We'll have to wait and see if the so-called outside-the-box thinking once praised by some of liberal media elites will get the same reception with this latest edition.
In 2005, University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner released the book "Freakonomics" that provided cover for the pro-abortion movement in America by suggesting legalized abortion lowered crime and had a positive impact on society.
However, in their new book "SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance," Levitt and Dubner blame what is generally accepted to be a liberal cause, women's liberation, for the rise of high-end prostitution in America and a failing public education system. The authors appeared on ABC's Oct. 23 "20/20" to elaborate on their theories.
Is Fox News Channel president Roger Ailes about to score another big name personality for his fledgling off-spin business channel? According to The New York Times television and digital media reporter Brian Stelter, News Corp's (NASDAQ:NWS) Fox Business Network is considering adding CNN "Lou Dobbs Tonight" host Lou Dobbs to its lineup.
"The business channel is also keen on another administration critic, Lou Dobbs, who met for dinner with Mr. Ailes last month, according to two people with direct knowledge of the meeting," Stelter wrote in a piece for the Oct. 12 Times about the growing divide between Fox News and the Obama administration. "The shift for Fox News - the favorite network of the Bush administration, now the least favored one of the Obama administration - has financial implications for the News Corporation, especially given the network's status as a growth engine in a perilous time for media companies."
TVNewser is reporting that "20/20" co-anchor John Stossel is leaving ABC News to join the Fox Business Network:
TVNewser has learned Stossel will host a weekly, one-hour program for the 2-year-old business channel. He's expected to signed a multi-year deal with Fox which will include regular appearances on Fox News Channel during daytime and primetime. He'll also host four, hour-long specials on Fox News, much like the business/consumer specials he'd hosted for years on ABC.
Stossel, a libertarian, has been appearing on Fox News for years as a guest on shows including "The O'Reilly Factor," "Hannity & Colmes" and "The Big Story."
On Thursday’s Good Morning America, for the third time in two years, Sam Champion interviewed an extreme environmentalist who shunned toilet paper for a year as part of a project to be carbon neutral. Colin Beavan, also known as "No Impact Man," appeared on the show to promote a new documentary and book on his experience. This time, however, Champion downplayed the bizarre elements of Beavan’s life.
The host made no mention of the fact that, in addition to not using amenities such as elevators, cars and electricity, Beavan also stopped partaking in the practice of using toilet paper. (This aspect was noted on ABCNews.com.) Champion did refer to the project as a "year-long experiment in living extreme green." But, the ABC weatherman skipped any discussion of the left-wing nature of Beavan's life. The full title of the environmentalist’s book is "No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process." [Emphasis added] (The book title did appear briefly as an on-screen graphic.)
On Friday’s 20/20 on ABC, co-anchor John Stossel exposed the flaws in the Canadian and British government-run health care systems, and even showed viewers a clip of President Obama as he once expressed a belief that single-payer health care would be an acceptable system, even while taking the position that he would not pursue it, during one of the Democratic party presidential debates in 2008. During the January 21, 2008, debate on CNN, Obama said:
It's fine for us to have a debate about how the best way to get there is, but to suggest somehow that I'm not interested in having everybody covered, or to suggest, as Hillary just did, that I was in favor of single payer, I never said that we should try to go ahead and get single payer. What I said was that if I were starting from scratch, if we didn't have a system in which employers had typically provided health care, I would probably go with a single-payer system.
During the six-minute, 20-second segment -- which can be seen here -- Stossel informed viewers of the long waits patients must endure in countries with government-run health systems – like Canada and Britain. He recounted that some patients – including world leaders and wealthy celebrities – come to America for treatment of serious conditions, and relayed the case of one Canadian woman who came to America to treat a clogged artery whose American doctor told her she would not have survived waiting a few more weeks for Canada's government health care. Additionally, Stossel found that even patients waiting in emergency rooms in Canada have to wait an average of 23 hours for service.
John Stossel on Monday blogged about the fact that ABC bumped a planned segment of his that is skeptical towards universal health care, saying, "Yes, I am sick of the coverage of Michael Jackson. I hate it that ABC didn’t run my piece." According to TV Newser, the report, which would have aired on the June 26 edition of 20/20, has now been rescheduled for the July 17 edition of the show.
The five minute segment will look at the problems that countries such as Canada and Britain have faced with government-run health care. In an online version of the story, Stossel (see file photo above), Andrew Sullivan and Andrew Kirell wrote, "In England, shortages of dentists have caused hundreds of people to wait in line just for an appointment. The queues can be so long that some people have resorted to pulling out their own rotting teeth, using vodka and pliers as tools."
Media types often have a habit of masking their true beliefs in their online blogs in attempt to maintain the fiction that they are "unbiased." One such blog that comes to mind is the Daily Nightly blog of Brian Williams in which he attempts (not always successfully) to hide his liberal bias to an extent that it comes off as quite inane. In fact, your humble correspondent has labeled the Williams blog as the Daily Dully.
In stark contrast to the Williams ennui is the new John Stossel blog of ABC News, John Stossel's Take, which began less than two weeks ago. And in that short time, Stossel has already made waves with his amazingly candid views which frequently run counter to the liberal conventional wisdom. An example is Stossel's blog edition posted last Friday titled, Arrogance:
As I read about the President’s new econ regulatory plans, I marvel at the arrogance. I doubt whether any president, with all his advisers and cabinet officials, is capable of overseeing something as complex as the financial system of a great economy.
Adam Lambert of American Idol gave his first interview to ABC's 20/20 last Friday night. The main subject of the interview was Lambert's homosexuality. Lambert explained that, "It's surprising because I don't think twice about, for example, my sexuality. I've been living this way the whole time I've been here in L.A. for the past eight years. It's a funny reminder that not everybody is as comfortable with it as I am."
After a surprising loss to Kris Allen, Adam Lambert has managed to stay in the spotlight. Throughout the competition Lambert's sexuality had been debated and discussed relentlessly, and he has made the most of it. Lambert explained that "It feels really good cause I think there was a lot of speculation and talk ... And it feels really good to just kind of state the facts and move forward. Not keep wondering about, what does he do, you know? With whom?"
This unburdening came complete with a picture of Lambert kissing another man.
Cokie Roberts appeared on Friday's "Good Morning America" and agreed with Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's 1994 comment that a wise woman would come to a better conclusion than a man. Roberts, cheered, "Of course, I would agree with her that they're better." Fellow ABC journalist Sam Donaldson empathized that if the judge made a mistake, "it was a Joe Biden problem. She blurted out the truth." [Audio available here]
Throughout two segments on the program, various reporters and guests justified Sotomayor's comments. Roberts attempted to explain away the comments, which are in addition to the now famous 2001 "wise Latina" quote. She sympathized to co-host Diane Sawyer, "You go before these big women's groups. And, Diane, I'm sure you've done it. I've certainly done it many times." With no hint of controversy, Roberts added, "And you do say things that kind of rev up the crowd and get women excited. And one of those things that you do say is that women are better than men."
ABC's token contrarian John Stossel appeared on Friday's "Good Morning America" to promote his new "20/20" special on some very politically incorrect subjects. In the process, he got into a bit of a dust-up with GMA news anchor Chris Cuomo, telling the son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, "And I know in law school and in your political family, you believe good things only happen because government passes laws." [Audio available here]
Stossel appeared on the morning show to discuss one of the topics on his special, airing Friday night at 10pm on ABC. Among other subjects, he will argue that it was wrong for the government to make it illegal for employers to fire a woman because she is pregnant. After showing a clip of the piece, Cuomo skeptically questioned, "...This law was created for a reason, that women were discriminated against. That's why they passed the law in the '60s." Cuomo, whose brother is currently the Democratic Attorney General of New York, challenged, "Why open the door to giving a corporation a way out?"
On Friday’s World News with Charles Gibson on ABC, substitute anchor Diane Sawyer previewed the same night’s special on guns in America, "If I Only Had a Gun," and, on World News, ran a report focusing on how challenging it is to react to a gunman when taken by surprise, even if one is armed. ABC News enlisted the services of police officers to train college students in firearm use and then had the students react to one of the officers as he pretended to be a crazed gunman and burst into a small lecture room. Sawyer informed viewers: "Our training is already more than almost half the states in the country require to carry a concealed weapon."
The report documented that all of the trained students performed poorly in trying to defend themselves. Sawyer narrated a clip of one such botched attempt at self-defense: "Joey struggles to get his gun out, but it's stuck in his shirt. He can't even get it out to aim it. Had this event been real, police say Joey would have been killed in the first five seconds." Each of the students taking part appeared to be wearing a T-shirt which the concealed handgun was tucked underneath.
But the report only focused on this one narrow scenario in which the law-abiding citizen is taken by surprise by a skilled gunman, while the report ignores other scenarios and crime situations when the record shows that armed citizens do sometimes succeed when forced to confront criminals.
In the May 31, 1999, National Review article, "Why New Gun Laws Won’t Work," University of Chicago Professor John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime, wrote about two then-recent school shooting sprees that were cut short when an armed citizen in each case used his own weapon to capture the gunman. Lott:
Wait a minute Mom. Don't let little Johnny go to his buddy Tommy's house. Tommy's parents are psychos that own -- **gasp** -- GUNS! This is the message that ABC is telling parents in an April 10 piece headlined, "Before Arranging Playdates, Ask About Guns."
Here ABC attempts to make every gun owner seem like a lunatic just ready to blow and encourages parents to be deathly afraid of anyone that owns a gun. It encourages parents to pry into the lives of family members of their kid's friends and bases it all on the lies passed off as scary gun violence statistics.
Naturally, ABC's back up for this anti-gun screed is by a supposedly "non partisan" anti-gun group called PAX USA, an organization with board and advisory councils filled with left-wing Hollywood actors such as Richard Belzer, Tim Robbins, and Rob Reiner among many others.