What John Stossel Reads


"I've always been fascinated with which martial art is superior."

As part of The Atlantic's "What I Read" series, our favorite weekly TV news show-haver (and columnist) gives a nice shout-out to the rabble, while revealing a perhaps-surprising fondness for the art of violence:

When I first wake up, I turn on Fox & Friends or Imus in the Morning. On my BlackBerry, I start with The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. For the subway ride, I read on my Kindle so I don't have to elbow people turning the pages. At work, I always read CATO @Liberty and Reason's Hit and Run. I don't always look at the bylines but Reason's Matt Welch really expands my brain and I like Katherine Mangu-Ward, Jacob Sullum and Shikha Dalmia too. I also read The New Republic, The Week, Forbes and National Review. I stopped reading Newsweek and Time because I couldn't find anything that wasn't banal or liberal pap—though I will say Newsweek has gotten better since Tina Brown took over. I like Howard Kurtz. The Nation has gotten too stupid for me: the same dreary stuff over and over. I read The Atlantic only once a month but I probably wouldn't if Scott weren't there. (Those long articles take a lot of time.) I also read Mediaite for media gossip, the Bleacher Report for mixed martial arts and, where people bet on world events and politics (I find it much more accurate than what political commentators predict). 

On TV, I watch Modern Family, NCIS, and Ultimate Fighting. I was a high school wrestler and I've always been fascinated with which martial art is superior. You have to be good at all of them. For awhile, the jujitsu specialists clobbered everyone. Then people found out defenses. Then the boxers won and people figured out how to get around punches. Then the wrestlers won for awhile. 

Read the whole thing, including some digs at libertarian-baiter Jonathan Chait, here. Then re-read Stossel's classic 2004 Reason cover story, "Confessions of a Welfare Queen."

NEXT: A. Barton Hinkle on Romney's Tax Rate

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  1. He likes body surfing and fingerpainting and his major turn-offs are grumpy people and government regulation…

    1. I think he’s dreamy.

      1. I’d hit it.

        1. I’d let it hit me. Repeatedly!

      2. I’ve always been convinced that Reason would do better with more Tiger Beat-esque covers.

  2. Stossel reads H&R. I wonder what he thinks about Tony and the Gamboler.

    1. Who gives a shit what he thinks?

      1. Me obviously, derp.

        1. Reputable people avoid this site.
          Reason’s sugar daddies must be so embarrassed.

        2. It’s waaaaaaaay past Thursday, isn’t it

  3. Bastard didn’t mention my blog
    -he’s so anti-female

    1. I doubt you’re a female if only because schizophrenia is far more prevalent in males ~30-40 years old.

      1. The more you talk to her, the stronger her manic phases are. Just ignore.

        1. Incif me as you promise please

          1. do you need the link?

            1. Attention whore!

  4. Invisible Backhand 15 minutes ago
    “I wish a libertarian like Tyler Cowen or Don Boudreaux were given a column at The Times.”
    The Koch Brothers have bought a platform for them both via the Mercatus Center. R.M Scaife has given Boudreaux a column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Isn’t the millions of dollars donated tax free to libertarian propaganda enough of an advantage, or are you suggesting some kind of affirmative action for libertarians?

    If the Koch Brothers want to place their advertising in the Times they can pay for it like every other advertiser.


    1. Wait, how can Stossel miss Cowen’s column in the Times?

    2. Libertarians: All powerful and nonentities at the same time.

  5. I don’t get the celebritization of journalist; do your job, and unless you’re a posing naked, STFU about your ‘likes and dislikes’

  6. No Parks & Recreation? I thought he would feel a strong affinity for Ron Swanson, with the brostaches and all.

  7. So STOSSEL is HERCULE TS! Hah! I KNEW it!

  8. I get some flack for reading the New York Times daily, which is unabashedly liberal, while I am quite not. But my reasons for reading it seem to be shared with everyone, including Stossel. It remains the “newspaper of record” as it’s always been called. And while he’s a menace, you can occasionally read guys like Krugman just for a straight-up view of how looney the conventional press can be. Evening network news is also important (and often as idiotic as the TIMES,) but you need them because they are the only news organisations that have the budget to send live people with cameras across the nation and the world. In newspapers’ heyday, you could forget the TV hacks, but the internet has ended that. 60 Minutes seems to have become the “TV News of record” now, and they have actually been very good about taking on many “libertarian” stories that all others have simply ignored. It’s clear from watching 60 Minutes that while some journalist libs like Stossell have simply quit the networks, a few have remained within the majors where they probably feel they can get greater exposure of libertarian ideas working from within.

    1. The New York Times has visibly declined over the last twenty years. I used to read it, especially on Sunday, back when its politics were a little less ubiquitous, and the writing far superior to what it is today.

  9. When I was at ABC, Peter Jennings would just look away when he would see me in the hall. I didn’t deserve discussion

    I want/need more stories like this, Stoss.

    1. One time, when Jennings tried to snub me, I sucker-punched him in the hallway. He bent over in pain and kept walking and never mentioned the incident again.

      After that, whenever I saw him in the hallway, I’d twitch my right arm, like I was about to throw a punch, and he’d flinch every time.

  10. What is a Blackberry?

    1. You know smartphones? It’s like those, except in a coma.

      1. So it’s like my RAZR V3?

  11. So Matt, how many years did it take you to get over wearing the singlet?

    I was a wrestler too. God damn did I hate those stinky bastards with poor hygiene. Anyway there is no single “martial arts move” more reliable or flexible than the Fireman’s Carry.

    1. Stossel, the one being quoted, was a wrestler, not Matt.

      1. I should have known. It seemed out of character for Matt’s expressed hippy tendencies.

    2. Took me a short while to stop dipping tobacco in college (the last remnant of my baseball-playing days), does that count?

      1. Enjoy C.J. Wilson’s guaranteed post-season choke, suckas.


        A Rangers fan

  12. I wish a libertarian like Tyler Cowen or Don Boudreaux were given a column at The Times.

    studied Hayek or Ludwig von Misses.

    Cowen and Mises? Either he’s trying to bring together the cosmos and the paleos or trying to infuriate them both.

  13. “…I’ve always been fascinated with which martial art is superior.”

    Without a doubt, this is the greatest fighting style known to man.

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