John Stossel on Lawsuits: Good for Him, Bad for the Rest of Us?

John Stossel, host of “Stossel” on the Fox Business Network, likes to rant about lawsuits and lawyers.  Seems he hates both, unless he’s the one who’s doing the suing.  Stossel once interviewed wrestler Dave Schultz, and when Stossel told Schultz he thought it was all fake, Schultz slapped Stossel a couple times.  Stossel’s reaction?  Filed a lawsuit.  According to Eric Turkewitz’s blog entry about it, Stossel got a rather hefty settlement.

According to Turkewitz, Stossel is the same reporter who once said that organic produce was worse than conventional produce, a claim for which he had to apologize when it was revealed that his research was flawed.

So why has Stossel, who was once a consumer reporter, now become a shrill hater of lawsuits (except his own) and lawyers?  It’s one of oldest reasons:  money.  The Washington Post reported the following about Stossel’s switch:  “…back in 1996, when he was giving a speech to the conservative legal group, the Federalist Society, someone asked Stossel why he had abandoned consumer reporting to bash government and trial lawyers. According to the Corporate Crime Reporter, Stossel replied, “I got sick of it. I also now make so much money I just lost interest in saving a buck on a can of peas.”

Good reporters are wedded to truth and fact; In Stossel’s world, both take a backseat to money.  No wonder Stossel hates juries;  juries often hold dangerous corporations accountable for their actions when the truth is revealed in a courtroom.  He’d rather close the courthouse doors, for everyone but himself.