Donald Trump

Smearing Team Trump

The New York Times' breathlessly covers nominees for the Department of Labor and the FCC, and a potential nominee for the FDA.


Oh, no! I did it again.

It was a foolish mistake. But I slipped.

I read The New York Times.

This is bad for my health, because I get so mad at the smug socialist spin, but how can I not read it? It's my hometown paper. My wife wakes me up with indignant questions like, "How can you say government is too big? The Times says …"

Aargh! Nearly every day brings a new Times outrage.

Saturday, a front-page story smeared Labor Secretary nominee Andy Puzder.

The story begins, "Decades before President Trump nominated him … Puzder went to battle with federal labor regulators …"

Wait a second. "Decades before"? They went back decades to criticize him? Actually, three decades—to 1983, when as a young lawyer, Puzder represented a client whom the Labor Department accused of squandering union money.

The Times went on to say: "He has repeatedly argued that economic regulations stifle economic growth."

Puzder "argued" that? Regulations obviously stifle growth. That's their purpose—to protect workers by putting limits on businesses' pursuit of profit.

Regulation is a big reason this post-recession recovery has been so weak.

In just the last 10 years, the Department of Labor added regulations that require another 70 million hours of paperwork.

Monday: "Trump's FDA Pick Could Undo Decades of Drug Safeguards."

Oh, no! Trump will poison America with unsafe drugs!

President Trump hasn't actually made his Food and Drug Administration pick yet, but the Times worries "his push for deregulation might put consumers at risk."

The reporter cites thalidomide, which, 60 years ago, "caused severe birth defects in babies whose mothers had taken the drug in pregnancy. Since then, the FDA has come to be viewed as the world's leading watchdog for protecting the safety of food and drugs, a gold standard…"

Fool's gold. The FDA protected American babies from thalidomide not by being smart, but by being so slow. By the time thalidomide neared approval, its bad effects were visible in Europe.

The Times eagerly reports damage done by drugs: "Drug safety watchdogs point to examples like the painkiller Vioxx, which was withdrawn from the market … "

But "invoking Vioxx as the icon for such looseness is itself ignorant looseness," says my medical researcher brother, Tom. "FDA approvals are tradeoffs between benefits and risks. The FDA knew about Vioxx's risks. It was the company, not the FDA, that withdrew the painkiller. Many doctors now say it was an ill-advised move that deprives patients of a good alternative. Vioxx's risks are no greater than painkillers like Motrin sold over the counter.

The Times avoids detailing just how onerous today's regulation is. The reporter says, "The agency sets a 10-month goal for approving standard drugs."

Gee, goals are nice, but does the agency honor them? The Times doesn't say. It also doesn't mention that the 10-month goal only applies to the final step of regulation—after all trials are done. The entire process takes an average 16 years and $2.6 billion.

Americans want protection from bad drugs, but how many of us suffer needless pain, or die, while waiting those 16 years? How many die because a drug's developers cannot raise $2.6 billion?

One more smear:

"President Trump's pick to lead the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, has aggressively moved to roll back consumer protection regulations."

Consumer protection? No. Socialist idiocy.

The Times says Pai "stopped nine companies from providing discounted high-speed internet service to low-income individuals."

No, he stopped a $9.25/month government subsidy for high-speed internet.

"He withdrew an effort to keep prison phone rates down," says the Times.

No, he stopped FCC lawyers from fighting about in-state phone calls because the FCC has no constitutional authority there.

Utterly reasonable. But The Times quotes an advocacy group saying, "Chairman Pai is showing his true stripes … (doing) favors for the powerful corporations."

Please. Someone. Tell The New York Times that socialism was tried. It doesn't work.


NEXT: Your Government at Work: Trying to Prosecute Restaurateur for Tweeting Photo of Underage Kids Who Tried to Buy Beer [UPDATE: Acquittal!]

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

  1. Not even John Stossel can save Hit ‘n Run.

    1. Well it filled me with a gooey warmness, the kind you usually only can find in a New York alley.

      1. New York “gooey”?? I would imagine “scabby”, or, “grungy”, would be more likely.

        I’ll not invoke one of my favorite H&R commentors for another apt adjective, even if it would be appropriate.

      2. Go on………

      3. a gooey warmness

        Nice album name.

    2. Stossel can do no wrong.

  2. My wife wakes me up with indignant questions like, “How can you say government is too big? The Times says …”

    Chronic behavior of this sort feels like it would be a deal-breaker. Unless she were incredibly hot and wealthy.

  3. Awesome article.

    1. The sum includes his basic salary of US$57,945 and an additional US$162,050 in overtime pay, public records released by non-profit organisation Transparent California showed.

      An investigation conducted by local television station KTVU revealed that Mr Liang’s employer, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (Bart), paid him for supposedly working 20 hours a day for 18 consecutive days.

      He was also paid every single day, including weekends, for the whole of 2015.

      I hope it’s the world’s cleanest train station at least.

      1. They (BART) just convinced a majority of the local voters to give BART more money.
        I was not of the majority.

        1. Nor was I. But it’s the bay area so every measure asking for pretty please more money passes easily.

      2. Speaking to KTVU, Bart’s chief transportation officer Roy Aguilera said it was possible for Mr Liang to earn so much by doing overtime.

        Mr Aguilera said Mr Liang had never refused extra work, and that the station’s large population of homeless people meant that janitorial staff spend much of their time cleaning up urine, faeces and needles.

        “People are not raising their hands and saying, ‘I want some of that overtime. He has said yes. He’s worked hard, he’s completed the assignments, so I stand by the work he’s done,” he added.

        1. the station’s large population of homeless people meant that janitorial staff spend much of their time cleaning up urine, faeces and needles.

          of course, this isn’t a reason to get rid of that large population, its a reason to spend more cleaning up after them.

          1. Or to put in bathrooms?

            1. Or hire another shift so you are not paying overtime premiums.

        2. To be fair, it DOES look like he did his job – he just got it done faster than everybody else, then spent the rest of the shift taking a nap. The fault here lies with poor management – they should have hired more janitors, not paid this guy quadruple his salary in overtime.

    2. Would you want to do janitorial work if you made that?

  4. Awesomeness, all the way down.

    Reason staff, are you reading this?

    1. I would certainly love see far more of Stossel’s work here. Lots more. In all his Stossely goodness.

  5. Ah, a true libertarian breath of fresh air at Reason.

    Thank you Mr. Stossel.

    1. Calling out El Se?or Presidente’s falsehoods is not the same as stifling the air. And Reason opinion writers have praised some of the things El Se?or Presidente Bananero has proposed.

      1. Which do you think advances the goals of libertarianism further – Trump’s agenda, or the theoretical agenda of the progressive-light SJW doofuses that ran on the LP ticket?

        1. I’d trade a thousand Bill Weld voters for one John Stossel voter. Any day of the week

          1. Not an option.

            Trump’s agenda is deregulation, tax cuts, and shrinking government. The social BS is just service to his hard-core fanbase.

            I have reasonable certainty that Trump will fight to get his agenda initiated.

            If you care about libertarian ideals, it’s hard to argue…

            1. Trump’s agenda is deregulation, tax cuts, and shrinking government.


  6. I do enjoy a good rant. Mostly, because that’s what I feel like doing 99% of the time. Can’t even go on social media, I get so furious over fucking progs.

    1. I love social media – the daily proggy meltdowns, the fake news, the screeching and wailing. How can you not be enjoying this? Apparently, there won’t be anyone left alive by the end of the year who is not an angry old white dude.

  7. Great to have an actual libertarian write columns for Reason

    1. Hello, fellow nerd!

  8. But The Times quotes an advocacy group saying, “Chairman Pai is showing his true stripes … (doing) favors for the powerful corporations.”

    And, you know, it is time for the Trump Administration to stop doing favors for powerful corporations. Accordingly, all employees of any media company with a market capitalization of more than $500 million should be barred from government property on the same terms as any random member of the general public. Press passes and access shall be reserved for the people, not the lackeys of corporate interests.

    1. Hi, my name is DRM and I’m a fucking idiot troll…..(12 step troll meeting)

      1. Hi, my name is Migrant Log Chipper, and I’m just a pure idiot…..(AA meeting that MLC mistook for a low-IQ support group)

        1. Hey-be fair, DRM, that was almost as good as Crusty.

        2. I had to read it twice to get it.

  9. Have I mentioned I like Stossel?

    1. Does anyone NOT like him? I just can’t imagine anything other than a rabid progtard disliking him.

  10. Stoss, is as always, the boss.

    1. I’m using that, Suell

    2. Should be a benchmark article. Any author posting something as good could be said to be writing like a Stoss.

  11. Good rant!

    I’m thinking of Cabinet Appointee bingo: “Children, corporations, low-income, etc” and in the free space, “fascist”

  12. OT: I didn’t watch the whole thing but Cruz kinda destroyed Bernie in whatever the hell that thing was today. Bernie literally cannot discuss anything relating to healthcare without immediately defaulting to single payer, so he barely even defended Obamacare itself. And he indirectly went for the classic prog logic of “If you can’t abide by our costly regulations, your business deserves to die” that’s won them so many votes over the past few years

    1. In all fairness, Bernie isn’t even the best person to put forth to argue about what he ate for lunch, let alone healthcare policy. He’s never had a thought that exceeded a typical Occupy protest slogan in incisiveness. Cruz isn’t a genius himself, but he’s Max Planck next to that old communist fart.

      For that reason I’d rather it be someone like Paul Krugman defending Obamacare. He might at least make it interesting by doing something other than drooling.

      1. Krugman? It would be fun to watch his eyes roll in opposite directions while he garblebargleargled some incoherent gibberish just before suggesting that we pay off outer space invaders with trillion dollar coins.

        1. pay off outer space invaders with trillion dollar coins.

          STIMULUS!!11!!!!! /Kruggernuts

    2. “Bernie literally cannot discuss anything relating to healthcare without immediately defaulting to single payer”, except when an audience member delivers a 24-karat softball question.

      Seriously: when the Ft Worth hairdresser asked about how she could grow her business, Bernie should have immediately answered “single payer”. Instead, he chose to defend ObamaCare’s employer mandate, and implied that the hairdresser was an indecent employer because she could not afford to provide “decent health care” for her employees, or herself.

      Sure, Bernie eventually got around to single payer in the follow up discussion, but his failure to immediately recognize the hardship of ObamaCare’s employer mandate suggests that he really understands very little about either business or the absurdity of the US medical insurance and taxation systems since around 1943.

  13. It is past time that the NY Times was,generally recognized as a badly written, fully partisan local fishwrap of no particular importance.

    1. I’m making $86 an hour working from home. I was shocked when my neighbor told me she was averaging $95 but I see how it works now. I feel so much freedom now that I’m my own boss. This is what I do>>


    2. They should put you on the payroll as copy editor.

    3. The NYT is not badly written, it’s badly reasoned.

      1. And,it’s probably not good for use as a fish wrapper-there must be something in the ink or the paper that some bureaucratic idiot will find reason to do a “study” on. That may be a good thing-a reason to ban the NYT.

      2. They have many different writers, and some of them know how to put a proper sentence together.

        But I’ve noticed other NYT writers engaging in the cheap tactic of using a ton of French and Latin phrases in an attempt to sound worldly and intellectual.

  14. “My wife wakes me up with indignant questions…”

    She can’t wait until you are already awake? Morning time must be so pleasant and cheery at the Stossel household!

    From what you describe, it sounds like you live with a socialist – so at least it can work on that level. Maybe write some columns/articles/books about how you two make it work. Given the prevalence of divisiveness nowadays, writing about how you two get along may be more useful than just another outrage article. You are great at the outrage though, for whatever that is worth. But, what is it worth?

    1. ‘But, what is it worth?’
      Well for a lot of Democrats, it’s a full time occupation rather that something that sparks an occasional article, so there’s that.

  15. The Vioxx fiasco was particularly infuriating. Millions of arthritis patients relied on that product. An informed decision is the right of the patient.

    1. How about the drug industry actually does a better job of creating drugs that actually work or cure something without horrible side effects or compromising safety for efficacy? There frustrating lack of innovation in the medical field for all of the money and research that goes into it. You have companies like Mylan, Valeant and Turing price gouging old drugs just because they can, rising drug costs, but there has not been a great deal of innovation or new treatments. There have been several classes of drugs that have all gone generic, me-too’s included, and we have had a few advanced in biologics, but overall, the cancer survival rates haven’t budged in 50 years, we have had few antibiotics developed even with the looming danger of “superbugs” or antibiotic resistant bacteria, and the paradigm in medicine overall seems to be “do what we have always done, use what you were taught in training, keep banging head against the wall”. Doesn’t anyone get angry that we should expect a bit more after billions being pouring into research and development?

      1. Antibiotics aren’t gonna make you a billionaire. You take ’em for a couple of weeks, and you’re done. The money’s in drugs that people have to take for the rest of their lives. Now, the government could support antibiotic research, but that would be antithetical to the notion of small government and free markets. The market has decided we don’t need new antibiotics, and the market is always rational, and therefore, right.

      2. “You have companies like Mylan, Valeant and Turing price gouging old drugs just because they can, rising drug costs, but there has not been a great deal of innovation or new treatments.”

        Why do you suppose that is? Do you think it’s just because corporations are big meanies, or is there some other underlying cause?

  16. You know, it’s guys like Stossel, much more than the usual suspects, who are building the both the credibility and coherent argument to oppose Mr. Trump’s more authoritarian moves. By noting what Trump does that is favorable, he establishes himself as someone who wouldn’t complain about Trump’s attempt to spike the electorate with a bunch of old people if Donald Trump personally found a cure for cancer. When Stossel notes that something Trump is doing is wrong, you can rest assured that it’s not just the spin that would find anything Trump does as wrong. But, also, this kind of reporting establishes a core set of principles by which you can judge Trump. Too many of the complaints, even here on Reason, sound like hyperventilating lunacy. And, sadly, hyperventilating lunacy has a habit of drowning out legitimate criticism.

    1. This. Like the term authoritarian and dictator is becoming meaningless since it is applied to trump so often. He hasnt really done anything that would be considered that except maybe eo (rollout and green cards/immigrant visas) otherwise it is legal. It is like facist becoming a meaningless terrm. The hyperbole is annoying. You can then argue every potus is authoritarian.

      I think it should be more critique of specific actions as either executive overreach or authoritarian.

      It seems like folks just want to say whatever they dont like is authoritarian or fascist which becomes meaningless

      Obama bush and trump etc have or could do executive overreach but they arent anywhere near castro or un or maduro, not even putin or the guy from china

      1. I agree. The correct word is “demagogue”.

    2. OK, who let Mr. Logical Discourse into the comment pool?

      I’m going to let you off with a warning this time, but you need to include at least some histrionics and audible handwringing in your posts if we’re going to let you keep commenting here.

  17. “It was a foolish mistake. But I slipped.

    I read The New York Times.”

    Read the Wall Street Journal, instead. They’re based out of New York, too. They’re pro-free market and rationally anti-Trump, instead of the hysterics of most major newspapers.

  18. Politics, and the power it engenders, obfuscates the true purpose of our experiment. We have allowed our politicians to monetize safety and comfort.

  19. We have allowed our politicians to monetize the appearance of safety and comfort.


  20. Please. Someone. Tell The New York Times that socialism was tried. It doesn’t work.

    I have it on good authority that we are all socialists now.

    1. Just look at all those failed Nordic states. Their social programs have reduced their standard of living to that of third-world countries. It’s quite clear that socialism doesn’t work. Especially when you equate it with communism. Then it looks really bad!

  21. mustache > leather jacket

  22. My last month paycheck was for 11000 dollars… All i did was simple online work from comfort at home for 3-4 hours/day that I got from this agency I discovered over the internet and they paid me for it 95 bucks every hour… This is what I do


  23. Any mention of the laughable NYT “newspaper” should always, with a proper mocking, disrespectful tone, remind everyone of little Arthur Ochs “Pinch” Sulzberger.

    You people that willingly live in NYC deserve Pinch in your midst.

  24. Next time we’ll get socialism right. All those others just weren’t smart enough but we won’t make their same mistakes. Of course, millions died because of their stupidity but next time, we’ll get it right!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.