbing and a trend that needs to be put down. I love the audience format and I hope you keep it.

  • mark||

    My liberal friend was blown away by the existence of a hostile audience on a Fox cable channel. So keep up the good work, keep the audience and try to move it to Fox News proper.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I agree. Move Greta to Fox Business, or TRUtv, or just off the air entirely.

    Other than Red Eye and the Wednesday segments with Dennis Miller, there's nothing on Fox that appeals to me. Putting Stossel on FNC would make it a station I'd actually watch. Fuck Hannity, we need more Stossel.

  • ||

    Special Report is the best daily news and analysis program on television. Tune in at 6:00PM Eastern some evening and judge for yourself.

    Fox News Sunday is outstanding, too. Chris Wallace is the best interviewer on television. Tune in some Sunday morning.

    Red Eye is interesting, but usually I am sleeping when it's on.

  • ||

    Quick thoughts for which I require no payment.

    1.) Begin in the middle of heated debate between opposing parties, could be audience, streetwalkers, college kids, it doesn't matter as long as the main populist and noisy arguments are made.

    Over the course of the show, unravel the arguments... first categorize them and establish the best versions of each sound bite. Then use those sound bites as the springboard to search for the deeper truth, against, as david stove put it, "the idols of the age."

    good luck.

  • mike||

    Use a smaller auidence and use students. There questions give you the best teachable moment.

  • ||

    I think us John Stossel fans like to have whole hour informative shows about one topic but this might not be the best way to recruit new people to the cause. People like debate and opposing views, I think the audience could be an effective tool if it is tweaked somewhat.

  • Kyle Becker||

    Dear Mr. Stossel:

    While it is admirable and often productive to be critical of oneself, I do not think you have been overly "clunky" with your audience. I find your last two shows to have been very informative for a reason that may not have been brought up: Statists do not know how to debate.

    Statists, as you and everyone else at Reason know, are not about debate, they are about coercion. Americans need to see the impetuous and often ugly side of our "intellectual" opposition when confronted with rational arguments if they are going to realize how unreasonable the college-age youths are becoming.

    The most common response by the left-of-center college youths in your audience when confronted with an intellectual proposition that they were emotionally uncomfortable with has been: "We demand," "We want," or "We deserve."

    Such responses make your interlocutors look childish and petulant. I don't think statists' lack of debating skills reflects poorly on you, and I don't think it is an egregious misrepresentation of your intellectual opposition. Even the calmer and more composed representatives of the statist viewpoint make similar points, even if they only use longer words or patented catch phrases.

    For example, progressives often make the morally bankrupt argument that "healthcare is a right." The best way to expose this argument is to let a statist speak on behalf of it, and then to deconstruct what rights have meant historically. How can one have a "right" that compels another to render a good or service to another? "Blank out."

    You are the best at playing devil's advocate on television, and you give more than enough slack to people to hang their own arguments. Keep working with the live audience, and allow them to react with emotion to your arguments and those of your guests, within reason. Americans need to see just how progressives and other statists react to reason.

    We libertarians must speak to the intellectual opposition, and not just to each other if we are to change hearts and minds. You are as good as an ambassador for free minds and free markets as they come.

    Best to you and good luck with your show, Kyle

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Kyle every Libertarian on this site has said "Statists do not know how to debate." a dozen times. Your King John has probably said it even more. It is safe to say Libertarians worship Stossel,hate taxes, hate government, hate sharing, hate the poor,sick elderly and for all I know puppies.

  • Sean L.||

    "hate sharing" Not at all. We just hate sharing with a gun to our head.
    "hate the poor" That’s actually accurate. Since government-run societies have created more poor people than anything else in history, you must love 'em so much you want to make more. Free markets have a habit of elevating people out of poverty, so yes, we hate that people are poor. (I suppose your plan is to do like Stalin and reduce poverty by slaughtering millions of them.)

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Sean, "hate the poor" That’s actually accurate." Interesting admission. What does the hate encompass? Do you include their children? Those kids could get a job after school because hell sleep is overrated. Is it the poor elderly you hate? Your solution of no health care/drug programs should alleviate that problem. Is it the mentally/physically challenged people you hate? ...

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    "hate the poor" Read the rest

    "Since government-run societies have created more poor people than anything else in history, you must love 'em so much you want to make more. Free markets have a habit of elevating people out of poverty, so yes, we hate that people are poor."

    Try to make a valid argument for once rather crazy that Libertarian.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Rather crazy that Liberal,two distinct problems: How and why someone is in poverty vs. elevating people out of poverty. The concept of free markets will not address this complicated enigma.

  • ||

    "worship Stossel" No, he's not even a particularly well articulated libertarian.

    "hate taxes" Yes, we hate taxes. Is it wrong to hate someone when they take away your property without your consent?

    "hate sharing" No, we hate being forced to share.

    "hate the poor,sick elderly" No, being against the use of force to obtain welfare for these people does not equal hating them. This is an idiotic ad hominem debate tactic with no real basis.

    "How and why someone is in poverty vs. elevating people out of poverty."

    The only solution that does not involve coercion is allowing the free market to take its course, trusting it to increase everyone's wealth, including the poor.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    I am going to make a libertarian secret decoder ring with the secret message talking points: "statists" and "ad hominem". Crap, now that I think of it every Libertarian uses those words already.

  • ||

    Great reply, you really convinced me that your non-existent points are correct.

  • Just Sayin'||

    @rather crazy that Libertarian

    Another of those excellent adumbrate points.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    It's not "sharing" that you're talking about anyway... It's theft. Try again.

    Sharing I do constantly with my friends, family, neighbors - hell I even share with complete strangers quite often. And on a broad scale there have been a few studies done that show that the more a person believes in individual liberty and responsibility, the greater their contributions to charity.

    I for one, like Stossel, I do hate taxes - because they are the opposite of sharing and instead are theft, I do hate government - because it claims ownership over me and enforces that concept with guns against my will, but I definitely share all the time, I constantly advocate for situations in which the poor can be made rich (which is precisely the *opposite* of the results of the vast majority of progressive policies), and other than wanting a system in which saving money isn't punished and where price-lowering competition isn't prevented and where suppy isn't stifled... all of which would drastically help the sick & the elderly, I'm pretty ambivalent towards them as "groups".

    And I love puppies. So try again.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Sean, you are like the child who say he is generous because he gives away everything he doesn't want. Taxes serve a purpose that may not meet all my needs but those of my neighbor. Saving money is a virtue but specify how you have been punished.
    Glad to hear you are not Cruella De Vil with puppies.

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    "Taxes serve a purpose that may not meet all my needs but those of my neighbor."

    Taxes serve to take what I have earned to spend on statist policies that make my neighbor less able to meet his/her needs without the continual gov't handout.

  • Mr T||

    Statist fool!

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    I pity the fool who does not recognize Mr. T was a character but Laurence Turaeud was a real person and is quoted as saying: I wanted to win to feed the hungry people of my community. I didn't want to win to buy a diamond – I didn't have no diamonds then. I didn't want to win to buy a car, I didn't want to win to bring a couple of chicks downtown to a hotel. I wanted to win to feed the poor people of the community.

  • Mr T||

    He wanted to do something for his community - not be forced to give all of his gold to the government.

  • Just Sayin'||

    I pity the liberal.

  • ||

    crazy, You assumption that selfishness is immoral is laughable. Are you going to start quoting the Bible now? Frankly, your insistence that there is something wrong with people who don't share your moral beliefs is obnoxious. This is exactly what is wrong with taxes. Just because some of the money goes to the poor, sick, and elderly, does not mean that stealing is justified. If someone does not want to be charitable, that is their moral choice. It is not the government's responsibility to enforce your liberal morality on everyone, whether they agree or not.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    So morality comes into play. This is the best system we have and just because some of the money is stolen, does not mean that the poor, sick, and elderly should be punished.

  • ||

    Punished??? Not giving them stolen property is not a punishment. Not doing anything to someone is never a punishment. This is not "the best system." The best one would be a system in which no one's basic rights are violated.

  • ||

    opposing views are a must. audience is optional.

    one of the problems with audience is that they are not necessarily good in articulating the opposing view. you want to argue against the strongest possible opposing case, not the weakest one.

    thus, i suggest bringing guests with opposing views. however, to keep the feeling that they are voicing ordinary people's views, you should bring people who are not that well known. you can fine eloquent liberals on every college campus. the trick is to bring one, not ten eloquent ones mixed with hundreds of less eloquent.

    finally, i think it would help if you were not siding with your guests that obviously. we all know your views and many of us share them. still, i think it's better to act impartial.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Agreed, but audiences are wayyyyyy useful for bringing on the lowest common denominator kinds of opposing views - the stuff you hear everyone saying every day. Professionals don't do that very well, and while the really articulate college students can handle some of that, an audience lends a different feeling too.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Cata,"you can fine eloquent liberals on every college campus." What, first you all complain about the hc bill fines for people who don't buy insurance and now you want to fine college kids. What next, rigged debates? "i think it would help if you were not siding with your guests that obviously. we all know your views and many of us share them. still, i think it's better to act impartial." Jeepers, too late.

  • rather crazy that liberal||

    Do you ever have a point to make (and defend with facts) or are you just here to snipe when someone misspells a word?

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    rather crazy that liberal, I would be remiss not to start with a thank-you because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. You are a little late to the thread to indict me for sniping over the misspelling of words but I was merely taking advantage of the freudian slip/christmas gift. Yes, I do make points but mine are adumbrate because I think one should think and not spew.

  • rather crazy that liberal||

    I'll be sure to print them and keep them handy to read in place of the dozens of useless posts in which you spew nonsensical talking points and attack spelling/grammar instead of making a useful argument. Your points may be adumbrate but I'll be damned if I can find them amongst the diatribe and snarky comments.

  • Just Sayin'||

    Can you two talk your dictionaries outside and throw words at each other?

  • Just Sayin'||

    Great - now rather crazy that Libertarian will go after me for my misuse of a word.

  • ¢||

    A sound piece of advice for politicians - Joe Biden comes to mind.

  • ||

    I say dump the show and keep the audience.

  • ||

    Keep the audience - they're probably there to see the show because they (like a huge chunk of the country) don't get FBN on their cable systems.

  • ||

    Stossel is awesome.

  • ||

    Dummp the audience.

  • ||

    Please get rid of the audience. I thought you'd never ask. I don't want to hear what those nimrods think.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Nimrods? How dare you call my family that.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Stop that or I'll make you grow a Stossel mustache.

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    That would make for good statist TV - coerce someone to grow a mustache.

  • John Boettcher||

    John,

    Recent audience members have been a bit absolute with their comments. By that I mean making the typical statist/interventionist arguments that they cannot prove with quantitative evidence. They can only use their emotion and feeling as their tool of persuasion. That makes it hard for you to rationally refute them when your critics in the audience are not willing to apply your logic to critique their own position.

    Your argument, although logically superior I believe, does not deliver the weight it could.

    Having the counter argument is always smart when trying to prove a superior idea. However, you have the mental and verbal tool to do this so effectively, but that ability is seriously diminished I believe, when you play devil's advocate so strong and so often. If you allow the weaker argument to be defended by those that have shoddy logic, your viewers will see that. Even if you are the one to smartly refute them.

    I would have a bit different screening process for your viewers, but then again you can screen them all you want, but still have no idea what is going to come out of their mouth once you start rolling. Do the best you can.

    The idea of the format is sound, although maybe not executed perfectly yet. You are doing a great job so far with strong material.

    Wish you had your show every night. Whats the Paypal address for your production budget fund? I need to send some funds!

    Keep it up!

  • ||

    Excellent show! We liked the audience format very much. Very refreshing to have ideas discussed on American TV. Although I did want to reach out and instill some common sense into the "i just disagree" ignoramus. I would have liked for someone to directly challenge her unintelligent nonsense. Perhaps you could have asked if anyone in the audience disagreed with her view. We will watch again and we hope the show goes on to be a great success.

  • ||

    John, while I agree that dialogue can be more informative than a single talking head, informative dialogue only stems from informed debate. I believe the audience should be given a "clearance" to speak. Of course, people may call this censorship, but there is only a limited time to make legitimate points, and without that, the purpose of the program is defeated. The audience speaker must be able to form a coherent argument that doesn't constantly make an emotional appeal, as they take two minutes to wipe theatric tears and greased matted hair from their mascara caked eyes.

  • ||

    Don't know if it would work or make for interesting TV, but how about inviting college debating groups? They would be more disciplined than a general audience, would do their homework on the topic ahead of time, and ask or make make reasoned arguments either for or against the topic at hand. Having people simply boo and comment out of passion rather than logic makes the show feel like Jerry Springer.

  • ||

    I've only seen the global warming episode, but I thought the audience was helpful. I particularly appreciated Stossel going right for the students who disagreed and giving them the mic. Totally refreshing.

  • ||

    I love the audience. Though the people you bring on to take opposing positions are most often mindless boobs ... but what do you expect of people who don't use reason in their arguments? I am looking forward to the Atlas Shrugged segment!

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Mindless boob? Can boobs think for themselves?

  • ^||

    Say it ain't so!

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Most RepubliCrats are incapable of independent thought, rctL.

    Hence, your posts, for example.

  • ||

    stairs?

  • ||

    Yep, dump the audience. Get some coeherent, polite guests to speak their mind.

  • Just Sayin'||

    Good luck with that one. Not too many of those around. Look at the posts by "rather crazy that Libertarian" in this blog. If that is indicative of the liberal mindset, you have a challenge ahead of you.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Just Sayin', thanks for the fan post.

  • ||

    Thanks for the comedic entertainment. You're like the court jester, or the village idiot.

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    heller, your attempt to demean the court jesters and village idiots is most unkind.

  • David Williams||

    Do a daily show format or 20/20 format. Have a live audience but also have investigative reporting interviews away from the audience as well. mix it up and don't rely totally on the audience. But I do like that you have both sides of the issues and you have never yelled cut his mike... jk.

  • ||

    The audience is good -

    1. If they have the courage to show up (assuming the liberals in the audience) then engaging them will be educatioanl.

    2. But DON'T argue with them directly, rather have them direct questions or arguments to the "guest(s)." As Donahue would do - occasionally he'd interject something - but mostly after the speakers magazine was empty. They know where you stand - let them converse with guests. They on stage, and you poking the mic into the face of the audience member.

    3. I think they'll keep coming because you are the lightening rod they dispise. The guest will be a new friend or foe they'll need to figure out.

    4. Crack the whip! Use the TERM "QUICKLY" when offering the mic. Time on the PA will only embolden them to become boorish and dismeissive or angry. Be a Bumble Bee in audience.

    5. If you have to respond, do so walking away. It is your show, so take the advantage.

    I say keep the audience - let them demonstrate their weak arguments (be they liberals of course).

  • Just Sayin'||

    +1

    Excellent!

  • Official troll-o-meter||

    rather crazy that Libertarian 95.8%
    crayon 92.5%
    Morris 99.2%
    Tony 89.2%
    MNG 77.5%

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    The adumbrate points of “rather crazy that Libertarian”

    (in case you missed them before)

    It is not like the Libertarian argument varies. It can be summed up in a nutshell or better yet a childs cry: "I want it! It's mine and I'm not sharing!".

    Blitzkrieg, Great idea! the show could be about the John Stossel trifecta of principles. They can start with the ocean front property that we all bailed him out of and then move on to the golf cart that we bought and I have a sneaky feeling that involves a little tax receipt benefit and then move on to medicare cause you know he's not turning that sucker down either.

    "We" didn't buy/pay for any of Stossel's stuff/misfortune. Period" I didn't mean to include a 12 year old in the mix. You are excused. Go back to your tonka truck.

    "I didn't pay for anything on your anti-Stossel grievance list. Did you?" I think you may be using an old Klingon dictionary because your english translation is rusty here.

    Ratko,"classic Stossel common sense flavor of insight and wisdom." Please tell me you are paid to kiss ass for writing this. Common sense FLAVOR. I would beat your ass if I were your editor but on the other hand, I can see it being used in a Harlequin romance novel: He had a common sense flavor she could not resist and then rapture took hold. Oh ya, I think I could use it if I ever write that shit.

    John, I think JGM wants parrots in the audience. Great theme. You can all dress as pirates and have the audience repeat: they want our booty! They want our booty!

    Heller, “Passion makes idiots of the cleverest men, and makes the biggest idiots clever”

    "real people,...It's more productive to reason to your furniture or household pets" God, I love this man's arrogance. Wait, he does have a point about the libertarian argument. Yes, you may as well be talking to furniture or pets but I think whining might be cruel to a dog. I see a theme here: empty studio.

    Heller, you totally bored me with this one. I am almost tempted to rewrite your rebuttal. "why are you hanging around here so much?" because let's see: the irony of free entertainment value. It is a free lunch.

    "wah wah, mama they stole my money!"

    FFS, I don't want to see Stossel nude. I already have insomnia.

    "Fox ... they're willing to try things. They're eager to experiment." I swear to God Libertarians don't have a creative bone in their bodies. They are giving you an empty plate and you keep putting meat and vegetables on it. Try something new. Don't put food on your empty plate. First, I would hire someone who hates you (sorry, I am busy) and sees you for the full of crap "do as I say not as I do" man that you can afford to be. That person would wrangle the audience and help by calling you on it (I see plenty of opportunity there) and help with audience members who would have the disadvantage of television inexperience. I have plenty of ideas but what do you Libertarians like to say? Oh ya, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch". Btw, if you go with my idea don't let them hire another barbie doll because I am having trouble telling them apart as it is.

    "Have them simulate an insurance pool and find out what happens when you DON'T admit people with pre-existing conditions." Great idea. You could bring in people from hospice care talk about how insurance companies made their remaining days full of joy. Why you could have John on the stage eating cake with Marie Antoinette . Bonus, I think a nice white wig would hide the plugs in his hair.

    John,how sweet: "but I was excited to make yours my first." He wants to see you again! "Please ditch them and let me know". Wow a little too desperate: "and I'll give it another shot" Are you going to let him know? After all, you did pop his fox cherry.

    Dear Mark, you are a clear example of the type of guy not to have on the show/audience. I am sure your are a nice person but if I had to listen to you I would have jumped off the Titanic before it hit the iceberg.

    Eb, great idea. Cooking theme show:
    Libertarian recipe:
    take 1 boy/juvenile adult
    add words "it's mine"
    pinch of taxes are theft
    mix with other whiners
    bake forever cause they will never be elected and voila: Libertarian fruitcake.

    Theme, school teacher.
    Libertarian word list:
    forbid: as in I forbid you to have health care
    hecking: as in what the heck do you mean I should pay taxes.
    merits: No, children/sick/elderly don't merit food and care.
    credit: as in I credit reading Ayn Rand for my selfishness.

    "Great to see you in a place where you can shine." John,I thought you bought hair plugs?

    Keep the audience. Keep the network. Dump pretend Libertarianism

    Kyle every Libertarian on this site has said "Statists do not know how to debate." a dozen times. Your King John has probably said it even more. It is safe to say Libertarians worship Stossel,hate taxes, hate government, hate sharing, hate the poor,sick elderly and for all I know puppies.

    Cata,"you can fine eloquent liberals on every college campus." What, first you all complain about the hc bill fines for people who don't buy insurance and now you want to fine college kids. What next, rigged debates? "i think it would help if you were not siding with your guests that obviously. we all know your views and many of us share them. still, i think it's better to act impartial." Jeepers, too late.

    Stop that or I'll make you grow a Stossel mustache.

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    Thanks "rather crazy that Libertarian" - words to live by.

    Just so you have something to do, I've mispelled a word for you.

    Happy New Year!

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Rather crazy that Liberal, Please tell me you are a book editor but I insist you work on...wait, I bet you are a comic book editor.

  • ||

    Ooh burned.

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    Not an editor, I just know an idiot when I see one.

  • ||

    Stossel:

    How about an audience of college/universiy students?

  • Josh Fulton||

    Under the radar, Obama pushes for Patriot Act renewal

    http://joshfulton.blogspot.com.....triot.html

  • Will||

    Yeah sure dump them, and the host, how about the whole show, and actually the station, and the company that owns it and all the viewers.

    Anyway, why is there a United Nations flag and an ad for training for a government job in the main banner on a libertarian site? Either they know their target audience and the readers of Reason are a bunch of fake libertarians and hypocrites or they are confused.

  • ||

    I think you're over-reacting a bit...

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Obviously, Will is a pro-UN type, which makes that part of his critique a bit of a puzzle...

  • ||

    Ditch the audience and if you think you can handle it, get a firing squad. Even call them "The Firing Squad". Very smart people that have a deep grasp of politics (or whatever topic that show is about) and have them attack and you defend. They might even personally agree with you but that shouldn't matter as their job is to attack. Go steal "The Panel" from "Special Report with Bret Braier" (the best real news show on Fox News Channel) and be sure to get from that at least Charles Krauthammer (neoconservative), Mara Liasson (liberal) and Steve Hayes (libertarian). They're pros and if you ask them, I'm sure they will not show you any misery. Let them see the stuff you taped ahead of time and then at the end of the show, have them grill you.

  • ||

    I think that you should have a form that every audience member must sign to get in. This form would be simple and state that the person signing it does Not believe in killing innocents, stealing from or commiting fraud upon innocents, or raping or torturing innocents. If, during the course of the program they do advocate such policies, they agree to leave the audience.
    Take Cap and Trade. The inevitable result, agreed to by all economist, Hayekian or Kaynesian, is to raise the price of fossil fuels. The result of that rise will be higher food prices and higher transportion cost. This has to lead to less food for export and fewer ships to export it in. And the food I am talking about is the aid we send to Africa to feed poor starving children. And then ask your audiance what the magic number of dead African children is.
    Whenever they agree its alright to kill these children in the name of saving the planet, then throw them out.
    This type of interaction can be had with most issues facing us today.
    You could make a game out of it by keepin track of how many people you had to throw out each show.
    Seems to me this would make the audience a truely educational experience.
    Bill

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Hayekian or Kaynesian?

    Is that Klingon?

  • ||

    Hayek and Keynes. Two economists you obviously know nothing about.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    You libertarians are so serious.

  • the real rctl||

    rather crazy that Libertarian,Borg? Klingon? You libertarians are so canny.

  • Just Sayin'||

    Make up your mind. Are you rather crazy that Libertarian or the real rctl?

    Either way you still have nothing to say worth typing.

  • the real rctl||

    Neither? Both? I am liberal - hear me roar!

  • Just Sayin'||

    I see. That explains a few things.

  • the fake real fake real rctl||

    Sure

  • the real rctl||

    Just Sayin' my little jester you do entertain me.

  • Just Sayin'||

    I wish I could say the same of you. You seem to have multiple personalities - none of which are interesting, entertaining or useful. rather crazy that Liberal has you pegged with the post "The adumbrate points of rather crazy that Libertarian".

  • the real rctl||

    multiple personalities? Just Sayin'/Jester/'jester/fake/the real rctl/the fake real fake real rctl....It was fun but I am out of time.

  • Just Sayin'/Jester/jester/fake||

    Good!

  • !the real rctl||

    Forever?

  • zzzzz||

    zzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • zzzzz||

    zzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • the real rctl||

    Wake up bitch.

  • the real rctLiberal||

    Go away - stay away.

  • the real rctl||

    I get the last word.

  • Just Sayin'||

    Still not an intellegent or useful word - par for the course.

  • the real rctl||

    I said, I get the last word and I bet you cheat in cards too.

  • ||

    never

  • impac||

    John: If you could get insurance when you get sick, why would you spend money on it before you get sick?

    The problem is a sick person changing jobs and having to change insurance plans. Oops! Pre-existing condition! At least from the POV of the new plan. *That's* the bullshit people are complaining about.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Yes, and this is something people like me have been pointing out was *caused* by government price controls in the 40s to begin with! So you want to "fix" a government-created problem (insurance tied to employment), by instituting a bigger government-created problem. Why not just level the taxes and return the incentives for insurance purchasing to favor or at least, not hinder, the individual buyer. That way (as I do) you could buy your own insurance plan and carry it with you to any job you want.

    The added bonus is that price signals are more functional in a system where individuals actually buy their own plans - but when you force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, you set up a situation where the entire insurance system will be gamed by EVERYONE, since it makes it so that the incentive is to simply not pay for insurance until you have a huge medical problem and then game the system to get it after the fact, thus handily pushing your costs onto everyone else without ever paying anything in.

    You see how that's disastrous "unintended" consequence, right?

    Alternatively, we can just get rid of the incentive structure that makes employer-provide health insurance more desirable and cheaper than individual plans - especially considering the new model of employment is a lot more fluid and people (again like me) freelance far more than we settle into 30 years at one job.

  • ||

    I have to agree with dropping the audience. The audiences tend to be uninformed on the issues and only ask dumb and simple questions. I think since the audience does nothing to further the show (I watch it now and then) that the audience should be dropped and another guest or segment be added to the show. Just some ideas.

  • expat||

    Why not mix it up? The audience for every show is distracting, especially when you get shouters instead of debaters. Instead, do special live episodes occasionally. A special college tour or studio audiences for certain issues.

  • Peter J||

    Hey John, you've got to start getting some experts on your show who disagree with you. I loved your old 20/20 specials so much because you used to go into the lions den and take on experts with whom you disagreed. Make it more like Real Time with Bill Maher, but don't go for comedy at all. Have a panel of experts on with different opinions and then let it fly. You can run the show and own people like you used to. You have GOT to get some conflict going! Yes! that is what's missing...

  • ||

    John is a real talent, but the audience has got to go! No one wants to have precious moments of their day stolen by ignorant New Yorkers who spout DNC talking points. John's show is basically a political version of myth busters. He would do well to investigate things traditional media is often too afraid or biased to investigate. Battle of experts. Let internet viewers decide and do public interaction using youtube, polling, email comment, web cam feed, etc. Mix in an occasional man-on-the-street interview to introduce political myth before proving/debunking.

  • ||

    Investigate, investigate, investigate!!!
    Educate your viewers rather than subjecting them to the stupidity of a studio audience.

  • ||

    Yes -- good idea -- dump the audience. It's annoying. I've tried to watch and was put off by the silly people -- switched you off. I would like to watch, so please, lose the studio audience.

  • ||

    Practice makes perfect and the audience will only sharpen your wit and quicken your response time. If you keep talking to yourself and others that agree with you then you will never grow as a debater.

  • Orlando||

    Get rid of the audience. Disagreement is great, but use intelligent and worthy "opponents." The audience makes it too much like Maury or Jerry.

  • ||

    I think that you should keep the audience. They show how people think about these issues. If we can convince them it will help, if we can't it is all for nothing.

  • ||

    How about a segment on economic ignorance? Ask questions like Leno does, get the misinformed or uninformed answers, and then give the correct answers. And dump the audience.

  • ||

    VICTORY! I hath slain the troll!

    "Heller, If anything you are not very observant to not realize that I am female and admit that the reason you kept coming back was the game. I see you don't like to capitulate either but alas, I will change my handle again and move on to the next challenge. I do tip my sword to you because you do have a sense of sportsmanship (except for a little name calling) and I was totally diverted."

  • Just Sayin'||

    Congrats heller! You get the golden sword!

  • ||

    I'd rather have my gold in bars and my sword in steel, thank you very much.

  • ||

    keep the audience to a minimum. you can have a segment where you ask them questions, but dont pan over their pouty, childish expressions when they get schooled.

    try to get some good panels with intelligent statists from the right and left to go with the intelligent libertarians i have seen on the two episodes so far.

    the audience is a good way to introduce the dim witted comman man arguments that need to be refuted, but dont spend too much time on them.

    you have to strike a balance between those who are knowledgeable about libertarian arguments and those who are unfamiliar with them. you have done a good job so far. i like that you have your guest answer the audience, just keep it quick and dont have the camera pan back to them too much.

  • ||

    A) I would rather see you on fnc, that way, half of the screen isn't stock stuff, however... I agree. Dump the audience. I love a cross fire type debate with experts from both sides, but students? I don't believe you are qualified to have an opinion worthy of airing until you have had to put food on a families table or make a mortgage payment. Fight the good fight, fight the power!

  • ||

    I say, keep the audience. You'll grow with each show. I also say, if the question is stupid, great! If the question is intelligent, great! Let the guest, or you, answer them. It is vital that the average person, like me, gets heard. A lot of their questions are going to be similar to the ones the home audience have.

  • ||

    Sorry about the font. I don't know how to change it.

  • ||

    Please disreguard the 10:32am post.

  • Bob N||

    Mr. Stossel,

    Whatever you do, do NOT copy Glenn Beck's show. Beck's show was fantastic on CNN. While on Fox, his show was good at first, but has slowly morphed into hour long monologues and non-debate. WE NEED TRUE CLASH OF IDEAS. WE NEED TO TALK, TO DEBATE. Whatever you do, audience or no audience, please do the nation a favor and bring opposing views. Start the sparks, be the devil's advocate, and let the best ideas win. I cannot think of any show on television that does this. Not one. I cannot watch fox news, nor the others for that matter -my brain starves and won't allow me to watch anymore...but I will tune you in. Good luck.

  • ||

    I have some suggestions, John. First, pay close attention to the time each guest has to speak. That putz you had on against John Mackey totally monopolized the clock and the conversation. Have a button to cut off their audio if they don't shut up when told to.

    Secondly, instead of a studio audience, you might do some conversations with people on the street to get the general level of knowledge or opinions on a subject. Kind of like "Jaywalking" on the Jay Leno Show. Because they are pre-recorded, it's easier to control.

  • ||

    I'd like you to keep your audience, but I'd like more questions from it in real time, with your people editing it to include the smartest objections to your point-ov-view. Too much of Fox (and MSNBC? I don't know, I haven't watched it) allows only token opposition, and creates the impression of weakness and an echo-chamber thereby.

    And you might want to reach out to find some members who think that _you_'re a damned Statist, who can criticise you from (say) an anarcho-capitalist stance.

  • ||

    John,

    Love you. Love your show. I like the debate with the opposition. However, it would be nice if it could be done with a few "experts" from the left with the focus on facts and figures not talking points. I know, I know. My request is full of contradictions - left, expert, facts, figures. Sorry for hoping for a real debate with those who are incapable of such reasoned (ohhhh, dig the plug!!!!) thinking.

  • ||

    If you use students you might want to interview them and play back the best arguments along with making the counter argument. That way you don't waste your time trying to tease a coherent thought out of an undergrad audience. They are used to being in settings where the more extreme and irrational they are the more they are rewarded. You would do better to get small groups and cull out the best parts. They won't be trying to impress each other so much. More work and more preparation time would of course be required and I don't know the constraints under which you operate.

    The show I would REALLY like to see though is one where you go to a casino and ask everyone what they would do if you were to insure all of their betting against any losses while they get to keep their winnings. Would they bet more or less often? Would they make bigger or smaller bets? If they ran out of money before you reimbursed them would they sell their chits at a discount to people outside the casino so they could continue gambling? Then explain this is exactly what happened with the mortgage crisis where the government encouraged all of the riskiest bets and insured that the people responsible would never have to pay a price for their losses. The mortgage backed securities were of course the chits.

    Then point out that NOTHING has been done to fix the problem. We have just paid everyone off for the first round.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    To hayek with you: thank you for submitting your new word "statist" to my Libertarian translation Dictionary of Sophomoric Terms/Sentences but unfortunately statist has been used on every post I have ever read. Other ubiquitous words/sentences
    _____ is a sockpuppet aka I think I am losing this now use the escaped pod Spock
    there is no right to health care aka I have mine
    Blah, blah, blah. Slavery! aka I cant think of anything to argue about
    uninsurable can pay with their own money/charity aka as the lottery/Santa Claus libertarian solution
    NO ONE FUNDAMENTALLY NEEDS INSURANCE aka f off and die

    "wah wah, mama they stole my money!" aka paying your income tax

    Regards,
    RCTL

  • troll finder||

    Troll located Captain.

  • rather crazy that Statist||

    A good descriptor for the opposite of libertarian.

  • rather crazy that Statist||

    "wah wah, mama they stole my money!"

    The moron has risen!

  • ||

    Just watched the health care show. While the global warming show was a big success that hit on all cylinders, the health care show was only decent.

    The difference was the central guest. The Cato Energy guy was outstanding. John Mackey was decent, but not ideal. He was making the most important point -- that we do not have a free market in health care, but he wasn't convincing enough because he didn't have the data. You needed someone who really knows this issue inside and out, and could talk about how fully 2/3 of health care in America is already directly funded by government, how many regulations a new provider must comply with to enter the market, how regulations have locked out alternatives to our existing insurance mess, and how all of this has made costs skyrocket. Mackey should have been on for a bit to talk about how Whole Foods health care works and how this whole bruhaha has led to increased sales for them, but nothing more.

    The audience has been fine in both shows. In the health care show, I would have preferred if you had just let the leftist kids speak and not tried to argue with them -- just let them get their points out and let the guest answer them rather than Stossel.

    I hope the show revisits health care again in the future, and provides the sort of shocking detail about just how much government involvement already is in our health care system, and how that is the problem.

    Just a smidge of data like shown here would be great:
    http://scarecrowforpresident.b.....-have.html

    Or a graph like this showing how the health care cost explosion accelerated after each key piece of ruinous legislation, from Medicare to the HMO Act to today.
    http://fr33agents.ning.com/pro.....21kaboom-1

  • rctl||

    Now that the fun is over I will tell you what I think too. John Mackey comes off as if he is afraid someone is going to smack him. Not dimensional enough for television. I don't even think he knows his facts as evidence when he says 90% of his team members don't make any health claims in a year. Completely idiotic statement because all visits to a doctor result in a health claim whether it is paid or not because that is how you total your deductible. It would have been so entertaining if someone had called him on it and made him defend his position. I personally like to see emotion and passion when someone argues their point of view. I am sure the man can tell you all about lettuce but each man to his trade. You stayed with the visually and intellectually boring cliche that the only people who are for health care are leftist kiddies and that also makes for predictable television. How interesting if the pro public health care audience member was the woman dripping in diamonds wearing the latest? I would make it hard to judge a book by the cover. Take chances because your show already looks old.

  • troll weapons officer||

    Direct hit on the troll.

  • rather crazy that Liberal||

    The troll has risen!

  • rather crazy that Statist||

    Yes she has!

  • ||

    I usually love your ABC specials, but I stopped watching your new Fox show after one of your audience member opened his mouth. Present dissenting opinion in controlled ways, like with your ABC specials. It's all been said before anyway.

  • ||

    Mr. Stossel,
    While I sometimes find the audience frustrating and awkward, I believe it is important to hear the real time responses and questions these people may have for your guests. Perhaps though, you could tape the show with a live studio audience and then later add an editorial summation which addressed some of the issues raised.
    p.s.- if you get rid of the audience critics will say you can't stand the heat. :)~

  • ||

    If you intend to keep the audience, it would be interesting to have a discussion on basic civics. Examples include how - basically - the House of Representatives represent the people, the Senate is supposed to represent the states and the President is supposed to represent the U.S. I think that foundation might help presenting, discussing, and picking apart other topics such as health care, cap and trade, etc., etc.

  • abercrombie milano||

    I usually love your ABC specials, but I stopped watching your new Fox show after one of your audience member opened his mouth. Present dissenting opinion in controlled ways, like with your ABC specials. It's all been said before anyway.
    reply to this

  • nike shox||

    is good

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement