John Stossel

Stossel: Hot Air on the Hill

Politicians use congressional hearings to score cheap points and bully productive people.


Congressional hearings date back to the first Congress in 1789, and they're supposed to educate lawmakers. But now hearings are more about scoring points.

During recent impeachment hearings, Rep. Adam Schiff (D–Calif.) shouted at least five times, "Gentleman is not recognized!" to shut down opposition points.

Republicans are ridiculous, too. Some should wish they'd been shut down. Several years ago, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R–Utah) asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg the silly question: "How do you sustain a business model in which users don't pay for your service?"

After a pause, Zuckerberg responded, "Senator, we run ads." Hatch couldn't figure that out on his own?

Rep. Al Green (D–Texas) interrogated Zuckerberg about groups that Facebook partners with to create a new cryptocurrency.

"How many are headed by women?" Green demanded.

"Congressman, I do not know the answer," Zuckerberg replied.

"How many of them are minorities, Mr. Zuckerberg? … Are there any members of the LGBTQ+ community?"

Republican Steve King (R–Iowa) complained to Google's CEO about what his granddaughter saw on an iPhone. He demanded, "how does that show up on a 7-year-old's iPhone, who's playing a kid's game?" he asked.

"Congressman, the iPhone is made by a different company," Google's CEO had to tell King.

The views expressed in this video are solely those of John Stossel; his independent production company, Stossel Productions; and the people he interviews. The claims and opinions set forth in the video and accompanying text are not necessarily those of Reason.