John Stossel and the moustache of doom
(an open letter to skeptics)
Dear Respected Skeptics,
Please, stop talking to John Stossel. He will conflate your legitimate skepticism of deities, ghosts and Power Balance bracelets with free market sycophancy and climate change denial. This is his repugnant MO.
His latest victims are Michael Shermer and James Randi. For forty-three minutes of a forty-four minute episode of “Stossel,” they talk commonsense disbelief in God, psychics, horoscopes and ridiculous athletic-enhancing holograms.
Everything is fine. Even with the obligatory appearance of a “Fair & Balanced” priest, reason and science are a mere minute away from a win. Then Stossel delivers his closing monologue:
“Whether you believe in God or medical bracelets or global warming it’s your business. I may have an opinion about whether you’re smart or stupid, but if you waste money on, say, those bracelets, that mostly harms you. But not having enough skepticism about government hurts all of us because government is force….So it’s good to be skeptical but it’s really good to be skeptical about government.”
In one fell swoop, Stossel has tarnished the reputations of two esteemed thinkers, insulted the entire skeptical community, piggybacked his obtuse deregulation rhetoric onto sound critical thinking and legitimized his obstinate climate change denial. The first forty-three minutes exist solely for the last. This is his repugnant MO.
“Enron is an example of how well the market worked for people,” Stossel once said. Just remember that when and if his producers ever send you an email. Do not give this man a break.
So it’s good to be skeptical but it’s really good to be skeptical about John Stossel.
I’m busy writing our annual 50 Most Loathsome Americans piece, which is wicked late (sorry), so here’s a more thorough explanation of why you should dislike John Stossel. Or, you know, just Google him.