Stossel’s Heroes

Stossel’s Heroes

John Stossel has a conservative stable of pundits when it come to his questionable reporting of evironmental issues.


Peter Huber, a regular columnist with Forbes magazine and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, boasts degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT and law from Harvard. He clerked with Sandra Day O'Connor and positions himself as an expert in telecommunications and antitrust policy. Huber's most influential work, and Stossel's likely favorite, is Hard Green: Saving the Environment From Environmentalists. Here's Huber on the long-term future of humanity:

"We can go it alone. We need energy, nothing more, and know how to get it from many more places than the plants do. We don't need the forests for medicine; as often as not we need medicine to protect us from what emerges by blind chance from the forest. We don't need other forms of life to maintain a breatheable balance of gas in the atmosphere or a temperate climate. We don't need redwoods and whales at all, not for ordinary life at least, no more than we need Plato, Beethoven, or the stars in the firmament of heaven. Cut down the last redwood for chopsticks, harpoon the last blue whale for sushi, and the additional mouths fed will nourish additional human brains, which will soon invent ways to replace blubber with olestra, pine with plastic. Humanity can survive just fine in a planet covering crypt of concrete and computers."

David Kelley, a former associate of the Ayn Rand Institute, is founder and executive director of the Objectivist Center, which preserves Rand's philosophy. Here is Kelley's view on healthcare: "The idea that people have a right to health care is inimical to our genuine liberties. The policies that flow from that idea are harmful to the interests of doctors and patients alike. To fight against those policies, we have to attack their root."

Ed Crane is founder and president of the Cato Institute and one of the founders of the Libertarian Party. He served as chair of the party in 1974-77. He keynoted an event marking the fortieth anniversary of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Here's what he told a Senate Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Campaign Finance Reform: "Money will remain in politics. Money must remain in politics. As issues become more complex, even more money will be needed to ensure an open political system."

Steven Milloy is founder and president of Citizens for the Integrity of Science, an organization housed at his home address in Potomac, Maryland. Milloy is also executive director of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), which is run by a division of Grey Advertising called APCO. TASCC is funded by Dow Chemical, Exxon, the National Pest Control Association, Amoco, Lorillard, Occidental Petroleum, Phillip Morris (Grey's largest client), W.R. Grace and other corporations interested in discrediting epidemiological and toxicological studies contrary to their interests, which Milloy attacks on a website called Milloy is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and a columnist for

When Dr. David Rall, founder of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, was fatally injured in a car accident, Milloy posted this "obituary of the day" on his website: "Scratch one junk scientist…. He was a bad guy when he was alive [and] death did not improve his track record." (When pressed by the Environmental Working Group to apologize to Rall's family, Milloy refused.)

Elizabeth Whelan is president and founder of the American Council on Science and Health, which shares many of the same sponsors as Steve Milloy's TASCC. She holds degrees in public health from Yale and Harvard. Her books Panic in the Pantry and Toxic Terror contain many of the ideas that Stossel turns into his "Give Me A Break" commentaries run on 20/20 and ABC radio. Whelan says: "I've been called a paid liar for industry so many times I've lost count."

James Bovard, described by the Wall Street Journal as "the roving inspector general of the modern State," is an associate policy analyst at the Cato Institute. In a column he writes for Freedom Daily, a publication of the Future of Freedom Foundation, another libertarian think tank, Bovard bemoans the rise of big government and the loss of individual rights, a constant theme of Stossel's laments. He writes: "It is a delusion to think of the State as a thing in itself-something loftier than all the edicts, penalties, prison sentences, and taxes that it imposes."


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