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John Stossel

“Fox Business Network’s John Stossel interviews US Consumer Coalition’s Brian Wise and Kat O’Connor, owner of TomKat Ammunition LLC, on the Justice Department’s Operation Choke Point.” The Gaithersburg-based ammo seller was cut off from credit card processing services and suspects that the federal Choke Point program was the reason. [cross-posted from Free State Notes; earlier on Operation Choke Point].

P.S. There are signs that House Republicans may move to rein in Operation Check Point. Let’s hope so. [USA Today/Fond du Lac Reporter; HalfWheel (cigar news and reviews)]


All-Ferguson edition, including my CNBC exchange last Friday, above:

  • Typically good John Stossel column [Washington Examiner, syndicated, and thanks for mention] Disturbing innovations coming our way in the world of crowd/protest control include “puke cannons,” “pain rays” [Gene Healy, Washington Examiner, ditto]
  • Cause of death: failure to comply with police orders [David M. Perry, opinion] “Here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you” [Sunil Dutta (L.A.P.D. officer), Washington Post; Ken at Popehat]
  • “Expect Many, Many Lawsuits From Ferguson” [Chris Geidner, BuzzFeed]
  • Not the safe conventional move: I’m quoted on Sen. Rand Paul’s willingness to grapple with Ferguson [Politico]
  • Local commercial economies take a long time to recover from damage done by looting [Kate Rogers/Fox Business, thanks for quote]]
  • Political economy: unusual state of representation in Ferguson makes the town an outlier [Seth Masket, Pacific Standard] Police-driven budget? “Ferguson receives nearly one-quarter of its revenue from court fees” [Jeff Smith, NY Times]
  • According to Victor Davis Hanson, we critics of police militarization have “empowered [radical groups] to commit violence” [NRO]
  • “What I Did After a Cop Killed My Son” [Michael Bell, Politico, Kenosha, Wisc.; civilian review]
  • “Why Are There No News Helicopters Over Ferguson?” [Peter Suderman]


Coming up on TV tonight, including the winner announcement for the year’s Wacky Warning Label contest with Bob Dorigo Jones.


May 31 roundup

by Walter Olson on May 31, 2013

  • The American Illness: Essays on the Rule of Law, new book from Yale University Press edited by Frank Buckley, looks quite promising [Bainbridge]
  • So the New York Times gets spoon-fed “confidential” (and disappointingly tame) documents from the old Brady Campaign lawsuits against gunmakers, and then nothing happens;
  • IRS commissioner visited White House 118 times in 2010-11. Previous one visited once in four years. Hmmm… [John Steele Gordon, more] (But see reporting by Garance Franke-Ruta and commentary by Yuval Levin.) Did politics play role in 2011 Gibson Guitar raid? [IBD]
  • Supreme Court of Canada: “Judges may ‘cut and paste’ when writing their judgments” [Globe and Mail]
  • Lack of proper land title and registration holds Greece back [Alex Tabarrok]
  • I try not to clutter this blog with links to memoir-ish personal pieces of mine, but if you’re interested in adoption, or in how America manages to be at once the most conservative and the most socially innovative of great nations, go ahead and give this one a try [HuffPost]
  • Big Lodging and hotel unions don’t like competition: New York City’s war against AirBnB and Roomorama [John Stossel, Andrew Sullivan]


June 25 roundup

by Walter Olson on June 25, 2012

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The quota pressure in sports has been around for a while, but the idea of an enforcement push in hard academic disciplines may be getting extra encouragement from the very top:

Obama himself seems to have latched onto the idea. While praising Title IX’s impact on increasing women’s participation in athletics, he said, “If pursued with the necessary attention and enforcement, Title IX has the potential to make similar, striking advances in the opportunities that girls have in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (“STEM”) disciplines.” The nation’s university science, engineering, and mathematics departments may thus soon find themselves faced with the task of complying with a regulatory regime similar to the intercollegiate athletics three part test.

[Alison Somin, Federalist Society "Engage", PDF]

More: a John Stossel segment, and cutbacks in men’s sports at Delaware.


October 5 roundup

by Walter Olson on October 5, 2010


John Stossel’s show…

by Walter Olson on September 23, 2010

…will be taking on class action lawyers tonight, with guests that include Ted Frank, Texas lawyer Mark Lanier, and Marie Gryphon of the Manhattan Institute. (9 p.m. EST)

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Cato has posted a video on YouTube from my appearance on the John Stossel show on ADA the other week (related syndicated column). There’s also this clip on the Cato site. And a post from the American Association of People with Disabilities encourages constituents to express discontent with us.

P.S. Note that by editing down Stossel’s words AAPD has made it appear that his harsh criticism of “parasites” was somehow aimed at disabled persons generally, rather than, as was entirely clear from the context, at opportunistic lawyers and litigants who generate complaints to obtain assembly-line cash settlements. Sure enough, I’ve been getting cc’s of furious letters to Stossel saying, “How dare you call disabled persons parasites?!” He didn’t say that, folks. The AAPD should consider carefully whether it wants to go on claiming that he did.

P.P.S. I respond at more length at Cato at Liberty.


I’m a guest on tonight’s John Stossel program on the Fox Business Network, on the subject of the consequences of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The show was shot live to tape yesterday in New York and was fascinating throughout; even those who think they know this subject well will learn a lot. I’m also quoted in John’s latest syndicated column on the same issue.

Among the highlights of the taping: a disabled-rights lobbyist defended several extreme applications of the law, including the notion that it might be appropriate to force networks to hire someone who suffers from stuttering as on-air television talent. We also shed some light on the state of California’s up-to-$4,000-a-violation bounty system for freelancers who identify ADA violations in Main Street businesses, and the case for at least requiring complainants to give business owners notice and an opportunity to fix an ADA violation before suing. (The disabled-rights lobby has managed to stifle that proposal in Congress for years.) Also mentioned: the suit against the Chipotle restaurant chain recently covered in this space.

Other recent coverage of the ADA here and here (cross-posted from Cato at Liberty). More: Amy Alkon notes some New York City examples from a commenter.


The Fox Business host has an all new segment on a topic he’s visited before. Air times:

— Fri., Jul. 9, 10 p.m. EST
— Sat., Jul. 10, 9 p.m. & midnight EST
— Sun,. Jul. 11, 10 p.m. EST

And here’s a web-only supplement to the show.


April 2 roundup

by Walter Olson on April 2, 2010


Stossel on the food police

by Walter Olson on January 29, 2010

Last night’s show.


John Stossel on CPSIA

by Walter Olson on January 15, 2010

In his show last night on “Crony Capitalism”, with CPSC Commissioner Anne Northup as a guest, he told how Mattel and Hasbro are fine with the law that is wiping out many of their smaller competitors. Other segments of the show can be watched here.


John Stossel has a WSJ op-ed and tv special tonight on the problem of extortionate attorneys. Overlawyered previously discussed the Selbin case and I’ve written about Bill Lerach’s extortion of banks in the Enron case.


The Civil Justice Association of California says it so well, we might as well just quote them:

“Fee arbitration offers cheaper, faster alternative to litigation.” Where did that headline run? Give up? In the California Bar Journal, the “Official Publication of the State Bar of California! The story beneath it praises fee arbitration between lawyers and clients, saying that arbitrators are reporting that their work “gives people immediate results, unlike protracted litigation.”

The Bar’s presiding arbitrator, Arne Werchick, is quoted as saying: “It’s a neutral program that gives everyone a fair shake.”

We hope Mr. Werchick, who was president of the trial lawyers association in 1980, sends copies of the article to personal injury and other plaintiffs’ lawyers in Sacramento and Washington. They are once again firing up their endless campaign to block people’s constitutional right to contract to settle future disputes by arbitration rather than going to court.

Separately, ABC News parrots the trial-lawyer line with misleading coverage of another arbitration involving Tracy Barker: they falsely report that Barker’s lawsuit was “killed” (when it will in fact be heard in the forum that Barker contractually agreed to litigate in), that the proceedings will be “secret” (when Barker has the right to publicize them the same way she can publicize a trial), and waits until deep into the story to acknowledge that the arbitration clause does not prohibit the employee from bringing litigation against her alleged rapist. Where’s John Stossel and “Give Me A Break” when you need him?

For more on the litigation lobby’s battle against arbitration, see the Overlawyered arbitration section.


It was one of the topics of his prime-time special last Friday:

[Attorney Allen] McDowell is now debating whether to file new lawsuits claiming that vaccines cause autism. I said to him, “You scare people and make money off it!” After a pause, he replied, “True.”

(“The Fear Industrial Complex”, syndicated/RealClearPolitics, Feb. 28; Autism Diva, Feb. 23 and Feb. 24). More: Mar. 8, 2006 and many others.

January 4 roundup

by Walter Olson on January 4, 2007

Usually it’s Ted who posts these, but I don’t see why he should have all the fun:

  • Latest ADA test-accommodation suit: law school hopeful with attention deficit disorder demands extra time on LSAT [Legal Intelligencer]

  • John Stossel on Fairfax County (Va.) regulations against donating home-cooked food to the homeless, and on the controversy over Arizona’s Heart Attack Grill

  • More odd consequences of HIPAA, the federal medical privacy law [Marin Independent Journal via Kevin MD; more here, here]

  • UK paternalism watch: new ad rules officially label cheese as junk food; breast milk would be, too, if it were covered [Telegraph; Birmingham Post]; schoolgirl arrested on racial charges after asking to study with English speakers [Daily Mail via Boortz]; brothers charged with animal cruelty for letting their dog get too fat [Nobody's Business]

  • Stanford’s Securities Class Action Clearinghouse reports impressive 38 percent drop in investor lawsuit filings between 2005 and 2006, with backdating options suits not a tidal wave after all [The Recorder/Lattman]

  • Ohio televangelist/faith healer sued by family after allegedly advising her cancer-stricken brother to rely on prayer [FoxNews]

  • Legislators in Alberta, Canada, pass law enabling disabled girl to sue her mom for prenatal injuries; it’s to tap an insurance policy, so it must be okay [The Star]

  • California toughens its law requiring managers to undergo anti-harassment training, trial lawyers could benefit [NLJ]

  • Family land dispute in Sardinia drags on for 46 years in Italian courts; “nothing exceptional” about that, says one lawyer [Telegraph]

  • “For me, conservatism was about realism and reason.” [Heather Mac Donald interviewed about being a secularist]

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