John Stossel returned to the air on Fox Business on Friday night after treatment for lung cancer. He told People magazine he has only a 20 percent chance the cancer will return. He doesn't feel like he deserves special attention: "People have been very nice, saying they have been praying for me. I feel a little embarrassed, because I don't feel I had a life-threatening diagnosis. I caught something early, they took it out."
Stossel gave an interview to Paul Bond at The Hollywood Reporter, and they chatted about liberal media bias at ABC and elsewhere, like the Emmy award voters:
THR: You have 19 Emmys. When was your last one?
STOSSEL: Boy. Not since I woke up to the fact that government does more harm than business. That must be 20 years ago, and I haven’t won a single one since.
THR: Are you saying Emmy voters are politically biased?
THR: In what way? They’re just diehard liberals who won’t vote for a libertarian or conservative?
STOSSEL: Yes. But I don’t know about "diehard," because I consider myself a classical liberal — leave people alone. So I would use the word 'leftist' to describe them. The fact that my winning lots of awards stopped when I started criticizing government regulation is confirmation that most of us in the media lean left, and certainly the Emmy voters do. They’re not comfortable with free markets. They view them as cruel and unfair.
THR: The entertainment and media industries are part of the free market, are they cruel and unfair?
STOSSEL: There’s a multiple personality there. They’re all looking to make money, but everyone around them leans left. It’s the water in which they swim. People who support less regulation and a smaller welfare state are selfish and evil. Everybody knows that. It’s just obvious. It’s not my bias.
THR: Is that a problem so many in media lean left?
STOSSEL: Yes. They dominate the information flow. The Facebook accusation is a good example. I get half my news from my Facebook news feed and young people get all of it that way. It’s confirmation bias. You’re fed back what you already believe. It’s why Bernie Sanders fans are convinced that Hillary rigged the system, because everybody they know loves Bernie, so how could he have not won the primary? Reading that Gizmodo story, it just rang true, that there were editors from East Coast private colleges that would say, "This Ted Cruz guy, we’re not going to say he’s trending. Glenn Beck, he’s disgusting. We’ll protect people from these bad things."
Stossel came up as a liberal, and then shifted right as time wore on. " I saw that my leftist solutions weren’t working. Regulations made life worse. I started reading more, and I discovered Reason magazine, which opened my eyes."
He said he finally left ABC because they lost interest: “They were no longer interested in airing my libertarian stories. I did a show called Stupid in America about the government school system, how bad it was, and I had done a piece on Michael Moore’s Sicko. They rated pretty well. A few years later there was a school-choice movement and Obamacare and I wanted to update those segments. My boss said, ‘Ah, you’re just predictably libertarian. No one is interested in that. Why don’t you do stories on breast enlargement or sex-murders.’ It was frustrating.”
He said ABC coworkers didn’t seem mad over his politics. “Not overtly. Many were nice. Peter Jennings would turn away from me when he saw me in the halls. He was the worst.”
THR: What else did Peter Jennings do that made you think he didn’t like your politics?
STOSSEL: He once tried to get a show of mine killed. It was titled, Is America No. 1?, and I went around the world showing what made societies prosper. I confronted socialists in India. They said India was poor because of immigrants from Bangladesh. And I said, "No, it’s because of your dumb socialist ideas." We had a confrontation. Peter didn’t like that.
When asked to choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Stossel said “Shoot me. Probably Trump. I know Hillary will be bad. She wants to micro-manage life so we’ll have stagnation and poverty. Trump may do the same thing with a trade war, but maybe he’ll change his mind.”