When he retired from the Fox Business Network, veteran broadcast journalist John Stossel reminisced with Reason magazine editor Katherine Mangu-Ward about, among other things, the travails of bringing libertarian news to a Left-leaning network. His experiences at ABC’s 20/20 give us some idea of the depth and extent of news media bias:
“So producers quit rather than do that show [Are We Scaring Ourselves to Death?], and ABC was surprised that it got good ratings. That was my first special and that got Special of the Year. For the next 15 years that allowed me to do some more libertarian shows. A lot of resistance.
“Another one was something all economists agree on: Rent control is self-destructive. Walter Williams says—it’s a great line—that the best way to make a city look like it’s been bombed is not to bomb it but just to pass rent control. The lawyer who reviewed the story would not accept it because he lives in a rent-controlled apartment in New York City, so in his case it was personal.
“I finally got these stories on, but it took many months. One took a year and a half. It was a Reason story adapted for television called ‘The Nanny State,’ and the executive producer said, ‘These things don’t bother me!’ When they finally ran, they got good ratings. But the New York media leftists, their brains just don’t receive these ideas well.”