Stossel: 'Socialist Media -- Maybe They Will Just Never Get It'

     Do journalists have axes to grind with business and capitalism? ABC ‘20/20’ co-anchor John Stossel says so.

     Stossel spoke before an audience at the Heartland Institute’s 2008 International Conference on Climate Change on March 4 in New York. He called the media “socialist” and warned things weren’t likely to change.

     “The socialist media – maybe they will just never get it,” Stossel said. “Their world view is anti-capitalist. [Ludwig] von Mises wrote about it in 1972 and it’s just very hard to change. I would also argue the scientific community is as well.”

     The ABC “20/20” host based that notion on his experience from being a consumer reporter. Stossel has worked for the network since 1981.

     “[A]s I’ve done my consumer reporting, just to elaborate on that, I think what’s fueling a lot of this is a general hatred of capitalism,” Stossel said.

     Stossel, author of Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel - Why Everything You Know is Wrong, likened being a conservative in New York City to being as unpopular as a child molester. He said he even encountered some hatred personally.

     “[I]’m trying to figure out what’s the hatred,” Stossel said. “It’s because I’m a consumer reporter defending business and people hate business. So, I’m trying to understand why do they hate business so much. I thought – some people have said ‘the envy of the wealth.’ Some people want so much more and they figure it’s a zero-sum game.”

     He tied this ill-will about business and capitalism to global warming by saying the alarmism fed off of this sentiment.

     “In our intuitive understanding of this zero-sum game – you made a profit off of me and I must have lost,” Stossel said. “That economic ignorance makes people hate business and I think this global warming movement feeds on it.”

     This “economic ignorance” causes people to not be fully aware of how successful a capitalist economy has been, by having its track record ignored.

     “Capitalism delivered more people out of the mud and misery than any system ever and continues to do that,” Stossel added.

     Stossel mentioned ABC’s Bill Blakemore, one of his colleagues. Stossel said Blakemore was undeterred by any global warming skepticism and was convinced it is happening and is caused by man. Blakemore, in attendance, identified himself when Stossel brought his name up during the speech.

     Blakemore has been critical of any global warming skepticism. In September 2007, he called footage from a Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) commercial a “disinformation campaign.”