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John Stossel

John Stossel

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John F. Stossel is an American consumer
Consumer
Consumer is a broad label for any individuals or households that use goods generated within the economy. The concept of a consumer occurs in different contexts, so that the usage and significance of the term may vary.-Economics and marketing:...

 reporter, investigative journalist
Investigative journalism
Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, often involving crime, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. An investigative journalist may spend months or years researching and preparing a report. Investigative journalism...

, author and libertarian
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 columnist. In October 2009 Stossel left his long time home on ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

 to join the Fox Business Channel and Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel , often called Fox News, is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation...

, both owned and operated by News Corp. He hosts a weekly news show entitled Stossel
Stossel (TV series)
Stossel is a weekly American talk show, hosted by John Stossel, highlighting current consumer issues with a libertarian viewpoint. The television program debuted on December 10, 2009 on the Fox Business Network and airs every Thursday...

, on Fox Business which debuted December 10, 2009, airing in prime time
Prime time
Prime time or primetime is the block of broadcast programming during the middle of the evening for television programing.The term prime time is often defined in terms of a fixed time period—for example, from 19:00 to 22:00 or 20:00 to 23:00 Prime time or primetime is the block of broadcast...

 every Thursday repeating on both Saturdays and Sundays. Stossel also regularly provides signature analysis, appearing on various Fox News
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel , often called Fox News, is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation...

 shows, including weekly appearances on The O'Reilly Factor
The O'Reilly Factor
The O'Reilly Factor, originally titled The O'Reilly Report from 1996 to 1998 and often called The Factor, is an American talk show on the Fox News Channel hosted by commentator Bill O'Reilly, who often discusses current controversial political issues with guests.The program was the most watched...

, in addition to writing the Fox News Blog, "John Stossel's Take".

Stossel practices advocacy journalism
Advocacy journalism
Advocacy journalism is a genre of journalism that intentionally and transparently adopts a non-objective viewpoint, usually for some social or political purpose. Because it is intended to be factual, it is distinguished from propaganda...

, often challenging conventional wisdom
Conventional wisdom
Conventional wisdom is a term used to describe ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true by the public or by experts in a field. Such ideas or explanations, though widely held, are unexamined. Unqualified societal discourse preserves the status quo. It codifies existing social...

. His reporting style, which is a blend of commentary and reporting, reflects a libertarian political philosophy and his views on economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 are largely supportive of the free market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

.

In his decades as a reporter, Stossel has received numerous honors and awards, including nineteen Emmy awards and has been honored five times for excellence in consumer reporting by the National Press Club. John Stossel is doctor honoris causa from Universidad Francisco Marroquín
Universidad Francisco Marroquín
Universidad Francisco Marroquín is a private, secular, university in Guatemala City, Guatemala. According to the school's website, "the mission of Universidad Francisco Marroquín is to teach and disseminate the ethical, legal and economic principles of a sociey of free and responsible persons."...

. Stossel has written two books recounting how his experiences in journalism shaped his socioeconomic views, Give Me a Break in 2004 and Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity in 2007.

Stossel began his journalism career as a researcher for KGW-TV and later became a consumer reporter at WCBS-TV
WCBS-TV
WCBS-TV, channel 2, is the flagship station of the CBS television network, located in New York City. The station's studios are located within the CBS Broadcast Center and its transmitter is atop the Empire State Building, both in Midtown Manhattan....

 in New York City, before joining ABC News as a consumer editor and reporter on Good Morning America
Good Morning America
Good Morning America is an American morning news and talk show that is broadcast on the ABC television network; it debuted on November 3, 1975. The weekday program airs for two hours; a third hour aired between 2007 and 2008 exclusively on ABC News Now...

. Stossel went on to be an ABC News correspondent, joining the weekly news magazine program 20/20, going on to become co-anchor
News presenter
A news presenter is a person who presents news during a news program in the format of a television show, on the radio or the Internet.News presenters can work in a radio studio, television studio and from remote broadcasts in the field especially weather...

 for the ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

 show 20/20.

ABC is reported to believe "his reporting goes against the grain of the established media and offers the network something fresh and different...[but] makes him a target of the groups he offends."

Early life


John Stossel was born in Chicago Heights, Illinois
Chicago Heights, Illinois
Chicago Heights is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 31,373 at the 2005 census. Chicago Heights is nicknamed 'Crossroads of the Nation'.-History:...

, the younger of two sons, to a prominent Jewish family, and graduated from New Trier High School
New Trier High School
New Trier High School is a public four-year high school , with its major campus located in Winnetka, Illinois, USA, and a second campus in Northfield, Illinois, with freshman classes and district administration...

 in Winnetka
Winnetka, Illinois
Winnetka is an affluent North Shore village located approximately north of downtown Chicago in Cook County, Illinois. Winnetka was featured on the list of America's 25 top-earning towns and "one of the best places to live" by CNN Money in 2011...

. He overcame a stuttering
Stuttering
Stuttering , also known as stammering , is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases, and involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the stutterer is unable to produce sounds...

 problem so he could become a reporter, and is now a supporter and advocate for the Stuttering Foundation of America
Stuttering Foundation of America
The Stuttering Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization working toward the prevention and improved treatment of stuttering. A 501 nonprofit organization, The Stuttering Foundation was established by Malcolm Fraser in 1947 in Memphis, Tennessee...

. Stossel graduated from Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

 with a BA
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in Psychology in 1969 and was a member of Princeton Tower Club
Princeton Tower Club
Princeton Tower Club is one of the ten eating clubs at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, United States, and one of five clubs to choose its members through a selective process called bicker...

 while there. He began his journalism career as a researcher for KGW-TV in Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

. Stossel later became a consumer reporter at WCBS-TV
WCBS-TV
WCBS-TV, channel 2, is the flagship station of the CBS television network, located in New York City. The station's studios are located within the CBS Broadcast Center and its transmitter is atop the Empire State Building, both in Midtown Manhattan....

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 before joining ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

 in 1981 as consumer editor and reporter on Good Morning America
Good Morning America
Good Morning America is an American morning news and talk show that is broadcast on the ABC television network; it debuted on November 3, 1975. The weekday program airs for two hours; a third hour aired between 2007 and 2008 exclusively on ABC News Now...

.

20/20


Stossel was named co-anchor of ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

' 20/20 in May 2003. He joined the weekly news magazine program in 1981, initially as a correspondent. His "Give Me a Break" segments featured a skeptical look at subjects from government regulations and pop culture to censorship
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 and unfounded fear. The series was spun off into a series of one-hour specials (which, Stossel stated in an interview with ReasonTV) cost ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 half a million dollars per Special), beginning in 1994, with titles including:
  • "Give Me a Break" – regular segment
  • You Can't Even Talk About It – 2009
  • Bailouts and Bull (in association with ReasonTV
    Reason (magazine)
    Reason is a libertarian monthly magazine published by the Reason Foundation. The magazine has a circulation of around 60,000 and was named one of the 50 best magazines in 2003 and 2004 by the Chicago Tribune.- History :...

    ) – 2009
  • John Stossel's Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics – 2008
  • Sex in America – 2008
  • Sick in America, Whose Body Is It Anyway? – 2007
  • Cheap In America – 2007
  • Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity – 2007
  • Cheap in America – 2006
  • Stupid in America: How We Cheat Our Kids – 2006
  • Privilege in America: Who's Shutting You Out? – 2006
  • War on Drugs: A War on Ourselves – 2002
  • Freeloaders – 2001
  • John Stossel Goes to Washington – Spring 2001
  • Is America #1? – 1999
  • Greed – 1999
  • Common Sense – 1995
  • Are We Scaring Ourselves to Death?
  • Junk Science: What You Know That May Not Be So
  • Boys and Girls Are Different
  • You Can't Say That!
  • The Power of Belief

Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network


In September 2009, it was announced that Stossel was leaving ABC News and joining Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel , often called Fox News, is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation...

 and Fox Business Network
Fox Business Network
Fox Business Network is an American cable news and satellite news television channel that began broadcasting on October 15, 2007. It is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation...

. In addition to appearing on The O'Reilly Factor
The O'Reilly Factor
The O'Reilly Factor, originally titled The O'Reilly Report from 1996 to 1998 and often called The Factor, is an American talk show on the Fox News Channel hosted by commentator Bill O'Reilly, who often discusses current controversial political issues with guests.The program was the most watched...

every Tuesday night, he now hosts a one-hour weekly program for Fox Business Network and a series of one-hour specials for Fox News Channel, as well as making regular guest appearances on Fox News programs.

The program, entitled Stossel
Stossel (TV series)
Stossel is a weekly American talk show, hosted by John Stossel, highlighting current consumer issues with a libertarian viewpoint. The television program debuted on December 10, 2009 on the Fox Business Network and airs every Thursday...

, debuted December 10, 2009, on Fox Business Network. The program looks at consumer-focused topics, such as civil liberties
Civil liberties
Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the freedom from slavery and forced labour, freedom from torture and death, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one's self, the right to own and bear arms, the right...

, the business of health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

, and free trade
Free trade
Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from...

. His blog, "Stossel’s Take", is published on both FoxBusiness.com and FoxNews.com.

Publications



Stossel has written two books. Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media is an autobiography documenting his career and philosophical transition from liberalism to libertarianism. It describes his opposition to government regulation, his belief in free market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

 and private enterprise, support for tort reform
Tort reform
Tort reform refers to proposed changes in common law civil justice systems that would reduce tort litigation or damages. Tort actions are civil common law claims first created in the English commonwealth system as a non-legislative means for compensating wrongs and harm done by one party to...

, and advocacy for shifting social services from the government to private charities. It was a New York Times bestseller for 11 weeks. Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel – Why Everything You Know Is Wrong questions the validity of various conventional wisdom
Conventional wisdom
Conventional wisdom is a term used to describe ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true by the public or by experts in a field. Such ideas or explanations, though widely held, are unexamined. Unqualified societal discourse preserves the status quo. It codifies existing social...

s, and argues that the belief he is conservative is untrue.

With financial support from the libertarian Palmer R. Chitester Fund
Palmer R. Chitester Fund
The Palmer R. Chitester Fund is a defunct libertarian-leaning Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation based in Erie, Pennsylvania.The Fund had three main initiatives:...

, Stossel and ABC News launched a series of educational materials for public schools in 1999 entitled "Stossel in the Classroom". It was taken over in 2006 by the Center for Independent Thought and releases a new DVD of teaching materials annually. In 2006, Stossel and ABC released Teaching Tools for Economics, a video series based on the National Council of Economics Education standards.

Charity and other work


Stossel often makes public appearances and speeches, advocating his brand of libertarian thought. Stossel explained at the end of the December 30, 2010 episode of Stossel
Stossel (TV series)
Stossel is a weekly American talk show, hosted by John Stossel, highlighting current consumer issues with a libertarian viewpoint. The television program debuted on December 10, 2009 on the Fox Business Network and airs every Thursday...

that he gives away his earnings from these engagements to charity; they contribute 25% of his income. The three main groups he supports with his donations are the The Doe Fund
The Doe Fund
The Doe Fund is a non-profit organization that provides job training and work opportunities, housing assistance, advocacy and support for homeless and unemployed people in New York City...

, the Central Park
Central Park
Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

 Conservancy (on whose board he sits), and Student Sponsor Partners
Student Sponsor Partners
Student Sponsor Partners is a nonprofit organization based in New York City founded by Peter Flanigan. Since 1986, Student Sponsor Partners has been providing at-risk students in New York City with the opportunity of a quality, non-public high school education, through the financial support and...

 (SSP), which partners low-income high school students with donors who mentor the students and pay tuition for the students to attend private school (usually Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 schools), which Stossel says have higher graduation rates than public schools.

Stossel and his former ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

 colleague Chris Cuomo are silent investors in Columbus Tavern, a restaurant on Columbus Avenue at 72nd Street on Manhattan's Upper West Side
Upper West Side
The Upper West Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, that lies between Central Park and the Hudson River and between West 59th Street and West 125th Street...

.

Contrarianism


Stossel's news reports and writings attempt to debunk popular beliefs. His Myths and Lies series of 20/20 specials challenges a range of widely held beliefs. He also hosted The Power of Belief (October 6, 1998), an ABC News Special that focused on assertions of the paranormal and people's desire to believe. Another report outlined the belief that opposition to DDT
DDT
DDT is one of the most well-known synthetic insecticides. It is a chemical with a long, unique, and controversial history....

 is misplaced and that the ban on DDT has resulted in the deaths of millions of children, mostly in poor nations.

Libertarianism



As a libertarian
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

, Stossel says that he believes in both personal freedom
Individual rights
Group rights are rights held by a group rather than by its members separately, or rights held only by individuals within the specified group; in contrast, individual rights are rights held by individual people regardless of their group membership or lack thereof...

 and the free market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

. He frequently uses television airtime to advance these views and challenge viewers' distrust of free market capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 and economic competition
Competition (economics)
Competition in economics is a term that encompasses the notion of individuals and firms striving for a greater share of a market to sell or buy goods and services...

. He received an Honoris Causa Doctorate from Francisco Marroquin University, a libertarian university in Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, in 2008. He told The Oregonian
The Oregonian
The Oregonian is the major daily newspaper in Portland, Oregon, owned by Advance Publications. It is the oldest continuously published newspaper on the U.S. west coast, founded as a weekly by Thomas J. Dryer on December 4, 1850...

, on October 26, 1994:

Stossel argues that personal greed creates an incentive to work and to innovate. He has promoted school choice
School choice
School choice is a term used to describe a wide array of programs aimed at giving families the opportunity to choose the school their children will attend. As a matter of form, school choice does not give preference to one form of schooling or another, rather manifests itself whenever a student...

 as a way to improve American schools, because he believes that when people are given a choice, they will choose the better schools for their children. Referring to educational tests that rank American students lower than others he says:
Stossel has criticized government programs as inefficient, wasteful, and harmful. He has also criticized the American legal system, opining that it provides lawyers and vexatious litigators the incentive to file frivolous lawsuits indiscriminately, which Stossel contends often generate more wealth for lawyers than deserving clients, stifle innovation and personal freedoms, and cause harm to private citizens, taxpayers, consumers and businesses. Although Stossel concedes that some lawsuits are necessary in order to provide justice to people genuinely injured by others with greater economic power, he advocates the adoption in the U.S. of the English rule as one method to reduce the more abusive or frivolous lawsuits.

Stossel opposes corporate welfare
Corporate welfare
Corporate welfare is a pejorative term describing a government's bestowal of money grants, tax breaks, or other special favorable treatment on corporations or selected corporations. The term compares corporate subsidies and welfare payments to the poor, and implies that corporations are much less...

, bailouts and the war in Iraq. He also opposes legal prohibitions against pornography
Pornography
Pornography or porn is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction.Pornography may use any of a variety of media, ranging from books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video,...

, marijuana, gambling
Gambling
Gambling is the wagering of money or something of material value on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods...

, ticket scalping, prostitution
Prostitution
Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including a "john". Prostitution is one of...

, homosexual activity, and assisted suicide
Assisted suicide
Assisted suicide is the common term for actions by which an individual helps another person voluntarily bring about his or her own death. "Assistance" may mean providing one with the means to end one's own life, but may extend to other actions. It differs to euthanasia where another person ends...

, and believes most abortions should be legal. He favors replacing the income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

 with the FairTax
FairTax
The FairTax is a tax reform proposal for the federal government of the United States that would replace all federal taxes on personal and corporate income with a single broad national consumption tax on retail sales. The Fair Tax Act would apply a tax once at the point of purchase on all new goods...

.

When President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 altered federal guidelines in April 2010 governing the employment of unpaid interns under the Fair Labor Standards Act
Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 is a federal statute of the United States. The FLSA established a national minimum wage, guaranteed 'time-and-a-half' for overtime in certain jobs, and prohibited most employment of minors in "oppressive child labor," a term that is defined in the statute...

, Stossel criticized the guidelines, appearing in a police uniform during an appearance on the Fox News program America Live, commenting, "I’ve built my career on unpaid interns, and the interns told me it was great—I learned more from you than I did in college." Asked why he did not pay them if they were so valuable, he said he could not afford to.

Regarding religion, Stossel identified himself as an agnostic in the December 16, 2010 episode of Stossel
Stossel (TV series)
Stossel is a weekly American talk show, hosted by John Stossel, highlighting current consumer issues with a libertarian viewpoint. The television program debuted on December 10, 2009 on the Fox Business Network and airs every Thursday...

, explaining that he had no belief in God, but was open to the possibility.

Awards


Stossel has won 19 Emmy Award
Emmy Award
An Emmy Award, often referred to simply as the Emmy, is a television production award, similar in nature to the Peabody Awards but more focused on entertainment, and is considered the television equivalent to the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards .A majority of Emmys are presented in various...

s. He was honored five times for excellence in consumer reporting by the National Press Club, and has received the George Polk Award for Outstanding Local Reporting
George Polk Awards
The George Polk Awards in Journalism are a series of American journalism awards presented annually by Long Island University in New York in the United States.-History:...

 and the Peabody Award. In one year, according to Stossel in his book Give Me A Break, "I got so many Emmys, another winner thanked me in his acceptance speech 'for not having an entry in this category'". According to Stossel, when he was in favor of government intervention and skeptical of business he was deluged with awards, but in 2006 he stated, "They like me less... Once I started applying the same skepticism to government, I stopped winning awards."

Praise


The libertarian Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

–winning economist Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman was an American economist, statistician, academic, and author who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades...

 lauded Stossel, stating: "Stossel is that rare creature, a TV commentator who understands economics, in all its subtlety." Steve Forbes
Steve Forbes
Malcolm Stevenson "Steve" Forbes, Jr. is an American editor, publisher, and businessman. He is the editor-in-chief of business magazine Forbes as well as president and chief executive officer of its publisher, Forbes Inc. He was a Republican candidate in the U.S. Presidential primaries in 1996...

, the editor of Forbes Magazine, described Stossel as riveting and "one of America’s ablest and most courageous journalists." P. J. O'Rourke
P. J. O'Rourke
Patrick Jake "P. J." O'Rourke is an American political satirist, journalist, writer, and author. O'Rourke is the H. L. Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute and is a regular correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, The American Spectator, and The Weekly Standard, and frequent panelist on...

, best-selling author of Eat the Rich and Parliament of Whores praised Stossel, stating:
An article published by the libertarian group Advocates for Self Government
Advocates for Self Government
The Advocates for Self-Government is a non-profit, non-partisan libertarian educational organization. It was founded in 1985 by Marshall Fritz and the current president is Sharon Harris....

 notes praise for Stossel. Independent Institute Research Analyst Anthony Gregory, writing on the libertarian blog, LewRockwell.com
LewRockwell.com
LewRockwell.com is a 501 libertarian web magazine operated by Burton Blumert , Lew Rockwell , Eric Garris , and others associated with the Center for Libertarian Studies ; its motto is "anti-state, anti-war, pro-market"...

, described Stossel as a "heroic rogue... a media maverick and proponent of freedom in an otherwise statist, conformist mass media." Libertarian investment analyst Mark Skousen
Mark Skousen
Mark Skousen is an American economist, investment analyst, newsletter editor, college professor and author of more than 25 non-fiction books.- Early life, education and family :...

 said Stossel is "a true libertarian hero".

Watchdog groups


Media organizations such as Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting is a progressive media criticism organization based in New York City, founded in 1986.FAIR describes itself on its website as "the national media watch group" and defines its mission as working to "invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity...

 (FAIR) and Media Matters for America
Media Matters for America
Media Matters for America is a politically progressive media watchdog group which says it is "dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media." Set up as a 501 non-profit organization, MMfA was founded in 2004 by journalist and...

 (MMfA), have criticized Stossel's work, for what was perceived by those groups as a lack of balance of coverage and distortion of facts. For example, Stossel was criticized for a segment on his October 11, 1999, show during which he argued that AIDS research has received too much funding, "25 times more than on Parkinson's, which kills more people." FAIR responded that, "In fact, AIDS killed more than 16,000 people in the United States in 1999," whereas Parkinson's averaged "a death toll in the United States of less than 4,000 per year."

Accusation of conflict of interest


In a February 2000 Salon.com
Salon.com
Salon.com, part of Salon Media Group , often just called Salon, is an online liberal magazine, with content updated each weekday. Salon was founded by David Talbot and launched on November 20, 1995. It was the internet's first online-only commercial publication. The magazine focuses on U.S...

 feature on Stossel entitled "Prime-time propagandist", David Mastio wrote that Stossel has a conflict of interest in donating profits from his public speaking engagements to, among others, a non-profit called "Stossel in the Classroom" which includes material for use in schools, some of which uses material made by Stossel.

Galbraith and Stossel


University of Texas economist, James K. Galbraith
James K. Galbraith
James Kenneth Galbraith is an American economist who writes frequently for mainstream and liberal publications on economic topics. He is currently a professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and at the Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin. He is also a Senior...

, has alleged that Stossel in his September 1999 special, Is America #1?, used an out of context clip of Galbraith to convey the notion that Galbraith advocated the adoption by Europe of the free market economics practiced by the United States, when in fact, Galbraith actually advocated that Europe adopt some of the United States' social benefit transfer mechanisms such as Social Security
Social security
Social security is primarily a social insurance program providing social protection or protection against socially recognized conditions, including poverty, old age, disability, unemployment and others. Social security may refer to:...

, which is the economically opposite view. Stossel denied any misrepresentation of Galbraith's views, and stated that it was not his intention to convey that Galbraith agreed with all of the special's ideas, but re-edited that portion of the program for its September 2000 repeat, in which Stossel paraphrased, "Even economists who like Europe's policies, like James Galbraith, now acknowledge America's success."

Organic vegetables


A February 2000 story about organic vegetables on 20/20 included statements by Stossel that tests had shown that neither organic nor conventional produce samples contained any pesticide residue, and that organic food was more likely to be contaminated by E. coli
Escherichia coli
Escherichia coli is a Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms . Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some serotypes can cause serious food poisoning in humans, and are occasionally responsible for product recalls...

bacteria. The Environmental Working Group
Environmental Working Group
The Environmental Working Group is an American environmental organization that specializes in research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals, agricultural subsidies, public lands, and corporate accountability...

 objected to his report, mainly questioning his statements about bacteria, but also managed to determine that the produce had never been tested for pesticides. They communicated this to Stossel, but after the story's producer backed Stossel's recollection that the test results had been as described, the story was rebroadcast months later, uncorrected, and with a postscript in which Stossel reiterated his claim. Later, after a report in The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

confirmed the Environmental Working Group's claims, ABC News suspended the producer of the segment for a month and reprimanded Stossel. Stossel apologized, saying that he had thought the tests had been conducted as reported. However, he asserted that the gist of his report had been accurate.

Frederick K. Price


In a March 2007 segment about finances and lifestyles of televangelists, 20/20 aired a clip of Rev. Frederick K. Price
Frederick K. C. Price
Frederick K.C. Price is the founder and pastor of Crenshaw Christian Center , California. He gained international renown through his Ever Increasing Faith ministries broadcast that is aired weekly on both television and radio.Price received an honorary diploma from the Rhema Bible Training Center ...

, a TV minister, that was originally broadcast by the Lifetime Network in 1997. Price alleged that the clip portrayed him describing his wealth in extravagant terms, when he was actually telling a parable about a rich man. ABC News twice aired a retraction and apologized for the error. In August 2010, a lower court's dismissal of the minister's defamation suit against ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

, Price v. Stossel, was overturned by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Sick Sob Stories"


In an opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

in September 2007 called "Sick Sob Stories", Stossel described the case of Tracy and Julie Pierce that was explored in Michael Moore
Michael Moore
Michael Francis Moore is an American filmmaker, author, social critic and activist. He is the director and producer of Fahrenheit 9/11, which is the highest-grossing documentary of all time. His films Bowling for Columbine and Sicko also place in the top ten highest-grossing documentaries...

's film, Sicko
Sicko
Sicko is a 2007 documentary film by American filmmaker Michael Moore. The film investigates health care in the United States, focusing on its health insurance and the pharmaceutical industry. The movie compares the for-profit, non-universal U.S...

. Julie Pierce criticized Stossel, saying her husband would have been saved by the Canadian health care system
Health care in Canada
Health care in Canada is delivered through a publicly-funded health care system, which is mostly free at the point of use and has most services provided by private entities. It is guided by the provisions of the Canada Health Act. The government assures the quality of care through federal standards...

, and she thought Stossel should have interviewed her and her doctor before writing about them. Stossel expressed sympathy, but said she had been misled to believe the treatment was routinely available in Canada. He said that the treatment is also considered "experimental" in Canada, and is provided there even more rarely than in the U.S.

Global warming


He challenges the notion that man-made global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

 would have net negative consequences, pointing to assertedly warmer periods in human history. Central to his argument is the idea that groups and individuals get much more public attention, donations, and government funding when they proclaim "this will be terrible" than groups that say "this is nothing to worry about." He points to groups like the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace
Greenpeace
Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, The Netherlands...

, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council
Natural Resources Defense Council
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a New York City-based, non-profit, non-partisan international environmental advocacy group, with offices in Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Beijing...

, and to activists such as Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson
Rachel Louise Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement....

 and
former U.S. Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

 as examples of environmental scaremongers.

In 2001, the media watchdog organization Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting is a progressive media criticism organization based in New York City, founded in 1986.FAIR describes itself on its website as "the national media watch group" and defines its mission as working to "invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity...

 criticized Stossel's reportage of global warming in his documentary, Tampering with Nature, for using "highly selective...information" that gave "center stage to three dissenters from among the 2,000 members of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which recently released a report stating that global temperatures are rising almost twice as fast as previously thought."

In a 2006 discussion hosted by the Fraser Institute
Fraser Institute
The Fraser Institute is a Canadian think tank. It has been described as politically conservative and right-wing libertarian and espouses free market principles...

, Stossel stated that he accepts that global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

 has occurred in the past century, that it has been about one degree Celsius, and that man-made emissions "may be part of the cause." Nevertheless he groups environmental groups with astrologers and psychics in his second book, Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity. He stated that the "myths" come in with the debate about proposed solutions to reduce global warming
Mitigation of global warming
Climate change mitigation is action to decrease the intensity of radiative forcing in order to reduce the potential effects of global warming. Mitigation is distinguished from adaptation to global warming, which involves acting to tolerate the effects of global warming...

, which he argues will not solve the problem at all and will restrict people's freedom.

David Schultz incident


On December 28, 1984, during an interview for 20/20 on professional wrestling
Professional wrestling
Professional wrestling is a mode of spectacle, combining athletics and theatrical performance.Roland Barthes, "The World of Wrestling", Mythologies, 1957 It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, which mimic a title match combat sport...

, wrestler David Schultz
David Schultz (professional wrestler)
David Schultz is an American retired professional wrestler. Although he is known for competing in North American regional promotions such as Stampede Wrestling, the National Wrestling Alliance and the American Wrestling Association during the late 1970s and 1980s, he is perhaps best remembered for...

 struck Stossel after Stossel stated that he thought professional wrestling was "fake". Stossel stated that he suffered from pain and buzzing in his ears eight weeks after the assault. Stossel sued and obtained a settlement of $425,000 from the World Wrestling Federation
World Wrestling Entertainment
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. is an American publicly traded, privately controlled entertainment company dealing primarily in professional wrestling, with major revenue sources also coming from film, music, product licensing, and direct product sales...

 (WWF). In his book, Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity, he writes that he has come to regret doing so, having adopted the belief that lawsuits harm hundreds of innocent people. Schultz maintains that he attacked Stossel on orders from Vince McMahon
Vince McMahon
Vincent Kennedy "Vince" McMahon is an American professional wrestling promoter, announcer, commentator, film producer, actor and former occasional professional wrestler. McMahon is the current Chairman, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee of professional wrestling promotion WWE...

, the head of the then-WWF.

Personal life


Stossel lives in New York City with his wife, Ellen Abrams. They have two grown children.

Stossel's older brother, Thomas P. Stossel, is a hematologist
Hematology
Hematology, also spelled haematology , is the branch of biology physiology, internal medicine, pathology, clinical laboratory work, and pediatrics that is concerned with the study of blood, the blood-forming organs, and blood diseases...

 at Brigham and Women's Hospital
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Brigham and Women's Hospital is the largest hospital of the Longwood Medical and Academic Area in Boston, Massachusetts. It is directly adjacent to Harvard Medical School of which it is the second largest teaching affiliate with 793 beds...

, and a professor at Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School is the graduate medical school of Harvard University. It is located in the Longwood Medical Area of the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts....

. He has served on the advisory boards of Merck
Merck & Co.
Merck & Co., Inc. , also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme or MSD outside the United States and Canada, is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. The Merck headquarters is located in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, an unincorporated area in Readington Township...

, Biogen Idec
Biogen Idec
Biogen Idec, Inc. is a biotechnology company specializing in drugs for neurological disorders, autoimmune disorders and cancer. The company was formed in 2003 by the merger of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Biogen Inc. and San Diego, California-based IDEC Pharmaceuticals...

 and Dyax, as a senior fellow at the free-market Manhattan Institute
Manhattan Institute
The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research is a conservative, market-oriented think tank established in New York City in 1978 by Antony Fisher and William J...

, and as a trustee of the American Council on Science and Health
American Council on Science and Health
The American Council on Science and Health is a nonprofit organization founded in 1978 by Dr. Elizabeth Whelan that produces peer-reviewed reports on issues related to food, nutrition, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, the environment and health...

.

Stossel's nephew is the journalist and magazine editor, Scott Stossel
Scott Stossel
Scott Stossel is an American journalist and editor. He is deputy editor of The Atlantic magazine, and previously served as executive editor of The American Prospect magazine...

.

External links



Biographies and articles about Stossel


Articles by Stossel