Skip to comments.John Stossel: 'Scourge of the liberal media'
Posted on 01/16/2004 6:50:12 AM PST by Augustus McCrae
I was once a heroic consumer reporter; now I'm a threat to journalism."
That's how veteran ABC-News newsman and free-market champion John Stossel begins chapter 1 of his courageous new book, "Give Me a Break" available autographed by the author exclusively from WorldNetDaily.
What happened that changed Stossel from hero to threat? He continues:
As a consumer reporter, I exposed con men and thieves, confronting them with hidden camera footage that unmasked their lies, put some out of business, and helped send the worst of them to jail. The Dallas Morning News called me the "bravest and best of television's consumer reporters." Marvin Kitman of Newsday said I was "the man who makes 'em squirm," whose "investigations of the unjust and wicked are models." Jonathan Mandell of the New York Daily News quoted a WCBS official who "proudly" said, "No one's offended more people than John Stossel." Ah, "proudly." Those were the days. My colleagues liked it when I offended people.
They called my reporting "hard-hitting," "a public service." I won 18 Emmys, and lots of other journalism awards. One year I got so many Emmys, another winner thanked me in his acceptance speech "for not having an entry in this category."
Then I did a terrible thing. Instead of just applying my skepticism to business, I applied it to government and "public interest" groups. This apparently violated a religious tenet of journalism. Suddenly I was no longer "objective."
Ralph Nader said I "used to be on the cutting edge," but had become "lazy and dishonest." According to Brill's Content, "Nader was a fan during Stossel's consumer advocate days," but "now talks about him as if he'd been afflicted with a mysterious disease."
These days, I rarely get awards from my peers. Some of my ABC colleagues look away when they see me in the halls. Web sites call my reporting "hurtful, biased, absurd." "What happened to Stossel?" they ask. CNN invited me to be a guest on a journalism show; when I arrived at the studio, I discovered they'd titled it "Objectivity and Journalism Does John Stossel Practice Either?" People now e-mail me, calling me "a corporate whore" and a "sellout."
How did I get from there to here? This book is the story of my professional and intellectual journey.
When he hit the airwaves 30 years ago, John Stossel helped create a whole new category of news, dedicated to protecting and informing consumers. As a crusading reporter, he chased snake-oil peddlers, rip-off artists, and corporate thieves, winning the applause of his peers.
But along the way, he noticed that there was something far more troublesome going on: While the networks screamed about the dangers of exploding BIC lighters and coffeepots, worse risks were ignored. And while reporters were teaming up with lawyers and legislators to stick it to big business, they seldom reported the ways the free market made life better.
In "Give Me a Break" subtitled "How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media" Stossel explains how ambitious bureaucrats, intellectually lazy reporters, and greedy lawyers make your life worse even as they claim to protect your interests. Taking on such sacred cows as the FDA, the War on Drugs, and scaremongering environmental activists and backing up his trademark irreverence with careful reasoning and research he shows how the problems that government tries and fails to fix can be solved better by the extraordinary power of the free market.
He traces his journey from cub reporter to 20/20 co-anchor, revealing his battles to get his ideas to the public, his struggle to overcome stuttering, and his eventual realization that, for years, much of his reporting missed the point.
Stossel concludes the book with a provocative blueprint for change: a simple plan in the spirit of the Founding Fathers to ensure that America remains a place "where free minds and free markets make good things happen."
Although the official release date for "Give Me a Break" is next Tuesday, you can pre-order your copy signed by the author or unsigned now from WorldNetDaily.
Please join us as John Stossel explains how his investigations of government waste, fraud and abuse; welfare for the rich; victimless crimes; self-serving interest groups; and sensationalist-media hyping (while ignoring real risks) reveal the crucial need to protect the civil and economic liberties of all people.
You are cordially invited to attend
CONFESSIONS OF A MEDIA MAVERICK:
No doubt. The rats he's taken to exposing see him as mentally ill.
Amongst themselves, they probably refer to it as Bernard Goldberg Syndrome.
It is disrespectful to slap a person's remains.
The wrestler gave him an open handed slap/cuff. After Stossel fell to his knees, the wrestler asked him if that was a fake.
Of course Stossel sued him and won.
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