Television

The Double Standard About Bias in Journalism

Every reporter has a point of view. But some refuse to admit it.

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I made The New York Times last week. It even ran my picture. My mother would be proud.

Unfortunately, the story was critical. It said, "Critics have leaped on Mr. Stossel's speaking engagements as the latest evidence of conservative bias on the part of Fox."

Which "critics" had "leaped"? The reporter mentioned Rachel Maddow. I wouldn't think her criticism newsworthy, but Times reporters may use MSNBC as their guide to life. He also quoted an "associate professor of journalism" who said my speeches were "'pretty shameful' by traditional journalistic standards." All this because I spoke at an event for Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a "conservative advocacy group."

It is odd that this is a news story. In August, AFP hired me to do the very same thing. I give the money to charity. The Times didn't call that "shameful."

 But in August, I worked for ABC News. Now, I work for Fox. Hmmm.

It reminds me of something that happened earlier in my career.

I was one of America's first TV consumer reporters. I approached the job with an attitude. If companies ripped people off, I would embarrass them on TV—and demand that government do something. (I now regret the latter—the former was a good thing.)

I clearly had a point of view: I was a crusader out to punish corporate bullies. My colleagues liked it. I got job offers. I won 19 Emmys. I was invited to speak at journalism conferences.

Then, gradually, I figured out that business, for the most part, treats consumers pretty well. The way to get rich in business is to create something good, sell it for a reasonable price, acquire a reputation for honesty, and keep pleasing customers so they come back for more.

As a local TV reporter, I could find plenty of crooks. But once I got to the national stage—20/20 and Good Morning America—it was hard to find comparable national scams. There were some: Enron, Bernie Madoff, etc. But they are rare. In a $14 trillion economy, you'd think there'd be more. But there aren't.

I figured out why: Market forces, even when hampered by government, keep scammers in check. Reputation matters. Word gets out. Good companies thrive, and bad ones atrophy. Regulation barely deters the cheaters, but competition does.

It made me want to learn more about free markets. I subscribed to Reason magazine and read Cato Institute research papers. Then Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, and Aaron Wildavsky.

My reporting changed. I started taking skeptical looks at government—especially regulation. I did an ABC TV special, "Are We Scaring You to Death?" that said we TV reporters often make hysterical claims about chemicals, pollution, and other relatively minor risks. Its good ratings—16 million viewers—surprised my colleagues.

Suddenly, I wasn't so popular with them.

I stopped winning Emmys.

I was invited on CNN's media program, Reliable Sources, to be interviewed by The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz and an indignant Bernard Kalb. They titled the segment, "Objectivity and Journalism: Does John Stossel Practice Either?" It was in big letters over my head.

Apparently, I had broken the rules.

On the air they told me that I was no longer objective. I was too stunned to defend myself effectively. I said something like: "I've always had a point of view. How come you had no trouble with that when I criticized business?"

In hindsight, I wish I'd said: "Look at the title on the wall, you hypocrites! It shows you have a point of view, too. Many reporters do. You just don't like my arguments now that I no longer hew to your statist line. So you want to shut me up."

But I didn't.

So I'll say it now: Reporters who think coercive government control is generally good and I, who thinks voluntary market forces are generally better, both have a point of view.

So why am I the one called biased?

I like what "Americans for Prosperity" defends. I'm an American, and I'm for prosperity. What creates prosperity is free and competitive markets. That means limited government.

And I will speak about that every chance I get.

John Stossel will soon host Stossel on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of Give Me a Break and of Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity.

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  1. I think Stossel should walk right to to Geraldo and rip that mustache right off his lip.

    “There’s only room for one us, Capone-boy!”

    1. Dude, you mean cut his head off with a broadsoard so John can absorb all of Geraldo’s energy. There can be only one!

  2. Mr. Stossel,

    When you gore the ox of the Leftist this is the price you pay.

    At ABC you were not “biased” until you started looking at governmental bad deeds. The MSM Socialists loved you when you were attacking corporations for bad deeds.

    Now you are at FOX. FOX is like Holy Water, a Crucifix and sunlight all wrapped up in one to the Leftists.

    Without reading the article, I am taking a wild guess that you are not surprized a bit 🙂

  3. People often do not see their own bias. They only see the bias of others.

    1. They’re aware of their own biases, but they don’t call it bias, because they know they’re right.

      1. At least that is your opinion…..

      2. This is exactly it.

  4. Dear Mr. Stossel,

    I’m excitedly looking forward to your show on FOX. I really really hope that you hammer Republicans and Democrats on the Drug war issue first. This issue has momentum, it is gaining supporters. No to mention, bashing Republicans in the beginning will build credibility and independents will like it. Joe Biden is also a hardcore Drug Warrior. A well-watched anti-Drug War deep episode can do a lot of good on primetime.

  5. Stossel, you should go on Rachel Maddow’s show and call her out for the hypocrisy.

    1. And if she gives you any lip, express your 2nd Amendment protected right on live television.

      1. Um… except that the Second Amendment does not protect any “right” to shoot somebody because you disagree with their political point of view.

        What you need to do is piss her off enough that she attacks you with deadly force, thus justifying the use of deadly force in your own defense. THAT is protected.

        1. “Um… except that the Second Amendment does not protect any “right” to shoot somebody because you disagree with their political point of view.”

          I believe it does.

          1. Only when done in a gentlemanly manner, George. Only then.

        2. Why did you assume that I was thinking anything different?

          In other news, Fort Hood, Texas is on lockdown after a series of shootings.

      2. Or at least give her a dirty sanchez the first time she mentions teabaggers.

        1. And I just realized that for it to be Stossel worthy you’ll have to use your thumb.

        2. A Cleveland Steamer would be out of the question, as it would require a LOT more cooperation on Maddow’s part.

        3. A mushroom stamp would be more chivalrous

          1. Again, not something Maddow would consent to. Unless it was done with a removable unit, if you get my drift.

  6. On the air they told me that I was no longer objective. I was too stunned to defend myself effectively. I said something like: “I’ve always had a point of view. How come you had no trouble with that when I criticized business?”

    In hindsight, I wish I’d said: “Look at the title on the wall, you hypocrites! It shows you have a point of view, too. Many reporters do. You just don’t like my arguments now that I no longer hew to your statist line. So you want to shut me up.”

    Actually the first defense is not bad at all. And that “statist” line, although i am sure would get play here, probabaly would flop to a national audiance.

    I’ve always had a point of view. How come you had no trouble with that when I criticized business?

    Is an excellent defense. It exposes hypocrisy in an apolitical manner.

  7. You’re not one of “them.”

    Duh!

  8. Actually the first defense is not bad at all. And that “statist” line, although i am sure would get play here, probabaly would flop to a national audiance.

    I agree, I like the first defense better.

  9. John Stossel’s awfully whiny today.

    1. Wassa matta, Tony, afraid he’s horning in on your territory? Taking over your gig?

    2. I surprised you can read the article through your gorilla mask.

      1. That’s racist.

        1. No it’s not.

          1. Only a racist denies being racist.

            1. He’s only stunned!

        2. I believe he was talking about this

          http://www.hulu.com/watch/3719…..rilla-mask

          1. Damn hulu, my lack of an account makes me inmature? Fuck

      2. That’s racist.

        1. No it’s not.

        2. No it’s not.

      3. Wtf? I only hit submit once.

          1. It’s racist to post twice.

            1. It’s racist to post twice.

      4. That is racism. Straight up!!

        1. No it’s not.

          1. Only a racist would accuse someone of racism without solid proof.

    3. Re: Tony,

      John Stossel’s awfully whiny today.

      I do not believe your comment comes from some extraordinary concern for John Stossel, but from a mind already made long ago which does not agree with Stossel’s political position (i.e. Liberty)

      1. Tony and his ilk believe liberty is a redistributable commodity, like wealth.

        Oh, and it has to come from a government dispensary.

    4. I thought he did a good job of making his point without slipping into a victim mentality.

    5. THAT is hypocrisy writ large, Tony.

    6. And you are a little bitch every day.

      1. You’re talking about Tony, right?

  10. Stossel! Stossel! Stossel!

  11. On a recent “Sesame Street,” one character felt that the Grouch News Network wasn’t grouchy enough and threatened to switch to Pox News. “Now there’s a trashy news show,” the character added. Producers shouldn’t have used the joke, says Michael Getler. “Broadcasters can tell parents whatever they think of Fox or any other network, but you shouldn’t do it through the kids.”

    1. If PBS actually DID give a shit about the children, they wouldn’t be using programming like Sesame Street to indoctrinate them.

      1. chill out! it’s a harmless joke that most kids won’t get anyway.

    2. Wow, even Sesame Street gets it. Be very afraid me hearties, let’s ban it and all that other true stuff we don’t want people to hear. Public t.v. bad!!

  12. To contradict what someone commented earlier – Don’t go on her show!! Why give her your ratings… have her on YOUR show! 😉

    1. Yes, much better idea. And you can make sure there is nothing for her to hide behind if you miss on the first shot.

      1. Are you suggesting that anyone who gets on Rachel Maddow’s show should exercise their Second Amendment rights?

        Just so we’re clear.

        1. They should at the very least exercise their 2nd Amend right to carry a gun onto the show.

          A big, scary-looking “assault” rifle.

  13. Stossel looks an awful lot like Steve Carell in that picture. But with a sweet ‘stache, of course.

    1. It is all about the stache. As someone who can’t pull one off. I am horribly envious.

      1. Impotent? How sad.

  14. Jesus, Stossel, when did you become such a whiny victim?

    1. It’s all the rage! Anita Dunn FTW!

  15. John Stossel’s awfully whiny today.

    So we’re back in agreement, Tony? Complaining about your treatment by the media is whiny?

    1. Bleh… I’ll give you that one.

  16. John, i rocked a sick ‘stache myself for a while (complete with wax-curled tips) until my cousin’s fiancee made me shave it off for their wedding. After that i grew the whole beard back in. No adult libertarian male should go long beardless, unless his facial hair is totally weak and patchy (alopecia, in Epi’s case).

    1. I was always in the military where it is verbotten. I can grow a big beard, but it just doesn’t fit me. Some day I will do it.

      1. I can grow a big beard,

        I married one. It was faster.

    2. Technically, it’s facelopecia.

      And it’s nothing to laugh about.

    3. I agree so much, that this year for Halloween I decided to dress as Walter Sobchak ONLY because I had spent a good deal of time growing a fine beard and thought it would be fun to reshape into this!

      1. SHUT THE FUCK UP DONNY!

        1. Dude, the Chinaman is not the issue here… and also Dude, Chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature… Asian American, please.

    4. I had a full beard for 12 years. Then it started to turn white on the cheeks, so I shaved down to a Van Dyke (not a goatee which is chin-only and no ‘stache). So then the chin turned white, so I shaved down to the ‘stache. Then it turned white, and it was gone as well.

      Now a few years later, the sideburns are going white as well. So the final step is to shave the whole head and buy a bunch of black tee shirts.

    5. my cousin’s fiancee made me shave it off for their wedding

      What the.

  17. Man, it was awesome when you pulled out that gun, asked Ivan if he’d seen the sunrise, and blew his ass away.

  18. I’m looking forward to his new show. And I’m impressed he lasted as long as he did at ABC.

  19. Give me a break!

  20. Give me a break!

  21. Is Mr. Stossel healthy? He looks a bit gaunt in the picture.

    1. Maybe he went on Alton Brown’s frighteningly effective diet.

      1. What is this? There’s an Alton Brown diet? Does it involve building a sweat house out of a cardboard box and a surplus flamethrower?

      2. I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed his weight loss.

        He is looking a bit sickly in the new season of Good Eats

        1. Nothing bad can happen to Alton Brown–I won’t allow it. In fact, he can never be canceled, either.

          1. Not unless Obama (praise be upon his noggin) gets the Food Police segment of his civilian corps going…

            1. I’ll rebel.

    2. Not a bit *Galt*? 😉

  22. These guys are true believers of the State. They know that John’s public apostasy has to be punished!

  23. And it’s nothing to laugh about.

    It is when it’s Epi who’s afflicted.

  24. John, come on, of course everyone knows ABC and all the networks are biased. They are pro war, pro-big business and so forth. Obviously they have to be if they want advertising dollars. There are plenty of rants on the left (if you bother to pay attention) calling out the mainstream news for being biased. However, unlike what your new network says, the left does not consider them “liberal” in any realistic sense. So stop with the fake uproar, you went running to FOX because you fit in there with your bias. That is just a plain fact. It is newsworthy because they get more and more a dogmatic, ideologically driven network by the day and they are powerful. That’s the problem, you guys are a bunch of ideologues. You say you have found that national scams in business just don’t happen because the market corrects things. What planet are you reporting from? The military-industrial-health complex is one big scam. They have captured our government and carved out a “market” by which they have inherent advantages so they can milk the public under the protection of the government. It’s a collosal scam.

    1. I think you mean it’s a Callosan scam. You know, a scam of the corpus callosum.

      1. No he meant colostrum scam, a scam that only boobs fall for.

        1. Actually, it’s a colonic scam….

          Insert whatever Steve Smith, Epi, Warty, et al. reference you deem appropriate.

    2. That’s asinine Kronosaurus, have you ever MET a journalist or someone actually working IN the media/entertainment industry?

      Jesus… Advertisers couldn’t care less what you say on TV (not to mention, having worked in advertising, most ad execs & producers are absolutely as leftist as any journalists) so long as viewers show up to watch it. You could be shilling for any ideology and it wouldn’t matter in the slightest to Johnson & Johnson provided the right demographic shows up.

      Liberals don’t see the bias because it would completely harm their self-image as victimized martyrs if they actually admitted that about 80+% of every bit of media consumed in the United States and abroad is highly biased towards their views… But of course, it’s easier for you to pretend that Fox, with a viewership of around 1% of the U.S. population on any given day, is the juggernaut that controls all opinions… You know, rather than looking at the entire industry as it includes news papers, movies, scripted television, local & national network news, a dozen other cable news stations that don’t share Fox’s biases, plus PBS, etc. etc. etc.

      Fox is a tiny drop in the bucket in “opposition” to most of those media outlets – and even in that, Fox seems to be largely statist as well, only being marginally more sympathetic with hosts such as Andrew Napolitano & Stossel.

    3. Stossel isn’t the one on the wrong planet, Kronos.

      You are

    4. They have captured our government

      True, and yet you think that giving government more power isn’t exactly the same thing as giving power to those you hate so well.

      The history of big government is the history of plutocratic capture.

      Big government is always encouraged by them. You think Soros, the man who wrecked the British pound to see if he could, has your best interests at heart?

      The difference between you and us is that after millennia of human history you still can’t figure it out.

      The plutocrats use government, not you.

      And it will never be you.

      It’s not in China. It’s not in Cuba. It’s not in Venezuela. It’s wasn’t in the 3rd Reich. It wasn’t in the Soviet Union. It wasn’t in El Duce’s Italy.

      Wake. The. Hell. Up.

      1. This boilerplate argument is pretty feeble. Why can’t big government mean stricter regulation of industry? After all, the bogeyman of ‘big government’ is in fact what corporate interests (and their agents in politics) have been fighting against. You’re just trying to blame government for the problems and excesses of industry because, well, you blame government for everything. In the end the term ‘big government’ doesn’t really mean anything. Big relative to what? It’s just code words that libertarians don’t feel they have the responsibility to define as other than being the bogeyman that’s responsible for all bad things.

        1. No, Tony – the “corporate interests” never fight against big government. Small businesses sometimes do, but the big players almost always are in favor of new regulation. See: Wal-Mart advocating regulations that require employer paid health care. Naturally, different interests benefit from different policies, so while the insurance industry is going to fight a “public option”, the pharmaceutical industry will fight FOR it. Don’t make the mistake of thinking ANYONE is in favor of small government – they’re all for massive government, they only differ on who get’s to raid the cookie jar first.

          As for “stricter regulation of industry”, open your fucking eyes for once, Tony! We’ve had nothing but massive and ever increasing regulation of industry for the last 100 years, and yet it’s done absolutely nothing to curb the oligopolies… WHY?? Because the very same corporations government pretends to be inhibiting are the ones who are funding political campaigns, and who’s leaders are in and out of Washington as politicians & lobbyists.

          COMPETITION works to reign in businesses… But “regulation” on business means less competition, not more.

          I don’t know how many examples of this there need to be for people to see this clearly… I would hope not too many more.

          1. I think the logic of this argument is seriously strained. Nowhere do you argue why “smaller” government–whatever that means–would make industries less prone to monopolies or abuses.

            And I don’t see how regulation stifles competition. It may change the landscape on which industries compete, but on what stone is it written that anarchy is the best possible environment for competitive enterprise?

            1. There’s no strained logic here, Tony. “Smaller” government should in this case be defined as a government with less power to meddle or to pick favorites. With less power to control businesses, the less of that power is available for influence by big companies through lobbying, campaign contributions and any much more shady means.

              Less power to control people’s lives centralized in the hands of an oligarchy = more freedom. More freedom in the economic sphere leads to actual competition.

              Surely it’s not that hard to understand that if a politician has the power to make or break an industry, the people in that industry who will survive that environment will be the ones best able to influence that power in their favor.

              Likewise, it really shouldn’t take a genius to realize that more regulation tends to impose higher relative costs on small business compared to big businesses (again, note Wal-Mart on employer paid health care: The cost is easy enough for them to bear, but much harder for their smaller competitors… So guess what; such a law may very well put most of their smaller challengers out of business – or effectively bar them from getting big enough to pose a serious threat. Great news for Wal-Mart. Bad news for competition).

              Big business LOVES big government. Please learn that lesson someday.

              That said, I don’t really care to explain sound economics to you everytime we meet on this forum Tony. Please, at some point – just educate yourself. Many fine books are available for free: Econ in One Lesson, or Man, Economy & State

            2. Additionally, I should note – that in the absence of government picking winners through special deals, subsidies, tax-breaks, and/or imposing tariffs, taxes or other costs on competitors – what wins out in a market is what the people actually want & are willing to pay for. If you make a product people want and value, you are rewarded by more consumers & higher profits. If what you are offered is of low value to most people, you get fewr customers and lower profits. This is crucially important as an information gathering tool (and one that is completely unavailable to government-run economies) because it tells producers what consumers want. Price, profits & losses are possibly the most important informational tools in existence for dispersed populations – when those signals are distorted by government picking winners & losers without concern for natural market outcomes, the market ceases to function properly and meaningful competition dies.

        2. Yeah, because government NEVER fucks up.

        3. Big relative to historical measures of government spending as a percentage of GDP.

          It’s at it’s highest point within recorded history.

          1. Yeah, but it’s OKAY when Democrats spend shitloads of non-existent money, Hazel.

            Didn’t you get the memo?

            1. And also “Where were libertairians when Bush was spending?!”

              Cause you know we were all on board with the war and all.. oh wait..

        4. It’s not boilerplate, in fact I don’t see most people (even libs) seem to connect the dots. It’s boilerplate from me that’s true.

          Regardless the only thing feeble is your attempt to evade.

          After all, the bogeyman of ‘big government’ is in fact what corporate interests

          FFS Tony, it’s not like there’s not the entire history of mercantilism out there to refute this asinine assertion.

          Big business uses big government. Not you.

          You’re just trying to blame government for the problems and excesses of industry because, well, you blame government for everything

          It’s impossible that you would have read what I have posted and conclude that. Therefore I can conclude you are being disingenuous along with being fallacious.

          In a free market business must compete with each other to be the best, cheapest, or fastest.

          In a managed market business must compete with each other for government influence, because it just takes one regulation or subsidy to completely trump any advantage in price or quality.

          In the end the term ‘big government’ doesn’t really mean anything. Big relative to what?

          Obamerica’s government is bigger than Dubyamerica is bigger than Clintamerica, etc etc.

          Don’t be an idiot and don’t pretend we’re not in a period of an unprecedented expansion rate of government.

          define as other than being the bogeyman that’s responsible for all bad things.

          Proof by repeated assertion of a straw man. Fallacy daily double!

    5. A callousal scam?

    6. Fox is a bunch of ideologues? So what are the other media outlets? Beacons of reason and fairness?

      You’re a moron

    7. Exactly, Kronosauras. Remember all the no contract bids that went to Halliburton as Cheney was still on the pay roll? Also, which consumers has de-regulation ever helped? Hint, ask the folks in Texas who can’t afford their astronomical electricity bills any more, while the electric companies there continue to rake in record breaking profits. Let’s not even get into what happened when the Bush administration punished scientists who found any bad news regarding corporations impact on the environment, and who turned a blind eye to the very obvious problem with the unregulated mortgage industry. I think Stossel must be reporting from planet Headupuranus. But he’ll find a willing bunch of Fox viewers who watch to hear what they want to hear. Stossel, you didn’t quit winning Emmys
      because of some vast left wing conspiracy. You stopped winning Emmy’s because when you have an agenda you lose the ability to tell both sides of the story. In other words, you’ve just become one more a-hole with one more opinion, instead of a reporter telling people the facts that will allow them to decide which side of an issue to support. Grow up, you traded in whatever credibility you had to spew your own opinion. I for one will never believe another word you say.

  25. “Give me a break!”

  26. I can has braek?

    1. Looks like the bot is letting non-English phrases through now

  27. I couldn’t find Maddow’s name in the original article, but the investigative reports of the journalism professor include “subjects as varied as migrant farmworker slavery, abuses in nursing homes and halfway houses, political corruption, medical malpractice, social welfare abuses, environmental crimes, health care fraud, human rights atrocities, and police corruption”.

  28. X, I approve. I have recently realized that the beard is long overdue for a comeback. No more soul patches, no more goatees. Beards are sexy when done right.

  29. WTF? The above pro-beard statement was by Dagny T. Time to make big trouble for server squirrel.

  30. Here’s John Stossel’s TV appearance about the attack by the NY Times:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGbpEBD8zKI

  31. Then, gradually, I figured out that business, for the most part, treats consumers pretty well. The way to get rich in business is to create something good, sell it for a reasonable price, acquire a reputation for honesty, and keep pleasing customers so they come back for more. advertises on the networks that pay me and I could no longer gore that ox without risking losing advertising dollars and my paycheck

    FTFY

  32. John Stossel on bias in journalism is kind of like Blagojevich on political corruption…

    1. Or like MNG on Stossel ?

      1. I like Stossel’s stuff. But this kind of stuff is stupid.

        1. Surely it’s not inaccurate to note that the perception of him will change as a Fox personality versus an ABC one.

          1. Sure, but surely you can agree that some people strive more for objectivity than others?

            I mean, yes it may be impossible to be totally free of bias, but so what? It’s impossible to be odorless to, but that doesn’t make a hobo who has been sleeping in his own urine for a week and a newly bathed Pro Libertate equally stinky.

            1. I don’t think that’s quite what Stossel is saying. I’m all for trying to limit bias in reporting where that bias affects the presentation of actual facts, but I think it’s nice to know where the guy relaying information to you stands. When CNN pretends to be neutral but might as well be running political stories through the DNC (which seems to be the case sometimes), that’s worse than when some person who states his bias does the same.

              On the other hand, I personally want the truth more than I want confirmation of my own biases, as much as I hang around here with persons of my own ilk. Well, kind of of my own ilk.

              1. I’ve never got this impression from CNN. I mean they always ALWAYS have “both sides” represented on any political debate, and their news reporting is objective to the point of boring. I’ll even grant a mulligan for the nativist demagogue Lou Dobbs.

                The decades-long crusade to paint mainstream news as liberally biased is a means for the right to give its ideas affirmative action in the realm of political ideas. Any criticism of them is suspect of an underlying agenda. The effect has been, from my perspective, to make the mainstream news give the right much more deference and credit than they deserve.

                1. You don’t see the bias because it is your own bias. You swim in it.

                2. their news reporting is objective to the point of boring

                  Every time I wonder if Tony can say something even more asinine than his previous statements, he comes along and blows me away. It’s like magic or something.

                  The effect has been, from my perspective, to make the mainstream news give the right much more deference and credit than they deserve.

                  ALL HAIL TONY!! ASSESSOR OF DESERVED POLITICAL CREDIT!!

                  1. You don’t think the neverending bitching from the right about the evil liberal conspiracy of all of journalism might have a chilling effect?

      2. Or like MediaMatters, who only shit on the right-of-center.

    2. Re: MNG,

      John Stossel on bias in journalism is kind of like Blagojevich on political corruption.

      I find the analogy preposterous, as in “it is stupid”, or as in “who the hell comes up with stuff like this, for cryin’ out loud?”

      But I may be biased.

  33. “Every reporter has a point of view. But some refuse to admit it.”

    Don’t you love relativists? Objectivity is impossible, we are all hopelessly mired in our biases. The best we can do is be upfront about.

    I thought the right hated deconstructionists and postmodernism?

    1. L2 brain.

      His statement is not relativist. He’s not making a claim about the correctness of any position at all, much less equivocating between them.

      He’s just saying he has one, observing everyone does, and observing the hypocrisy of finding fault with that.

      When he actually argues his positions he doesn’t appeal to any relativism he appeals to logic, fact, and history.

    2. The only way to acheive objectivity is to admit to yourself that your point of view is frame by your preconceived beliefs.

      Stossel is MORE objective than other journalists because he is AWARE of his biases and thus can step outside them.

      The rest of the journalistic class is so mired in the left-liberal worldview that they are incapable of recognizing their own biases.

      1. “Stossel is MORE objective than other journalists because he is AWARE of his biases and thus can step outside them.”

        WTF? When does he “step outside” his libertarian bias?

        1. He’s done plenty of reporting that targets bad businesses, and is still proud of it. Or does “stepping outside” his bias mean that he’s somehow obliged to advocate for government regulation, just to be “fair”?

          Stossel does more opinion oriented advocacy pieces today. But then most supposedly “objective” journalists are doing pro-government advocacy. They just won’t admit that they are advocating for regulation in their journalism.

        2. Does it not ever occur to you MNG, that Stossel, having started out as a standard “consumer advocacy” reporter actually changed his mind because he was objectively viewing the causes & consequences of the subjects on which he was reporting over the years?

          This as opposed to the presumed “objectivity” of someone who is liberal and remains so in spite of all evidence…

          I guess, also, I get a little tired of these discussions because I work in media & entertainment and I can tell you – as John Stossel has done above – of the bias first hand. I used to work for a company where not a single day went by that I didn’t get sent between 2-5 emails supporting something Pelosi said, some other Democrat, a “liberal” social policy or advocacy group, PETA, or just cartoons making fun of “conservatives”, etc.

          The bias is overwhelming. There is also peer-reviewed research on the topic of this bias that really incontrovertibly shows that the overwhelming majority of journalists, entertainers, news editors & yes, college professors, is self-identified as “liberal” or “Democratic”. Not a single goddamn day.

          And this isn’t exactly my own experience talking here. There is no one in the entertainment industry who doesn’t realize that talking openly in a way that might go contrary to the established opinion is a sure-fire way to never get hired for anything.

          As a libertarian, I’m somewhat (though not entirely) immune, because I hold the approved opinions on gay marriage, and various social causes, plus I always have more information than anyone else so I look like a genius… Of course, I also tend to avoid openly talking about the evils of minimum wage.

          The bias is overwhelmingly there, and I just have never been able to figure out why people are so adverse to seeing it. As for what Hazel said – She’s ABSOLUTELY right! Someone who actually is aware of his possible biases and admits them openly is by far more objective than someone who pretends that they have none… Which I get from liberals in my industry all the time.

        3. It’s not needed to step outside bias, it’s needed to recognize it and not let it cloud your thinking.

          The scientific method itself systematizes bias.

          The hypothesis is a bias. Then you devise experiments whose results might disprove the hypothesis wrong and perform them.

          It only works because it doesn’t pretend that people don’t have biases. It assumes them.

          That’s basically the process for good rational thinking in general.

          I can’t speak for other libs but I do this continually. I’m always looking for the examples where government hasn’t made things worse. Where a market intervention had ultimately salutary results. Where ‘stimulus’ spending helped an economy.

          I don’t take stuff on faith.. in fact I despise faith being accepted as a valid form of making judgements.

  34. Shut up, MNG. The adults are talking about beards here.

    Dagny, does “done right” mean down to the navel? If so, give me a call.

    1. A beard down to the navel is for Russian Orthodox holy men or bluegrass musicians only.

      1. And Vikings, you dunce!

      2. You forgot female Deomcrats. Snarrrrrrk.

  35. Warty, yes. If little baby birds are nesting in it, all the better.

  36. Thank you, Dagny. Yes, i’ve noticed that ladies are starting to come around to just how awesome is a dude who rocks a full beard. It’s an indicator of testosterone-fueled rugged manliness, after all, yet in these cold months it also conveys warmth and security.

    1. It also indicates what you ate an hour ago…

    2. I hate beards.

  37. Wow, is name-posting thing an IE problem, or did I start drinking at work again?

  38. There’s a place for pov journalists like Stossel and Michael Moore, and a place for those who strive for objectivity. False equivalence between them is stupid though.

    1. There are two types of people in the world: people who admit they are bias and those that lie about it.

      1. “All men are frauds. The only difference between them is whether they admit it. I myself deny it.” – Mencken

        Favorite non-Mark Twain quote from anyone ever. Seemed apropos.

      2. Hi, my name is kinnath and I’m a post-modernist relativist who thinks objectivity is impossible.

        Hi, kinnath!

        1. I’m not sure saying that people have trouble putting aside all of their biases is postmodern or relativistic.

          1. It’s not. But it’s typical confused progressive thinking confusing form with function.

          2. So it’s possible to put aside one’s biases and be more objective, Stossel is just unable or unwilling to do that. Good point.

            1. No, Stossel is MORE objective because he is AWARE of his biases, and willing to admit them to himselves and others.

              A reporter that won’t even admit that he has a point of view cannot possibly ever be objective.

              1. er himself

          3. It’s the JOB of journalists to do exactly that. You would have us believe that a subtle hue on a journalist’s worldview that might be present in their reporting against their will is more accurately called bias than someone who admits to having a bias and reporting for the purpose of advancing his worldview.

            1. The “hue” is almost never subtle, Tony. It’s called “framing the argument”, ever hear that term before? It’s how people’s biases creep through all the time.

              For example, if a reporter asks the question; “How much money should the government spend to stimulate the economy?”, he is presuming that 1. The government CAN stimulate the economy, 2. Spending is the way to do that, and 3. that the government should do so, as well.

              The only possible answer which that question is open to are ones of degree – not of premise. Refuting the premise is what needs to be done, however that is always a hard thing to do, especially within a segment that typically lasts 2-3 minutes at most.

              So if I go on that show and said “They cannot stimulate the economy that way”, the so-called journalist might reply (correctly even) that I hadn’t answered the question and then badger me (as one might encounter from Chris Matthews or Bill O’Reilly) until I give them what they were looking for. And even if they let me answer that way, it’s pretty unlikely that I’d have time to explain why this is the case. More likely, I will be forced into saying “nothing” and then presented as someone who is “do nothing”, someone who doesn’t recognize the problem, or someone who is unconcerned for the people hurt by the bad economy.

              Only in very rare instances is a full answer permitted, and regardless, the question – and thus the framing of the argument itself – has already been established in a way that biases the entire discussion away from my position.

              The reporter could have instead rephrased with two questions of the guest thusly:

              1. The economy seems to be in very bad shape, do you agree?

              2. In your opinion, what is the way towards recovery?

              *wait for response*

              However, when was the last time you saw that happen? I can’t remember too many of those occasions.

              What I DO remember, however, is people like George Stephanopoulis telling Ron Paul that he had no shot of winning the presidency well over a year before election. If you think that (and other similar events) didn’t have an effect on his success… Well, I can’t help you.

              1. I’m sorry that radical libertarian economic ideas don’t get the legitimacy they don’t deserve. Maybe you should get better ideas?

                While, similarly, all Stephanopoulos seems to have been saying was, um, the truth, he was a Democratic operative, and I am not so comfortable with the revolving door between government and journalism.

                1. “radical libertarian economic ideas”?

                  Like… the kind that completely, accurately and clearly predict coming catastrophes and which are ignored and laughed at by the mainstream press for 5 years prior to a major economic melt down?

                  Yeah… I should get “better” ideas. Mine have been proven sooo so wrong… And by “wrong”, I mean… consistently right.

                  Dumbass.

                2. I’m sorry that radical libertarian economic ideas don’t get the legitimacy they don’t deserve. Maybe you should get better ideas?

                  Dream on. They are accepted now post collapse more than ever, because they were right, predicted the collapse, the cause of the collapse, and predicted the failure of the stimulus and the cause of the failure.

                  Even Anna Schwartz offered an Austrian analysis of the collapse and an Austrian analysis of the prognosis of the remedial measures being applied. (poor)

                  Roubini predicted from an Austrian position. Presumably he prescribed Keynesian solutions to maintain some ‘mainstream credibility’ although it’s logically inconsistent.

                  Everyone understands now that credit was made too free and risk was priced too low. The business cycle is vindicated.

                  ‘We’re all Austrians now’

                  Recent history is a referendum on Disney economics and it’s faring poorly, and people are waking up to reality.

                  It will take time for this to percolate through but it will.

          4. kinnath, whom this thread started as a reply to, did not say “people have trouble getting over their biases” he said everyone is biased and anyone who says they are not is lying.

            But again, the trivial truth that everyone is biased means nothing about the DEGREE to which this guy is biased compared to that guy. The proper reply to Stossel’s statement that “hey everyone has a pov” is “yes John, but not everyone let’s their pov dominate their reporting.”

            1. And yet, MNG, most do… It’s unfortunate that you can’t recognize when their POV is dominating and you are actually gullible enough to think that when someone pretends not to be biased, that’s the same thing as being unbiased.

            2. That may be the proper reply, but have you noticed that nobody is actually making it?

              They are NOT saying “We know we’re biased, but we try not to let it affect our reporting.” They’re saying “We’re not biased! That myth of the liberal media is a myth! Nothing to see here!”

              1. If they would admit they have biases we might begin to have a *conversation* about the ways in which people’s perspectives affect their reporting, and their choice of stories. But we can’t even get that far, cause they insist on attacking Stossel for saying that bias is a part of all reporting instead.

      3. There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who say “there are two kinds of people in this world”, and those who don’t say that.

        Oh, and then there’s me.

    2. I think Stossel does strive for objectivity. That’s exactly what makes it so difficult for him.

      He’s reporting truths that other people in the media don’t like, and don’t want you to hear.

      1. Even Stossel doesn’t make this claim Hazel, leave your fishbowl now and then. The world and your ideology are’nt a 100% overlap…

        1. Admitting that you have a point of view isn’t the same thing as saying you aren’t trying to be objective. You have to admit that you have prejudices before you can step outside them.

          1. Again, Stossel is a piss-poor example of stepping outside his bias. He admits his bias now is libertarian, so where is his work where he turns a critical eye to libertarian claims and ideas?

            Try again Hazel.

            1. You don’t understand libertarianism. Once you are sucked in, it is self-reinforcing due to its complete internal consistency. Any time the real world data clashes with whatever libertarianism predicts, there is always SOME third-order connection to government that can be blamed. Hence, to a libertarian, their ideology is bulletproof.

              1. You tell ’em, comrade!

              2. You don’t understand libertarianism liberalism. Once you are sucked in, it is self-reinforcing due to its complete internal consistency. Any time the real world data clashes with whatever libertarianism liberalism predicts, there is always SOME third-order connection to government nasty ol’ right-wingers and dirty, stupid libertarians that can be blamed. Hence, to a libertarian liberal, their ideology is bulletproof.

                FIFY

              3. You’re projecting.

                You should be able to easily show an example where ‘real world data clashes with whatever libertarianism predicts’ but you can’t.

            2. I would not be surprised if Stossel did a show just like that, just to prove you wrong.

              I’d watch it.

    3. Stossel is a hundred times more useful than Moore, who is a hypocritical prick.

      1. Yeah, yeah, one’s bias you agree with the other not so much. We get it.

        1. Moore has become a multi-millionaire bashing the very system which MADE him a multi-millionaire.

          Fuck him with a huge piece of steel pipe.

          1. That’s right the market has indicated that he is much, much better at making useful and desired products than you ever will be…Funny that market…

            1. Moore said earlier this year, on Larry King’s insufferable program, that Americans have “a right to food”.

              Fuck him and his socialist bullshit.

              1. Look, your class envy directed at Moore is a little sad. The market has already spoken on your relative worths, why be such a market hater and whiny bitch about it?

                1. I don’t engage in wealth envy, MNG, because I’m not a liberal.

                  I was, however, pointing out the HYPOCRISY of Moore, who made his money whining about the system that MADE IT POSSIBLE for him to BE wealthy.

                  Get it right for a change.

                  1. Somebody makes money off of snuggies. The market rewards all sorts of crap and you defend it all unless it’s Michael Moore or Al Gore doing it.

                    1. No one is saying Michael Moore should not make money for his movies, they just point out his hypocrisy.

                      Also, just because people buy his message does not mean he is correct. It just means he says what people want to hear. Truth tends to be uncomfortable, especially when the truth is that you cannot get anything for free.

                    2. Why should Gore and Moore get a pass?

                    3. Somebody makes money off of snuggies. The market rewards all sorts of crap…

                      Yeah, I feel the same way about the movie Rent, but I’m also grateful none of my betters must review and approve my choices.

                2. So you think a person’s worth is described by his wealth?

                  No wonder you are so keen to steal it from others.

                  Now it makes sense.

        2. Yeah, yeah, one’s bias you agree with the other not so much. We get it.

          Mien gott! The irony here is thick and gooey.

          Before you remove the more from your neighbor’s eye, pluck the beam from thine own.

  39. Those aren’t baby birds, by the way. Those are a species of giant louse found only on Warty. Be careful.

  40. Ah, so that is why it was less idyllic chirping and more writhing and biting.

    (Now that I have restarted, name issue seems resolved. I shall blame Vista.)

  41. Poor John Stossel. The only journalist in America accused of bias by anyone. Someone call the Waaabulance.

    Hey guys, it’s been nearly four hours since you’ve posted an article/blog/reason.tv episode hagiographical piece on Ayn Rand. Get on it!

  42. My only goal in life is to grow a beard so long that I have to tuck it into my belt.

    I want to have to flip it over my shoulder when I take a piss.

    *Sigh*

  43. I saw “Are We Scaring You to Death?” and it changed my mind about John Stossel – for the first time, I took him (and 20/20) seriously.

  44. I saw the Scaring one too, it was one of his best ones. The one about greed was interesting too.

  45. Re: MNG,

    There’s a place for pov journalists like Stossel and Michael Moore[…]

    This is the first time I have seen someone refer to Michael Moore as a “journalist”, P.O.V. one or not.

    1. Hey, yeah, what’s that about?

      1. What is Moore then?

        1. A dude who makes movies that often take bizarre turns away from anything remotely factual?

          To be fair, I don’t think he calls himself a journalist.

          1. Moore and Stossel both make media that urges certain political conclusions while reporting on things.

            1. Moore wrote and edited for papers and magazines before he started making films and tv shows, but they are just like Stossel’s pieces: they report on things while pushing a, er, “point of view.”

              1. Then Limbaugh is a journalist?

                1. I’d say Limbaugh, Stossel and Moore are not journalists, but commentators if you want to be specific.

                  But I guess to some extent if you accept pov journalists then Limbaugh is one, but a second hand one (he reads the newspapers which is the journalism of others)

                  1. funny this in the same thread where MNG makes accusations of “relativism”

              2. Correction, Moore got FIRED for making up shit and being an asshole while working for papers & magazines (i.e. Mother Jones), before making films & TV shows.

                1. Then Moore IS a journalist!

  46. The fact that Stossel actually changed his mind about some things shows that he is infinitely less biased then the idiots persecuting him.

    People who are objective are open to new facts and new points of view, and sometimes are willing to admit they are wrong.

    If Stossel’s critics were objective they would consider the possibility that maybe he’s reporting facts that others are ignoring or overlooking, tht are worthy of having a public hearing.

    That said, I’d much rather hear Stossel report on biotech or health care reform, or something with substance, instead of merely discussing himself.

    1. Being objective would probably mean being open minded and fair from case to case, rather than saying “I’m going to do my cases to demonstrate business is bad” and then later changing your mind and saying “I’m going to do my cases to demonstrate business is great.”

      1. Stossel isn’t saying that he thinks business is great. He says right off the bat that he’s proud of having embarrassed businesses who put out shoddy products. He’s saying that he started out with a bias, and then gradually, through the course of his profession overcame that bias.

        Frankly, I think it gives a reporter more credibility when he admits he’s had a bias and overcome it, than one that refuses to admit that he’s biased at all.

        It’s like saying “I refuse to examine my premises” in a debate.

        1. Actually, he says he started out with one bias and then changed to another. Switching from one girlfriend to another doesn’t make one single.

          1. It’s impossible to be completely free of bias, but if you openly admit that you have them you can at least mitigate against them, and strive for greater objectivity.

            If you’re sitting there going “What me? Biased? Never! I have no preconceptions! I am a blank slate upon which the pure facts are mirrored!” They you will NEVER EVER be remotely objective. Which is where most of the newsmedia in America is today. Utterly unwilling and unable to admit that they have preconceived beliefs that they bring to the table withy every story.

            1. Hazel, what is hilarious about this is that you and John Stossel never to my knowledge step outside your proclaimed biases (libertarian biases).

              1. I think Stossel gives due consideration to opposing points of view.

                As for me, you’re entitled to think whatever you want, but I do recall having the occasional sane discussion with you where we have some near agreements on certain issues. But that was before you got all unhinged.

                1. Does due consideration mean equal time to opposing viewpoints? Ensuring you find and show the best possible opposing viewpoints? Because Stossel doesnt do that at all. I’m familiar with his work you know.

                  1. And Maddow does?

            2. Hazel, we agree on something. Everyone has a point of view, but it can be mitigated!

              Now you understand why FOX is taking so much heat. It is not that they have a PoV, but rather that they exaggerate it instead of mitigate it, like good news shows do.

              1. The other news shows make no attempt to mitigate it. In fact, they seem blind to the fact that it exists.

              2. STFU, lone dangler.

      2. He started with a bias. Evidence showed him his bias was erroneous. He changed it.

        Or better, as Lord Disney Economist famously said:

        “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

  47. It’s amazing such a mind numbingly obvious point needs to be continually explained to all the nitwits.

  48. My modest proposal would require every journalist to declare publicly their political allegiance in two categories. The social category has two mutually exclusive responses: liberal or conservative. The economic category also has two mutually exclusive responses: free marketer or statist.

    The rules are simple:

    1. Only those identifying themselves as journalists are required to answer. Anyone preferring to call himself a running dog lackey or a pinko is excused.

    2. No weaseling allowed, choose one or the other. Those who refuse to provide responses will be butchered and fed to the poor (or if you prefer the rich).

    3. There will be no definitions provided for any of the terms used, the point of the exercise is the choice (except for feeding the weasels to the poor, that just make the game more fun for non-journalists) .

  49. Stossel, back with more banal crap.

    Of course everyone has a “point of view”. The difference between a good reporter and and a hack reporter is that the good ones make strong and active efforts to mitigate the effect of their point of view on how they report. Hacks like Stossel exaggerate it.

    1. They don’t so much exaggerate it as they EMBRACE it. It’s like saying alchoholics should take vigorous pride in the fact they drink a lot.

      If Stossel, like the alcoholic, wants to embrace his vice, then fine, but don’t get upset if someone balks at the quality of his work as journalism.

    2. Don’t be silly Chad. Fallacious reasoning may win arguments, but it doesn’t play well here (unless it’s amusing). As an exercise look up and write a short description of the terms petitio principii and ad hominem.

  50. You don’t think it’s possible to have some reporters with either much weaker political allegiances than others or even if strong allegiances a better ability or willingness to overcome them when reporting?

    If so, then your scheme would be meaningless.

    1. Sure it is. But that’s not what we’ve got. We’ve got a majority of the news media furiously unwilling to admit that they are less than 100% objective all the time, while condemning someone who says “Hey, we’ve all got biases, admit it.”

      That’s not rational mature behavior. It’s the mainstream left-leaning media that is having the temper tantrum. Stossel is the adult in the room.

      1. Give up on MNG, Hazel. He thinks it’s wrong to point out Moore has become crazy wealthy by way of shitting on the economic system – and country – that made it possible for Moore to never go Twinkieless again.

        Fat bastard hypocrite.

        1. Wait a minute. I thought that one can now “purchase” twinkies with Food Stamps.

          1. Same thing, except Moore’s “food stamps” are provided by the drooling masses who consume his product.

            But Moore is the type who thinks food is a “right”, and he would be more than happy to receive his Twinkieloads via the public trough.

            1. What is so absurd about food being a right? Speech and owning a gun are rights, and you don’t even need those to survive.

              Drooling masses are some of the consumers in the magical rational market, so I don’t see why you’re bitching.

              1. God you’re dense…

                You have a right to OWN a gun & defend yourself, not to have one provided to you, nor do you have the right to merely take a gun from a gun manufacturer. You also have the right to acquire food freely & feed yourself – you don’t have the right to take it from producers by force.

                Jesus, I know you’re dense man, but can you really not understand that the analogy you used is completely insane?

                You have identical rights to food as you do with guns NOW.

                Is it really that hard to understand that you cannot have a “right” to the products of someone else’s labor? Do you honestly not understand that that is theft? Or that it leads to the kind of critical economic ruin that actually results in famine?

              2. If we make food a “right”, along with health care et cetera, why have a market at all? Make EVERYTHING a right, and just give it to the masses, drooling or otherwise.

                Hell, let’s just make clothing, shelter, transportation, and guaranteed contentment all “rights”. Fuck having to work for a living, just sit in the hovel and wait for the shops to start ladling out sustenance.

                1. Then we’ll just print money for everybody so we’re all millionaires! Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?!?!

                  1. They did. Funny thing about that though, every time we print millions of dollars, bankers get a ton of cash and the rest of us just get more expensive stuff. I can’t figure out why.

              3. What is so absurd about food being a right?

                Whence would come this ‘right’?

                How can you have a ‘right’ to food (or any resource) without a right to use violence to take something from someone else?

                Such a simple question. Why does no collectivist ever answer?

                1. Tony won’t give a RATIONAL answer… it would, as always, be an EMOTIONAL one.

      2. Journalists as a profession vote overwhelmingly Democrat. This alone says much about how they are approaching current political issues. The wall between objective reporting and editorializing has been obliterated. At this point most have stopped trying to pretend.

        1. Ever stop to wonder why this is? Nobody has ever shown a bias in J-school admissions or hiring practices, ever. So maybe most journalists are liberals because most thoughtful people are liberals.

          1. Wow.

            I repeat……….. Wow.

          2. No. It is because liberals do not do real work. They are too busy trying to change the world through talking and whining about being victims. Journalism gives them the platform to do that.

          3. So maybe most journalists are liberals because most thoughtful people are liberals.

            They are so thoughtful, in fact, they insist on having the rest of us support them economically. What a heart. [Teardrop]

          4. So maybe most journalists are liberals because most thoughtful people are liberals.

            Lol the problem with this theory Tony is that you disprove it by counterexample.

            But this is very telling about your elitism and why you can’t see past your own bias.

            1. Let me rephrase. Maybe most people inclined to be journalists happen to be liberals.

              1. If you were inclined towards trying to “change” the world, or if you were inclined towards helping improve what you perceive to be “social justice”, or if you were just inclined to want a megaphone with which to bludgeon people who’s ideas you disagree with, or take down Republican presidents like Woodward & Bernstein, if you see yourself as of superior wit capable of top-level snark…

                Then journalism might be the career choice for you.

                Not that liberals ever display any of the above traits… Certainly no journalism school or student has been inspired by any of that stuff and no movies have ever been made about journalists taking down big business, or anything…

              2. Actually that’s not completely unreasonable speculation. I’m taken aback;)

                There may be some of that, but you’re neglecting academia’s capture, and the nature of journalism.

                As a curriculum it’s probably the one where passion is prized most and reason is valued least.

                But the entrenched bias is profound. I dated a girl who was taking journalism courses and she quickly learned what sorts of stories would get good grades and not.

                Graduates are well trained by the time they are seeking a job.. if they can find one.

  51. Is it just me or did MNG really go off the deep-end in my general absence the last couple weeks?

    1. It’s just you; MNG was always like that. Stepping back from the subject just allowed you to get a better look at it.

    2. He has bouts of insanity.
      I think maybe his comrades find out he’s been exposed to libertarianism and periodically drug him and brainwash him.

      Whereupon he returns here ranting derangedly about libertarians wanting cancer patients to slave in the salt mines. Or something to that effect.

      1. I thought we did.

  52. It’s frightening how openly hostile some American media outlets are towards the classical liberal ideals America was founded on.

  53. “Every reporter has a point of view.”
    Does that mean that a reporter, not a commentator, has the right to be biased, prejudiced, or dishonest, in presenting as non-fiction such evidence which will support a particular viewpoint?
    Does that mean that the most sincere convictions and beliefs justify character assassination, personal attacks, and vilification of any opposition?
    Belief, conviction, and certainty are symptoms of an unbalanced reasoning, of a mind incapable of accepting the possibility of contrary evidence without an emotional reaction to a personal identity crisis.
    You didn’t mean that, did you?

  54. I hope that they get rid of Imus and put Stossel in his place; the first three hours of FBC have started to suck since they brought Imus on board. Who thought that was wise?

  55. Who do people feed the troll? The stupid fuck admitted he thinks it’s fair if someone bashes his face in.

  56. I hope stossel does at fox news what he did at abc; libertarians are fighting a war on two fronts.

  57. Daft. And whiny.

    Could it also be possible that Stossel is no longer respected in the industry because (for example) he once claimed that organic food was no safer for us than food sprayed with pesticide – and then cited a study WHICH DID NOT EXIST in order to bolster his case.

    Hmmm.

    1. And yet, Organic food *isn’t* any safer or better… The risks are simply different.

      Here’s something to read…

      “Investigations both in Europe and in the US have failed to find any difference between organic food and other food in terms of all the major constituents, minerals and vitamins.”

      Like most of modern quasi-rational environmental hysteria, the big push for so-called “Organic” food (it’s all organic!) is simply a re-iteration of the Naturalistic Fallacy, or more broadly, the “is-ought” problem in philosophy.

      So……. Yeah… Meh.

      1. Healthier or not the issue would fall out if we’d stop subsidizing agriculture, most of which goes to Big Ag. We’re artificially giving the industrial food approach a market advantage.

        And it depends on what you mean by ‘healthy’. The subsidies are such that the output is biased to carbohydrate intensive foods, which as you note industrial ear of corn to organic ear of corn may be equivalently healthy, but when you bias the market to corn from higher non carbohydrate nutrient foods you do get more obesity, which is demonstrably unhealthy.

        So in case it never occurred to you.. you can add to your arsenal the fact that government intervention in markets is largely responsible for the obesity problem in the US;)

        1. Indeed it has occurred to me 😉

          Blogged about it (as sort of a side-point) here: The Soda Pop Stop

          I’ve also got a long-term project that I was supposed to do for a friend on figuring out the total government involvement in farming. I haven’t gotten around to it yet simply because it’s so daunting.

    2. Not quite accurate.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J…..vegetables

      “A February 2000 story about organic vegetables on 20/20 included statements by Stossel that tests had shown that neither organic nor conventional produce samples contained any pesticide residue, and that organic food was more likely to be contaminated by E. coli bacteria. The Environmental Working Group objected to his report, mainly questioning his statements about bacteria, but also managed to determine that the produce had never been tested for pesticides. They communicated this to Stossel, but after the story’s producer backed Stossel’s recollection that the test results had been as described, the story was rebroadcast months later, uncorrected, and with a postscript in which Stossel reiterated his claim. Later, after a report in The New York Times confirmed the Environmental Working Group’s claims, ABC News suspended the producer of the segment for a month and reprimanded Stossel. Stossel apologized, saying that he had thought the tests had been conducted as reported. However, he asserted that the gist of his report had been accurate.”

      This pretty much matches what the apologists downstream just said. Sure, he lied, but he was lying with the truth! Ish.

  58. “So I’ll say it now: Reporters who think coercive government control is generally good and I, who thinks voluntary market forces are generally better, both have a point of view.”

    I know it’s not extremely important, but shouldn’t “thinks” be “think” ?

  59. Tony said: “And I don’t see how regulation stifles competition.”

    OK, that’s it. Honestly, you’re not smart enough to sit that the grownups table.

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  61. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets..

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