Glenn Beck talks with John Stossel

John Stossel

GLENN: From high above Times Square, third most listened to show in all of America and strangely we’re proud of that. Hello and welcome to the program. My name is Glenn Beck. The one, the only Mr. John Stossel is with us, a man that we highly respect, a man we used to fear and then because, well, because he’s frank, quite honestly. And now he’s a coworkers of ours and we’re thrilled to be a part of his world. John Stossel, welcome to the program. How are you?

STOSSEL: I’m great, Glenn. And thank you for encouraging me to come. Let’s tell, tell everybody that you helped make it happen.

GLENN: Well, I have to when I saw, you know, when I spoke to you and we talked and I said, so is there any, like, chance maybe that you would leave ABC and Fox was interested in you, it was a thrill because I mean, we’re slowly but surely bringing more and more libertarians into, out of the darkness and into the mainstream.

STOSSEL: The darkness, I like that. And so who do we have besides Andrew Napolitano and I?

GLENN: That’s well, that’s good, don’t you think?

STOSSEL: You said more and more.

GLENN: Well, we got one more. Back in December of last year they had one. Would you stop with the facts? What are you, some investigative reporter or something?

STOSSEL: I try to be.

GLENN: Yeah. So John, sincerely let me just say this one more time. Thrilled to be working with you. Truly thrilled to be working with you.

STOSSEL: Well, thank you. And let me say one more time that I’ve been watching Fox. It’s been just a pleasure to watch, and you’d think I would just call Roger Ailes on my own, but it took you being a catalyst to say, you know, "some people here are interested; what about it" to get me off my rear to do it, to say we need help.

GLENN: Did you feel let me start with this: This whole thing about have you watching the TV show at all, John, mine?

STOSSEL: Some. But mostly

GLENN: What are you doing? You are not even working yet. I mean, what are you doing with your time?

STOSSEL: Trying to figure out how to get my computer to work.

GLENN: You can’t carve out a few minutes for me? You know, this whole thing that we’ve been doing this week on the media and how they are the White House is going after the arts, they are going after television, indoctrination in schools, they are going now after the Internet this week, they are coming after Fox News and me for, you know, trying to shut us up and some

STOSSEL: I knew about Fox News and you. I didn’t know about the other stuff.

GLENN: Well, that’s because you don’t watch my program.

STOSSEL: I do sometimes.

GLENN: Well, I may watch you from time to time, too. You are going to be on tonight. I may watch part of that segment. As somebody who was over at ABC for so many years, what do you think is going through the minds of journalists with this war from the White House on free speech?

STOSSEL: I would think in general in the mainstream media the attitude is heh, heh, heh, those arrogant Republicans are finally getting theirs and about time somebody pointed out how one sided they are.

GLENN: I have to tell you that I find that very sad. I know that Jake Tapper do you know Jake Tapper at all?

STOSSEL: I don’t know him well. I heard I mean, I read the transcript of what he said at the press conference, and I was very impressed. I mean, he clearly doesn’t feel that way.

GLENN: He doesn’t feel that way, and it’s my understanding that he is a gigantic liberal. He’s just a decent journalist. You know, he’s not going to let his personal opinion go in, you know, to his job. He’s going to actually ask the tough questions, which I highly respect. But, you know, while he asked that question, there was a gaggle of reporters and there were on a plane and it’s my understanding that Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann were in that gaggle of reporters while Jake Tapper asked that question.

STOSSEL: Really?

GLENN: Yeah. It’s

STOSSEL: It wasn’t just that question. It was that followup question and followup question, and Tapper has always been known as someone, one of the few who really get that there is another side to the basic liberal message that predominates the mainstream media. He may not agree with it but at least he understands there is another side and it deserves to be heard.

GLENN: I have a guy on today. Let me switch gears. A guy from New York. What is this guy’s name, Stu? This is a there’s a big election going on now, and explain this story, Stu. I’m sorry. I don’t I just don’t pay attention to local elections at all.

STU: Yeah, basically I mean, the basic narrative is there was a, you know, the guy who’s representing this district, Obama pulled him to be I think secretary of the army. So then there was a they decided to choose the new Republican to run. They chose a moderate. So now this guy stepped in as sort of the conservative option. So there’s now a Democrat, a Republican who’s a moderate and then a conservative party candidate.

GLENN: Okay, stop with the moderate stuff. The moderate Republican that the Republicans of New York have selected has been endorsed by the Working Families Party, which is an arm of ACORN. I mean, he’s for card check and everything else. This or she is. I don’t even know who this Republican is. She? But she’s not a Republican. She’s John McCain or Barack Obama. That’s what they’re doing in New York. And this is a test now in New York, the first real test of whether or not conservatives will stand for principles or they’ll just follow the party. Can you address, John, a little bit? I mean, being somebody who’s been a libertarian for years and years and years, can you address just a little bit on the idea that you’re throwing your vote away if you don’t vote for the Republican because there won’t be anybody to stop the Democrat?

STOSSEL: Well, the odds of my one vote changing an election are pretty slum pretty slim. I certainly have not been able to vote for plenty of Republicans. I mean, I’m glad you say stop with the moderate. I also am never sure what conservative means. If conservative means that the person opposes horrible legislation, job killing legislation like card check, then I’m a conservative. If conservative means stop all immigration and some other things that conservatives say, then I won’t vote for the conservative, either.

GLENN: Well, hang on just a second. I’m not for stopping all immigration by any stretch of the imagination, but I am for knowing who’s here. Are you for that?

STOSSEL: As much as possible. It’s true. That was too blunt a stroke.

GLENN: Okay.

STOSSEL: But if it means the Lou Dobbs kind of rants about immigrants wrecking America, I don’t subscribe to that. I think immigrants by and large do good things for America.

GLENN: I think immigrants I think we need more immigrants, ones that want to be Americans because those immigrants are the only ones that are reminding us that we better get off our ass, we’ve got liberty here and we forget about it all the time.

STOSSEL: That’s very true. When they were passing all these antismoking rules and I wanted to make the argument that, gee, don’t we have freedom of association? Can’t the guy who smokes who owns a bar have smoking in his bar? Can’t the smokers have some bars? And I went on the street and I asked smoker after smoker, what do you think? Oh, okay, I guess we’re just going to have to stand outside. Nobody was outraged except the immigrants. And they would say, I thought America was the land of the free. So you make a good point there.

GLENN: So tell me about and we’re going to talk a little bit about this tonight. The new healthcare bill, 1500 pages as it stands now. It’s only going to get worse from here. In Massachusetts, which is the model healthcare system for people on left and right, it’s a nightmare. It’s a nightmare, and we’re about to do this to the entire country.

STOSSEL: Well, the problem there is I think most people there don’t consider it a nightmare yet, and it took the Soviet Union 70 years to fail. It takes these socialist systems time to implode and they can say and some people defend it there. They say, look, the number of uninsured residents fell from 6 to 2.6% and prices haven’t gone up that much. But costs do keep rising faster than the pace in the United States as a whole, and over time that will just make insurance unaffordable in the state where I just build a house.

GLENN: They have hang on just a second. Did you just say you built a house in Massachusetts?

STOSSEL: Yeah. Am I going to regret that? Yeah, I just built a house on Cape Cod.

GLENN: In Cape Cod?

STOSSEL: My dream house.

GLENN: Well, when they I mean, when the government just takes the land and says you shouldn’t have built a house there, you know, and you’re surrounded by people like Barney Frank and, you know, his friends down south, Christopher Dodd, I’ll write you from the mountains, John.

STOSSEL: Every car, all my neighbors have Obama stickers on their bumpers.

GLENN: Oh, jeez.

STOSSEL: And the State did come in while I was building it and say stop construction. Well, why? We got all our permits. We have to check to make sure there are no Indian remains on your land. Well, couldn’t you have told me, couldn’t all the permit people have told me this was a requirement before I started construction? You should have known when you built in a place called Indian Neck that you would have to. You have to pay our anthropologists $15,000 and stop construction while we dig.

GLENN: No, you did not.

STOSSEL: Yeah.

PAT: Did they find any Indian necks?

STOSSEL: I wouldn’t have the house if they had.

GLENN: Wait a minute. You are only looking for Indian necks?

STOSSEL: No, the name of the place is Indian Neck.

GLENN: Is Indian Neck, okay.

STOSSEL: A mitten it’s called, an Indian burial ground.

GLENN: Could you have negotiated with the government and just taken out like a sifter and just said, you know what, instead of $15,000, I’ll just take the flour sifter and I’ll go through the dirt myself?

STOSSEL: I think that’s kind of what they use, but I did have to pay their archeologists.

GLENN: Of course you did. Of course you did. So John, the bill that is coming through now is I heard, who was it, Dick Morris or somebody this morning saying that if you make $64,000 a year, this free healthcare is going to cost you $8,000?

STOSSEL: If you say so. I haven’t

GLENN: You haven’t looked at that?

STOSSEL: yet looked at that.

GLENN: What have you looked at, John, seriously? What have you done? How long have you been not working at ABC?

STOSSEL: My fear is that they will pass some form of Obamacare Light and they will do the most popular things, and the most popular things are regulating insurance companies. And Obama says we don’t want discrimination. Nobody likes discrimination. We don’t want cherry picking. And people like that. We want community rating. It sounds so good, we’re all in the community together. But what people don’t get is that that is an insurance. That’s welfare. That’s as if car insurance companies charged Lindsay Lohan what they charged you and me.

GLENN: No, no. No, no. No. This care is actually like if they charge Lindsay Lohan what they charge you and me and she can purchase it after the car wreck.

STOSSEL: Good point. Wait until the car accident. Then buy it.

GLENN: Right. That’s the thing. It’s going to cost you $8,000 and again I get this number from Dick Morris. So I haven’t verified this myself. But I heard this this morning. But it’s $8,000 if you make over $64,000 a year. You know, and then it’s a $1,000 fine if you don’t sign up for it. Well, why not just pay the $1,000, not sign up for it. If I get cancer, sign up for it?

STOSSEL: And because of this guaranteed issue rule when you get cancer, the insurance company has to take you.

GLENN: Right. So it is like Lindsay Lohan getting into the car drunk, wrapping her car around a tree and then calling the insurance company and saying, "I need some insurance for my car," and they’re guaranteed to give it to her.

STOSSEL: And it compounds the basic problem of saying, "The answer is more insurance." Because insurance sucks as a form of capitalism. It’s a necessary evil. It’s necessary risk pooling. But it makes people not care about what things cost and that makes prices rise. It’s why Lasik eye surgery prices are dropping but things covered by insurance companies go up. The one useful thing that insurance companies do is to apply incentives like charging a Lindsay Lohan more and charging you less if you take driver’s ed or the fire insurance company charging somebody less if they have a stone house, good fire detectors. But the current insurance rule means the health insurance company can’t reward you if you quit smoking or diet. It takes away the good pushing of incentives that insurance can do.

GLENN: No, our good friend Cass Sunstein is there to help you out on this. There is something in this bill that says if you make unhealthy choices that they can fine you for those unhealthy choices. They are using smoking and obesity and overeating. However, I just want to point out at the same time this came out, this week also the NIH has started doing a study on the health hazards of owning a gun.

STOSSEL: Oh, so they will charge you more for that.

GLENN: Well, you are harder to insure really.

STOSSEL: Maybe once you are in the plan, they can fine you. But they are going to have to take the smoker and the nonsmoker, my understanding is, and charge them the same thing, at least when they come into the plan. That’s community rating. We’re all in this together. We’re a commune.

GLENN: You are you are such an angry bitter man, aren’t you? I mean, you are somebody who’s lived in New York and worked in the media far too long. Don’t you think?

STOSSEL: I am angry about a lot.

GLENN: (Laughing). All right, John Stossel, we’ll talk to you tonight, my friend.

STOSSEL: Great, thank you.

GLENN: You bet. Bye bye. I like him. You know what I like about John Stossel is he doesn’t if he doesn’t know? He says "I don’t know."

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: That’s why we feared him when we first had him on? Remember? We were like, he hates us. Because we would say, so what do you think of this? "I don’t know."

STU: Right.

GLENN: And you’d be like, okay. All right, that’s not a typical answer there, but

STU: Yeah, because you are used to, like, the typical person, you bring up a stat and they don’t know it, they will just kind of, like, generalize around that point.

GLENN: You are so used to hearing people answer questions that

PAT: Like this: Let me be clear. What I have said in the past is…

GLENN: Exactly. You are so used to that that when somebody says, "Yeah," you’re like, there’s nothing else? I mean, that’s it? Just, "Yes"? I mean, how many times do you say, "Just answer the question, yes or no," and that’s what Stossel does. And it’s ofting. It’s bizarre in the media because I think he’s one of the only people that do it.