John Stossel Turns 70

In 2007, he published Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity, a book which called into question many widely-held misconceptions and unchallenged assumptions. For example, he challenged incorrect knee-jerk beliefs about everything from DDT to road rage.

Midway through his career, he became a staunch critic of consumer protectionism, once remarking: “Patrick Henry did not say, ‘Give me absolute safety or give me death.’”

This past April, Mr. Stossel, made history by hosting the first ever nationally-televised Libertarian presidential debate.

Today, media personality and journalist John Stossel celebrates his 70th birthday.

Mr. Stossel made his name first as the co-anchor of ABC’s 20/20 and then subsequently at Fox News and Fox Business Network. In 2007, he published Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity, a book which called into question many widely-held misconceptions and unchallenged assumptions. For example, he challenged incorrect knee-jerk beliefs about everything from DDT to road rage.

Beginning in September 2009, Mr. Stossel appeared on the O’Reilly Factor every Tuesday. And by the end of the year, he was also given his own program, Stossel, airing on the Fox Business Network each Friday.

Mr. Stossel’s program offered a bit of fresh air from the tiresome us-versus- them dialogue between Democratic and Republican pundits. Instead of covering the usual partisan politics, he focused on news stories in which personal and economic freedoms were being compromised, stories often ignored by both the Left and the Right.

This past April, Mr. Stossel, made history by hosting the first ever nationally-televised Libertarian presidential debate. The debate was a much-needed exposé of alternative perspectives to be brought forth in the political arena and featured candidates Gary Johnson, Austin Petersen, and John McAfee.

John Stossel, as well as his Fox-affiliated compadre Judge Andrew Napolitano, have become the face of the liberty movement in the media. However, Mr. Stossel has not always been skeptical of government regulation. Mr. Stossel, began his career as a consumer reporter for CBS, and then ABC. Midway through his career, he became a staunch critic of consumer protectionism, once remarking: “Patrick Henry did not say, ‘Give me absolute safety or give me death.’”

Stossel aired its last program in December of last year. These days, Mr. Stossel has shifted his focus and is mentoring the next generation of journalists. Only time will tell whether the perspectives of his mentees will influence mainstream dialogue. John Stossel’s certainly did.

Hans Riess writes for Merion West.

Hans Riess graduated from Duke University with a degree in mathematics and is working towards a PhD in electrical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He is interested in applying concepts from mathematics to theories of optimal political decision-making.

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