Peppy, annoying, unfunny MSNBC host Rachel Maddow continues her strange jihad against Americans For Prosperity (she is obsessed with the laissez-faire Bilderbergers who fund the group), this time denouncing Reason columnist and former 20/20 host John Stossel for fronting "anti-health reform rallies" while simultaneously working at the Fox Business Channel (his opposition to "reform," of course, is Maddow's loaded word, and one which she uses about 300 times in this two minute segment). And while such activities are not illegal, says Maddow, publicly taking a position in the health debate is "not what's called news in this country."
Well, no it isn't. But this is either a deeply lazy or deeply dishonest conflation of the type of opinion journalism practiced by people like Stossel—or Maddow—and that of, say, the New York Times. In her attempt to prove a grand conspiracy—David Koch, AFP, a mystery donor, Fox Business—Maddow overlooks the fact that Stossel hasn't, for as long as I can recall, been a straight newsman, but a mustachioed libertarian who writes a syndicated column (of opinion!), pitches free market solutions in classrooms, and provides his I-hate-reform-and-poor-people opinions for a hefty speaking fee:
Update: A former Stossel employee mails: "Maybe I'm a tad sensitive when it comes to my former boss, but as long as I've know him, it's been Stossel's policy to donate his hefty speaking fees to charity."