Stossel on Hannity

David Henderson, March 15, 2009

To publicize his 20/20 special, “Bailouts and Bull,” ABC’s John Stossel went on Sean Hannity’s show that same evening (last night). There were two high (so to speak) points, one involving Stossel and one not.

In a discussion of the mess in Mexico, the following conversation occurred:

Stossel: That’s why we should legalize drugs. That’s our old argument. They’re killing each other because the stuff is illegal.
Hannity: Do you want to walk the same streets as people on crack and heroin?
Stossel: I assume I am. I’m living in New York city. They use it regardless of whether it’s legal or not.
Hannity: Every once in a while you just have to say “Checkmate. I lose.”

Note: I watch Hannity almost every night. This is the first time in a few years that I’ve ever seen him admit that he got bested.

Then Hannity went on to say that it’s people’s own responsibility. Stossel then pointed out that if that’s so, then people should be free to poison themselves. Hannity replied that they hurt other people by committing crime to buy the drugs. Stossel pointed out that the high price of drugs is due to the fact that they’re illegal.

Hannity then almost admitted that another of his pet views was wrong. He and liberal guest Julie Menin, of the Women’s Campaign Forum got into a discussion of waterboarding, which Hannity advocates.
Menin: Evidence has shown that those types of torture tactics [waterboarding] unfortunately do not work.
Hannity: Let me tell you something. If you dunk my head in the water, I’m going to tell you whatever I need to tell you to get–if it’s true–to get out of this.

You could almost see the “whoops” in Hannity’s eyes as he caught himself and added “if it’s true.” Hannity caught himself saying what I think he really thinks, which is what most of us think: we would say anything if doing so would stop someone from torturing us. But then he realized what he had said and so he added, “if it’s true.” If I were being tortured, I wouldn’t care whether what I said was true as long as it ended the torture.

BTW, I thought the Stossel show was one of his best. That’s saying a lot because many of his shows have been high-quality. My one objection was to the economist, whose face I didn’t recognize, who said that the United States will have hyperinflation like Germany’s in the 1920s. I hate it when people super-exaggerate to make a point.




31 Responses to “Stossel on Hannity”

  1. David, what makes you think the economist on Stossel’s show was exaggerating?

  2. Note: I watch Hannity almost every night.

    Dang, yer a real glutton fer punishment, ain’t ya?

  3. Even I can’t stand a steady diet of Fox (in the henhouse) News, and I listen to radio evangelists. (I recommend Brother Stair, http://www.overcomerministry.org).

    Lester Ness

  4. TMZ has more political content and relevance than ANYTHING Hannity could offer up. Harv needs to send his ‘brat-pack’ to interview Uncle Rahm Emmanuel. Now that would be some entertainment.

  5. They should legalize drugs. The “war on drugs” is a ludicrous farce that has made America the prison capital of the world. Didn’t we learn anything from Al Capone and prohibition?

  6. Yes, David. Why is this so unthinkable? Is there any doubt that the Fed is engaging in the worst monetary inflation in its history? We haven’t seen prices rise for various reasons. Among them, a busted housing bubble, a rash of bankruptcies, going out of business sales, etc.

    It’s also clear that banks are attempting to clean up their balance sheets after a decade of fraudulent lending. All that money they’ve been given is sitting in reserve at the Fed. What happens when they start lending it out and the fractional reserve system begins to work its magic?

    While we may not see Weimar-like hyperinflation, I predict that we’re going to experience serious price increases. Who will Bernanke blame then?

  7. I am glad you enjoy his program, But I honestly feel the hannity and colmes was the worst show in tv history and can’t imagine that the half version is much better. I would rather watch an infomercial

  8. Stossel is an even bigger twit than Hannity.

    He’s got his own history of stupid statements that he had to later backtrack on.

  9. Here is yet another example of the failed drug war. This happend last week about a 4 hour drive from my house. A 19 year old unarmed student shot in the chest during a Pot raid. I love it the way the spokesman for the cops keep saying a narcontics arrest versus a pot bust.

    “Students today continue to question what happened after five officers with the West Michigan Enforcement Team, a regional drug unit, executed a drug-related search warrant on Copp’s apartment. Copp, a film and video major, was shot in the upper right chest area with a Glock handgun after police came through a back glass slider door”.

    http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2009/03/friends_of_grand_valley_studen.html

    He is still being labeled a “criminal” on local blogs. He damaged no one or their property. No victim No crime! The only victim here is this young man.

    The drug war is lost and should be ended right NOW. There are simply too many examples of why this is a complete failure to even get started. I hate the label “war on drugs”. We can’t even be honest enough to say it’s a war on drug users, addicts, and occastional pot smokers who also happen to be our friends and family. As if somehow drugs go to jail or get shot and not people.

    As for hyperinflation. It’s no longer in our control, Asia and China in particular now hold the strings. If Asia discontinues the use of the Dollar as a reserve currency and stops lending us money it will happen and it will happen fast.

    Peace!

  10. If you’re going to make blanket accusations like that in a public forum, it would behoove you to elaborate and back them up, lest you be exposed for your own such statements. Exactly what “stupid statements” has Stossel made, and why do you characterize them as such?

  11. Stossel has been caught falsifying data for his consumer reports show more than once
    Most notably was a report on organic vs non-organic as far as pesticide and e-coli. He claimed the results were favorable for the non-organic produce
    But it turned out he didn’t actually do any tests.
    He just completely made his report up out of thin air

  12. “WAR,WAR WAR” TO QUOTE SCARLET OHARA.AMERICANS LOVE WAR… ON DRUGS,LIQUER,POVERTY,CANCER,VIETNAM… YOU NAME IT WE HAVE GONE TO WAR OVER IT…USED TO BE WE WON ALL OUR WARS,BUT WHEN YOU START GOING TO WAR ANYWHERE AT ANY TIME YOU ARE BOUND TO START LOSING….WHEN I WAS 12 I LOVED WAR MOVIES AND WAR BOOKS, BUT I FOUND OUT THAT IN REAL WAR REAL PEOPLE GET KILLED…THAT GOT ME OVER LOVING WAR

  13. I couldn’t agree more Brad. The “war on drugs” (really a war on millions of ordinary Americans) just shows the dark, vicious, ugly side of Big-Government and law-enforcement. This is really just an updated version of the 1920’s when the government arbitrarily decided to make alcohol consumption a “crime”. Not surprisingly organized crime came to rapidly flourish in this area. In a free society people are not going to not do something just because the government doesn’t want them to. This is the same reason why Canadians remain stubbornly unilingual and are not the bilingual happy family Ottawa tries to make the world believe Canada is. Pot smokers are not criminals, nor are they “evil”. Nowhere does it say in the constitution what one can or cannot ingest into one’s body. The “war on drugs” just allows government an opportunity to engage in some bully-boy fascism and gives law-enforcement one more means to control the American sheeple. Believe me you are much safer wandering the streets of the cities of the Netherlands at night then almost any large American city.

  14. “The Cold war”…”War on drugs”…”War on terror”…”War on Islamo-fascism”…War, War, War,.. hey how about a “war” on the Easter bunny?…It doesn’t get any better for Washington then a good war. Has there ever been a war that the government hasn’t liked? Has there ever been any war that they haven’t used as a cloak to increase their power?

  15. How ’bout a war on war? :)

  16. It could happen if the fed goons continue to try what they are doing now and think they can fix things by spending more and more. Tax revolts may lead to them seeing money printing as the only source of revenue. I don’t think we are on the edge of something like that, but I wouldn’t put it past them to continue to push bad monetary policy no matter how bad the results are.

  17. I am concerned about inflation. If you define inflation as an increase in the supply of money caused by the government then inflation has already occured. This fact is proved by the increase in the assets of the Fed. I believe the assets of the Fed have increased from 900 billion to 1.9 trillion dollars. I do not see how the Fed can increase its assets by such a large amount without creating out of thin air a corresponding amount of paper money. This newly created money has resulted in a large amount of unused reserves for commercial banks. Commercial banks, because of the fractional reserve nature of the US banking system, could use these reserves to create even more money in the form of checkbook deposits. The reason the commercial banks have not used these reserves to make loans is because the Fed now has a policy off paying commercial banks interest on their unused reserves. With the Federal Funds Rate rapidly approaching zero, the commercial banks will eventually start lending money and that is when as Ludwig Von Mises wrote:

    “….the masses wake up. They become suddenly aware of the fact that inflation is a deliberate policy and will go on endlessly. A break down occurs. The crack up boom appears. Everybody is anxious to swap his money against ‘real goods’ no matter whether he needs them or not, no matter how much money he has to pay for them. Within a very short time

  18. within a few weeks or even days, the things that were used for money are no longer used as media of exchange. They become scrap paper. Nobody wants to give up anything against them”

    Sorry about the disjointed nature of this post. I accidently sent the post through before I had a chance to finish typing it.

  19. Ira,

    Mises was right then, and he’s right now. Governments cannot repeal the laws of economics, they can only cloak the crime and hope that the victims don’t see who is responsible for the heist.

    As I stated in my first post, the fractional reserve system is nothing but fraud on a massive scale. None of it is possible without a central bank that has monopoly power over the creation of money. They have no oversight and do whatever suits them.

    To think that our property and way of life is completely at the whim of bankers and politicians is an outrage. These people should be in jail for what they’ve done, are doing, and will do.

  20. Even in these lousy times, I can still manage a laugh when someone states that with our federal defecit spending we are passing on a burden to our grandchildren. I find it silly that anyone seriously thinks that any of the national debt will ever be repaid. It will get blown off; treated as meaningless as Imperial Austrian – Hungarian war bonds. There is insufficient national honor to balance the current budget let alone pay off old debts.

  21. The war on drugs has been successful. People misunderstand what its purpose is. During the 60’s there were frequent riots in protest of a economic system that looted the average person for the plutocrats. The flood of drugs and the resultant “war” brought those riots to an end.

  22. Bernanke is a much bigger scam artist than Madoff. The difference between Madoff and Bernanke is that Madoff could only screw a select group of individuals, while Bernanke can screw everybody. He can even screw those of us who see through his financial trickery and counterfeiting.
    That being said, I doubt that Bernanke will face any consequences for his swindles. The reason is because of the economic ignorance of a large majority of the American people. I am not saying that everyone should read through Human Action or Man, Economy, and State. I do think, at the very least people, should read and understand Hazlitt’s classic, Economics in One Lesson. If everyone did that, I think the Fed would be mobbed with a group of angry protesters with pitchforks, tar and feathers, and enough rope to lynch all those thieving bastards at the Fed. Given that situation, Bernanke and his gang of criminal underlings at the Fed might welcome the security offered by a nice, warm cell in a Federal Prison.

  23. Well said, Ira Epstein. Ending the Fed would probably also put an end to the American Empire. What a nice bonus that would be. End the wars and keep our money, what a novel idea. Austrian economics rock!

    Peace!

  24. “My one objection was to the economist, whose face I didn’t recognize, who said that the United States will have hyperinflation like Germany’s in the 1920s. I hate it when people super-exaggerate to make a point.” — David Henderson

    We won’t know the future till it’s happened, but there’s no reason the US can’t have hyper-inflation. Weimar Germany is far from the only place where it’s happened. I saw a bit of it visiting Israel in the mid-80s, and Russia had quite a lot of it in the ’90s.

    After economic collapse, then what? I suspect a lot of fighting, various factions scapegoating others and attempting to punish them. Born-agains blaming gays and Muslims for Divine punishment, people like Epstein (above) attacking bankers, etc. Think of Jay-hawkers vs. Bushwhackers, “Bleeding Kansas” and the like. Maybe even a US Pol Pot sending the opposition to their deaths in a ditch! (His weapons of mass destruction were clubs, but effective nonetheless.)

    “Flee the wrath which is to come” — Jesus

    Lester Ness
    Kunming
    China

  25. [...] John Stossel Takes Down Sean Hannity  [...]

  26. why dont you ask guests where they live and what they do? i am 72 and can hardly get to put my ideas on line '. as you can tell by my approach to the internet' why dont the farmers start a boycott of the major metro areas and let the poeple see what it would be to be out of food! retailiate!!!!the poeple must be heard now!!!!!! word do not get it done time to act ' Oboma must be stopped. this is nazi germany again….. turn the water on…

    11111!

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