Help John Stossel

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Fri Aug 11 2000 - 13:16:55 MDT

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> several readers have brought to my attention what appears to be a
> coordinated attack on John Stossel, intended to force his dismissal
> or at least permanently damage his standing at ABC. John Stossel is
> the most influential libertarian journalist out there.
> Here's the background, per the Associated Press: In a segment
> questioning the health benefits of organic foods, first aired in
> February and then repeated in July, Stossel reported that a test
> conducted on vegetable produce for ABC News found that there was no
> pesticide residue on either conventionally-grown samples or organic
> ones. But after an investigation, ABC concluded that no such test had
> been done. ABC has stated that Stossel was relying on inaccurate
> information that had been provided by a staff member. The segment's
> producer apparently mistakenly believed that a test done on chicken
> had also been done on vegetables. The producer has reportedly been
> suspended for thirty days and Stossel himself will make an on-air
> apology on Friday. (Hence the rescheduling of his documentary "Is
> America Number One?")
> In short, it was an innocent mistake that is being dealt with to the
> highest standards of journalistic integrity. We all know that much
> of what passes for news and information on television is tainted by
> more than just moments of uncharacteristic sloppiness, so this error
> would hardly seem to justify a major response. And yet this mistake
> has stimulated a drumbeat for Stossel's dismissal, showing up both on
> the ABC bulletin board site, and here and there in the press.
> Why this kind of response? Because Stossel has made a career out of
> exposing hypocrisy and falsehood among some of the most powerful
> groups in America -- the eco-Left, the moralistic Right, trial
> lawyers, career politicians, and the media itself. There is
> arrayed against him a virtual who's who of modern collectivism. No
> wonder they call it a drumbeat.
> Why should you care about all this? Because John Stossel isn't just
> another major libertarian TV journalist. He's the *only* major
> libertarian TV journalist. His recent free speech special commanded
> an audience of over 11 million. His previous specials have touched
> upon and argued for decriminalization of victimless crimes ("Sex,
> Drugs & Consenting Adults"), defended capitalism ("Greed"), and
> exposed the self-serving nature of the child welfare system ("Why
> Don't the Kids Have a Voice?"). These kinds of points are dear to
> the hearts of libertarians, and they are seldom seen elsewhere.
> That's why it's important to voice your support. Here are four ways to
> do so:
> 1) Participate in ABC's online bulletin board on this subject. The
> board is currently dominated by Stossel's enemies. That's bad
> because it may be seen as an indicator of public sentiment on the
> subject. The board is here:
> (Select the "Stossel: Organic Food Feedback" link under LIVE EVENTS
> at the top.)
> 2) Send an email of support via the ABC feedback system. You can do
> so here: (Be sure to
> select the "John Stossel Reporting" button.) This only takes a
> minute!
> 3) Mail a letter of support regarding Stossel to ABC. Physical
> letters take more time but they're also taken more seriously for just
> that reason. Here's the address:
> Network Programming
> ABC Inc.
> 77 West 66th Street
> New York, NY 10023
> 4) Forward this email to friends.
> There's a reason why attacks like this take place. It's because they
> work. Please take just a moment to voice your support for John
> Stossel.
> Thanks!

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