John Stossel

Thank You, John Stossel, for Teaching Libertarians How to Do Cable News

Watch the broadcasting legend's last show tonight at 10 p.m. ET on Fox Business Network.

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Libertarians are basically just libertarians who like to get stoned. ||| Matt Welch
Matt Welch

Tonight (at 10 p.m. ET) is the last-ever episode of Stossel, the weekly Fox Business Network program that for seven years explained free-market principles better than any show on television. Host John Stossel, as he explains here in his weekly column, is moving on to other pursuits, including creating great content right here with Reason TV, and he will still be a contributor over in the Fox building.

His final episode, appropriately, is a survey through the show's persistent and often hilarious attempts to illustrate difficult-to-visualize libertarian concepts using props, costumes, stunts, and engaging conversation, including with such beloved locals as Katherine Mangu-Ward (pictured) and Kmele Foster. I am honored to be one of the two live guests on tonight's program, along with our great friend and frequent collaborator Kennedy. And therein lies a brief story.

I first met Kennedy in June 2011 in the exact same place you'll see us tonight: in Fox's Studio D, sitting next to John Stossel. This was during an hour-long special he very generously put together to discuss The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America, which I had freshly co-written with Nick Gillespie. It was a galvanizing moment—I had been doing increasing amounts of cable news, but had never seen anyone with as much TV charisma and quick wit as this former VJ. Soon she would begin collaborating regularly with both Reason TV and Stossel, the latter of whom brought her on as a special correspondent even though he didn't know half the time what the hell she was talking about (which, in typical John fashion, he would say out loud, on television).

I'm younger than that now. ||| Fox Business
Fox Business

Lloyd Grove at The Daily Beast would later recount how the seeds of what would eventually flower as The Independents were planted at a Reason Weekend in Puerto Rico in February 2012. Stossel, Grove wrote,

served as a mentor and helped recruit Kennedy to the six-year-old network. "She's a libertarian and I love that—there aren't many libertarians on TV," Stossel says, adding that Kennedy "is much more of a performer than I am. She lights up the screen."

Some of their bonding occurred in the middle of a beach volleyball clinic that Stossel ran during a Reason weekend retreat in Puerto Rico. "He was in volleyball shorts and shirtless, and the man is in better shape than most 20-year-olds I know," Kennedy says of the 66-year-old Stossel, who had been using her as a special correspondent since the summer of 2012. "He's a really meticulous person, and his libertarian views evolved over time. I think when you start out as a liberal and you come to be a libertarian, you tend to be really forgiving of other people's political evolution, and you realize that people can change and come into their own. Libertarians can be loners. A lot of us can feel like misfits."

And yet Gillespie gets the Emmy? GET OUT THE SHOVEL. ||| Reason
Reason

Kennedy was like a unicorn for Stossel: A libertarian who was already great at television. For the rest of his run, John labored at the largely thankless and rarely acknowledged task of training questionably dressed free-market types like me to be less like Broadcast News' Albert Brooks and just a wee more William Hurt-ish. There were the green-room coachings ("Don't bore people with a bunch of numbers!"), the on-set eye-glazes when you wandered off point, the cutting quips about questionable ties. It was tough love, but, well, you have to consider the raw material here.

The result of Stossel's conscious exertions is that the universe of camera-ready libertarians is much larger and considerably more polished than it was seven years ago. (Judge Andrew Napolitano's late, lamented Freedom Watch also deserves a shout-out here for giving reps to us rabble.) Next-generation shows like Kennedy get to take their libertarianism more for granted precisely because Stossel had done the shovel work (*cough*) of introducing fundamental concepts and breaking in nerds.

So thank you, John Stossel, not just for making a damn fine program for millions of Americans, but for helping groom some of us to make our own TV programming, now and into a bright future.

And make sure, everyone, to tune in at 10 p.m. ET and again at midnight, to see what Kennedy and I have in store for the 'stache!

UPDATE: Stossel was on Kennedy last night; here's the video:

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  1. Farewell, Stossel. I love you man, and always will. Thanks for 7 great years!!!

    1. You know who else loves Stossel?

      1. People who mistake him for Tom Selleck?

      2. People who mistake him for Geraldo Rivera?

      3. Mrs. Stossel?

        1. No chance, Tonio. Libertarians don’t love! They’re totally selfish Ayn Rand disciples who vote against their own interests and believe they too will become millionaires like the Koch brothers!

          See, I watch the news.

          1. But Mrs. Stossel is obviously not a libertarian, Junior. There are no libertarian women; it is known.

            1. Proof that Kennedy is actually transgender.

            2. That explains a lot about this comment section.

      4. Me?

      5. Mustache aficionados everywhere?

    2. I currently gain in the span of 6000-8000 bucks on monthly basis with my internet task. Everyone eager to work easy online tasks for some h every day from your house and gain solid income for doing it… Then this work is for you… http://www.ezycash5.com

  2. Stossel is awesome. He’s the guy who converted me from conservative to libertarian after years of reading/watching him. It’s a blow to Fox for him to stop his weekly show there, but I can’t wait to see what he’s going to start doing with Reason.

    1. Same here. John Stossel was by far the biggest influence on my own political evolution. He has a gift for stripping weighty political theory down into common-sense propositions, illustrating how absurd so much of the regulation and prohibition is that we simply accept as a given. I’m sorry to see him go.

      1. ^This. But the article says he’ll continue to appear on Fox, so he’ll keep his exposure up and messaging on. Also, hopefully people will follow him here and our ranks will grow. Sparta!

      2. Wow, I had no idea Stossel converted that many people. Kudos to Stossel. My conversion came by way of Walter Williams, who unfortunately went crazy after 9/11.

    2. Stossel is a hero to me because while everyone in TV news followed the same format: Read the papers, scan Drudge, comment on it. Stossel saw an opportunity to educate and inform his viewers on bigger concepts that “He right, he wrong.” If Libertarianism has a strength, it is ideological, not political. Stossel may have even understood that a TV show has a limited life, and he maximized it’s impact by packing his show with principles instead of news. Very few have ever had this insight, and few will be as missed as John Stossel.

    3. Stossel was a huge influence on my becoming a libertarian as well. The man is incredibly intelligent, an extremely decent human being, and very succinct in his explanations. That trifecta can make people stop in their tracks and question their belief system after a lifetime of listening to their betters in the MSM.

    4. John Stossel really solidified my transition from liberal to Libertarian. His show has also moved my wife away from being a liberal towards becoming a ‘less government and more freedom’ minded person . Stoss is boss.

  3. John Stossel is a hero. I like Kennedy but I fear she has been assimilated.

    1. ‘Assimilated’? Not on your life. What happened is that after a few calls from H.R. she had to stop fighting with her own guests. But she’s no Trumpista.

  4. He’s 66? Whoa, thought he was at least a decade younger.

    Cheers to him though.

    1. He was a decade younger… a decade ago. Hehe.

  5. Too bad, I hope they haven’t kicked him upstairs.

    He’d do liberty-oriented programs, and instead of softball questions for people he agreed with, he’d challenge them to answer tough questions.

    1. Live a stern, lovable coach.

  6. You figure out Cable TV just as it is in decline towards irrelevence?

    Sheesh, so much for innovating.

    1. He’ll be at Reason TV, now *that’s* cutting edge.

      1. Don’t be bitter, Eddie. This is how libertarian moments get birthed.

        1. Or aborted.

          1. and then start to haunt us

            1. Just remember that it was ENB who brought up the whole thing of whether abortion does mental/emotional harm to the post-abortive woman.

              The examples I witnessed – and the numerous other examples to which I linked – indicate that maybe it *does* have some effect.

  7. He’s on tv?

    No, seriously, I heard he had a show and figured it was kind of like his “Gimme A Break” Schtick he had going with Barbara Walters. It was different you say?

    1. Shut up bitch.

      Nobody here likes you and everyone knows you’re just trolling, and you aren’t even good at it.

      I’d ask you to try not to derail the thread for your own gratification, as this post was meant to commorate one of the guys who successfully took libertarian principals mainstream. But we know who you are and you aren’t capable of posting here without making it about you.

      So please fuck off

      1. He seems like a decent sort so let’s hope He’s going to ride off into the sunset and cash his Social Security checks like the rest of us.

          1. Well, he is mentally disabled.

        1. Fuck off, asswipe.

      2. It is so much more effective to just ignore them, KB; that denies them the attention they so desperately crave. And you can take comfort in the fact that Stossel rattles them far more than Johnson because Stossel makes libertarianism accessible to the great unwashed masses on whose behalf commies like amsoc claim to speak.

        1. Indeed. And the way we are going to approach anything close to a libertarian moment will have to be through popular culture.

  8. Is he taking the giant novelty scissors with him? God Bless You, John Stossel.

    1. Maybe they lured him away with an even bigger pair of novelty scissors.

    2. I think all political type people are required to have giant novelty scissors for mall openings, breaking ground on construction projects, etc.

      Plus, they’re useful for when it’s the end of the month, you screwed up balancing the giant novelty checkbook and have to cancel some giant novelty checks.

      1. They’re also useful for giving a giraffe a haircut.

  9. I’ll admit it, I try to like Stossel but from back in his days with 20/20 he’s reminded me too much of Geraldo Rivera. I’m sure Stossel does a fine job as a TV explainer to TV watchers but TV is just a terribly awful medium for explaining stuff what with the demand for a visual element. (If I can read, why do I want to listen to a talking head? If you’ve got some thoughts to communicate, writing allows time for editing and revision and clarification that speaking doesn’t and you can get much better communication.) Stossel’s sort of like the most intellectual dancer at the strip club. I suppose that’s an achievement, but it’s a dubious one.

    1. -1000 words

    2. Have you actually watched Stossel? It doesn’t seem like it from that description. For one, he and Geraldo could not be further apart other than the mustache. Or is it just that TV is too pedestrian for you?

    3. Stossel reaches an audience those books and articles don’t. Not everyone is as erudite as we are.

      1. *tips top hat toward Tonio*

      2. Sheesh, you fagz and your book lernin’.

      3. Stossel is also an excellent writer. There are many of his nationally-published, written opinion pieces that are well-constructed, able to withstand intelligent scrutiny from the best thinkers on the right and left.

    4. That’s why I liked Stossel’s bit on Cash For Clunkers. He took a sledgehammer to a junk hard and smashed a bunch of stuff to ridicule the idea of stimulus.

    5. I think he’s done great work, but I do find him too simplistic and ideological on this Fox show. I don’t think an hour long program is the best use of his talents. Whenever I tuned in, it’d feel somewhat lazy, as he and the guests go through the libertarian script to hit this and that point from free market orthodoxy. I never saw much real debate or investigative work. Maybe this worked great for people who aren’t already familiar with Milton Friedman and Henry Hazlitt, but it’s useless for anyone who already has some opposing ideas.

      Hopefully, whatever he does with ReasonTV will harken back to his 20/20 segments, investigating particular incidents and telling single stories with broader repercussions. I think that is more in his wheelhouse, and that kind of work is much more challenging to the opposition.

      1. Perhaps the next step would be to have a libertarian show that has three hosts, a libertarian, a liberal, and a conservative, who could have a productive debate.

        1. Unfortunately a show with actual productive debate would never garner a sufficient audience. It’s just not what people turn on the tv to see.

        2. You don’t see that because the libertarian would win every debate, unless he or she was a moron.

          Can’t have that.

    6. “I’m sure Stossel does a fine job as a TV explainer to TV watchers but TV is just a terribly awful medium for explaining stuff what with the demand for a visual element.”

      Yeah, get off my lawn and ‘I’ll bet you don’t even own a TV!’; the TV gets turned on by me for selected sports and, uh,…….
      But, J, you and me aren’t the people who need to see this stuff. Moving images are compelling to the minds of most and if Stossel, Kennedy et al can get the point across, terrific.
      I still won’t hit the ‘power’ button on the remote…

  10. Since it’s Friday, *Stossel Slap*
    Good luck, John. Taught us not to be assholes even when we’re right.

    1. Ouch.

      Here’s a different sort of “slap” involving Stossel, one where the myth of FDR saving the country from the Great Depression is dealt with (around the 6 something mark).

      1. With Tom no less. Thanks, Charles.

    2. I do believe Stossel got a nice chunk of money out of that retard for assaulting him.

      1. Steroids are a hell of a drug.

      2. Should have used some of that judgement to have the living shit kicked out of that guy.

  11. Thank you, John Stossel.

    1. Alanis looks not-so-great in that screencap.

      1. Isn’t it unfortunate that YouTube destroyed the RickRoll? Or should I say, isn’t it ironic?

        1. Don’t ya think? A little too ironic…

  12. Stossel is by far the best spokesman libertarians have ever had, by far.

    I remember when FBN was first converted into a quasi-libertarian channel when Judge Napolitano, Stossel, and Kennedy all had their own show. And now just Kennedy is left. They need to bring in more subversives.

    1. When I finally contracted with a cable provider that carried FBN, Fox goes ahead and cancels Freedom Watch. Later on they cancelled The Independents (replaced by Kennedy which is still entertaining and awesome but just not the same without Kmele and that guy who married a French woman). And now Stossel is going away. What am I to do? Fox has become a thoroughly Trumpista machine, made worse by having Tucker Carlson debate subnormals from 7 to 8. Booooooriiiiing!

      1. Become a joiner – get rid of your TV and cable subscription.

      2. They need to ditch Lou Dobbs. The guy has more makeup on than a dead person in a casket. And ever since Trump has won the guy has been insufferable. Listening to him you would think we just dug up George Washington, gave him a vitamin B12 shot and some smelling salts, a few hits from a defibrillator, and a few days later he is eating taco bowls at the Trump Grille.

        1. His hatred of libertarians would be another good reason to ditch him.

  13. Great write-up, really feeling a pang of regret now that I never caught the program.

    1. You’ll always have YouTube

      1. YouTube has been my only means of seeing Stossel clips. Maybe he sees the writing on the wall and figures the Internet will be a better way to spread gospel in the long run.

  14. the largely thankless and rarely acknowledged task of training questionably dressed free-market types like me

    (the nameless cowboy tips his hat and rides off into the sunset as weeping women throw themselves into the dust behind him)

    1. We’ll always have Gilmore….

      1. He’s not out of range, we can still take the shot if you really want to be rid of him.

        1. (turns Ennio Morricone soundtrack up louder)

  15. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I do,

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    1. $64k/yr while being a full time student is not that impressive these days. Work on your numbers and come back with something that will really wow us.

  16. What the hell am I going to do on Friday night now? Back to the old. Play Xbox and drink beer. Maybe talk to the wife and kids. Maybe.

  17. John Stossel disappointed me the most when he had to turn down the keynote speaker slot at the 1996 Libertarian Party National Convention because his network contract forbade him from speaking at political events. Was it Lee Edwards who subsequently did the keynote?

  18. I didn’t realize he had started down the path to evil while he was still on 20/20. Oh to be a fly on the wall during some of those meetings where they were discussing what to do with him.

    1. I remember him being the only reason I didn’t completely hate being forced to watch 20/20 because my parents wanted to watch it.

      1. I would specifically tune in when there was going to be a Stossel 20/20 special. The only reason to ever watch it.

  19. Have I mentioned I like Stossel?

    1. Not enough.

      Watching this, I’m realizing that one of his greatest talents is dealing with extreme derp with a smile and a relevant rejoinder. That kind of patience is supernatural.

      1. Far beyond my own. I’ve long since resigned myself that the only satisfactory way to deal with the progtards is to ultimately force them out of the country, or deposit them in landfills, face down. God bless him, Stossel has almost infinite patience with the communist tools.

  20. Is Matt going to marry Kennedy?

      1. Dang. Best ship sunk.

      2. So you’re saying she’s not marriage material?

        1. She’s already married. This would be crushing news to the 17-year old version of me.

          1. She’s a libertarian: she should be fine with bigamy.

  21. K… Mu… Wa! KWa?

  22. I’m watching my first episode of Stossel ever. This shit is dope, damn shame I’m this late to the party.

  23. Where is the articulate, well dressed black guy?

    1. 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

      Oh wait, that’s the articulate, bright, clean black guy

      1. Regarding retaliating against Russia for computer hacking, he warned Putin, “We can do stuff to you.”

        Clean? Yes. Articulate? Citation needed.

        1. Maybe Obama means he can subcontract the Chinese to put pee pee in their vodka.

    2. I saw the right side of the head of one sitting at Stossel’s round-table during an earlier clip.

  24. Stossel went from liberal to classic liberal to class act – far and away the best host on Fox.

  25. Be original. Be bold. Barry is now streaming, only on Netflix.

    What did young Barack do that was original or bold ?(and I thought we weren’t supposed to call him Barry?) Intercepting blunts is bold, I guess.

    1. “Steaming” is more like it, amirite?

    1. I was sitting in my car with just my dad and I distinctly heard my sister (who was at home) say, “are you guys almost home? I’m scared” in a very specific, concerned tone of voice. Two seconds later, my dad’s phone rings. Guess who’s on the line? My sister. She said, “are you guys almost home? I’m scared” in the same concerned tone of voice. I was pretty freaked out

      I think I knew a Korean war vet like that. Hat, thick glasses, odd little fella.

      1. Though I have had that sensation about songs on the radio once or twice. Like, just a feeling it would be up, and lo, it was. Could be random chance or detecting a genuine underlying pattern, though.

    2. If my grandparents hadn’t fucked, I never would have been born. Creepy.

      1. If they fucked one second later or with any slight deviation, you would probably never have been born, though one of your gazillions of potential siblings might have been born in your place. Once of those things time travel movies don’t usually take into account.

        1. …you would probably never have been born, though one of your gazillions of potential siblings might have been born in your place.

          Any of them would have been better!

        2. So… You’re pretty much saying I’m Jesus?

          1. On a popsicle stick. Christ.

            ‘Tis the season.

        3. Oddly, I remember an old Bloom County strip where one of the characters pontificates on such an issue. A comet a little to the left, a dinosaur munches on some ancient rat, and none of us would exist. The world as we know it only exists because of an infinite number of random coincidences.

          (I would link it, but my I’m not having much luck with GIS. Although I have been reminded that those Somoans are a Surly bunch.)

    3. Right now is the creepiest, because once I was riding my moped one night but had to stop because I was about to piss myself, so I took a leak on a building and then decided I needed another beer, but the asshole bouncer wouldn’t let me in.

      1. Even creepier:
        I was on that moped, rode right on by while I pissed myself, and that guy didn’t get laid.

  26. OT: Krugman is now making Alex Jones look like the sane adult: http://hotair.com/archives/201…..st-attack/

    1. I don’t know how to follow threading on twitter, but the proggy whining is getting tiresome.
      Siddown, shuddup. You lost.

    2. Wouldn’t the rebuilding after the attack, plus the additional spending on gulags and whatnot, help create economic growth? I can’t tell whether he is trying to make a pro- or anti-Trump argument here.

    3. Krugnuts is mentally retarded which explains everything.

      1. Not Really. Not trying to get PC or anything here, but I’ve dealt with plenty of mentally retarded adults. They mostly just try to get a job to prove that they’re a contributing members of society and not a drag to their parents. They usually don’t focus on politics.

        To compare Krugman’s 9/11 conspiracy theories to retards is an insult to retards.

    4. Jesus *@#$^$ christ.

      Paul Krugman?@paulkrugman

      Thought: There was (rightly) a cloud of illegitimacy over Bush, dispelled (wrongly) by 9/11. Creates some interesting incentives for Trump

      If that crazy shit were said by anyone else, they’d be fired before dawn and never be published ever again.

      Because its Krugable & the NY Times? they won’t even acknowledge it happened.

      And christ…. i hadn’t even read his follow-up gibberish. The Truther shit was bad enough; his ‘analysis’ is like he’s peaking on shrooms.

      This bullshit ‘russian’ thing is making everyone loonier and loonier. they’re getting high on their own supply, and every week they’re doubling the dose.

    5. I think a lot of people here would enjoy this podcast called Contra Krugman. It’s hosted by Tom Woods and Bob Murphy, both of whom are big contributors to the libertarian movement (they also work with the Mises Institute).

      They debunk Krugman’s column every week. The most recent episode covered Krugman’s “omg Russians hacked teh election” column.

  27. I think the problem with Stossel (the TV show) was that he was essential preaching to the choir. If you are libertarian leaning, you already knew everything he tried to explain.

    He was more influential when he was on 20/20

  28. So my proggie friend literally thinks Trump will send him to a concentration camp because he’s brown….

    Great job, leftist circle-jerk bubbles. You’ve really done a number on these people.

    1. Did you ask him what kind of rifle he’s buying to fight back against the inevitable Trumpcentracion camps?

    2. yeah how do you possibly have a discussion with someone so paranoid like that. To literally think you were surrounded by racists everywhere just waiting to get you.

      I guess in SJW land, you need to feel oppressed because you get victim points for that

      1. I guess in SJW land, you need to feel oppressed

        Because otherwise your entire worldview and self-image is revealed as a fraud. That’s why the SJWs/proggies are in such a frenzy right now – their basic identity has been challenged. They will continue to spin harder and harder to shore up their false narrative, until they just start to decompensate altogether.

        I’m long popcorn futures, myself.

    3. Remind him how many Jews probably wished they had fled Europe before it was too late in the 30’s.

      Ok, I guess if he actually is a friend, that might be kinda mean.

    4. You should see what they have done to your kind in FEMA camps. First, the Kenyan Muslin came for your guns. Then he oppressed your religious freedom by wishing you, (sorry) Happy Holidays. After that was Jade Helm 15 before finally discovering how Obama failed to help Katrina victims. Also Benghazi was used to hide Obama birth certificate.

      I suspect once you tell ’em of what they literally did to you and your kind, your proggie friend (prolly a libtard) will just STFU

  29. Watched Rogue One this evening; it’s a very satisfying movie, very well done with few flaws.

    HERE BE SPOILERS

    It’s undeniably superior to the Prequel Trilogy (a lower bar is hard to conjure) and compares very favorably to its immediate predecessor, The Force Awakens. TFA suffered from plot rehash, pacing issues, and too much implausible action. Rogue One’s greatest strength was its pacing – it’s over two hours long and there aren’t any moments that drag. TFA, on the other hand, was balls-out when the action ramped up, but crept along as if in a school zone in between the fun stuff. What’s more, the action sequences, while definitely intense, are the easiest to follow since the 1977 original. The space battle is as big as Return of the Jedi’s, but clearer. Not so big as that in Revenge of the Sith, but in Revenge it’s all just backdrop for Obi-Wan and Anakin to do stuff in.

    When the events in Rogue One were so briefly recapped in the New Hope screencrawl (“…Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon…”), you likely crafted a hasty version of these events in your head. Well, the movie hits these points expertly.

    1. For those of you worried that R1 was going to be SJW tropes on parade, fear not. Jyn is a capable agent, but she’s not felling giants with her bare hands. She doesn’t take on Darth Vader and hold her own. She’s not kicking ass while the men around her fall on their faces. And everyone in her party contributes significantly to the mission.

      What’s not to like? 1) Every SW movie after ESB has had its share of winks and nods to the audience. R1 is no different, with a couple of cameos. They’re handled pretty well, though. 2) Every SW movie ever has had its share of implausible action, and R1 is no different. Again, it’s pretty well-handled, with the exception of the blind not-Jedi. I can believe that the Force makes him a better fighter than blind guys without it, but I can’t believe he’d be THAT good. 3) YMMV on CGI Tarkin and young Leia. I thought it was acceptable, but if others find it distracting I can’t blame them. 4) Darth Vader has an Evil Obsidian Palace on Mustafar for his home base; I can’t imagine the Darth Vader of the Original Trilogy would really go for something so tacky and overly thematic. I also can’t believe he’d choose to live on a hellish planet where his life went to shit, either. 5) The droid doesn’t work for me. SW droids are very good at one thing and one thing only; this droid was too bad-ass and too human in persona to be a convincing droid.

      1. 6) Early on, the movie jumped around frequently from one planet to another, with captioned establishing shots. I’m certain it could be re-edited with fewer jumps, without captions, and the story wouldn’t suffer a bit. Once the story really settled in, this fell by the wayside. 7) The standard SW theme plus screencrawl is absent. I know R1 isn’t officially part of THE SAGA, but all SW movies should get that opening treatment.

        What’s to like: 1) the Death Star blowing shit up is always fun. 2) Lots of dogfighting and capital ship combat. (You know, Star Wars?) 3) There is only ONE lightsaber in this movie, it is red, and it is Vader’s. The Prequel Trilogy made a mockery of the coolest weapon in the history of cinema, and TFA wasn’t much better with Emo Vader’s hilt guards or Rey immediately fighting him to a draw with zero training. 4) Speaking of Vader, he curbstomps a bunch of Rebel grunts. Just plows through ’em with gusto. It’s fun to watch. 5) All the tech looks – more or less – like 1977 tech. It was super annoying that the tech in the Prequel Trilogy, set 30 years in the past, looked better than the tech in Star Wars.

        1. 6) They didn’t stop the movie for a sex scene. I’m not a prude or anything, but having the two lead characters hook up in the middle of this urgent and chaotic time would have induced massive eyerolls. There’s simply no time, given what’s occurring, for the two leads to feel anything beyond duress-induced fondness. They do share a brief moment in the end when they, spoiler alert, die. They saw what was coming and met their fate the way most pairs of humans would in that scenario. 7) Star Destroyers feature prominently and are very cool. You see them from a lot of different angles, even floating in the atmosphere above a planet, looming menacingly. You see the Death Star in a lot of new ways, different angles, over the planetary horizon. The Rebel capital ships look great. A lot of eye candy, tastefully presented.

          Of course, I can’t praise R1 too strongly; it had the built-in advantage of telling a story with a narrow focus. It didn’t have to carry the same weight that the Prequels or TFA did. It didn’t have to waste screentime reestablishing known characters or keeping track of 60 years of the Skywalker family; of course, to say this is to say that maybe the SW universe shouldn’t be about a nine-film saga. Maybe this fantastic universe should be a backdrop for lots of new adventures – fun stuff, not “Wagner meets ILM”.

    2. It’s undeniably superior to the Prequel Trilogy (a lower bar is hard to conjure)

      There’s always Prometheus.

  30. http://captaincapitalism.blogs…..e-one.html

    So it *maaaaaay* not be as bad I am expecting. I might go see it later today.

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  33. THIS MEANS WE GET MOAR STOSSEL?!

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  34. Stoical said recently revealed that he had lung cancer. Has he recovered?

    1. stossel, darn auto correct

  35. John Stossel is the person who got me interested in libertarian ideas at a young age. I used to watch him on ABC when I was younger–in my teens (yeah I was weird) and he really made me challenge my ideas about how the government should work. I eventually read more and branched out but without him, I would have definitely not been introduced to the ideas of liberty and smaller government at such a young age without seeing his segments and specials on ABC. We are very lucky to have a voice like Stossel’s in the media. Sad to see his show go but I suppose it was inevitable.

    1. Yes, I also watched Stossel when he was on 20/20 because it was about the only worthwhile bit on the show. I must have been around 10. I’m a dork.

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