Friday, December 16, 2016

Stossel got libertarians ready for prime time

Thank You, John Stossel, for Teaching Libertarians How to Do Cable News - Hit & Run : - Matt Welch:

December 16, 2016 - "Tonight (at 10 p.m. ET) is the last-ever episode of Stossel, the weekly Fox Business Network program that for seven years explained free-market principles better than any show on television. Host John Stossel, as he explains here in his weekly column, is moving on to other pursuits, including creating great content right here with Reason TV, and he will still be a contributor over in the Fox building.

"His final episode, appropriately, is a survey through the show's persistent and often hilarious attempts to illustrate difficult-to-visualize libertarian concepts using props, costumes, stunts, and engaging conversation, including with such beloved locals as Katherine Mangu-Ward ... and Kmele Foster. I am honored to be one of the two live guests on tonight's program, along with our great friend and frequent collaborator Kennedy. And therein lies a brief story.

"I first met Kennedy in June 2011 in the exact same place you'll see us tonight: in Fox's Studio D, sitting next to John Stossel ... during an hour-long special he very generously put together to discuss The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America, which I had freshly co-written with Nick Gillespie. It was a galvanizing moment—I had been doing increasing amounts of cable news, but had never seen anyone with as much TV charisma and quick wit as this former VJ. Soon she would begin collaborating regularly with both Reason TV and Stossel, the latter of whom brought her on as a special correspondent)....

"For the rest of his run, John labored at the largely thankless and rarely acknowledged task of training questionably dressed free-market types like me to be less like Broadcast News' Albert Brooks and just a wee more William Hurt-ish. There were the green-room coachings ("Don't bore people with a bunch of numbers!"), the on-set eye-glazes when you wandered off point, the cutting quips about questionable ties. It was tough love, but, well, you have to consider the raw material here.

"The result of Stossel's conscious exertions is that the universe of camera-ready libertarians is much larger and considerably more polished than it was seven years ago. (Judge Andrew Napolitano's late, lamented Freedom Watch also deserves a shout-out here....) Next-generation shows like Kennedy get to take their libertarianism more for granted precisely because Stossel had done the shovel work (*cough*) of introducing fundamental concepts and breaking in nerds."

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