Media types often have a habit of masking their true beliefs in their online blogs in attempt to maintain the fiction that they are "unbiased." One such blog that comes to mind is the Daily Nightly blog of Brian Williams in which he attempts (not always successfully) to hide his liberal bias to an extent that it comes off as quite inane. In fact, your humble correspondent has labeled the Williams blog as the Daily Dully.
In stark contrast to the Williams ennui is the new John Stossel blog of ABC News, John Stossel's Take, which began less than two weeks ago. And in that short time, Stossel has already made waves with his amazingly candid views which frequently run counter to the liberal conventional wisdom. An example is Stossel's blog edition posted last Friday titled, Arrogance:
As I read about the President’s new econ regulatory plans, I marvel at the arrogance. I doubt whether any president, with all his advisers and cabinet officials, is capable of overseeing something as complex as the financial system of a great economy.
A day earlier, Stossel posted Stimulus Not Working: Why is Vice President Biden Surprised?
This past Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, host David Gregory questioned Vice President Joe Biden on why the stimulus has not resulted in lower unemployment levels, as promised. Biden responded that “everyone guessed wrong” on the impact of stimulus legislation on employment levels.
But “everyone” didn’t guess wrong. As I reported in March, there was no shortage of economists who believed that the stimulus would not work. 300, including three Nobel prize winners, argued that the administration’s stimulus package would harm, not help, the American economy.
Yet Biden insists that “everyone guessed wrong, at the time the estimate was made, about what the state of the economy was at the moment [the stimulus] was passed.”
The Obama administration should worry more about unintended consequences when crafting such a massive economic policy.
Stossel views can't all be defined as conservative. Many of his libertarian opinions, while welcomed by many conservatives, might also cause some reservations among the same group such as his June 17 blog entry, Drug Control Begets Gun Control:
Jacob Sullum has a nice column in this month’s Reason magazine debunking the idea that guns purchased in the US fuel the drug violence in Mexico.
“Making it harder for Americans to buy guns is not likely to stop Mexican gangsters from arming themselves. The persistence of the drug traffickers’ main business, which consists of transporting and selling products that are entirely illegal on both sides of the border, should give pause to those who think they can block the flow of guns to the cartels.”
He also argues, as I have, that conservatives who oppose gun control should also oppose the drug war. A war on drugs inevitably becomes a war on guns.
However, whether or not you agree with everything that John Stossel writes, his frequent astonishing frankness (for a journalist) is a refreshing break from the standard journalist blog banality. To give you an idea of just how banal such blogs can sound, here is the June 12 Daily Nightly news show sales pitch disguised as a blog edition from Brian Williams:
Newsrooms aren't like a normal workplace. While we have friends and co-workers who help us function and buy supplies, it would never occur to most of us to have any "systems" in place. So it's rather amazing, in a business known for short institutional/collective memories, that we have so consistently and diligently covered all of the "Making a Difference" stories that have come our way. In doing so, and in the day-to-day effort of getting the broadcast on the air, we've forgotten to ask for more nominations! So consider this another formal request -- ask the folks you know to nominate their stories of those who are making a difference in the lives of others, and post them here, please. I can't tell you how much we get out of reading, covering and airing these stories. And we have another one for you tonight -- we'll see you then.
"Thank you," Brian, for saying so little with so many words while shamelessly plugging your own newsroom... Yawn.
Meanwhile John Stossel's refreshingly candid new blog is off to a great start. I already added it to my Bloglines feed.