For some reason, John Stossel is often referred to as a journalist. In reality, he's a contrarian blow-hard who believes that government is evil and that corporations would be the most ethical, noble institutions in the world if only they were left to their own devices and not hampered by pesky burdens like accountability and oversight. Riiight.
So it comes as little surprise to me that Stossel belittles the serious threat from global warming. Last week, he went on Fox News' Dayside to promote his new book, "Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity: Get out the Shovel, Why Everything You Know Is Wrong" (no sign of arrogance in that title...).
So what did "Mr. Mythbuster" have to say about global warming?
STOSSEL: "Global warming is happening. Is it a big problem? Probably not. Many scientists do not agree, despite what you hear in the Al Gore movie. And Kyoto wouldn't make any difference even if we did sign and if the countries that did obeyed, which they're not."
And there's more "downright stupidity." Stossel recently told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that "we shouldn't wreck life for poor people" by trying to solve global warming through efforts like the Kyoto Protocol. (Huh? Poor people will suffer the worst from global warming.) Stossel admits there's been warming, but thinks we need to wait for more evidence before we do anything about it. (Perhaps evidence such as the deadly heat wave now scorching the U.S. and straining our electric grid?)
This from a guy who not long ago lied on national television, claiming that he and ABC had conducted scientific tests that proved organic food "could kill you" and that organics should be plastered with warning labels. (His producer was the fall guy on that one, ABC only reluctantly gave Stossel a limp-wristed reprimand by making him apologize on-air to the 20/20 audience for LYING to them.)
So let's see, according to Stossel, we should immediately label organics as potentially deadly based on his non-existent tests, but when it comes to global warming, we should ignore the urgent warnings of the world's scientists? Gotcha.
"Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity" is really the perfect description of Stossel's reporting credentials. He's got a right-wing fan club, so ABC lets him off easy for lying, then promoted him when Barbara Walters left 20/20. Now he's not only a "correspondent," he's an "anchor," granted the same prestige as Walters and other respectable network journos. "Give me a break!" would be the understatement of the decade there.
In May, the week his book was published, ABC let Stossel do what amounted to a one-hour infomercial for his new book. It even had the same title as the book.
It baffles me why ABC would continue to let this guy parade as a reporter and mislead the 20/20 audience. ABC ought to fire him now, or start identifying him on-air as a pundit or opinionist.
Nothing is a bigger myth or lie than this guy.