Operation Exterminate Straw

In the process of taking a shot at Al Sharpton [!] our man in P-town Andrew Sullivan links to ABC’s John Stossel, and his Lies, Myths and Downright Stupidity – Stossel’s List of Popularly Reported Misconceptions. Not even Sullivan himself has ever attacked straw with such enthusiasm. Stossel sets everyone straight about such myths as:

  • American Families Need Two Incomes.

    Who believes this: Basically, the entire population of the planet earth, along with many of the rock samples collected by the Mars Rover.

    Why this is wrong: Sherri Kowalski and her husband say they need to work two jobs but John shows that they don’t really need to, it’s just because they wanted to get a new minivan. Which they obviously didn’t really need, but rather just wanted. Do you see the difference people? Watch more of John on ABC’s 20/20, and come to see why you don’t need a TV after all.

  • Money Can Buy Happiness

    Who believes this: The marketing department of consumer good companies. Single-cell organisms. Most customers at Hobo McCheaper Craps.

    Why this is wrong: Some people with lots of money say they aren’t happy.

    Oops I crapped my argument moment: A MONEY magazine columnist is quoted saying that happiness increases along with income but only up to $50,000 (family income.) In 2002, approximately 50% of black families had incomes under $29,000. 50% of all American families show an income under $42,000*, which if John is to be trusted would indicate to us that for most American families more money would indeed mean more happiness. Then again, John is correct that no store (not even Wal-Mart) sells happiness in a convenient, resealable pouch.

  • Republicans Shrink the Government

    Why this is wrong: Never mind, because only Andrew Sullivan and the Republican leadership believes this is true.

    Sadly, No! says: Still no news on whether Sullivan will finally come out and decided whether Bush is an idiot or a liar.

  • Chemicals Are Killing Us

    Why this is wrong: It is actually fear of chemicals that is killing us.

    Bonus points: John says cancer death rates are declining. Reality says:

    With a few exceptions, primarily lung and AIDS-related cancers, there has been little overall increase in the number of new cases of cancer reported or the number of cancer deaths over the last 40 years.

    This sounds to us like: Most cancer death rates have increased only a little, while some have increased a lot.

    Extra snark: If you enjoy going bald from chemotherapy, you too can enjoy living with cancer!

  • Guns are bad

    Why this is wrong: Not that many people die because of accidental shootings. This proves that guns are good. You got something to say about that? My pal Mr. Magnum 357 would be interested to know what it could be, punk!

    Bonus points: Stossel praises right-to-carry laws, but fails to point out that there is no credible (i.e. non-John Lott related) evidence that they reduce crime. (Even though he implies they should by quoting convicts who say they fear armed citizens more than anything else.) [OMDG, Sadly, No! is now Nedra Pickler!]

  • We’re Drowning in Garbage

    Why this is wrong: John just bought a new garbage disposal unit, which is cleaned hourly by his maid.

    Added: Roger Ailes offers his thoughts on Stossel.

  • Comments: 1


    So, I guess the bottom line is: it’s good to be a poor, chemical-laced, gun-toting Republican living next to a dump. Or, if you’re a rich Republican living on the hill(far from that chemical-permeated dump), eating pricey organic foods and relying on armed security guards to protect you from crime, you can feel good about demanding another tax cut, because the other folks are doing just fine.

    Hey, Stossel has a book coming out! It’s great the way he can appeal to both groups.


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